Spiral wine cellars: the hottest trend for high end London homes
PUBLISHED: 17:58 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:15 18 January 2017
You've agonised over your grapes, studied the markets and purchased your favourites fine wines - so why hide them away in the basement? A new wave of homeowners in Hampstead, Primrose Hill and St John's Wood clearly agree and are embracing the trend for glass wine cellars.
The allure is all in the appearance, according to Lee Koffman of Aston Chase, who are selling a 286m sq property in Loudon Road, NW8 for £5.45million.
Storage is clearly a priority for the current owners who have an impeccably organised dressing room and floor-to-ceiling bathroom cabinets.
But it’s the visible underground wine cellar with a 1,000-bottle capacity that really stands out.
“I think it’s a fashion thing,” Koffman explains. “It’s like a toy. The more affluent the person, the more they educate themselves on wines. Instead of going into an off licence, they like to have these very expensive wines presented.”
“When they’re entertaining, all their guests can see it,” says Koffman. “They can talk about how cool it is.”
James Morton, director of Benham & Reeves, who have a house in Hampstead featuring a glass-covered wine cellar on their books, reckons the feature adds a luxurious touch to a home.
“They’re quite expensive. You’re showing off that you’ve got a wine collection and it’s a bit of fun,” he says.
The owners of the four-bedroom property on Rosslyn Hill, which is on the market for £2million, added the cellar after they purchased the house.
The installation, which can cost between £15,000 and £20,000 according to Morton, usually involves excavating below the floor in a new property that doesn’t have a basement.
“You tend to see the more interesting wine cellars in newly built properties,” he says.
A large number come from Spiral Cellars, a company based in Wimbledon, which installs the features all over London. With prices ranging from £19,140 to £54,960, the process involves digging below the property, removing the earth, damp proofing the area and then building in a concrete staircase, all of which will set you back financially.
But will it add value to a property?
Whether it’s the specific square footage, or in terms of making the property look more attractive, the cellars hope to be more than just a storage solution. The specific value a small cellar can add, however, is very dependent on its size.
“Most people would work out the value of something like this on what kind of square footage it adds,” explains Morton. “In Hampstead, you might get £1,500 per square foot in a property, so by adding 200 square feet you’re adding £300,000 in value.”
Koffman, however, disputes the necessary value of the installation.
“I don’t think I would put a value on it,” he says. “Everyone’s attracted to the wine cellar whether they’re wine drinkers or not. So I think it makes the property more saleable rather than more valuable.”
They may not add calculable value but spiral wine cellars tend to be found in houses with multi-million pound price tags.
A seven-bedroom Victorian house in Chalcot Square in Primrose Hill on the market for just shy of £10million has also introduced the modern wine storage.
The grade II-listed building has a temperature-controlled spiral wine cellar leading out from the kitchen to the patio.
Whether it’s just a luxury or a good investment, both agents agree that it adds something special to the house.
“It does add a ‘wow factor’,” says Morton. “It’s a real talking point.”