Thinking about your next home renovation? Ever thought about a wine cellar? For the wine lovers and aficionados out there, it makes perfect sense.

If you’re like many of the individuals who call Calgary or Canmore home, you may be looking to refine the spaces in your home more to your liking.  Whether you’re the type who likes to entertain, buys Beaujolais in bulk, or simply appreciates a good drop, it’s time to get serious about storing your wine, so why not add a wine cellar?

As you start to ponder your next reno (hopefully over a glass of vino!), start to think about these important considerations that can make your wine cellar dream a reality.

How will the wine cellar be used?

While the main feature of any custom-built wine cellar is the storage racks that will hold your wine collection, it’s important to consider how the room will be used. For example, if you plan on hosting small intimate gatherings of family and friends, you may want to make sure you leave enough space in your basement for some elegant chairs or a counter for people to stand beside and make conversation.

On the other hand, if you want your residential wine cellar to be a feature of your formal dinner parties, you may want to consider space for an inviting table and chairs. A small refrigerator can also be a nice place to store food meant to be paired with your best wine.

When working with us, be sure to discuss how you want the space to be used. This will help us to gain a better sense of how the dimensions of the wine cellar should be sketched out. There are also online tools or smartphone apps for remodeling you can use to help map out the main features of your custom-designed wine cellar.

Wine Cellar Placement

The basement is one of the most common places to locate a wine cellar. It provides a large space to set up a decently sized wine cellar and is fairly easy to maintain in terms of temperature and humidity. Unlike other rooms in the house, the basement does not experience much variation in both temperature and humidity.

If you do not have a basement or it is being used for some other purpose, look for a corner of your house that is not in the direct line of sunlight or draft. One increasingly common and creative idea is to set up a mini-cellar under the stairs. Often enclosed by glass, under-the-stairs wine cellars can look quite dramatic especially when you plan the lighting properly. If you have a pantry with no windows, that would also make an ideal location for a wine cellar. If you have bar area, you can set up a small wine storage cabinet behind the bar.

Generally, the location depends on the size and design of your home. Wherever you decide to locate it, make sure you are able to control the conditions so as to maintain the integrity of the wine.

Wine Cellar Refrigeration

Wine cellars require proper refrigeration. The ideal temperature for wine storage is somewhere around 12-15°C. The humidity matters as well, although the exact range can vary.  In order to maintain an optimal temperature, a wine cooling system will have to be installed in your walls. If done improperly, the quality of your wine collection could suffer, costing you money and pride.

Depending on the size of your project, a simple wall cooler may suffice. These units are easy to install but offer limited space and take up valuable real estate in your cellar. Larger, more sophisticated walk-in options can be cooled via split or ducted systems.


One of the most common mistakes when fitting out a cellar is incorrect lighting. Bright lights and lamps that omit heat can be too intense. Go with UV-free options – such as LED or soft-glow pendant lighting – for a moody ambiance befitting the space. Note that even with the correct lighting, it’s important to keep the ‘glow’ to a minimum, so when you’re not busy in there admiring your collection, the darkness can do its work.  At Style Developments we will be able to set you up with the right kind of lighting for your wine cellar.

Real Estate Value

Although there have always been deep-pocketed collectors of wine and spirits willing to invest in custom spaces, remodeling experts say there’s a growing wave of homeowners renovating their homes with drinking rooms in mind. Christa Frosch, a real estate and vineyard specialist with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, agrees that wine cellars have become a “standard feature” in the luxury marketplace over the past five or six years, a trend that’s come about, in part, because Canadians have become much more savvy wine drinkers.

Consumer trend reports by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada confirm that Canadian wine consumption has indeed been growing in both value and volume sales, and is expected to grow even more in the future. In 2013, France’s Vinexpo predicted that Canada’s wine consumption, in the span of 10 years, will grow six times faster than the world average, surpassed only by China and the United States.


Contact us at Style Developments to discuss your next home renovation. Whether you’re looking at carving out a space in your home for that cozy wine cellar you’ve always dreamt of, or are looking at a full renovation incorporating a grand tasting room and cellar, we’re ready to make your dream a reality.

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