A Guide to Creatively Designing Wine Cellars with Restraint

by / Tuesday, 29 December 2020 / Published in Design Corner

There are more options than ever to create beautiful wine rooms. From designer wine racks to great choices in wall treatments, glass accents, and more. We love the possibilities. 

But, with so many amazing design features available, it can be easy to create a little too loudly. 

That’s why we’re offering these 4 TIPS to design well — and with restraint. 

1. Mix racking styles (but only 2 or 3)

Mixing Racking Styles

The key is to create a balanced approach when mixing wine racks. We see many cellar concepts try to blend too many different elements. Instead, focus on two, maybe three, styles. Max. This could mean trying two VintageView collections in one room or blending one wood and one metal wine rack like pictured above. This balanced approach has the perfect amount of variety without overwhelming the senses.

Design/Build: Bill Roberts Custom Homes

One of our favorite projects, the Stave Cellar pictured above, is located in Sonoma and designed by Wine Racks America an elite VintageView distributor.⁠ The cellar features our W Series wine racks with custom millwork, and the walls and ceilings feature oak wine barrel staves. They mixed just the right amount of metal and wood racking and were able to really pay homage to old world wine heritage. Bravo!

Design by: Wine Racks America

2. Dial down your color palette

Dial Down Color Palette

Too many colors in one space can lead to sensory overload. Your eyes need to have somewhere to rest. When mixing different metal racking styles, stick with one finish color to balance the simplicity. 

The project above features VintageView Case & Crate and W Series racks both in a matte black finish. The color flow in this room is amazing and allows for bold accents with the wall color and decor.

Designer: D’Amore Interiors, Photo: Raul Garcia Astula Inc

3. Avoid competing elements

Avoid competing elements

Tile and wallpaper are amazing additions to a wine room but you want to ensure the bottles remain the focus. Ensure the main racking remains the focal point and the other elements complimentary decor enhancements. ​​​​​In the example above, you have a beautiful wine display beside the vibrant wallpaper. Check out more great, focused design.

A common mistake would be to place that wallpaper behind the wine racks, thus competing with the wine bottles.

Beyond wallpaper we often see materials like stone facades and shiplap being used behind our wine racks. Installation tip: in most cases you’re still going to be using the plywood behind the facade to hang your wine racks.

Builder: Kolter Homes Designer: Masterpiece Design Group Photographer: Studio KW Photography

4. Visualize all the sight lines

Visualize all the sight lines

When using framing or complex systems, think through the entire design. A common mistake we see are designs that don’t factor in what will be visible. Such as, the back of a one sided frame that is visible in the dining room, creating a jailed in look. The project pictured above featuring the Vino Series Post system shows the challenge. You can see racking on multiple sides of each post, creating a uniform feel, that looks great from all angles.

Another great example of this is the District Winery project. The 17,000-square-foot wine display project required a street level view into the winery and its wine cellar, meaning glass exterior walls on three sides. Since natural light doesn’t mix well with winemaking equipment and storage, planning the interiors took a delicate balance of aesthetic intuition, light study, and cooling system management to create functional and beautiful winery storage and dining spaces.

Design: Sunwest Custom Homes, Photos: Jeffrey Davis

District Winery

To ensure the wine was kept safe in the all-glass environment, a room within a room was built to better insulate the wine. Planning included angling the wine cellar glass from its base, eliminating direct natural light exposure.

District Winery, Photos: Dusty Jenkins/Cinepro Studios

Once you understand the space you’re designing in and its function, embrace the styles available, but remember that keeping the four elements we discussed above balanced, is the key to creating a visually pleasing wine cellar.

District Winery, Photos: Dusty Jenkins/Cinepro Studios

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