October 24, 2018 by
Photography by Thomas Grady

Having worked closely with Matt and Laurie Willburn to design their beautiful West Omaha home a few years ago, I was delighted to be invited back to conceptualize their wine cellar. 

Combining function with style was an important aspect of my interior design philosophy during construction of the Willburn home. My design of the wine cellar employed the same approach to create an inviting space for storing and displaying the family’s extensive wine collection. 

First, we had to find enough space for a wine cellar within the oddly shaped storage room to accommodate the vast collection (with plenty of room for friends and family to mingle). 

The existing soffit couldn’t be moved or modified in any way, so the space needed to be reconfigured in such a way that the available structure allowed bottle storage without diminishing the overall design aesthetic.

Additional design requirements included lighting and display considerations (without sacrificing storage space for the large collection). We wanted the display to be functional but also be the focal point of the room. We wanted to create something with a dynamic visual element.

Our solution was to create a design resembling a wine barrel. The fundamental simplicity and modern functionality simultaneously showcased their wine in a unique way. The circular design of the room—with LED-lit wood panels—further provides a sophisticated environment for appreciating the extensive bottle collection. The display also hides the existing soffit, so it was the perfect solution to the challenge of the existing space.

The scale of the room balances the weight of the massive wine collection, which is also displayed on circular wood panels covering the side walls and backlit by radiant LED light. The lighting configuration gives the illusion that bottles are floating in the air, a stark contrast to the brick veneer in between the circular wood panels. 

The circular space presented additional design challenges when it came to choosing materials that could be manipulated on a curved surface. The solution was to apply a thin brick veneer and wood panels made of imported hardwood veneer layers, allowing the panels to bend and fit the curved wall. ​

We added finishes to infuse Old World charm into the modern wine cellar, forming the perfect union of domestic utility and alluring elegance. The resulting space inspires drinking wine with good food in good company. 

A repurposed door from a grandparent’s family home in Colorado adorns the entry from the basement, adding deep sentimental value to the balance of personal expression and purposeful glamour. 

Like a glass of fine wine, the Willburns’ wine cellar leaves a lasting impression. The room is truly a space to be enjoyed.


MEET THE DESIGNER

Stacie Muhle 
Allied ASID, Artistico

​Muhle received her Bachelor of Interior Architecture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She applies her stylistic vision and attention to detail to commercial, corporate, and residential projects. Innovative design skills allow Muhle to transform clients’ design wishes into unique and practical spaces in reality.


Visit artisticodesign.net for more information.

This article was printed in the November/December 2018 edition of OmahaHome Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.