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Under The Stair Cork-Lined Wine Cellar: Coconut Grove, FL

Just about any space in a home can be transformed into a wine cellar. Basements are popular, but if your home doesn't have a basement sometimes you have to get creative. This customer transformed their under the stair crawl space into a beautiful and functional temperature controlled wine cellar. Take a look at the images and story below to see how we were able to help revamp this nook into a work of art.

Crawl Space Before Cellar Construction

We asked the customer to share some comments about the design and construction of this unique, custom wine cellar…

“We live in South Florida, where basements are rare. But our two-story home in Coconut Grove had a small crawl space underneath the staircase to the second floor. One weekend in late November 2015, we decided to turn that space into a wine cellar. A google search led us to Wine Enthusiast. We studied the “Recommendations for the Preparation & Construction of Your Wine Cellar,” and then we called Wine Enthusiast and began working with Lou Ann Hesch.

I just loved this space from first sight and envisioned how very unique and interesting this wine cellar would look. Transforming an under the stair crawl space is always an interesting cellar project.

Cork Lined Wall and Vintage View Racking

Due to the small size of the crawl space, selection of the wine cellar cooling unit was critical. After several consultations with Lou Ann, we settled on a Wine Guardian ¼ ton cooling unit. This ducted unit could be installed outside the cellar in order to maximize wine storage within the cellar. With the cooling unit selected, we began construction.

I was particularly excited about the radius wall, window, and visible steps... it was just a very unique space to outfit.

View From Glass Panel Cellar Door

Aside from the expected dust, demolition of the existing drywall and plaster ceiling in the crawl space went smoothly. We were even able to take advantage of some additional dead space under the stairs which ultimately resulted in another case of storage capacity. During demolition, it occurred to me that it would be great to see inside the wine cellar from the living room. The next day, I cut a small viewing window in the curved wall of the crawl space. After some google searches, I ordered a piece of curved insulated glass for the window from Curved Glass Creations.

I was totally blown away with his creative cork display! I always encourage customers to treat their wine cellar like any other room in the house bringing in your own distinctive style and décor.

Custom Redwood With Dark Walnut Stain Racks

Following Wine Enthusiast's recommendations, we installed a 6 mm vapor barrier throughout the crawl space, and insulated the walls and ceilings. We installed moisture resistant ½" drywall on all of the walls. We added marine grade plywood to certain walls for easy installation of the wine racks. After some additional consultation with Lou Ann, we selected single bottle dark walnut racks and Vintage View single deep racks. Wine Enthusiast constructed the racks to fit the space and installation was a breeze.

The custom waterfall style racking flowed perfectly with the descending staircase in the cellar, looks so natural.

Full Cellar View of Cork Walls and Custom Racks

The finishing touch was installation of wine corks on certain walls inside the cellar. Luckily, I had been saving corks for years — ever since I saw them used on the walls of Osteria, our favorite restaurant in Philadelphia. Chef Michaud was kind enough to share his installation tip — I cut each cork in half length-wise and installed them on the walls using Liquid Nails.

I believe the visual interest has been elevated with a combination of metal and wood. Don't be afraid to mix styles and materials for a unique look.

Window Cellar View Through The Staircase

We are thrilled with the wine cellar. The Wine Guardian unit is working great. Thanks to the insulation around the cellar, the unit maintains 55 degrees inside with only minimal effort. We have rack storage for just under 200 bottles and we have additional room for cases.

David was a pleasure to work with and I enjoyed his attention to detail as he completed the cellar including this window that gives a mystical glimpse into what lies under the stairs.

Do you have a Wine Enthusiast-designed wine cellar that you would like us to profile in an upcoming catalog or on our web site? If so, simply contact your Storage Consultant or email us HERE.