Pittsburgh Basement-Turned-Wine Heaven

From Margaret Everton on January 14, 2010 in Pittsburgh

Bet Your Basement Doesn’t Look Like This!

Most people have great dreams for their basement. I do. But if you look in my basement right now, all you’ll see are exposed rafters, cinder block retaining walls and HVAC vents. One Pittsburgh-area couple, the Hammels, had dreams for their basement, too. Their dreams came to reality, and now it’s worth talking about.

pittsburgh wine basement remodel

Way back in 1905, someone built a house. Today, in 2010, the Hammels live in that house. But even after the home celebrated its 100th birthday, nothing had happened to the home’s basement. It looked like mine—maybe even worse. Theirs was dank, had mold and was extremely unlikely as a place where dreams could sprout wings and fly.

No matter. As wine-lovers, the Hammels wanted to transform the room into a showcase and storage place for their wine collection. The basement was a perfect place for staging this extravagant remodel, especially with its cool-enough temperature and naturally dark setting.

Within three months, the Hammels had transformed their subsurface real estate into a breathtaking wonder. They installed a custom-made cork floor, developed a state-of-the-art HVAC system, imbued the room with rich, warm woods and subtle lighting, and put in handcrafted mahogany cabinetry with brushed copper hardware. Today, it is an awe-inspiring place—a cavern of beauty and intrigue.

And it serves its purpose well. There is room for everything, from Aglianco to Zinfandel.

Photo & Story: Pittsburgh Magazine

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