8 Tips to Transform Your Basement Into a Wine Cellar
Enjoy a "very good year" as often as you like when you curate favorite vintages in your own basement wine cellar
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected, not decorated, and that homes should always be as comfortable and functional as they are chic. In addition to writing for Houzz, I work as the Head Copywriter for Layla Grayce and Zinc Door.
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design... More »
Many of us (myself included) keep wine bottles stacked on the counter or a few whites chilling in the fridge. A true wine enthusiast balks at this idea — wine requires proper storage, and an everyday kitchen cabinet doesn’t quite cut it. If you’ve been considering building a proper home for your wine collection, try taking a look at your basement — it is probably the right spot for a wine cellar. Here, interior designer Mark Cravotta of Cravotta Studios shares tips on creating the right space for your vino.
1. Control the climate. If you have the budget for it, Cravotta suggests investing in a wine room–specific HVAC system. “They keep consistent and proper balance between temperature and humidity in a way conventional systems cannot,” he says.
2. Insulate properly. If an HVAC system doesn't fit your budget, make sure the temperature is properly controlled through insulation. This has a lot to do with your geographic location, so consult a professional to assess your situation. If you’re in the southern United States, for example, Cravotta suggests treating the shell by creating a moisture barrier on the outside of every wall plus the floor and the ceiling, as well as adding closed-cell foam insulation to prevent condensation buildup and mold.
3. Make use of the space you have. You don’t need an entire room for your wine cellar. If you’re tight on basement space, consider repurposing a closet or a small storage area.
4. Choose stainless steel for a contemporary look. “Preventing airborne contaminants is definitely important,” says Cravotta. "The wine racks should be a material that won’t off-gas.” Stainless steel is a quality choice that gives wine cellars a contemporary aesthetic.
5. Pick wood with a natural finish for a traditional look. Cravotta recommends choosing a wood that requires only a mineral oil finish, such as mahogany, walnut or cypress.
6. Use zero-VOC paints. If you decide to paint the wine racks or other surfaces in the cellar, make sure they are treated with zero-VOC paints and finishes to prevent corrupting the wine.
7. Pay attention to lighting. Cravotta suggests using Cree LEDLRP-38 bulbs on standard line-voltage tracks. “They’re cost effective, dimmable using standard dimmers, and the quality of light is very similar to the best halogen has to offer,” he says.
8. Consider a tracking system. “For larger collections, you might want to consider a systematic way to mark the racks with one of the many available wine room management software programs available today,” says Cravotta. “We’re currently working a wine cellar where we are using French enameled alphanumeric tags that will be attached at every bottle location. They’re as beautiful as they are practical.”
Ideabook published on Aug. 29, 2012.
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