Every oenophile dreams of having a wine cellar right in their home. Its sophisticated connotation, understated appearance, and undeniable practicality makes it a must-have for wine lovers everywhere. Even in smaller homes, wine cellars are an attainable feature.

Whether you have a small nook in your kitchen you can carve out for one, or an entire basement you’re looking to convert, there are a few ways you can make it as classy as possible. These features and details are what distinguish a wine cellar from a meager wine storage.

Ambient Lighting


A wine cellar should be a warmly lit room, with just enough of a glow to showcase the labels. You can implement a hanging light with an Edison bulb, as these have an orangey hue to them that is sure to be very complementary. However, we recommend less direct lighting.

Track lighting along the ceiling or recessed lighting along the floor are the best ways to incorporate some ambient lighting into the room. It also creates a bit of a runway, adding to the room’s sophistication and high-end appeal.

If you have a glass display case, or a standing shelf where you wish to highlight a bottle or two more prominently, utilize a low hanging wall or ceiling light. This will cast a slightly stronger glow onto the display, bringing the eye directly to it.

Elegant Cabinetry


There are a number of shelving options for a wine cellar, and the right one will depend purely on the wine cellar’s dimensions and your collection. A traditional wine rack will display the bottles lying on their sides. There are stand-up shelves, but they may be less common, and take up more room.

It’s recommend you select shelves with small compartments to spotlight specific bottles here and there. A small pedestal table in the center of the wine cellar will also serve as a nice spot to showcase your best bottle, and hold the occasional tasting.

You’ll want a warm, wooden finish for the cabinetry. There are three woods that are best for wine shelving:

  • Redwood: It boasts a more in-between color; neither light nor dark. It’s also recyclable and biodegradable, for individuals that are seeking an environmentally conscious wine cellar. It also filters the air of toxins, and contains natural oils that act as a preservative, keeping the wines in prime condition. It does well in humid environments.
  • Mahogany: Perhaps the warmest of the woods, it has a deeper auburn color to it. If you’re designing an upscale, plush wine cellar, this is the best option. It’s highly durable, so it will last years. It blends well with cherry and oak.
  • Pine: The solution for wine connoisseurs on a budget. Although less expensive than its counterparts, it still does the job. It’s a lighter shade than mahogany and redwood, offering your wine cellar a more rustic and woodsy look. Although not as extravagant, it is very homey and comfortable.

Ornate Doors & Windows


Think about your wine cellar’s “packaging”. How will it look from the outside? This comes down to the doors and windows you choose. You might be wondering, Why do I need a special door or window? The right doors and windows will display the inside of your wine cellar while still keeping it insulated, so that the wine does not spoil or become vulnerable to external temperature changes.

An iron or steel wine cellar door will achieve this goal. Both are extremely durable, insulated, and resistant to wear-and-tear. A wrought iron wine cellar door’s ornate appearance and intricate scrollwork goes perfectly with the worldly sophistication of the cellar itself.

If you’re looking for simple and understated, a double-paned glass door with a steel frame nails the minimalistic and modern look.

In the end, your lighting, cabinetry, and door selection make your wine cellar what it is. Whether you’ll be using it as a tasting room or strictly for storage, you’ll want it to be somewhat of a sanctuary. The right décor and setting make it just this.