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A Personal Wine Storehouse

A growing trend in home design and planning is a dedicated space for a wine collection. Whether you live in a sprawling country estate, a tiny city apartmentor a home along the Chesapeake Bay, your home probably has a space that can be converted into a personal wine storehouse.

If you live in a small condo or house and you are planning a kitchen remodel, you might want to add a wine refrigerator.  Designers have come up with all sorts of clever ways to incorporate wine refrigerators, whether they are tucked into kitchens, hidden behind cabinetry panels or incorporated into small wet bar areas within larger rooms. A wine rack can even be tucked under the stairs or in a closet.  Wine refrigerators come in all shapes, prices and sizes.

This custom cabinetry built-in has two wine refrigerators

having a hinged door on the right side and the other on the left.  This allows one to open both doors to look at the wine.

An under counter wine refrigerator in the kitchen allows you to keep wine on hand for cooking and casual meals. Installing wine refrigeration units under a kitchen island can cool the whites and regulate the reds.  Most of us have little or no space for a wine cellar, so a closet cellar that saves money and space (without compromising on storage) could be the best solution.

Personal Wine Storehouse: But if you have the space in your house to convert into a personal wine storehouse, the designs are limitless. Choosing a location for your wine collection involves understanding the fundamentals of building a wine cellar. A wine cellar should not have direct sunlight (basements are perfect) and must be able to maintain a temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  If the wine cellar stays within 3 to 4 degrees of that, your wine will be fine. Any warmer and your wine will age faster; any cooler and your wine will age slower. Your cellar must also control humidity — the ideal level is 57 percent. Humidity levels above 70 percent can cause mold to grow in the cork, and your wine can be ruined. On the other hand, a humidity level below 50 percent can cause a cork to dry out, spoiling the wine.  As your wine cellar is being built, your walls must be thicker to allow for thicker spray-foam insulation, which provides for a more controlled environment. Spray foam is both an insulator and a vapor barrier — essential for your cellar.  A wine cooling unit must also be installed. This special cooling unit is not the same as normal cooling units, because a wine cooling unit also controls humidity. Units like these are installed simply through the framing of the wall. The unit cools and controls humidity in the cellar, while exhausting heat into an exhaust room.  The exhaust room must be large enough to absorb this heat, which may limit how big your wine cellar can be.

Lighting: Normal incandescent and halogen bulbs emit a lot of heat — way too much for a cellar.  There are many incredible LED lighting options, which emit virtually no heat. Track lights, puck lights and LED strip lights can all light a space in interesting ways and show off your collection.

Decide how to display your wine: What will ultimately make your wine cellar stunning is how you store your wine. Using multiple methods — racks, bulk storage and display — will add interest. The best cellars showcase their finest wines while still finding ample room for everyday choices.  If custom shelving doesn’t fit your budget, try ready-made metal or pine racks. Mount wine racks on any wall in your home to display as many bottles as you would like. Having an assortment of white and red at your fingertips is a plus, and the collection makes for instant wall art.  Either way, your wine collection will be a constant conversation piece every time you entertain and a great way to make friends.

Box wine. Create wall-mounted shadow boxes to house all your wine and wine essentials. This more modern take on the traditional wine rack is an automatic eye catcher and the perfect complement to a contemporary home

Wine and Dine or Tasting Table: If you are fortunate enough to have enough square footage in your wine cellar, place a dining table with chairs in the center. Or place a wine barrel in your cellar as a dedicated space for tasting. This playful and dedicated touch is great for small cellars with limited room. Enjoy your feast with easy access to all the wine around you.

Additional Designs:  Team up with a professional designer to create your dream wine cellar.  Add such details as a decorative dome above the dining room table, or barn wood tongue & grove ceiling.  The designer can also assist with the decorating touches for the type of design—Italian, contemporary, English pub, winery or Mediterranean.

Display wine barrels for storage or as a small table to display a special wine.  Lighting can dramatize the setting.

A dedicated space for your flourishing wine collection is a growing trend in home design.  When your love for wine out grows your small cabinet, it may be time to set up a dedicated wine area.  These tips will help you showcase your wine to its best advantage while ensuring proper storage conditions.


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