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Explore This Charming Underground Wine Cellar in Kitchen in Northern Maryland

Quick Summary of Wine Cellar Project

A collage overview of this skylight, underground wine cellar below the kitchen in Baltimore, Maryland. We can see the skylights, doors, unfinished walnut racking, and wine cellar lighting with decanting space.
This underground wine cellar is below the kitchen area under the breakfast nook, and features skylights to look down into the wine cellar from above.

In Maryland, a custom wine cellar project unfolded in Ellicott City, revealing a blend of client preferences and budget considerations. Originally drawn to an espresso-stained sapele mahogany design showcased on Harvest’s website, the client pivoted to more affordable unfinished walnut due to budget constraints. Despite initial hesitations, the unfinished walnut won the client’s heart, offering both elegance and cost-effectiveness. This shift in material choice showcased the balance between personal preference and practicality in custom wine cellar design.

The wine cellar’s construction unfolded as a showcase of meticulous attention to detail and strategic problem-solving. Challenges arose from the cellar’s unique octagonal shape and the presence of natural light sources, including skylights and windows. To mitigate potential issues like label discoloration and wine damage from UV exposure, the designer recommended closing off existing windows and employing double-pane insulated glass for the door. These decisions underscored the importance of both aesthetic appeal and functionality in wine cellar design, ensuring a harmonious balance between form and function.

Ultimately, the finished wine cellar stood as a testament to collaborative decision-making and innovative solutions. From the carefully chosen materials, such as walnut for its density and suitability for wine storage, to the strategic placement of lighting elements to enhance visual appeal, every aspect of the cellar’s design was carefully curated to meet the client’s vision. By overcoming challenges like cooling unit placement and natural light exposure, the project exemplified the designer’s commitment to crafting a personalized and functional space that exceeded the client’s expectations.

Keep reading to dive into the details of this project…

Underground Wine Cellar Showpiece: Featuring a Skylight in Northern Maryland
Underground Wine Cellar Showpiece: Featuring a Skylight in Northern Maryland

This stunning wine cellar near Baltimore is light and bright, despite it being underground below the kitchen area. Check out one of our other Balitmore wine cellar builds by clicking on the image.
This stunning wine cellar near Baltimore is light and bright, despite it being underground below the kitchen area. This is thanks to the unique skylights above and the choice of wood and stain for the racking.

Wine enthusiasts will surely find this underground wine cellar in the kitchen of a Northern Maryland home a charming piece of art! Incorporating the wine cellar directly into the kitchen is an emerging trend, not to mention the stunning artistry of a skylight that allows you to see down into the wine cellar. 

Such an approach is modern and practical considering that a sunken space offers the perfect temperature, humidity, and light control to ensure wines can mature gracefully. By situating the underground wine cellar in kitchen, Northern Maryland and Baltimore homeowners can enjoy a view of their prized bottles without compromising the high-end design aesthetic.  

The key to achieving a visually appealing and functional below-ground wine storage system is your choice of wine cellar builder.  

Led by Tim Wright, Harvest Custom Wine Cellars & Saunas’ phenomenal work in this Ellicott City property in Maryland near Balitmore will stun wine-loving homeowners. If you are looking for an inspiration, this project is worth taking a look! 

This project, which you can find on our portfolio page, is quite the contrast to our client's final project whose cellar ended up much lighter in color. Click to go see more images from the original inspired project.
This project, which you can find on our portfolio page, is quite the contrast to our client’s final project. He was originally inspired by the sapele mahogany in a dark espresso stain, but eventually his budget and design desire led him to a lighter unfinished walnut.

The Making of An Underground Wine Cellar in the Kitchen in Northern Maryland 

Just by looking at this underground wine cellar in this kitchen, you’ll have an idea of the intricate process of bringing this masterpiece to life.  

Initially, the client pulled out a specific design from Harvest Custom Wine Cellars and Saunas’ website as a blueprint for his own underground wine storage. Compared to how the project turned out, it was fairly more compact.  

Also, the client was originally rooting for mahogany with an espresso stain in clear finish versus the clear satin. Both options though turned out to be way beyond his budget. So, our team helped find alternative designs that are more suitable with his budget range.  

Although his original design was heavily tied into the darker mahogany with espresso stain, we wanted him to have access to all options. We decided to include a lighter walnut and white oak as additional options for his design within his budget.  

After much thought, the client ended up choosing the unfinished walnut design. This option was still a bit over the client’s budget, but the overall look proved irresistible. 

What Sets Harvest’s Selection of Woods Apart from Other Wood Species?

Choosing the tones for this underground wine cellar in the kitchen in Northern Maryland may have been a challenging process for our client because they all look perfect for a wine cellar. Basically, Harvest Custom Wine Cellars and Saunas carry three top-of-the-line choices: sapele mahogany, walnut, and white oak. 

The sapele mahogany has a reddish stain while walnut has a lighter shade. White oak is even lighter. These carefully chosen variations are superior in density and perform ideally under more humid environments. They fare well in comparison with the usual pine and other wood species that could not handle cold environments.  

Two-Toned Wine Cellar Racking: Subtle Contrast with Cohesive Allure 

Entering the underground wine cellar in kitchen in Northern Maryland is like arriving at a concert. The harmony of the shades of wood enhanced by the elegant lighting feels like music that you can see and enjoy while choosing a fine bottle of wine. 

The huge two-toned wine racking system serves as the room’s highlight and is a result of sweet coincidence. That’s because once the softened area was clear coated, the color ended up having the same shade as the skylight boxes, as if it were a match made in heaven.  

Clear-coating the countertop under the niche and the way around was meant for protection, but this also ended up highlighting the display row especially when the lights are on. At first glance, the pale-looking shade may seem flat. Thanks to the darker walnut tone and the lighting system, everything bursts with classy colors.  

Underground Wine Cellar in Kitchen in Northern Maryland with a Killer Racking System 

Our client’s desire to create an astounding underground wine cellar was solid. But so was the challenge of choosing the design that closely suits his budget and utilizes the entire space. With the help of Harvest Custom Wine Cellars team, he was able to achieve his octagon-shape magnum opus with sustainable price point. The result is a wine racking system that is overflowing with style and performance.  

There’s enough room for more… 

The front wall is over 17 feet wide, while the two walls going straight back measure 8-ft wide. The two diagonal walls on both sides measure 5’11 and the focal wall where the decanting space is located measures 11 ft and 2 ¼ inches. In total, the entire wine cellar measures around 17 x 14, which is a huge space and enough to accommodate a massive wine collection.   

A massive space with massive appeal 

The display niche serves as the centerpiece of the wine cellar. Around it is an ample space for the prized bottles to age exquisitely.  

Above the niche is a storage for horizontal-label big bottles; two rows to be exact. This is a unique feature in the wine cellar, too, as most people often opt for only one display row. Below the niche are diamond bins where multiple bottles can be stored. To the left and right are ladders for individual bottles that you can position neck-out.  

Meanwhile, the display rows surrounding the mid-section can hold a number of premium wines. And even though the client doesn’t have plenty of wine cases yet, the team included layers of shelves for below the display rows for future stacks.  

A Lighting System That Brings Everything to Life 

The strategic use of lighting transforms this subterranean wine cellar into an elegant, inviting space full of depth and visual interest at every turn. The soft LED low-heat lighting above the display rack successfully makes the wines pop even though the racking system itself is a show-stealer.  

Aside from the natural light that comes from the skylights, the lighting system in this underground wine cellar in kitchen in Northern Maryland is carefully designed to create an inviting, atmospheric ambiance. The soft pools of light will draw your gaze to different featured areas and design elements throughout the space. 

Skylight Boxes That Give a Peek into a Mesmerizing Showpiece 

The underground wine cellar in kitchen in Northern Maryland is sitting under a coffee nook. Separating these two important spaces are the perky skylight boxes that allow for natural light to radiate down under. A floor window, wine cellar, and lovely ambiance are a poetic showpiece that is a definite show-stealer for any wine aficionado.  

Imagine the satisfaction of sipping a cup of soothing coffee in the morning above a wine cellar where bottles of exhilarating nighttime drinks rest. Or the fulfillment of giving guests a peek of great tasting wines that await just under their feet! 

The Inviting Arched Door Is Where the Magic Begins 

You say don’t judge the book by its cover. We say, go ahead and judge the room by its door. Just past the island in the bar area is the rounded arched wood frame door made by Kessick, which also made the racking system. It’s designed to purposely intrigue and prepare you for the artistry that lies a few more inches ahead.  

The double-pane insulated glass door serves as a layer of protection as it helps regulate the wine room’s temperature. And in order to preserve the door’s quality and smooth appearance, the team applied a walnut stain as well. This way, wiping off fingerprints and dust would be fast and simple. With a clear glass panel, anyone can view the interior from the outside preventing frequent entry.    

The Challenges of Building an Underground Wine Cellar in Kitchen in Northern Maryland 

The skylights are for sure one of this wine cellar’s best assets. However, it was also a subject of concern during the building process along with the door. Obviously, these elements’ use of glass materials could affect the temperature inside the structure.  

Cooling System 

To address the temperature that these glasses might cause, the team decided to install the Wine Guardian CSO 50, a 38-in long split system ceiling mount with external condenser. It’s perfect for small to mid-sized wine cellars, as well as all-glass wine storage systems.  

The cooling unit is installed with the supply side on the right so the wind would blow to the left side towards the back wall and away from the glass. Otherwise, fog could form due to the ambient dew point.  

This helped a lot in maximizing the space capacity because it is installed in between the joists so it doesn’t get in the way lest the racking space would be sacrificed. 

Dealing with the wine cellar’s octagon-shape layout 

The shape of the area certainly posed some challenges to the team. Installing the racking system, for example, must be carefully carried out to avoid odd angles. We had to make sure that each panel fit properly into the wall.  

Removing the windows with glass panels  

Before the major renovation took place, three windows with glass panels occupied the space where the wine racking now stands. The client wanted to keep these windows initially. However, the amount of glass in them plus the glasses in the skylights and door would compromise the cooling unit’s ability to regulate the wine room’s temperature.  

Tim recommended closing these windows instead, which gave more room for the racking system. This is also strategic because too much natural light coming into a wine cellar would be detrimental to the wines. The UV light can damage the wines and cause discoloration of the labels.  

Understanding these risks, the client agreed to remove the three windows. It means more wine storage space and safer wine preservation. This also allowed the team to further improve the wine cellar’s aesthetic. 

Share the Excitement by Building an Exquisite Wine Cellar of Your Own 

Truly, this underground wine cellar in the kitchen in Northern Maryland is one of a kind. Whether you are a homeowner who simply loves wine or a bona fide wine connoisseur, it’s understandable to want your own ‘piece of heaven’ under the ground.  

Although an underground wine cellar may involve challenges in terms of location, temperature, materials, etc., no project is too complicated for a top-tier wine cellar builder. Remember to work with a reliable company that will deliver the result that you want and beyond.  

Harvest Custom Wine Cellars and Saunas is a decades-old company that has built wine cellars for commercial and residential clients. Being a full-service wine cellar builder, you can rely on our team to work with you from start to finish. We are dedicated to serving our clients with utmost care. Our team of experts will ensure that your wine cellar is built with precision. 

If you want to get a quote or have questions about how we can help you, visit our website and contact us today!  



Harvest Custom Wine Cellars and Saunas - Richmond