The cellar.

Well more of a cupboard really, but anyway….

Photo thanks to Webb and Brown-Neaves.

The display home version.  Photo thanks to Webb and Brown-Neaves.

There is a generous space under our stairs, accessible from the kitchen, that we are calling “the cellar”.   I looked up a couple of DIY instructions for converting a cupboard to a proper cellar, you know with temperature and humidity control.  Oh my goodness, it’s way easier just to drink the wine!

Over the years, the “Nice Wolf” has managed to purchase a small wine fridge or two, when I wasn’t looking.  This cupboard is for them.  We’ll also use the space to store all our glassware, drinking paraphernalia (margaritas are a serious business) and any overflow from the pantry.  We are going to need some shelving and, since the door is glass, it needs to look good.

If you have a real underground cellar, then little more than several cases of wine is needed to create a nice atmosphere.  But for a cellar cupboard, my web search revealed very little to get me in the mood for a party.  Never-the-less here are some of my favourites:

Wood cellar

I love the recycled/raw wood used here. Picture: Kevin Knight and Company.

Home bar

I like the simplicity of this bar. A bit old fashioned for HBTW, but the basic idea is great. Picture: Shelterness.

Cellar cupboard

I’m flirting with the idea of brick wallpaper, but sensibility will probably prevail.  Picture: Home Bunch.

Great shelving layout.  DIY-able.  Picture:  Segreto Secrets.

Great shelving layout. DIY-able. Picture: Segreto Secrets.

Cafe inspiration.

Stylish shelving and modern style. Source: Bungalow classic.

HBTW’s cellar mood board:

Cellar mood board.

Featuring:

  • Wooden book cases that we already have. (Minus their ornate edges, plus some extra internal structure for easy access to any wine bottle.)
  • Wine crates as drawers to hide the less beautiful items.
  • Vintec wine fridge.
  • Open shelves for glassware.
  • The Nice Wolf’s homemade cork board.  (Yes, we can be very daggy sometimes.)
  • Black pendant light.  (This is a maybe.  I’m starting to wish I included more pendant lights instead of down lights on our lighting plan.)
  • An off-cut of caesarstone for a small bench top.

What would you do with a spare cupboard under the stairs?

Do you have a space dedicated to wine, beer or cocktails?

Has anyone tried those cooler drawers?

And most importantly, what should House By The Water’s signature drink be?  I’m thinking blue.

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14 thoughts on “The cellar.

  1. I think this conversation should be had over a glass of wine, but because I’m such a good sport I’ll share my opinions without a bottle open. In fact it’s breakfast time here, so probably for the best.
    Don’t put in any triangle shaped shelves if you have a choice. They waste heaps of space. We have a couple under our stairs (because of the angle under the stairs) and they fit very little, we have a few wine bottles in them, and a few is all we can fit.
    Watch that your wine fridge doesn’t pump out a lot of hot air to keep its contents cold and at the same time heat your cellar. I remember when I worked at Standards that was a problem with wine fridges on the market.
    You’ll also need a few straws in there, for if a bottle of the expensive stuff get’s spilled you’ll be able to throw yourself on the floor and drink it up 😉 (That’s an idea stolen from a restaurant I once worked at. They had expensive bottles and the idea was that if you broke a bottle you’d might as well drink it as you’d have to pay for it).
    And finally, in answer to your question about what to do with a cupboard under the stairs…you are on the right track with your cellar but i’d make it dual purpose….cellar AND ‘naughty corner/cupboard’ for when Mum’s naughty.
    xxxx

    • Good point about diagonal shelves. I hadn’t thought of that. We think we’ll have to put a hole in the wall of the “cellar” to vent the wine fridges. I’ll leave that up to the engineer. The “naughty cupboard” is a great idea. But, of course, you know I’m never naughty. But I think it could be a good place for me to go when I need “time out”.

  2. Believe it or not we have one! The previous owner of this house built one at the back of the garage. A narrow room with lots of shelving and an aircon to control temperature. You wouldn’t notice it is there unless pointed out. Quite a unique design. Sadly, it currently is quite empty of wine but full of required tax department documents that are needed to be held on to for 5-years. Ummm… maybe it is time to change it back to what it was designed for 😉 Good luck with yours and enjoy the wine! 🙂

    • Oh dear, Sally. You need a good scanner and a week or two to scan all your paperwork. Then you’ll have really earned a bottle of wine or two. It seems a little incredulous to install an air conditioner for wine! I’ve read of others doing this, and adding a simple humidifier to control the humidity. I think the energy costs would be better spent on buying wine that has already been aged in commercial cellars, but then I’m not too serious about wines. I just like drinking them.

  3. I am afraid our wines never last that long! We have a jarrah wine rack which does the job and on the rare occasion that I splurge and buy several boxes they get stacked on ikea shelving under the stairs (not for long!)
    For your blue drink – gin and tonic made with Bombay Sapphire, one of my favourite summer drinks. Enjoy 🙂

  4. We will have a space under the stairs. I never thought about a wine cellar. Maybe that can be down the track when the kids are older. For now I’d like either storage, a study nook or a daybed.

  5. trixee says:

    The Blue Hawaiian is a very delicious and girly drink. I kind of wish we had stairs just so we could put a cellar in there!
    Our bar area is not perfect but will have to do. Will you be mixing drinks in there or will it just be a storage area? We agonised over this decision. Choosing to mix there raises a whole lot of other issues. Like where to keep ice? Trying to source a small freezer the size of a bar fridge is stupidly hard, we found an integrated model which looks nice but costs an arm and a leg.
    On another note, I wonder if anyone’s tried substituting cointreau for blue curacao in a margarita? I suspect it will end up a horrible colour though.

    • Ooh, you make fancy margaritas! We use Bacardi. I think I’ll try to avoid too much blue curaçao! Blueberries? Our kitchen bench is only a few steps away, so realistically, I think we’ll mix in the kitchen. So we’ll only need a small pouring space in the “cellar” and no sink.

  6. Miranda says:

    We’re doing something similar, but on a much smaller scale. We’re turning one of our storage cupboards into a wine area: wine bottles below, then a bench and then shelves for glassware etc above. Cameron would love to have a wine fridge but it won’t happen this time around. (Not enough space and it just seems a bit unnecessary to me, for the wine we have.)
    I love the idea of a “house” cocktail. Something with blueberries sounds great. Something like these, maybe?
    http://www.inspiredtaste.net/15348/blueberry-mojito-cocktail-recipe/
    http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-summer-cocktails-blueberr-155174#recipe

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