/ by Allison Walsh / photography by Inspiro 8 Studios

Wine storage is having a moment, stepping out of closets and cellars and tucked away nooks, taking a rightful place in the home. Architect Matt Tindall is all for a boundary-busting design, so when a client building at the Reserve at Lake Keowee was willing to think outside the wine cellar, he was all in.

“The homeowners requested some substantial wine storage and we also wanted to make it a focal point in the design,” Tindall says. “Even though this is a mountain house it also has a more contemporary design, so we felt it was appropriate to have some fun with it.”

Tindall’s vision involved capitalizing on the floating stair feature, and the bank of windows behind it, to create the appearance of the bottles floating in the middle of the stairs. The floor plan originally called for the stairs to wrap around an elevator, but the homeowners chose to forgo that feature in favor of a show-stopping display of their favorite bottles.

The torch was passed to Sexton Griffith Custom Home Builders to bring this vision to life. “We wanted something that would look wonderful now and look like it was part of the original design,” says Barry Griffith.

Cellars South, a local designer of custom wine cellars, joined the design team and from there the concept went through several iterations. The final product is a frameless glass box enclosure, open to the ceiling, that houses the Elevate acrylic wine cradle display system by Kessick Wine Storage Systems. A vertical steel rod supports the trays, and the entire unit is lit from below courtesy of LED lighting recessed in the floor. Natural light from the home’s ample windows dances around and through the colored glass and clear acrylic.

“When you have different bottles of wine in there and the light passes through it becomes a really unique feature,” Tindall says.

As stunning as this unit is, its construction is relatively and intentionally simple.

“We tried to be efficient with space and with the client’s money so not too much would be lost if they decide to one day repurpose that area,” Griffith says. “The walls and shelving can be disassembled without a lot of effort and reassembled somewhere else if needed.”

The home was designed to take advantage of the mountain views and the topography of the lot, and from this staircase you can look down over the front courtyard as well as clear through to the wall of windows at the back of the home showcasing the peaks in all their glory (a scene so intoxicating these lucky homeowners may never need to open a bottle).