Tuscan Designs and Light: Radiant Wine Rooms in Orange County
The result when you combine light and Tuscan designs: wine rooms you can’t help but put on display. Walk through the design, unique features, and cooling unit of this flashy, Orange County wine room from Balboa Island so you can see how we created a room that shines while staying faithful to the Tuscan decor and style.
Designs of a Wine Room for Show, Not Storage
Wine rooms can exist for more than storing wine: this one was meant to be a showpiece of the home. When you showcase an area in your home, you want it to attract attention without looking like it doesn’t belong. If you can’t seem to find the right balance, your shining star can become the eyesore of your home. To make this custom wine room fit right in, we embodied the Tuscan features of this Balboa Island home in our designs. We worked with the homeowner, builder, and interior designer to ensure the room matched the house’s style, yet made a statement of its own within the home.
Choosing Visual Display Over Bottle Capacity
We started by deciding how much space there was to work with. We designed the wine cellar to be about 10’2” long and 5’6” deep so that the entire back wall could act as a display. Typical wine rooms are about this size and can hold around 1,000 wine bottles. Our plans were customized around showcasing the features and Tuscan decor of the wine room, so we created space for these by reducing the bottle capacity of the room. As a result, this room only holds 546 bottles of wine as compared to the usual 1,000.
The room needed to contain varied racking and display types in order to showcase the different wines appropriately. We started by putting in high reveal display rows at the same level as the countertop. To account for more magnum bottles, we constructed large format displays above that. These broad areas allow the bottles to lie at an angle that highlights the bottles’ labels. Areas next to and above the large format displays were designed to show the owner’s decanters and wine glasses. And although this room is not intended for storage, at the bottom of each racking there is case storage. Each type of racking allows the owner to showcase different sizes and types of wine, various decanters, or their own wine glasses.
Glitzy Features that Highlight the Tuscan Décor and Designs
Now that we had established the dimensions and racking, we could intensify the panache of the wine room by adding dazzling features to the designs. We collaborated with the owner, designer, and builder again to incorporate lighting, cabinetry, and other charming characteristics to the wine room to emphasize the Tuscan attributes. The results—undeniably alluring.
Illuminating the Wine Room
Tuscan style can be a challenge for lighting wine rooms because it centers around earthy tones for color and natural lighting. Variations of brown, gray, cream, mild reds and muted yellows can quickly make a room appear dim and dull. In Tuscan designs, this is often remedied with large windows that open and brighten the space. As well, Tuscan style tends toward the rustic–meaning it stays away from new, manufactured lighting fixtures. The natural light that comes from large windows is not ideal for wine rooms because it can cause damage to wine over time. To brighten the earthy color palate of the area without using natural light, we placed hidden lighting features in the room to emit a soft, golden glow.
The LED lighting built into this wine room warms the floor and ceiling and radiates out towards the center. So they can accommodate the luminous features, the bottle racks don’t extend all the way to the top or bottom of the room. We designed the base of the cellar so LED lighting could sit in there without being seen, yet shine out and down onto the tiled floor. Lighting was placed on the crown molding up top to bounce onto the beautiful barreled ceiling. The gleam from the lighting highlights the brick and stretches the light towards the middle of the room.
Behind the display rows, we concealed lighting that can be turned on from outside the wine cellar. Although this may not seem to add much light to the room, it accentuates the bottles and labels featured and adds to the smooth luminance of a golden glow. The most visible light comes from the puck light hanging from an iron-like chain in the middle of the room. Although the brightest light in the room, it still is subdued to resemble a sunbeam’s evening glare.
Incorporating Tuscan Designs in Custom Ways
Tuscan décor almost always includes wrought-iron elements into the design, which we did with the door and sidelights. The door and sidelights are simple and sturdy in their design to match the décor of the home, yet dark, so they can boldly stand out from the home. A small archway is formed by the design of the door, to match the style seen throughout the home. Panels on the door are made of dual pane thermal insulated glass to still give the entryway that ‘window’ feel without compromising the temperature of the wine room.
To stay within the smooth lines and natural textures of Tuscan style, we used Poplar wood and had handmade custom cabinets designed. Rich, stained wood was already an element of nature throughout the house, so we wanted to use wood for the racking in the wine cellar. Poplar was our wood choice because it is easier to stain it to match other woods in the home since it is a light color. Harsh, square cabinets are typically used in a wine room, but we had curved cabinets. Wood is naturally relaxing and calming, and smooth lines of the curved countertop and cabinet complete that peaceful feeling.
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