Wine cellars don't have to be dark catacombs in the basement. With some stylish designer touches, you can make the place your store your wine a welcoming additional living space in your home. You can add art, custom design, and personal touches to your wine cellar. They can become tasting rooms that are also temperature and humidity controlled environments to store and age your wine.
One of the first companies to offer artistic wine cellar design is Wine Cellar Innovations in Cincinnati, Ohio. Starting as a wine rack company in 1985, Jim Deckebach, a former a home builder, speculated that there might be a growing need for wine storage in the US. Since then, Wine Cellar Innovations has evolved from just making racks into complete design. “That's where designers such as myself enter in on,” says Bob Guillen,designer and outside representative for Wine Cellar Innovations. “It's not just selling a wine rack. It's designing something that's really going to be an aesthetic for people.”
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According to Guillen, some hot tub manufactures used scrap redwood to make wine racks and launched wine storage companies. “Most of the companies are mirrored after us,” he says. “We are the foremost company in the United States today.”
Wine Cellar Innovations is able to not only design a wine cellar that will house all of your wine and protect it from disturbances and fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and light, but the company can help you create a beautiful, romantic room that you can bring guests to for wine tastings. They can add stunning touches such as decorative murals or wall art, mosaic tiles, stained glass, tumbled stone flooring, hand-painted tiles, special lighting, and intricately carved moldings. They have artists on call who handle custom designs for wall art, murals, painted tiles, and glass etching. In fact, the muralist has been flown all over the world to paint on-site at a cellar installation.
The company employs nearly 300 creative people at its 350,000 square foot manufacturing plant and corporate office. “That's our design center,” says Guillen. “But we're capable of going everywhere. We've done wine cellars in Australia and Bermuda and everywhere around the world. We're expanding as we're speaking. We are probably the largest company now, and we're American made....Quite a lot of our competition manufactures in Mexico or Canada. We pride ourselves to make everything in the United States, in Cincinnati, and ship it from there.”
In addition, the company is taking giant steps in becoming as green as it can be. “Our racking is natural redwood. If it's stained, it has the lowest VOCs that anyone can find. They will never ever seep into the corks,” Guillen boasts. “We had that developed ourselves. It's a personal stain formula. No other company has it. They have oil-based stains. We have water-based stains, and they are the lowest VOCs.”
Guillen himself introduced cork to the company for use in flooring, counter tops, and as wall paneling. “It just goes hand in hand with wine cellars--corks and wine cellars. It's a happy melody,” he says. “Hotels a long, long time ago, used a lot of cork flooring. it wore very, very well as long as was maintained.”
This is one of two products that Wine Cellar Innovations does not manufacture itself. The other are the carved, architectural accents.
Wine Cellar Innovations can also install special lighting. Low LED lighting can be placed on wine racks. Mood lighting can also enhance humidors for cigars that some wine cellar owners incorporate into their designs. “I always light those,” Guillen says. “When you look through the door, you see the lights of the humidor. It's very romantic.”
Among the designs that Wine Cellar Innovations can provide for walls, floors, tables, and glass doors are scenes from wine country all over the world, still life paintings of wine bottles and glasses, all manner of grapes, street scenes from Old World countries, and wine labels, vintage liquor labels, and cigar labels. In addition, a wine cellar owner's initials can be etched into glass. “If you want your name on it, we can do that or grape leaves or your husband's image, we can do that, too,” Guillen says.
With high quality products and a resource of almost unlimited talents, Wine Cellar Innovations can create the perfect wine cellar for your needs and your personality.