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Liquid Refreshment

Most everyone has a way of storing wine at home, whether a few bottles in a humble kitchen rack or a few cases in a refrigerator-like cooler. As wine becomes ever-more entwined in American lifestyles, many sippers have evolved into full-blown oenophiles and collectors, a status that demands more serious and expansive storage. At its most elaborate, the result is a series of subterranean rooms that control temperature, humidity, ventilation, lighting and the likelihood of tainting. Of course, the cellar must include a gorgeous (or moody) space in which to hold tastings of one’s collection.

For all the formality of the arrangement, the setting of this home bar and lounge area feels light and relaxed. Note how the lime-washed woodwork ties with the finish of the flooring and the early 19th-century fire surround, which was salvaged from an earlier home. Safavieh managed the architecture, construction and interior design on this project.

Parallel streams in our bibulous culture are the whiskey revolution (led by single malt Scotch, followed by bourbon and rye) and the cocktail renaissance, both of which have been building for two decades and show no signs of peaking. Not surprisingly, these “spiritual revivals” have spawned new interest in home bars and lounges. While the wine enthusiast is preoccupied with storage, the spirits lover is unconcerned with preserving his “liquid investment.” He favors dramatic display of the collection and easy access, allowing him to, well, pour at the drop of a hat. His main design goal is to provide an awesome stage for home entertaining of friends and family.

On these pages we visit two Long Island spaces designed and furnished by Safavieh—a wine cellar and tasting room in an Old Brookville home and a bar and lounge in a Mill Neck home. Both spaces are truly cellars, built below grade level, but there is nothing musty or confining about them. Airy, elegant, comfortable and filled with natural light by day, each site is supremely inviting. And each was conceived as its own organic design, visually tied to the rest of the home and free from stereotypes of what a tasting room or bar ought to look like. These rooms reflect their settings and their owners’ confident tastes. Lucky are the guests who get to raise a glass in either home.

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