Shein Design Process
If you dream of owning a wine cellar but don’t know where to
begin, you’re not alone. At Shein Design, we’re committed to
making the process as simple and enjoyable as possible. We
provide everything you need--from initial concept to completion.
From exploring design elements, to selecting materials, to the
final installation of your racking, CEO David Sheinkopf and his
staff believe that creating your home showpiece should be fun
and stress-free. Here’s what you need to know as you begin to
think what you want in a wine cellar:
First, consider the size and layout of your space.
Refer to Fig 1: With a standard steel tape, measure the distance
from corner to corner at the bottom, middle, and top of each
wall. Record the shortest distance for each wall. Repeat the
process for your ceiling height measurement, measuring at each
corner and in the middle of each wall. Once you’ve gathered that
data, measure the distances around key features of the room--
including doorways (from outside the jamb), windows, soffits,
and protruding wall devices. Be sure to measure their distance,
on both sides, from adjoining walls and ceilings.
- Room Climate
Temperature and humidity are two key factors in maintaining the
quality and longevity of your wines. Ideal conditions model that
of an underground cave: consistently cool from 55-60°F, with a
constant humidity between 50 and 70%. Luckily, we now have the
technology and equipment available to produce these conditions
in your space; but, in order for the cooling equipment to work
properly and efficiently, you must first ensure that your room
is prepared appropriately.
- Wall Preparation
An efficient wine cellar needs to remain at a consistent temperature and humidity,
so it must be equipped with a level of
insulation, called an R-Value, that efficiently keeps cool air
and humidity in and warm air out. The following elements are
Shein Design's room build-out recommendation:
- Vapor Barrier: To avoid condensation leaks, mold, mildew,
and decay, your room must be prepared with a vapor barrier,
or a thin sheet of plastic or coating designed to protect
against escaping humidity. Place 6-8mm sheeting over and
between the studs, and on the ceiling (especially in and
around light fixtures).
- Insulation: With the vapor barrier in place, you may use a
variety of insulation types. We’ve found, however, that
spray or rigid foam work best. This should be installed
between the studs.
- Greenboard: With the walls properly insulated, you can then
cover the studs with a moisture-resistant drywall, commonly
referred to as Greenboard. This will prevent possible mold
- Wall Finish: Once the vapor barrier, insulation, and
Greenboard are in place, you’re ready to finish the walls.
If you’re planning to paint, remember to allow ample time
for ventilation to avoid possibly compromising the quality
or taste of your wines.
- Racking Design
Once your room is properly prepared, you can begin to consider
the style and layout of your wine racking. Deciding on a
general style can help narrow the elements for your room. Such
styles include traditional, contemporary, showpiece, or maximum
storage. What is your goal with the room? Is the space only
intended for storing wine, or will it be a place where you open,
decant, and taste? Are you planning on featuring the room in
home tours and spending time there with friends or relatives?
Answering these important questions will help your Design
Consultant offer the most relevant design suggestions.
Furthermore, understanding the bottle sizes in your current
wine collection, as well as what the collection may look like
years from now, can be extremely helpful in determining what
type of racking is needed. Although Shein’s standard cubicle
size is 3¾ inches (which fits most 750 ml bottles), you may have
larger bottles, such as champagnes or magnums, that will need an
increased cubicle size. Having this information recorded before
selecting racking styles will help to streamline the design
- Racking Materials
Choosing the right materials for your wine racking is crucial
when it comes to building a cellar that lasts a lifetime or
longer. Only woods that are naturally resistant to moisture
and decay should be considered. Luckily, Shein Design offers a
variety of wood and stain choices to fit a range of individual
tastes and budgets, which are perfectly suited for humid
With regard to finish, your goals for the room can be an
indication of what might work best. For instance, if you prefer
the look of the all-heart or premium redwood, you may want to
consider leaving the racking unfinished or lacquered only, as
both woods are very soft and porous and therefore do not tend
to stain well. If you prefer a stained look, you may want to
consider hardwoods, such a mahogany or beech--not only for their
natural ability to receive and showcase stain and/or lacquer,
but also for their tight, even grain.
Once you and your Design Consultant have finalized room layout,
design elements, and materials, your Consultant can request a
CAD drawing, which is usually completed within 3-5 business
days. Along with your complimentary drawing, you will receive a
detailed proposal outlining the cost and lead time associated
with the proposed design. Your Design Consultant will review the
proposal with you to ensure all questions are resolved.
Shein Design is more than happy to provide installation services
to those based locally in Southern California. For all projects
outside Southern California, we will recommend a skilled
installer in your area, whom you may work with directly.