Adding a Wine Cellar to Your Home

by Carmen Corbin on January 9, 2012

Whether you’re an accomplished wine connoisseur or a part-time wine collector, you may be considering how to store or display your growing collection of wine bottles.  Even if your home isn’t the size of a palatial Italian villa, there are still many ways to add a wine cellar or wine storage area to keep your vino protected and ready for the next social event.

Selecting a Location for Your Wine Cellar

The size of your wine collection and available space will be the biggest factors in determining a location.  Building a wine cellar in the basement is often the best choice, as it is often the coolest area in the home with the lowest amount of light.  Add a room to an unfinished area, or convert an existing room.  If you don’t have a basement, utilize an interior room or walk-in closet.  Your home improvement contractor can offer more suggestions on the best location.

Small Spaces:  If you don’t want to dedicate an entire room for a wine cellar, you can incorporate other types of wine storage into your home.  Refrigerated wine cabinets recessed into a dining room wall add a touch of class to any gathering.  You can even utilize the space under a stairway with built-in wine racks, or install a wine refrigerator in an attractive bar area.

Temperature and Humidity Control

The ideal temperature for storing wine (as recommended by is around 55-58˚F, with a humidity of 55-75%.  Unless you have access to an underground cave, you’ll need to install some kind of zoned cooling and humidity control for your wine cellar or room.  Ask your general contractor or heating and cooling professional about wall mounted zoned cooling, special wine cellar cooling units and other options.  To maintain the room’s temperature and humidity, an exterior type door must be used with a good weather strip across the bottom.

Flooring:  Tile and stone flooring are popular choices for wine cellars, as well as cork, hardwood and even sealed concrete.  Carpet and vinyl flooring should not be used due to the room’s high humidity levels.

Decorative Elements

Wine bottles themselves are a great design element, and there are many creative ways to showcase and store them.  Both standard and custom wine racks can be found from many sources, even with curved designs.  Give the walls a touch of Old France by using faux stone or brick, and use an up light to focus attention on a piece of sculpture or wall art.  If space allows, add a wine tasting table and a couple of comfortable chairs for entertaining guests.

For more ideas on adding a wine cellar to your home, call or visit your local home improvement contractor, or visit

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