Sunken Treasure

Hidden in a secluded niche on the lower level of a 9,500-square-foot custom residence in Sparta, N.J., is a gem prized by the homeowners - a wine cellar painstakingly crafted to resemble a centuries-old space even though it's brand-new.

May 01, 2004

 

Builder Richard Crepeau kept "a part of historic Sparta alive" by using 200-year-old reclaimed oak beams salvaged from a local barn in this wine cellar. "We even reused the original pegs that joined the beams," he says. The ceiling's pine boards were custom-milled to match the beams' distressed appearance. The custom-designed stained-glass panel from Kerr's Studios in Kennebunkport, Maine, features the homeowners' family crest. Two leaves expand the tasting table, permitting the owners to host fondue parties in the cellar.

Hidden in a secluded niche on the lower level of a 9,500-square-foot custom residence in Sparta, N.J., is a gem prized by the homeowners - a wine cellar painstakingly crafted to resemble a centuries-old space even though it's brand-new.

The below-grade cellar, accessed through a custom alder door with a speakeasy-style opening at eye level, is one of a variety of high-tech recreation spaces in the home's finished basement, including a theater, a game room, a billiards area and a sauna. But for the cellar, builder Richard Crepeau steered clear of contemporary finishes, opting to use reclaimed oak beams from a local barn, slate flooring and pine ceiling panels, all of which contribute to its distinctive character.

Custom-designed and -built wine racks along the cellar walls contain the homeowners' treasured wine collection. Crepeau chose native hemlock for the racks rather than the redwood conventionally used in wine cellars today. "We went with this type of wood to be true to the area," he says. "Hemlock is what you would have found around here years ago."

Designed to hold 1,000 bottles, the cellar could be expanded to house up to 3,000, Crepeau says.

"The room was actually built as a box with concrete on all four sides, and it naturally sustains the correct environment for wine storage," he adds. "We made provisions for a temperature- and humidity-control system to be incorporated into the cellar if needed, but so far it hasn't been necessary."

The home, located on a 6 1/2-acre site, was completed in October 2003.

Style of home | East Coast Shaker

Location | Sparta, N.J.

Total square footage | 9,500

Estimated market value | $1.5 million

Builder | Crepeau Development Co. LLC, Sparta

Architect | Matthew Smetana, Sparta

Custom-built primary residence

Major Products Used | Wall finish: Owens Corning Cultured Stone

Comments on: "Sunken Treasure"

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