Design

A Westboro wine cellar — Sophistication in shades of silver & grey

Choosing your wine is the easy part. Now it’s time to figure out how to display your treasured collection. Do you want a modern cellar or something more rustic? Can you imagine showing off your rare vintages in the main-floor dining room, or do you picture descending to a more traditional basement cellar? However you choose to enjoy your collection, know that by building a home cellar, you’re never more than a few steps away from happy hour.

It was a dream commission for designers Jason Bellaire and Denise Hulaj, the owners of Stylehaus Interiors, who were given “more carte blanche than ever before” to shape the design vision of a new home in Westboro. That vision includes a sophisticated wine cellar in the dining room — a true signature furniture piece that marries luxury with practicality. “As soon as we decided that the wine cellar would go in the dining room, we knew that it had to be special — the cellar would be the focal point of the room,” explains Bellaire. The designers sketched a design, then worked with Wine Cellar Solutions to turn their ideas into reality.

The owners wanted a cellar with some zing, but tastefully done. Bellaire and Hulaj made it happen, installing a backsplash of clear glass and mirrored tiles to create the requisite sparkle, then toning it down with cool grey cabinetry. A roomy counter with a sink offers a staging and serving area, with the upper cabinetry concealing wine glasses and the lower storing barware. The owners’ wine collection is stored in two glass towers, one of which looks through to the adjacent kitchen.

“It’s a unique feature that has the practical application of allowing light to flow between the rooms but also the added bonus of letting the owners peek through to the dining room while they’re prepping in the kitchen,” says Hulaj.

Photo: Marc Fowler

The entire wine cellar is bordered by a wood-grain laminate “frame” in a deep espresso colour, the border emphasizing its status as the central element in the dining room. At night, the entire installation glows courtesy of lighting above the unit and beneath the upper cabinetry. With a cellar this inviting, how could the lucky homeowners and their guests not enjoy wine o’clock to its fullest?