By Lucy Thompson

Designing the perfect home wine cellar or wine room.

If your wine collection has outgrown its current storage space or you are moving home, it may be time to graduate to a dedicated, temperature-controlled room using a wine cellar designer. While wine cellars make good use of basement space, wine rooms are a great alternative as they can be created anywhere in your home, taking up a modest-sized corner or an entire floor.

For most of our clients, the creation of wine cellars and wine rooms is part of an overall design or renovation project. We work with specialist partners including Spiral Cellars and Barr Joinery to bring these specific aspects of a project to fruition.

“When planning wine cellars and wine rooms, our aim is to help you create a practical, functioning space for your wine collection, but also a space which enables you to more fully enjoy your wine.  For some, the wine room is a discreet place to store investment wines, while for others it’s a sociable space for entertaining friends, a superb talking point.”

Ben Holland

Considerations when planning wine cellars and wine rooms

Sunlight / Darkness

Your wine needs to be kept away from direct sunlight, so this is perhaps the biggest factor to consider when planning where to locate your wine room. If it’s part of another room, such as the kitchen, dining room or games room, then it will need to be well clear of any windows. If it’s part of an extension or renovation project, we’ll carefully consider where to locate your wine room so that you don’t miss the absence of light.

Temperature
A wine room should maintain a steady temperature at around 55-58°F though lots of people opt for zones which are temperature-controlled especially for red wine, white wine and champagne.  Spiral wine cellars are very popular, particularly in town homes where space is at a premium.  These require much less effort to maintain the right temperature – take a look at Spiral Cellars, our specialist partner, for inspiration and ideas.

Humidity
Humidity can also affect the quality of your wine.  Humidity above 70% can cause mould to grow in the cork while humidity below 50% can cause the cork to dry out.  Ideally humidity should be maintained at 57%.

Lighting
A wine room is a luxury to enjoy which is why lighting is particularly important.  The right lighting will, of course, allow you to read the labels easily but more than this, it will enhance the display and turn your wine room into a visual treat.  Different spotlights can be used to highlight specific wines. LED lighting should be used as normal lightbulbs and halogen lamps emit too much heat for a wine room, and many people consider dimmer switches to create the required ambiance.  It’s a good idea to use a timer too, so that the lights aren’t left on for excessive periods, potentially causing damage to the wine.

Hidden or displayed?
Some may prefer to have their wine hidden away while others enjoy displaying their liquid art collection  – a beautiful wine display certainly does make a good talking point when you’re entertaining friends.  However, it can be housed behind a door which looks just like any other in your house, and well lit to enjoy from the inside.

Security
There are two aspects to consider from a security point of view – temperature fluctuations and intruders.  For particularly valuable wine collections it’s a good idea to consider a cooling system with built-in alert so you know when there may be a problem with the temperature control, and to have a good locking system on the door to protect your collection from intruders, and to prevent children from entering the room.

Hidden or displayed?
Some may prefer to have their wine hidden away while others enjoy displaying their liquid art collection  – a beautiful wine display certainly does make a good talking point when you’re entertaining friends.  However, it can be housed behind a door which looks just like any other in your house, and well lit to enjoy from the inside.

Security
There are two aspects to consider from a security point of view – temperature fluctuations and intruders.  For particularly valuable wine collections it’s a good idea to consider a cooling system with built-in alert so you know when there may be a problem with the temperature control, and to have a good locking system on the door to protect your collection from intruders, and to prevent children from entering the room.

“A wine room is a very personal space which should reflect the personal design language of the homeowner. It’s possible to be very creative with this space and make it a highlight of the home, a pleasurable sanctuary away from the busy-ness and stress of everyday life.” 

Ben Holland

How can we help you

We provide architecture services throughout  LondonSurreyOxfordshireBuckinghamshireBerkshire and the Cotswolds. To find out more about how to incorporate a wine cellar or wine room into your architectural project, please get in touch for an initial meeting, or find out more about how we work.