Built-in Beverage Storage

Clever and attractive ways to consolidate and organize your wine, alcohol and bar paraphernalia



An espresso/coffee maker (left), dual-zone cooler and freezer drawers (below the cooler) were built into the cabinets. Design by 3W design inc.

Photo by Scott Bulger

Good wine is fast becoming more accessible to a wider range of people than ever before. As more homeowners begin to build modest collections, they run into a common problem - where do you put it? Though wine can be found in many households, most have no need, the budget or the room for something like a wine cellar. And even if you just like having a few bottles on hand, they can take up precious storage space that could be put to better use.

Cheryl Tufts of 3W design inc. in Concord has helped many homeowners create built-in storage that can be tailored to fit individual needs. By installing wine coolers and racks into cabinets, says Tufts, everything becomes centrally located, easily organized and helps clear up valuable space in the kitchen.

Before Tufts begins designing bar storage, she always asks homeowners what they drink, serve and normally keep in the house. Depending on their preferences, they can begin to design an appropriate plan. Knowing what you need and what will fit your lifestyle before looking at wine coolers is recommended, as there is a multitude of options that differ widely in price depending on size and temperature zones. (Many coolers offer two zones - one for reds and one for whites. These are typically more expensive).

For the home in the photo above, some elements - like the dual-zone wine cooler, which can store red and white wines at different temperatures, and the coffee and espresso maker - are highlighted, becoming attractive elements in their own right. Other elements are cleverly hidden, such as the two freezer drawers located below the cooler.

One of the advantages of modern appliances such as these, says Tufts, is that they can be put on display or concealed inside cabinets depending on the homeowner's preferences.

Here the alcohol is entirely concealed. Only the glassware is visible on the lighted, glass-front shelves. By 3W design inc.
Photo by Dana Flewelling

For the kitchen pictured above, the homeowners wanted nearly everything out of sight. The alcohol is stored in the cabinet to the right of the sink while the glassware is on display in the glass-front and lighted shelving above. Displaying the glassware like this, adds Tufts, is another popular trend - it's both functional and lovely to look at.

Left: A fully functional bar that stores red and white wine, other beverages, mixers, barware and more. Right: Bar storage can be a great way to use “wasted” space you don’t know what to do with.
left Photo by Dana Flewelling. right photo courtesy of 3w design inc.

Wine isn't the only thing that can take up space, Tufts adds. Beer, mixers, water and other beverages are other things to consider. For the two bars here, the homeowners chose refrigerators that can house both wine and assorted beverages. In the lefthand photo, red wines are stored in an attractive wine rack while white wine is kept cool on the bottom shelf of the beverage cooler. The same system is used in the photo on the right, except this refrigerator has side by side shelves - white wine on one, other drinks on the other.

This Colonial-style home, originally built in 1753, now features a subtle bar area. The cabinet with the large handle below the coffee maker is actually a beverage cooler. The red wines are artfully displayed in a rack and the glassware is highlighted in glass-front shelving, another popular trend. By 3W design inc.
Photo by John Hession

For the kitchen pictured above, the refrigerator is actually the large-handled cabinet below the coffee maker. Again, red wines are kept in a separate, decorative rack and the glassware is on display in glass-front shelving.

An example of how to use otherwise "wasted" space.
Photo courtesy of 3w design inc.

Tufts also suggests that bar storage can be a useful solution for otherwise "wasted" space. Two of the homes pictured here are examples of this: The bar area located under a slanted ceiling and this one next to the stairs are both examples on how awkward, seemingly unusable space can be converted into a useful and attractive bar.

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