Washington state boasts some of the best wines and most beautiful wineries in the world. Wine enthusiasts Sam and Debbie Baugh enjoy visiting local wineries and wanted to bring a little piece of wine country to their Snohomish home. The perfect space, coupled with a detailed vision, resulted in a custom wine-tasting room. The room they built is used to store wine, entertain friends, and perhaps most importantly, unwind after a long workday.
“We started building our tasting room in spring 2009, shortly after our son left for college. We wanted a project,” said Sam. “It took several months to complete, but we really enjoyed the design and building process.”
The Baughs built their 11’ x 11’ wine room in an existing space that had served as a dog kennel, and before that, a garden shed. The room’s vaulted ceiling and close proximity to their garden made it the perfect location.
Sam is a general contractor and carpenter specializing in custom homes and remodels, so he is well-practiced in building projects, but he said a project of this scope is doable for the do-it-yourselfer.
Determine a space and its function
Do you simply want a temperature-controlled environment to store your wine collection or do you want a place to enjoy the company of friends? Or maybe a combination of the two?
“If you have that spare little room or closet, you can create your own space,” Sam said. “We knew we wanted to use our space for entertaining, not just exclusively a place to store wine.”
The Baughs didn’t want the additional expense of bumping out walls, so they got creative with what they had.
Inspiration can come from many places, including magazines and pictures, but the Baughs found most of their design inspiration in wine-tasting rooms they’ve visited along the West Coast.
“We really enjoy going to wine-tasting rooms. Many of the elements we’ve incorporated in our room, we’ve seen in local wineries,” Sam said. “We like the rustic look of big beams and dark wood.”
The focal point of the room is a large stone wall with a beautiful nook, inspired by a painting the Baughs owned long before the room was even an idea.
“We visited Artiste Winery in the Santa Barbara area and fell in love with a painting called Pinot Noir After Work by Aldo Luongo. “We’ve had the painting hanging in the kitchen, but we knew we wanted it to have a prominent place in our room and designed a whole nook to display our favorite painting,” Debbie said.
Consider the environment
Think about how temperature, humidity and light will affect the space you select. The Baughs’ tasting room naturally stays at about 55 degrees, an ideal temperature for storing wine, but they needed to come up with a cooling solution for the summer months.
“We didn’t want to invest in a huge air-conditioning unit and thankfully, the room naturally stays pretty cool,” Debbie said. “We purchased a small air-conditioning unit that we use on the warmest summer days. We also put exterior shutters on the one window in the room to keep the light and heat out of the room, since those both spoil wine.”
Repurpose and recycle
Sam estimated that if they had purchased all new materials, it would have cost $5,000 to $6,000 (not including labor), but that cost is somewhat flexible, depending on what you use. The Baughs emphasized that you don’t have to buy all brand-new materials. Almost all of the cedar and window trim were left over from various jobs or projects.
“We decided to incorporate many things that we already had on hand,” Debbie said. “A lot of the art, materials, and even some of the furniture we already had sitting around. We were able to repurpose certain things to fit what we needed.”
For the materials they couldn’t find, the Baughs enjoyed searching for items at rock-bottom prices. They frequently checked Craigslist and eBay for good deals. “We made it our goal to find things we could use as inexpensively as possible,” Debbie said. “There were a couple of things we found for dirt cheap.”
After the hard work is complete, enjoy the fruit of your labor. Nearly four years after completing the space, the Baughs still appreciate the calm and serenity this little escape brings them. “We love the ambience of the room,” Sam said. “When we step into the room, we’re transported away from the busyness of life.”