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The first wine cellars were located in underground caves in Europe. Caves—which are naturally cool and consistently humid—providing the perfect conditions for storing and aging wine. Today, there are many options for wine cellar design at home, including wine cellars, wine closets, built-in racks, and modular and custom designs. Planning a wine cellar for a classically-styled or period home can be daunting. What size of wine cellar can the house accommodate? How large is the wine collection? Which style is appropriate? Bespoke wine cellar design is a specialized field and hiring a local professional will help you solidify that your cellar matches your requirements when it comes to styling, materials, and budget. Here’s a look at some noteworthy companies and designs to help make planning easier.

custom wine rack, period home wine cellar design, period home wine cellar designs

Here is a good example of a period home wine cellar design with a custom wine rack created from

Planning for Wine Storage

What is the step-by-step process for planning, designing and building a wine cellar in a period home?

While some fine wine connoisseurs prefer to admire their collection in a rugged, natural stone environment, others may want a cellar constructed of timber and polished stone. What kind of cellar you build depends on what type of cellar you desire. Will you be entertaining friends? Do you want room for a couch and dining table? The style you create can be all your own. 

First, you'll want to determine the location—preferrably a corner without any direct sunlight. Basements make for great cellars because they are already partly regulated when it comes to temperature.

Next, you'll want to work with a wine cellar designer to help you achieve a look that's sympathetic to your home's style. From one-on-one consultation to technical and mechanical planning advice, you can fine-tune your design through the use of 3D renderings and state-of-the-art technological innovations. 

With the right manufacturing and project management oversite, your new wine cellar will quickly become one of the most admirable rooms in the house. While you're at it, you can utilize a new storage system for properly stocking and managing your wine inventory.

The Right Cellar For The Wine

How big is the wine collection, and what types of wine will be stored? Are there large or unusually-shaped bottles? Is there a need to store cases? You might be surprised at how much wine you can store in a condensed spot. These days, you can get pretty creative with racking systems and roll-out drawers, and even create floor-to-ceiling storage options to match not only the size of your collection but also your budget.

Matching the Era and Style of the Home 

A wine cellar can easily be designed for a traditionally-styled home to reflect consistency, order and attention to detail. Detailed woodwork, carved mouldings, and graceful lines will show off the richness of the space, while choosing a specific focal point of the room and creating symmetry will add a calm vibe. Natural materials, such as wood, stone and metal, all serve well to Traditional design. Neutral colors, like browns and creams, also work well. If space allows, add in beautifully designed furniture and an area rug to help complete the look and offer friends a comfortable spot to sample your collection.

Lighting & Flooring Options for Home Wine Cellars

You'll want to make sure to use low-heat lighting solutions for your cellar. Incandescent and halogen bulbs shouldn't be used too close to wine because of how much heat they give off, which can damage your inventory. LEDs are a great option; they emit a soft light and won't disrupt the temperature regulation. Accent lighting, chandeliers, and backlights all show off the room's characteristics and style. The main goal is to make the room—and your vintage collection—shine.

Doors & Windows

When it comes to protecting wine collections, there’s more to customize than just the racks. You can add artwork or stained-glass windows, embellish tabletops, flooring, and ceilings, or you can even add French doors to wine cabinets. Doors can come equipped with proper insulation values and weather-stripping. Windows can also be tinted to reduce light exposure to protect collections.

Styles and Approaches for Wine Storage

Wine Cabinet with Classy French-Door Entry

Wine cabinet with French doors from Wine Cellar Innovations.

If you don't have the space to build a wine cellar, a wine cabinet may be a good option. This one is enclosed in natural stone with French doors.

This wine room, created from Vintage Cellars, is the showcase of the home.

This wine room, created from Vintage Cellars, is the showcase of the home.

Another option is to make the room more of a showcase piece. Through the winning combination of glass, metal, and lighting design, you can make the room on display just as much as the collection.

glass door wine cellar

Glass doors keep your collection on display round the clock.

For wall-to-wall storage, look for racks designed to be attached to a wall to maximize space efficiency. The VintageView system offers metal and glass options, as well as a floor-to-ceiling frame. Choose from four different finishes and single-, double- or triple-deep storage solutions.

Builders & Designers for Home Wine Cellars

Paul Wyatt Designs wine cellar

U-shaped wine cellar design.

Custom Wine Cellars from Paul Wyatt Designs
Paul Wyatt Designs builds elaborate custom cellars tailored to fit private wine collections. Its bespoke wine rack systems allow multi-level design solutions and an immeasurable amount of design options, all while optimizing long-term storage requirements.

Post-and-beam custom wine cellar

Post-and-beam custom wine cellar design.

New England Wine Cellars
New England Wine Cellars offers residential and commercial creative solutions for storage. Through thoughtful custom design, cutting-edge technology, and expert craftsmanship, cellars are constructed to protect and preserve bottles at their ideal temperature.

Wine Rack's Ultra Premium Series racking component system

Wine Rack's Ultra Premium Series racking component system. is a manufacturer and retailer of wine-storage products, contemporary metal racking systems & wine-related accessories. It also constructs custom cellars and pine, mahogany and oak residential racking systems. Storage can be optimized with their sliding drawer cabinets—expandable drawer organization for extensive wine collections.

Traditionally-styled wine cellar

Wine Cellar Innovations wood wine racking options come in a variety of styles, from simple storage solutions to grand, glamorous designs.

Wine Cellar Innovations
Wine Cellar Innovations is known for its bespoke commercial and private dwelling cellars and racks, specially created for homeowners, wine stores, wholesalers, vineyards and grocery stores. They provide a free 2D floor plan and elevations. You can also request a free upgrade to their 3D color render of your wine cellar.

Traditionally styled wine cellar with cabinets

Traditionally styled wine cellar with additional storage cabinets.

Custom Wine Cellar Designs from Vintage Cellars
Whether it’s walk-in, racking kits, storage cabinets or more, Vintage Cellars designs it all regardless of budget size. It handles everything from handcrafted wine cabinetry to showcase storage rooms on yachts.

Wooden wine chiller cover from Pacific Register

Dress up a wine chiller with a bespoke decorative wooden cover from Pacific Register.

Pacific Register
If you're looking for something to beautifully cover your wine room chiller to make it more aesthetically pleasing, Pacific Register offers a selection of historically styled laser-cut wood covers and casings.

Putnam wine cellar rolling ladder

Make hard to reach areas accessible with a rolling ladder from Putnam Rolling Ladder.

Putnam Rolling Ladder
As custom manufacturers of rolling ladders constructed of ash, oak, birch, maple, cherry, mahogany, walnut & teak, Putnam Rolling Ladder offers 18 different hardware finishes completing your wine cellar.


Crown Point Cabinetry

Custom fabricator of handcrafted, period-style cabinetry for kitchens, baths & other rooms: Arts & Crafts, Shaker, Victorian, Early American & contemporary styles; available nationwide.