Friday, April 27, 2012 a Wine Closet, Part 1: Design & Test

This was my side project for Mr. & Mrs. M my last few weeks with them before I moved.

The Problem

Their house has an under the stairs closet and they've had a hard time finding how best to use it. The space is a little awkward and has the potential to be a junk closet if they didn't give it a specific purpose. After talking to them, and collaborating over the phone with my boyfriend I came up with a few options. I didn't have the exact dimensions of the closet when I drew these up so you'll notice the shape changes in the final design. I got a little playful with a few of them and they're pretty diagrammatic.

The Design

The main difference between the options were laying the bottles on their side or cantilevering them from the wall. While the cantilevered bottles were dramatic and could create an interesting pattern it wasn't going to work in the actual space. It would be more difficult to install and have less room for error. Instead we went with shelves along the wall with a routed groove to keep the bottles from rolling off. Pine 1x6's would create both the structure and the shelves.

One board gets screwed into the wall the second is placed perpendicular to the wall and glued in place. That pattern get repeated up the wall where the board on top of each shelf against the wall holds the shelf in place. A few screws, a little wood glue and gravity, is all it takes to hold this lovely piece together. To make sure this system would work we did a test.

Materials for the Test
1 Pine Board 1x6 (8'-0"), Cut into 18" Sections*
1 Plywood 2'x2' Board, to Simulate the wall
1 Small Table Router (13x18) with a 3/4" Bit
1 Dozen Screws
1 Bottle Wood Glue

*Most Home Depot's will do major cuts for you.

The Test
Mr. M ran two of the 18" boards thru the router twice. to create a 1.5" groove 1/4" deep into the board.

We tested a few depths and widths and decided this was the best option to keep the bottle from rolling.

Mr. M screwed the 1x6 into our plywood 'wall', I had them all marked up and ready.

We glued the shelf top and bottom and I helped hold the board in place while he screwed the second and third one in place.

 Once the glue dried, we tried it out.

And to be sure, we put it to a real test. It was solid and didn't make creak ('til Mr. M tried to stand on it...)

Coming Soon


  1. That closet looks mighty familiar...although it's rather full now. We're working on lighting and artwork in the next few weeks!

    1. Yay! I'm glad it came together so well. :)

  2. I just wish I had enough wine to fill one up! I bet it's going to look awesome!

    1. I think what's great about the system we came up with is you can scale it as needed. If you have a small nook you could put in something to hold only 10 bottles, it would look similar to the test we did. Anyway, I'm really excited about the project, I'll put the rest up soon!



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