Introduction: Small Wine Closet

About: Someday, I would like to create something that is so commonly used, it's not even considered genius.

"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it" - Napoleon Bonaparte, France.

A recent kitchen remodel created a small space that served as a defeat of what was suppose to be a coat closet.

Apparently the contractor ran into some small details. The wall studs and sheetrock calculations had created a small now unique space on the other side of the kitchen wall that faces our entryway.

The space was almost too small for even storage of an upright vacuum cleaner. I installed a raw edge barn style door to just to cover the space since a swing style door at 16 inches would look odd. This was done previously before the wine closet idea even evolved.

My wife had the grand idea of, "Why don't you make a wine closet and store your wine there, instead of the boxes tucked in the storage room?". VICTORY! and Champagne was served.

So grab a big bold glass of your favorite wine, sit back, and I will guide you through the journey of a small space wine closet.


  • Wine
  • Welder
  • Wood
  • Metal rectangle tubing
  • Drawer Slides
  • Paint/ Wood Stain
  • Screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Multi purpose lite adhesive
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Tape Measure

Step 1: Cedar Install/ Electrical Outlet

The closet size was 16" W, X 28" D, X 7' H. I used a series of 6" x 1/2" cedar rough cut boards and stained them a dark walnut finish to cover the interior bare studs of the closet. The finished size left it 14.5" wide now, I marked off the stud locations with yellow tape for mounting the drawer slides later. I ran power down to an outlet for future use of some lighting. I did a quick gray paint on the back wall, (not shown yet, because it's only paint).

You can now savor your wine as you continue the journey with the hints of cedar in the air.

Step 2: Rack Build and Drawer Slide Install.

With my limited space I wanted to maximize storage with easy access. The challenge was the 28" depth and 14.5" entry, this is tough for reaching and difficult for display aesthetics.

A shelf system would either cover wines way in the back or create wasted space. I came up with a pull rack system that holds a case of wine on each rack as well as giving strength and modern look.

I started with raw steel rectangular tubing that is 1"W x 3/8" D with a 1/4" wall. I cut these to 14" giving my 1/4" attachment gap on the slides for welding to the interior of the slide rails. (NOTE: Drawer slides have some plastic bumper parts, so disassemble and pull these off. I learned this as welding heat travels pretty far along the rail causing a bit of melting). I spaced each tubing gap 2 1/2" appart so the bottle will just inset enough for stability when double stacked. I used 100 pound load drawer rails since a case of wine can weigh up past 50 lbs per rack.

Attaching the rails to the wall was done with a 6" height clearance for a double stack of bottles between each slide shelf. I hit the studs with a 2 1/2" screw in 3 locations for each rail. These were also set back one inch from the front of the door trim to accommodate for the racks wooden face. The rails need to be level across from one another to avoid binding or dragging on the drawer slides. Pepper the cat says, "Puuurfectly level".

Step 3: Upper Display and Shelf

I welded up a 3 pairs of J-shaped bottle holders with some left over tubing. Each J-shape was 3 3/4" deep to hold a large champagne bottle if needed. These serve as the upper display. I mounted them to the wall with enough vertical space to place some original branded wine crate panels from various chateaus as decorative pieces. I then cut a small piece of raw edge west elm to serve as a shelf. This was mounted by using some left over trim, 1" x 1/2" on the underside supporting the back and sides, as seen in the next lighting section step.

Step 4: Lighting

Lighting can display all sorts of feelings and draw you into a mood. I pondered all sorts of strip lighting, RGB leds direct and indirect setups. I opted for a two tone set up with direct and indirect display. With a warm white light above representing the setting sun and a cool white below gives a feeling of earthy calm to the end of a long day.

I used a motion sensor light under the shelf, this activates when the slider door is opened and cool glow lights up the lower racks from behind. I tucked up the wires for the final display so they are out of sight. The upper light is a 3" recessed can light controlled by a dimmer switch that can be turned on as needed to the setting of choice.

Step 5: Face Display

The face of the racks contain a tribute to the west coast of wines and the top display is that for wines from around the world (A rotating tap if you will).

I 3D printed state names using simple letters in Tinkercad, (a chalkboard face would be an option as well for easy name changes). The wooden faces of oak were roughed up with sand paper to give a little rustic look. Using a light adhesive, the letters were attached on the sections of oak for each state name.

Step 6: Rack It

I weight tested of a fully loaded rack which had a nice smooth glide, and no binding issues. Load up the racks with your favorite vintage, then pull the cork and enjoy.

Thank you for watching.

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