Designing the Exquisite Wine Cellar in Your Luxury Home - Valerie Fitzgerald Group

Main Content

Designing the Exquisite Wine Cellar in Your Luxury Home

Gone are the days when oenophiles would store their beloved collections below the stairs in dingy, tucked-away basements. Nowadays, when designing an exquisite wine cellar, people want it to agree with the quality of the Burgundy and Bordeaux that it corrals. Perhaps that's why so many show-stopping, jaw-dropping wine storage trends are popping up left and right on the market.

Wine cellars are no longer dark and dingy. Nowadays, they’re functional and sophisticated.
Alt-text: An image of a stylish wine cellar.

But, make no mistake: for true wine lovers, building the ultimate wine room isn't merely about aesthetics. Strategic placement, security, vibration, humidity control, temperature, different shapes and sizes of the bottles – one must take all into account. The result? A faultless blend of form and function from which one can expect nothing less than the most intoxicating wine experience and a room that's a work of art in itself. It's an embodiment of high-end living millennial home buyers these days adore so much.

Planning on adding storage for your bottles? Here are some design ideas that’ll have you popping your cork with utmost delight.

Basics of designing an exquisite wine cellar

Suppose you were to take a look at the luxury estate on the market. Then, you'd notice that many feature modern wine cellars that are made-to-order designer spaces meant to elevate the aesthetic of an estate and showcase the owner's fine wine collection. In their endeavor to artfully exhibit the wine aficionado's investment, many of these spaces incorporate sophisticated wood paneling, murals, and elaborate glasswork. Some are even designed as a picture-perfect entertaining backdrop for wine tastings and meant to be enjoyed in situ, surrounded by bottled history.

Do you have a type?

However, all of them fall into one or the other category of wine cellars. The “active wine cellar,” a climate-controlled wine room that actively regulates humidity levels and temperature, is your first option. The second is the “passive wine cellar,” an underground space that uses ground temperature to prevent climate fluctuations. While the latter is strictly subterranean, you can build a wine room anywhere in your home. More often than not, however, wine rooms are built on the upper floors of the estate, next to kitchens and libraries. But regardless, they’re the perfect option for hosting wine tastings and displaying collections like fine works of art. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to store your wine rather than showcase it, the wine cellar is the ideal setting to protect and enjoy your collection.

Create a pristine environment

Designing a bespoke home wine cellar isn’t simply a matter of picking out a room and them putting in your wine racks. So, if you’re looking to buy a home or considering making additions to your current residence, it’s best to speak to experienced wine cellar design consultants. They can best explain what you should be looking for in a home when it comes to wine cellars or what you should pay attention to when building one. For instance, if you’re going with a refrigerated one, you must ensure that it can maintain a pristine environment. This means investing in all the critical components of a home wine cellar:

  • The question of space comes down to the number you consume in a year, which you would multiply with your average bottle age. Got that? Now, add 15 percent more capacity for your wine tasting and buying sprees.
  • Temperature and humidity.The most crucial attribute of your wine storage? The climate control system. Ideally, your wine cooling system should maintain the temperature between 55°F to 57°F (12°C to 14°C) and an average of 60 percent relative humidity. This helps the wine age well while refining its flavor and bouquet.
  • Light and vibration.You need a space free of excessive light and vibration. With low-intensity and low-voltage LED lights and track lights, you can avoid temperature variability while still achieving a mood-lit vibe. Also, to keep your bottles away from intense vibration, you need a spot with minimum footfall and vibration-free thermoelectric cooling.
  • The space should be well-insulated and away from any heat sources. If you choose glasswork, ensure it’s double-paned and has exterior-grade insulation.

Climate control is one of the prerequisites for designing an exquisite wine cellar.
Alt-tag: Stylish and functional wine cellar.

Marrying the function with form

Now comes the most exciting part of designing an exquisite wine cellar. And that’s highlighting your wine collecting story and giving it a place of pride in your home. The modern wine room or cellar is a space to enjoy your wine while time improves it. That’s where the perfect design comes in! It helps you utilize their gorgeous yet practical qualities to make an individualized statement about you as a wine enthusiast, your impeccable taste, and your precious collection.

Of course, before you start your renovations, you must find somewhere else to store your collection safely. This can be a climate-controlled storage rental or an available room in your estate. According to, both options are fine, as long as you protect the bottles and safely transfer them to that space. They recommend investing in quality packing supplies for your bottles and learning all the proper packing techniques.

Find your style

Starting off your project, you’ll realize just how intoxicating fantasies bespoke cellars and rooms can be. A mere thought about the design options out there can make one’s creative juices flow faster and smoother than anything Bacchus could pour: evoking a Tuscan sunset with mood lighting, antique furniture, carved doors, glass-rinsing sinks, limestone floors, map drawers showing the origin of different wines, etc. Options out there are plenty. But, in the end, perfection always lies in seamlessly matching the style of your wine room to the rest of the home design.

As for the color palette, you can always explore along the lines of copper, bronze, gold, brown, chrome, and the like. Admittedly, these generic shades of the color spectrum are the ones that make for elegant wine cellars. However, if you believe sticking to them will make it a real challenge to achieve a unique look, don’t be afraid to shy away from them.

Choose the racking system

Most importantly, you’ll need a high-quality racking system. Most people go with traditional-style racks made of wood such as walnut, oak, ash, or pine. However, some experts say that pine, for instance, might start to rot in the wine cellar’s humid environment. According to them, it’s best to go with mahogany or redwood if your budget allows. They might be expensive, but they’ll last over a decade.

Add seating

But these spaces are more than just storage. Complete with tasting stations with furniture, they’re created for socializing too. You can add a comfy lounging area and an island or a narrow tasting island for a polished look.

Add furniture to your wine room for an ultimate wine experience.
Alt-tag: An elegant woman drinking wine.

Whatever you do, pick high-quality, durable furniture, and leave the delivery to professional furniture movers to avoid damage. Cellaring your wine in a basement or upper floor of the estate means many stairs, so it’s always best to rely on expert assistance. Finally, incorporate glass storage, decanters, and chillers for a more comfortable and luxurious wine tasting experience.

Choose durable floors

The wine storage floors have three essential functions: insulation, humidity retention, and protecting falling bottles. Regardless of the cellar's surface, make sure it's coated with a non-porous sealer. Three coats of epoxy sealer over the cement floor should be enough if you're setting up your wine cellar in the basement. Finally, if you aren't a newbie, you must be already aware that you will drop a few bottles. So, why not lay down some rubber mats to keep them from breaking?

Go hi-tech

With emerging innovative technology, designing an exquisite wine cellar that’s easy to manage is feasible. Some of the most common features in today’s bespoke wine displays are fingerprint recognition and wireless inventory systems. These are great for monitoring the stock. Those collectors who prefer to stay worry-free during break-ins or power failure opt for computerized alarm systems that can page them. Others like to keep online cellar logs. Since these are connected to bar-code scanners, the owners can easily keep tabs on what they purchase and drink.

Skip to content