Adding touches of art to your wine cellar can enhance not only your experience retrieving wines or managing your inventory by making your cellar a more welcoming place. But art can also help you create a tasting room or a special space where you may bring valued guests to share your wine enthusiasm. Art may also help increase your property's value.

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One of the first things many wine cellar owners think of when considering art is wall art, namely framed paintings and possibly murals. This is a good place to begin.

Paintings may be selected from a variety of sources, depending on your particular decorating style. You can contact local artists, visit art galleries, or even enlist the aid of an interior designer. You can also buy framed art reproductions online from art outlets such as Art.com or from art museums or galleries.

If you are looking for wine themed art, your options may be more restricted. One artist, Linda Paul, offers a variety of original wine paintings and canvas art prints. She captures the alure of wine bottles, wine glasses, and even wine and cheese in a variety of still life compositions. She also is able to bring the Tuscan wine country to your wine cellar through a variety of still life and landscape concepts. Paul's paintings are unique in that she uses layers of egg tempera made from finely ground stones (lapis lazuli, malachite, and a variety of ochers) from ancient mines in Europe and bound together with egg yolk. This is an ancient form of making paint and will last for centuries. Her wine prints are crafted with archival inks on canvas and are reproductions of her original egg tempera art. They are numbered and hand signed. (There are only 500 of each print made.)

All canvases are stretched and come ready to hang without additional framing. You can, however, add frames of your choice through your local framer.

Wine cellar designers can be especially helpful in finding appropriate wine themed art. Wine Cellar Innovations in Cincinnati, OH, and Unique Wine Cellars in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, offer framed oil or acrylic paintings as well as murals.  Innovative Wine Cellar Designs in the Southwest (AZ and NM), Creative Wine Cellars, and Wine Enthusiast also offer custom murals for your walls.

The size of the paintings, especially the art prints, can often be adjusted to accommodate your specific space. Most of these paintings are shipped stretched and ready to hang or may be pre-installed into archways. For murals larger than 3 1 /2 feet by 7 1 /2 feet, Wine Cellar Innovations will have their artist paint the mural on wallpaper canvas and shipped so that your local contractor can apply it as he would a rich, textured wallpaper. The mural may be installed with a thin layer of cheesecloth on the back so that the wine cellar owner may remove the mural in case the owner wishes to use it in a new location.

Each of these suppliers offers a catalog of designs available. Some, like Wine Cellar Innovations and Unique Wine Cellars, have more flexibility in their designs because they work directly with talented artists. They can help you create custom artwork to fit your space from your own ideas, photographs, wine labels, or even postcards. Colors of the murals can also be altered to suit your own wine cellar décor, and sometimes even the compositions may be changed. Some artists are able to put you or your home or business into the background of a specific vineyard landscape or restaurantscape.

It takes between four and seven weeks for an original painting to be finished. If it is done in oils, an additional three weeks must be added to the delivery date to allow adequate time for the oils to dry properly before shipping.

In addition, Wine Cellar Innovations and Unique Wine Cellars can fly in an artist to paint a mural directly onto your wine cellar wall. Of course, transportation cost will be added to the final cost of the art work. However, if you want something with a truly authentic hand-painted touch, nothing beats having the muralist on site.

Some of the most striking wine cellar wall art available is by an American artist named Augustina Droze.  Having studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Academy of Cincinnati, and the Universidad de Barcelona, among other art institutions, Augustina Droze has adopted a style that is reminiscent of the Renaissance era. She has done public art (that is, murals for public spaces such as medical clinics and offices) and even done murals for a prince and a president. But her residential work for wine cellars is the most extensive. She can produce broad vistas of vineyards or landscapes that appear as if you are looking out from a window in a Tuscan villa or standing on a terrace in Venice. She also can produce paintings of wine bottles or a glass of wine in a style she calls photorealism. They are so precise they almost are mistaken for photographs. Her work is bold and romantic. For samples of her work, look at their art galleries at Wine Cellar Innovations.

As you design your wine cellar, personalize it with wall art, either in a painting or a mural of some type. Then, as you come into your cool, wine storage area, you will be welcomed with art that speaks specifically to you and your guests.