Wine Cellar Designs for Small Spaces

March 13, 2019


Wine cellars designed for compact or small spaces have become incredibly popular in recent years. A cabinet, pantry or merely the space under the stairs can be converted into a perfect location for storing wines. Wine rooms have become diversified over the years and are no longer stuck to the cellars or basements. One no longer needs these large spaces for constructing a proper wine cabinet complete with racks and insulation. A simple cabinet or a part of the wall can be segmented and converted into a wine storing cabinet.

One of the most important thing while constructing a wine cabinet in a small space is the immediate environment of the area. Wine doesn’t age well when kept in areas where temperature and humidity fluctuate. The most important considerations are those that go into keeping the wine appropriately preserved. The ideal temperature for wine storage is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  There are two ways of achieving these conditions- one is to invest in a wine refrigerator or a cooling system and the second is to identify a cool and dark spot in the house that is away from windows and exterior walls.

Once the location with ideal environmental conditions has been identified, the next step involves creating a space of storage and organization of the wines. The design should both be able to store the required number of wines and must look attractive enough to be inviting. Some of the various details to consider here are-

  • Custom cabinets, wine racks or proper shelving.
  • Having a wine glass caddy.
  • Lounging measures such a bar table, stools, and armchairs for serving and tasting.
  • Good lighting that serves as task lighting and creates a good ambiance.
  • Some common bar-wares like corkscrews, decanters, wine glasses and other accessories.
  • A small refrigerator for champagne and delicate aged wines.

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Some ideas for wine cellars in compact spaces

There are lots of areas in a typical house that are perfect for a wine cabinet. Some of the various choices are mentioned below.

  • Under the stairs

    The space underneath the staircase is a perfect spot for establishing a wine cabinet. It’s isolated and free from temperature fluctuations. Added to that there is always enough room to store a decent wine collection. All it takes is remodeling the space for storage and installing some inexpensive wire-grid racks, and a budget wine cellar is ready. Remodeling is required to keep the area free from humidity and large temperature fluctuations. One can also invest in a glass door and small lighting arrangements to make the cellar or cabinet even more appealing. Apart from racks one can also use steel-roads as peg boards and create a neat looking racking system that has a minimalistic appeal to it. The location under the stairs is all about utilizing the space in the best way possible.

  • A closet or a pantry

    Closets and pantries are one of the most popular locations for wine cellars. They are well covered, separated from windows, doors and external walls and already have a space for a door. There is enough room for a large collection of wine, and space provides easy access to most racking options. A part of the drywall can be easily replaced with glass panes to make the wine collection visible from the outside.  Such closets and pantries are big enough to fit inadequate lighting and even a small wine table for serving and tasting.

  • Walkways and closed-corners

    Such spaces require a lot of remodeling and is best left to a wine cellar design professional. These areas need to be remodeled for proper insulation and humidity control. Added to that, the extra room that these locations provide is ideal for establishing a small tasting corner complete with tables and chairs. The lounging need not be too grand. A simple wooden table for pouring and a couple of armchairs are ample for these small designs.

The storing of wines and the creation of a good wine cabinet is a continuous and multi-faceted process. The number of wines and their size is a crucial factor that determines the design. Any space that is chosen for a wine cabinet comes with its own set of opportunities and limitations. The basement and huge cellars are usually established by wine enthusiasts who have their own breweries and vineyards for creating personal wines for others its all about utilizing that empty space in the house.  Two things should be kept in mind while converting a space into a wine cellar, temperature and humidity. Installing insulation and vapor barriers are the way to achieve the perfect conditions for establishing an improvised wine cabinet inside the house. A brief overview of vapor barriers and insulation is mentioned below.

  • Insulation

    Without proper temperature control, wine does not age well at all. Effective cooling is a prerequisite for storing wines for long durations. Without adequate cooling, a wine can easily deteriorate and result in a loss of investment. The environment outside the cellar is typically warmer than the environment inside. To maintain this temperature difference and stop the warm air from affecting the cellar, proper insulation needed. Insulation can be provided by installing plastic sheets inside the spaces of walls, floors, ceilings and doors. These polymer sheets keep the outside warmer air from mixing with the inside of the cabinet of the cellar which is typically colder. 

  • Vapor barrier

    Vapor barriers typically go with any insulation. Wherever there is insulation, at the insulated boundary there will be a contact of hot and cold air. This can cause the creation and deposition of condensation within the structure of the walls, floors, and ceilings. This condensation can not only give rise to mold but also weaken the strength and integrity of the structure. Vapor barriers stop this condensation from accumulating and also maintain proper humidity within the storage space. All kinds of wine cellars require a vapor barrier irrespective of their design or location.

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