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 

Style Files: How to Mix Traditional and Modern Interior Design

Hands down, one of the best parts of designing custom wine cellars is creating pieces to suit our customers' interior design style. We’ve been on site for installations of custom wine rooms in custom homes in the mountains in Park City, Utah, designed wine bars from 100-year-old barn wood for an estate in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and most recently we designed this custom Credenza for a traditional home in Midlothian, VA.

 

When we’re working on a fully built-in wine room, we’re often matching existing cabinetry and finishes to complement the architecture of a home. With a stand-alone wine cellar like this Credenza, we can style it just like a furniture piece and the style doesn’t necessarily need to “match” the home, but it should complement the architecture, furniture and style. 

With this modern Credenza headed off to a traditional home, we wanted to share some tips on mixing the two interior styles. When pulled off correctly, blending traditional and modern pieces can create a unique and stunning look, and can allow you to work in those family heirlooms without recreating your grandmother’s tea room. 

This freestanding Credenza wine cellar is headed off to our client’s home in Virginia.

This freestanding Credenza wine cellar is headed off to our client’s home in Virginia.

 

5 tips for the perfect Mix of modern And Traditional

1. Decide on a dominant style

You can pick either traditional or modern as your primary look, but avoid mixing the styles too evenly, which will create a room with an identity crisis — go for either traditional with modern accents, or modern with traditional accents.

If you want a traditional look, keep your focal furniture pieces in that style and add tables, art and lighting accents in a modern style. If you want a modern aesthetic, keep most of your pieces modern, but look for statement traditional pieces like a sofa, mirror, chandelier, art or ceramics to mix in. 

Modern art and a simple, neutral palette lend a modern look to this traditional home.  Photo via One King's Lane ~ onekingslane.com

Modern art and a simple, neutral palette lend a modern look to this traditional home.
Photo via One King's Lane ~ onekingslane.com

A more traditional rug choice softens up the sparse feel of this modern farmhouse.   Photo via Pinterest

A more traditional rug choice softens up the sparse feel of this modern farmhouse.
Photo via Pinterest


2. Understand which pieces are universal, and which are trickier to mix

There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general, both traditional and modern sofas and chairs look great with modern coffee, cocktail and side tables, like our Credenza and Brock models, while pairing a traditional coffee table with a modern sofa tends to be harder to pull off. 

A modern side table, like our Credenza, looks great with both modern and traditionally styled furniture, like this tufted armchair. ~  Photo by Sommi Wine Cellars

A modern side table, like our Credenza, looks great with both modern and traditionally styled furniture, like this tufted armchair. ~ Photo by Sommi Wine Cellars


3. Make your textiles work for you

Traditional shapes like rolled-arm sofas and armchairs look both fresh and timeless when reupholstered in a bold pop of color. Using modern or contemporary colors on a traditional piece is a much easier win than using traditional patterns on a modern piece (imagine a toile print on a mid-century modern sofa — it just doesn’t work), but textiles like rugs and curtains are a great way to bring a traditional style into a modern room.


4. Use color to set the Tone

Your overall palette, and how you use color everywhere from your walls to your accents will have a huge impact on the feel of a room. If you have ornate molding, inset panels, or other traditional details, choosing a more sparse palette and keeping furniture and accessories within it will lend the room a more modern feel. 

If you’re starting with a modern space, try adding texture with a turned curtain rod or coat rack, and richer patterns like an Oriental rug or woven pillows in luxurious fabrics.  

Grays and indigos with a few touches of warm wood tones create a moody, masculine feel in this industrial space.  Photo via Pinterest

Grays and indigos with a few touches of warm wood tones create a moody, masculine feel in this industrial space.
Photo via Pinterest

Modern and traditional forms come together in this eclectic, jewel-toned living room.  Photo via Traditional Home ~ traditionalhome.com

Modern and traditional forms come together in this eclectic, jewel-toned living room.
Photo via Traditional Home ~ traditionalhome.com


5. Invest in foundational pieces

The best part of creating an eclectic mix of two or more styles is that you can add or remove art and accents over time to evolve the look without sacrificing focal pieces, like a designer sofa or a handmade wine cellar. 

And remember, there’s no formula for success — the most beautiful rooms, and the ones you’ll want to spend time in, are the ones that reflect your style and stories. 

A beautifully crafted wine fridge, a favorite armchair and a classic rug are investments that can be restyled any number of ways with different side tables, lighting and accessories. ~  Photo by Sommi Wine Cellars

A beautifully crafted wine fridge, a favorite armchair and a classic rug are investments that can be restyled any number of ways with different side tables, lighting and accessories. ~ Photo by Sommi Wine Cellars

Twice as Nice: Sommi Wins "Best in Design" Again

2018-oregon-home-best-in-design.jpg

We're honored to have been part of Oregon Home's third annual Structure and Style awards. This year our Northwest Wine Room took home the award for best Entertaining Space. With those Pendleton accents and wood clad walls, we have to say this was one of our favorite projects to date, too. A huge thanks to our clients and partners, and to Oregon Home for selecting our work once again for this award. Cheers!