In a lakeside home bought for entertaining, for weekend getaways, for long hours spent with family and friends lounging by the water’s edge, one area stands out in particular. And it’s not the dock stocked with water toys of every sort, or the classic row of Adirondack rocking chairs on the porch. In fact, it doesn’t even offer a view of the water in any way. Tucked out of sight from the rest of the recently remodeled Roaming Shores home, a rustic wine room beckons those looking for a place to enjoy the evening in style. Situated in the lower level, one can reach the wine room by leaving the bright main level and traipsing downstairs, or by simply following the sounds of merriment.
Upon entering the cozy space, the eye is drawn to the various aspects of the room. Wine aficionados immediately fall in love with the wall dedicated to wine storage. The owners designed the unit themselves, drafting up a design that combined easy storage options with a custom look. “When we designed it, we wanted the drawers on the middle in the bottom, to put napkins and plates in. We also wanted an open area on top of it for glasses,” says the owner. “Stuff is easy to find, but it’s also not really matchy-matchy. The bottles go different ways, which is what I wanted.”
Overhead, recessed lighting adds a dramatic flair to the shelving unit. As for finding a specific bottle amidst all of the options, the owners stick to a well-thought-out organization system that puts reds on one side, whites on another and their special display bottles front and center in positions of honor. “We do have a couple of fun bottles that are displayed in the middle part. One is a bottle that a friend of ours made for us that has a custom wine label,” the owner recounts. “Another friend gave us a house wine that was signed by all of the band members of the band Train. We just put those out on the open shelf. They’re fun to look at.”
“We wanted an entertaining space,” says the homeowner of their decision to transform this room from what she calls a “bare-bone basement” into an entertaining haven that reflects their passion for making and sampling wine. “It was cinder walls, nothing special,” she says of the long-ignored basement. Working with the Ohio Valley Group, a landscaping company that has recently bridged into the world of upcycling furniture, the homeowners were certainly able to make it into something special.
The couple decided to keep the floor a plain concrete to complement the overall rustic atmosphere. However, they were sure to add a black rug, “I wanted something to tie the area together. It just didn’t look finished without the rug.”
A structural beam runs the length of the room, but rather than consider it a burden and attempt to hide it, these owners flaunted it by incorporating it into the design. “That’s the main beam that holds up the house,” she laughs. “We left it exposed on purpose because we thought it was interesting.”
Standing proudly in the center of the room in a position rivaled only by the striking storage wall, a 7-foot-long table beckons. The gleaming wood boasts a rubbed out polyurethane finish and is securely fastened to the upcycled wine barrels underneath by sturdy brackets. The barrels themselves—oiled to bring the natural colors out, but otherwise kept as close to the original product as possible—tell an exciting tale of a journey from a California winery to an Ohio basement, where they were given a new lease on life. “My husband and I were in Napa and we were able to find a winery that was getting rid of their barrels and they sold them to us,” says the owner.
There’s room for eight stools to be scattered around the table—more if people don’t mind bumping elbows. The metal Crate & Barrel stools look deceivingly simple, but in addition to placing users at the perfect height to the table, they actually swivel so those at the nearby couch can be called into the conversation.
The dark sofa is another eye-catching addition to the gathering space and is actually two small couches pushed together to make one long seating area. Subtly situated against the far wall, it doesn’t immediately draw the spotlight like the table or wall, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the look. Two regular couches merely reupholstered, the real outstanding element, or rather, elements, are the cushions. Mounted on a soft vinyl, four iconic shots of the Cleveland area revel in classic black and white glory. But not to worry, says the owner, the couch is extremely soft and inviting. “It’s so durable, that’s why I went with the soft vinyl. I think fabric would start to get moved around, and you would never get it tight enough without distorting the picture.”
The walls are simply painted stucco, a yellow-gold color that the homeowner deemed a necessity, “we just needed something warm to complement the wood.” Don’t think that she regrets the decision to incorporate so much wood into the design, though. Everything, from the wood of the wine barrels to the knotty pine on the ceiling helps to give this room a refined rustic vibe. A small rectangular fireplace that was built into the far wall further helps the overall ambiance. “Every time I’m down here, I light it,” admits the owner.
A happening space, the owner says that the room sees plenty of use, admittedly more in the winter than the summer. With everything from rowdy nights playing games at the table and high-tension evenings spent watching their favorite Ohio State Buckeyes, to quiet nights perched on the couch listening to the crackle of the fireplace, the space is definitely well equipped to handle anything.
Resources: Designer and contractor: The Ohio Valley Group