When I first saw our house’s listing online, I became obsessed with it and looked at the photos constantly. Have you ever fallen in love with a house listing online? OF COURSE YOU HAVE. This is normal behavior.
Anyway, the one space it described in the listing, but did now show, was the wine cellar. It said it had space for 600 bottles of wine. That’s a lot of wine.
I thought it was strange that they didn’t include a photo of it. Then (months later) we went to look at the home in person and it all made sense.
Related: You can see my other room tours here.
This is how the wine cellar looked on the day we closed on the house. The walls were plywood. I knew it had potential, but it needed some work to bring it up to speed with the rest of the house.
I wanted to make it look nice ASAP. When you first buy a house, I think it’s good to choose a few easier spaces to do early on, just as an encouragement and a mood booster. This project was time consuming, but it was simple and relatively easy to accomplish!
By the way, before deciding to tile, we tried a bunch of other solutions that would have been quicker and easier. We tried removable wallpaper, stick on tile, DIY skim coating, and painting. They all looked BAD.
After that, I started to research tile and learned that by using a different type of thin set it’s OK to tile directly onto plywood. Wooo!
Look how pretty it came out! This was definitely a low-waste renovation. We added the tile and added a cabinet with some storage drawers and a butcher block counter.
We were able to paint and reuse the shelves that the room came with and we used most of the wine racks, although we did remove a few to make room for the counter.
Adding these two cabinets with drawers and a counter was the best choice for us. We’ve got a lot of extra storage here, which I am planning to store all our party stuff and serving pieces in there. This is the hardware I picked.
We also added a single shelf for liquor. We used some gold brackets from Etsy. I’ve always thought the single shelf is so pretty. If we ever expand our collection I could add another one, but for right now this feels like the perfect amount for us.
I like to keep liquors to be able to mix a quick cocktail, but I don’t consider it a collection like I used to where I will add way more. I will probably just replace these as we go.
On the white shelves I put my glassware collection, my beloved ceramic tequila cups, my bitters, and my new teacup collection (2020 brought out my inner grandma).
Wine is a lot of fun to collect, but I feel like it will take semi-forever to get these shelves feeling really “full.” Should I even aim for that, or should I just embrace the sparse vibe? You tell me how you would do it! I’m curious!
Here are the cabinets so you can get a good look.
Here’s a little photo of my liquor collection. I filled it up for my birthday this year. 🙂 I love making cocktails at home!
And here are my non-alcoholic spirits. I shared these on IG lately and got a lot of questions. The whiskey alternative is nice for sipping by itself. It has a similar color and scent to whiskey and a beautiful bottle.
The taste itself is not really like whiskey, it’s more like a cousin to whiskey. It’s got a bit of of a spicy kick though and a nice flavor.
I also like Seedlip spirits for mixed drinks. The citrus and spice flavors are definitely my favorite. I mix them with cranberry juice often as a nice little mocktail.
If you have a home bar, I 100% recommend these as bar staples because when you have a friend who doesn’t drink you can still mix them something fun.
Thanks so much for coming along on my tour! Now, who wants a drink? Cheers! Elsie
Love your skirt, where is from?
My BIL got thousands of bottles of wine from a winery that was closing down for so so cheap! Excellent way to fill up a cellar if you can find a winery that needs some help! 😉
I would buy a bulk order of Topo Chico and fill up a whole section… and NEVER run out! Now that’s living the dream, haha!
It looks fabulous! The tile looks clean and cool, and makes an excellent backdrop for the rich bottles.
What about storing some bottles of San Pellegrino or Perrier? I don’t always drink alcohol at social occasions, and it makes me feel so special and included when the host brings out a fancy bottle of sparkling water. A few bottles of sparkling cranberry juice or grapefruit juice would also be fun for the younger party-goers.
Congrats on your new space!
Woah! That’s so cool that your house has a wine cellar! And I love that you have fun mocktail supplies on hand (in cool bottles too!).
Maybe this has already been said but there are amazing wines available for under $20 a bottle and working with a good wine seller can really help you decide what to get. A good friend is a true collector and I used to help track his inventory of about 1200 bottles and learned so much, He had some very pricey bottles for special occasions but really loved to buy young $12-$20 bottles from up and coming vintners and stash them in the cellar for a few years to let them mature and watch the prices go up. It was a bit like playing the stock market and he always won.
I would use the space to stock up on cases of wine that are very budget friendly but good, that way you always have wine you don’t have to think twice about opening when you have parties (when we an do that again). I like to save our “good” wine for smaller dinner gatherings but when it comes to big parties we go with cases of less expensive stuff that won’t irritate us if it’s gone by the end of the party.
Looks great! I just have a question though, weren’t the walls before orientated strand board (OSB) not plywood? I know there’s different methods for different boards and didn’t know you could tile on OSB?
Is the opening too small to hold cans? Of say…La Croix? If not, you could store and arrange any backstock cans by flavor! Or maybe bottles of sparkling water, coffee syrups, etc?
I am in LOVE with your wine cellar! If you are going to collect, I would just say to do some research first. Most wines are not made to be stored more than 10 years, depending on varietal. For example, whites only have a shelf life of 1-3 years. Reds last a bit longer, up to 10-20, but it still seems like it would be hard to maintain a collections of hundreds of bottles without some going bad. The Parent Trap definitely made it seem like you can store wine for 100 years and drink it 🙁 but definitely worth talking to some wine experts before investing. If you make it out to Napa I’m happy to show you some options 😉
There are so many delicious non alcoholic beverages,0 especially having small children, maybe designate a section to bottles of sparkling ciders and lemonade, and unique flavors of juices. How fun to be able to go in together and get something special to drink? Also, our kids love drinking out of fancy glasses on holidays and parties, so maybe the lower shelves could house some special glasses just for them, we bought some antique silver (non breakable) sets for our girls to enjoy, fancy and durable!
Looks beautiful! And I also love Seedlip, we bought it ahead of Dry January because Emma mentioned it on the podcast MONTHS ago. Thanks Emma! Now I am curious to try other non-alcoholic cocktails. I just bought a bottle of Kin Dream Light, and maybe I’ll try Ritual next. I don’t really miss the alcohol much yet, but we knew from doing Dry January last year that we would miss mixing up fun cocktails and just drinking water and this has made it much more fun. A mocktails post from you guys would be fun this month or another January, or really anytime.
You could make a pixel art heart with the wine bottles (so you never have to fill up the whole rack). Do you like rosé?
Hi Elsie! Love the end result! Curious to learn more about your trial and error process— I’m planning DIY for a similar plywood wall room situation (mine is a mudroom), and I’m wondering if you can share more about why the other things you tried *didn’t* work… Did the removeable wallpaper look bad because it just peeled off? Do you think traditional wallpaper would be an option?
Hi! Removable Stick on wallpaper and tile didn’t stay on- we tried a bunch of kinds and they just did not stick. XX!
Unless you really know about wine I wouldn’t attempt to fill it. Not all wine keeps well so you could end up with a lot of bad tasting wine – which would have been better enjoyed when it was young.
I don’t think you need to fill it at all, but it could be fun to keep bottles that were special and add a tag around it’s neck saying what was being celebrated. Then you can add these empty bottles back in the rack for a more filled up feel without having to have tons of wine on hand.
looks amazing! when my parents moved to napa we had all these wine racks and no wine haha. we filled them with empty bottles after parties we had and would have our friends and family sign the bottle or we would mark the cork with a memory or date of the night. Rather than storing expensive bottles of wine for the future we stored memories of events and parties we had and enjoyed. We still love it 12 years later and so fun to look back on! Obviously, this would be a post-covid idea 🙂
What a beautiful space!
I second the mini fridge idea.
Bittercube Bitters (https://bittercube.com/) are also amazing if you are looking to expand your bitters horizons.
A friend witha proper wine cellar saves his empty bottles, rinses them, corks them, uses a knife to cut the cork flush with the bottle & uses them to fill in the empty spaces. Looks fabulous & there is no confusion with full bottles that way. You did a marvelous job with yours.
I would buy a nice bottle of wine whenever you go to a place that is worth remembering. You could then print out a little label and write on to it where ans when you got it. So whenever you take one in the future, you can then remeber that certain day. ?