Turning a tiny closet space into a transitional wine cellar in the Mellionaire House

by / Tuesday, 16 May 2017 / Published in Design Corner

Melonie Graves is taking full advantage of her life as a self-described big corporate dropout. The third-generation Floridian traded in the desk job for a life of home staging and designing, allowing her creativity to flow on a daily basis. We like her style.

Throughout the life transition, she’s become a budding social media star, blogging about her designs to an audience of more than 53,000 users on Instagram alone. Since early last year, much of her content has revolved around the remodeling of a new construction home she and her family moved into in Tampa, Fl.

You can see its progress, room to room, on her blog and IG feed. Gorgeous work.

She’s also a bit of an oenophile, so you can bet she put priority on a wine room. We caught up with her to discuss her first crack at a whole-home renovation; style; and how she moved a vacuum, some cleaning supplies, and a Christmas tree to create a sexy lil’ passive wine room between the dining room and kitchen.

VintageView: Explain the idea behind remodeling a new construction house into a home?
Melonie Graves: Well, it’s really like a blank canvas. No one has lived in the home before, so even the walls have never been touched. It’s an opportunity to be creative with the spaces that may have been intended for use in one way, but I can turn it into something else.

VV: Describe your personal interior design style in five words…MG: Transitional, functional, creative, modern and traditional.

VV: What is left to do in the house?
MG: Oh my goodness…so much!  But the order we will probably follow is my office, the garage, and the lanai, because we use all of those areas the most.

VV: Onto the wine cellar (one-track mind here)… What inspired you to add a wine cellar into this compact space?
MG: It’s simple…we are big wine lovers, and we had nowhere to store our wine. The closet under my staircase was being used to store vacuums and Christmas trees, so I decided we’d convert it into a cellar that was both beautiful and functional.

VV: What was the biggest challenge you faced in the restyling?
MG: The biggest challenge in this conversion was deciding how to maximize the space for the most wine possible. My original design included crates, but it would have minimized not only the amount of wine we could store, but also being able to walk in and select a bottle.

VV: Explain how it fits into the overall design goals of the room…
MG: It’s located between the kitchen and the dining room, so I needed something that would be aesthetically pleasing when we moved from one room to another. But I also wanted it to “look like a cellar,” so I designed a door that looked like a vine, with bunches of grapes, and installed a brick look tile along the ceiling and back wall. We think it turned out perfectly.

VV: How do guests react when they pass by the metal doors?
MG: Oh they just love them!  They are always amazed at what a difference they make in that space. Sometimes at night we open them because they cast a beautiful shadow on the floors. They are quite the conversation piece.

VV: What bottle are you pulling from the cellar tonight?
MG: We’ve got a bottle of 2012 Blankiet Estate Cab that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. 🙂

The Mellionairehouse Wine Closet Details

  • Capacity: 81 bottles
  • Size: 30 sq feet
  • Brick and tile for an authentic look
  • Black chalk paint so they can write bottle details next to the wines
  • VintageView Wall Series wine racks in Satin Black finish
  • Custom Iron Doors

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