How to Build the Perfect Wine Cellar - Christie's Luxury Defined
Christie’s, the well known and highly esteemed art auction house, have a stylish cousin: Christie’s International Real Estate and their Luxury Defined website is full of the very best in architecture, art, bespoke living, food, wine and travel, interiors and design – All our favourite topics beautifully explored in articles for the discerning reader.
Their latest feature, How to Build the Perfect Wine Cellar has a detailed interview with Andrew Speer, our Cellar Maison director. The appeal of a home wine cellar is well recognised by private home owners as well as high end property developers we work alongside. The considerations to take into account when choosing the right cellar design, configuration and materials are key to the final outcome.
The full article is in the link above. Here is an excerpt:
We all dream of owning a fine collection of wines, with the perfect bottle for every occasion. And while, of course, assembling a “cellar” that’s the envy of all your friends will take years, there is no time like the present to start building the actual cellar in which you will keep it.
As with all aspects of home-building and interior design, trends for how and where to keep your beloved bottles have evolved over recent years. Traditionally, walk-in wine cellars were subterranean rooms, thanks to their ambient ground temperature, lack of natural light, and higher than normal humidity. While these remain in vogue, modern technology and clever design (as well as better building techniques) mean that a wine cellar, room, “pod”, or even a wall, can be installed anywhere there is space.
Here is all you need to know about creating a home for your sure-to-be-legendary wine collection
As the name indicates, these are self-contained spaces, often existing “spare” rooms, fitted out with the technology to keep wines in optimum conditions. “Generally, an enclosed room without natural light is the most cost-effective to prepare, especially for larger collections,” says Andrew Speer, director of Cellar Maison, which creates bespoke wine rooms of all shapes and sizes. A consultation with Andrew begins with a discussion about a collection: ideal capacity, and storage needs (wines for entertaining, the laying down of fine wines, investment wines, and so on).
“Next, we look at the property layout and intended area where the wine room is to be positioned, to determine the preparation work required, such as any structural modification, insulation, or electrical wiring, and we advise on the most suitable climate-control system,” says Speer, who often works alongside a building contractor for this prep work. Then comes the fun bit, as Speer asks about design and style preferences – Cellar Maison’s site has a great planning tool that lets clients see all available options. After this, Speer and his team put forward their proposed designs for approval.
Rebecca Wakefield, creative director at London-based property development company Banda comments: “Our clients now see a well-designed wine store as a crucial addition to their home, yet not all have the capacity for a cellar. With modern technology and creative thinking, homeowners can create storage within their existing space, be it hidden behind bookshelves or underground within vaults, ensuring that the wine room is not only stunning but in keeping with the rest of the property.”
Rebecca and her team recently installed a wine room hidden behind a bookcase in a large London private residence. The stunning room of around 43 square feet can store hundreds of bottles of wine in four fridges, and has a sink and plenty of space for glassware and equipment.
“Our clients often tell us that the wine cellar becomes the focal point during parties, and as such, a popular trend is building them larger, often with a table in the middle for tastings or dinner, or using barrels to create a standing area,” says Billy Heyman, managing director of renovations firm BTL Property, which has built many bespoke cellars. “It is also becoming more and more popular to fit sinks within the cellar for glass washing. In some cases, we’ve also seen homeowners link the cellar to a property’s AV system for mood lighting and music.”
Wine Walls and Pods
Ideal for smaller properties and pieds-à-terre, the wine wall offers all the benefits of a cellar or room but without the need for so much space. “Wine walls are proving to be one of our most popular installations,” notes Cellar Maison’s Speer. “Over the past 18 months, wine wall orders have overtaken our wine cellars and rooms. Our wine walls can be four feet in width and up to 20 feet high, and capacity can vary from 150 to 1,000 bottles or more depending on the space available, as well as the bottle arrangement.”
Too many bottles for a wall but not enough space for a cellar? Then consider a wine “pod”. These enclosed spaces are climate-controlled as per a room or cellar, and usually enclosed in glass. They are often incorporated into kitchens or dining spaces.