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Designing & Building the Lyles Custom Wine Cellar – McKinney Nr Dallas, Texas


The Lyles, who live in McKinney which is a small city just north of Dallas in Texas, contacted Wine Cellar Specialists in October to get some help to improve the design of their existing 200 bottle wine storage room.

Custom Wine Cellar - McKinney Nr Dallas, Texas - Close up of hand carved grapevine designWhen the Lyles home was originally built, the contractor added a small room off of their bar area with custom cabinets and large diamond bins for wine. Interestingly, this is something that is done with increasing frequency in many homes. Wine storage rooms appear to be becoming the new home feature of choice in many areas of the U.S.

The challenge is that builders rarely go beyond making the storage area more than just a few racks capable of storing a few bottles wine.  This can look relatively nice, making it a new home design feature, but typically they are not ideal to actually store wine, if the goal is to properly store and age a valuable wine collection over time.

To store wine properly it is vital to maintain a climate controlled environment.  In addition, these token wine storage rooms often have much wasted space, limiting the amount of wine that can, in reality, be stored.

In order to turn the original store area into a practical functioning wine cellar, we had to completely gut the interior. This was necessary in order to properly insulate and apply a vapor barrier to the room.  Without this step the room would be at best highly inefficient and at worst suffer from mold forming in the walls, floor and ceiling.

How to Build a Custom Wine Cellar – The Specific Steps – McKinney, Dallas, Texas Project

Need help to design your own wine cellar - Click hereORIGINAL FIXTURES: We removed the existing iron gate from the doorway in addition to the sconce light on the wall.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS: We ran a dedicated electrical outlet to the exterior of the home where the compressor for the wine cellar cooling system will be located. We then re-wired the room to accommodate the interior cooling system’s fan coil as well as the new ceiling led lighting and our tape lights. Effective wine cellar lighting is a great feature to add to a wine room but it must be of the right non-heat producing types.

We added a recessed LED Can light into the ceiling above; this light is very low heat and does not require a hole in the vapor barrier which would, of course, cause mold to grow. We also made the can dimmable on its own switch and added a hardwired led tape light.  The LED tape light was installed inside the racking above the display rows of the racks.  This produces a stunning highlighting effect within the wine racks themselves. These were also installed with their own dimmer switch.

How to Design & Build a Wine Cellar – Dallas Texas McKinney
WINE CELLAR COOLING HVAC: We installed the fan coil for an RM2600 wine cellar cooling unit from US Cellar Systems unit into the upper left wall where it would not be as noticeable when looking through the door.  This wine cellar cooling unit is a ductless spilt system enabling the condenser to be located outside of the house.

This type of cooling system takes up less space in the home, requires less effort to install than ducted systems and is quieter than self-contained units.  In addition we created a special wood grill cover and box to hide the cooling system. In addition we ran a condensate drain line from the unit to the outdoors.

Wine Barrel Tabletop with Cooperage Stamps How to Design and Build a Wine Cellar Dallas Texas McKinneyINSULATION: We installed closed cell urethane foam in the walls and ceiling using 3” in the walls and 5” in the ceiling. This not only insulates but also provides the needed vapor barrier.

WINE RACKS: We installed custom wine racks made from mahogany with Early American stain and lacquer. The narrow wall space to the right of the door allowed just enough room for solid horizontal racks from floor to ceiling height. This is a clever way to make use of an area where there is not much depth.  It creates a very nice label forward display of the wine bottles which significantly increases the overall capacity of the wine cellar.

The back wall includes double deep diamond bins on the bottom with a reclaimed “Cooperage” wine barrel tabletop above. The individual 750 racking is single deep and includes a high reveal display row with LED tape lighting above. The left wall is also 750 individual racks with a single deep X bin below.

WINE CELLAR DOOR: The “Coto” purpose built wine cellar door was manufactured in Oak with a custom stain to match the existing cabinets in the bar area. The door is insulated to help efficiently maintain the cellar’s environment and the black iron on the door is operableOperable means that the black iron can be opened to allow the glass to be easily cleaned.

The Completed Dallas Custom Wine Cellar - Early American Stain and Lacquer on Custom Racks - Wine Celar LightingThe door also has a cool feature called an automatic door bottom seal. This is a special device that drops into place when the door is closed and is used to make sure the room is properly sealed. The grapevine design in the center was hand carved at the factory by 3rd generation craftsmen.

The Completed Dallas Custom Wine Cellar

When the project was finally completed the Lyles were thrilled with their new refrigerated custom wine cellar.

The wine cellar measured about 5′ by 5′ with a 10′ ceiling. With the original wine storage room at 200 bottles, we increased the total capacity by an amazing 598, to a total capacity of 798 bottles of wine.

The Lyles told us shortly after completion of their wine cellar that they were looking forward to showing it off to all their family and friends and ultimately allowing their collection of wines to age properly.

Check out other wine cellar designs by visiting our gallery.

Have a wine room project of your own you are considering?  Contact us at our Dallas, Texas office: 972-454-0480 or complete a simple contact request form.