Six years after they bought their newly built, Northwest-style house in Eagle Point, Houston transplants Bruce and Cindy Parrott decided they wanted to expand. It's not that their three-bedroom, two-story, 1,950-square foot house was too small"¦it was that the Parrotts saw their needs changing as they faced the future.
"We want to retire here and not move again," says Bruce. "All the bedrooms are upstairs, and it makes more sense to have a master suite downstairs so we can eventually live on just one floor."
Storing wine can take many forms. For a few hundred bottles, a wine refrigerator might do the trick. For several thousand bottles to be stored for decades, a collector might consider building a dedicated room.
Bruce and Cindy Parrott of Eagle Point needed something in between.
"They wanted to use the room as a transitional space, so it needed to look good," explains Mark Pelletier, owner of Oregon Vineyard Selection in Bend, who built the couple an elegant little nook with a fridge for the wine and heart redwood shelving and slate floors for good looks.
Regardless of design, climate control is key. All proper storage areas — whether cellar or refrigerator — should maintain a temperature of 55 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit with relative humidity between 55 and 75 percent.
Consider having a wine storage designer be part of the house framing so they can recommend proper insulation and vapor barriers.
Wood for racking and cabinets needs to be hard and durable. Redwood is the most popular regionally, says Pellitier, with mahogany a more expensive option. "These are ideal because they're not going to rot in moisture," he says.
Cedar should be avoided because its aroma can permeate corks and wine. The same rule applies to oil-based stains and varnishes. "These emit chemicals and because it's usually a sealed environment, off-gases can get through corks, Pellitier warns. "We're always very careful what stains and lacquers we use and are careful to air the room out really well before bringing wine in."
It's important that flooring material doesn't absorb any moisture. "That means no carpet," says Pellitier, who opts for slate, stone, concrete and even some cork flooring.
Decorative accents are usually along the lines of custom or pre-fabricated stained glass or tile panels, inset into the racking. Some homeowners, like the Parrotts, also add arched doorways, greenery and stemware.
To maintain the home's curb appeal, the couple knew their addition must fit seamlessly with the rest of the house. But how to finesse a new floor plan that would satisfy both the city's setback requirements and the Parrott's elegantly traditional sensibilities?
The trickiest puzzle piece in adding onto the home's eastern exposure was the original laundry room located in the southeast corner.
"We knew we didn't want to walk through the laundry," remembers Kurt Waldmann, builder and partner with Rayann Reich of Reich Construction LLC in Eagle Point. "So after four or five compilations, we came up with this floor plan."
The former laundry room is now "a little gem" of a wine room, complete with refrigerator, raw heart redwood racking and an arched, stained glass panel depicting a vineyard over one counter. Slate floors keep the stylish transition room cool and dark while stone-edged, arched doorways afford dramatic entries from kitchen and master suite.
Faux leather paint over textured walls extends from the wine room through a solid teak door into the elegant and formal bedroom.
To make the transition from old to new as smooth as possible, Waldmann and Reich focused on matching textures throughout the house.
"When we could, though, we took a little more license and upgraded in here," Waldmann says of the bedroom's walnut flooring (the rest of the house is oak hardwood), the "beefed up" trim package and distressed alder cabinetry, custom made by Dacor.
To match the Parrott's traditional style, Reich and Waldmann installed a Craftsman-inspired light encasement around the master bedroom's coffered ceiling. Reich and Cindy teamed up to choose all the fixtures, textures and colors. Using Bruce's desire for a cool, masculine feel and the couple's attraction to dark earth tones, the women opted for a palette of browns, golds and eggplant. Gracefully curving, wrought-iron sconces and chandeliers add mystery.
Extra bracing was plumbed into the north bedroom wall to support Bruce's wall-mounted HD flat-screen plasma television. Below the TV is a self-contained entertainment center that controls music and lights in the master suite and on the attached patio, accessible through a set of French doors.
The Parrott's king sleigh bed, flanked by beaded cocoa drapes and dressed in fleurs de lis, faces a stacked-rock gas fireplace with a slate hearth and walnut mantel. A door on the south wall leads to the new laundry room, outfitted with plenty of custom storage.
On the north wall is the hallway to the walk-in closet and grand master bath.
"One of our signatures is big and comfortable master baths and showers," Waldmann says. "Here, we added as many windows as possible to bring light in, with a lineup of three higher windows in the closet hallway to make sure their privacy was protected from the patio."
The open bath features a gigantic corner shower, with three body jets, a handheld nozzle and a rain shower next to a slanted skylight. Next to the shower is Cindy's Kohler step-up, jetted tub — a custom unit featuring chromotherapy lighting, an internal heater that keeps the water at a desired temperature and remote-control settings.
"I'm a bath person and I was going for something that would make me happy and make me feel elegant," says Cindy, who chose the candles, candlesticks and draperies that surround the tub.
Glass bricks and a wall-mounted television add contemporary, clean lines to the room, as does the slate floor with basket-weave travertine tile accents. Timed radiant heat in front of the vanity with its double sinks assures the Parrotts will never feel the chill of the stone.
Bruce and Cindy love all the luxurious details in their new addition.
"We had talked about this project for six months and finally decided, let's just do it — let's just spend all our money at once," says Bruce with a chuckle.