Sommi Wine Cellars Awarded Best Of Houzz 2019

Sommi Wine Cellars Awarded Best of Houzz 2019

We're honored to have been awarded a “Best in Service” award out of more than 2.1 million home building, remodeling and design professionals on Houzz, the leading platform for home renovation and design. 

Working with our clients to go from a concept to a full build out, and creating and customizing their dream wine storage solutions is hands down our favorite part of this business. Last year alone, we had the pleasure of creating custom built-in wine storage for an estate near Park City, Utah, a custom Credenza wine cellar for a traditional home in Virginia, a gorgeous corner wine bar for a condo in Portland’s Pearl District, and a wine cave for the historic Wilcox Mansion. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019. A big thanks to our clients and partners, and to the Houzz community for recognizing our work with this award. Cheers! 

A Historic Portland Mansion Gets a Wine Cave Upgrade

When banker and self-made tycoon Theodore Wilcox commissioned his family’s Southwest Portland home of 12,000+ square feet with the famous Whidden & Lewis architecture firm in 1893, he spared no expense. Eleven bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, mahogany paneled walls and seven fireplaces surrounded by onyx and marble create a sense of grandeur that sets in the second you step inside.

But the building, which has stood the test of time with very few modifications, did skimp on one hallmark of luxury in our humble opinion — the wine cave. It was our pleasure to correct this small oversight by adding an underground wine cellar to the property’s basement when it was acquired by new owners last year. 

When working with a historic property like this one — it’s on the National Register of Historic Places — it’s important to respect the space and not modify any walls or materials of historic significance. Thankfully, the brick and stone basement already provided the perfect location for wine storage without the need for additional refrigeration. We added a custom bar top made from one of the property’s original doors (set under glass to protect it), lower shelves custom made from reclaimed barn wood, top wine racks by STACT, and some very dramatic lighting, for a truly one-of-a-kind wine storage system for this one-of-a-kind architectural masterpiece. 

Before becoming business offices for the current owners, the mansion was home to broadcast country radio station KWJJ in the 1950s, Soviet military suppliers during WWII, and a school of music and dance in the intervening years. With such a storied past, it’s no surprise that the building is rumored to be haunted by spirits a little more supernatural than the bottles of Oregon Pinot Noir from Domaine Serene we tucked into the basement during our build. As long as they don’t drink the wine, we don’t think the new owners will mind.  


Interested in creating your own custom home wine cave, cellar or room?

All of our projects begin with a free design consultation and are:

  • Fully customizable for your space, style and collection

  • Handcrafted with wood and high-quality finishes sourced directly from Northwest suppliers

  • Designed with the protection of your wine collection in mind 

Luxury Wine Storage in a Small Space

Our latest custom wine room project is proof that you don’t need a country estate (or even a full-size room) to store your wine in style. Our clients in this small, but swanky condo in Portland’s Pearl District had just a tiny corner of space to work with. Tucked in between the fireplace and floor-to-ceiling terrace doors, we transformed this formerly awkward and unused storage space into a showstopper of a home wine and cocktail bar.

Working with an area of this size, it’s all about materials and maximizing the workable space. We created custom housing in stained Cherry for a narrow wine refrigerator to chill Champagnes and protect a few cherished Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. Hand-milled glassware storage sits to the side with room for 24 flutes and wine glasses (looking for the best stemware to complement your wines? Check out our glassware guide). To the left of the wine fridge, built-in shelving houses our clients’ favorite spirits and cocktail-ware, for those nights when a super frosty Gin martini is on the menu. 

To take advantage of the vertical space and give the wine bar a focal point, a back-lit wall extends all the way to the ceiling. A simple system of brushed steel wine racks matches the finish of the wine fridge, and keeps a low profile while creating a gorgeous display for up to 75 bottles. 


5 Tips for Small Space Wine Storage

1. Look for under-utilized storage space

Have a corner that’s too small to hold any furniture? Got a closet that’s too shallow? These could be prime locations for wine storage and display. 

2. Take advantage of your vertical space

When your total footprint isn’t big, making use of every inch from floor to ceiling will give you a surprising amount of room for storing wine. 

3. Choose 2-3 high-end materials

Choosing a minimal palette of materials gives a clean, uncluttered look even in the smallest of spaces. The bonus of working with a small space is that since your total square footage is low, you can go with luxury finishes for everything from shelving to draw pulls.

4. Use lighting to create a focal point

Small spaces can often mean dim lighting. Even a tiny corner can be transformed with the right lighting effects so your storage looks intentional and adds to the personal style of your home. When lighting wine storage, choose LEDs that won’t put off heat that could damage your wines. 

5. Curate, curate, curate

The smaller the space, the faster it looks cluttered. Be realistic about how much wine you can properly store. If you’ve been hoarding 200+ bottles of the finest Bordeaux, do yourself a favor and rent a wine storage unit to protect your investment (in Oregon, we highly recommend Portland Wine Storage and Bend Wine Storage), and create a home wine display for 20-30 bottles you plan to drink in the near future.


Interested in creating your own custom home wine bar, cellar or room?

All of our projects begin with a free design consultation and are:

  • Fully customizable for your space, style and collection

  • Handcrafted with wood and high-quality finishes sourced directly from Northwest suppliers

  • Cooled with professional grade refrigeration