Use Vintage Wine Racks to Improve Your Interiors
Some of the most common kitchen décor themes (and the ones that have remained popular over the years) are centered around vintage designs. Whether its recalling the old world charm of European bistros, or simply creating a kitchen reminiscent of those remembered from childhood, looking to the past for design ideas is more popular in kitchen design than in any other room of the house.
An ongoing demand for vintage detailing has created a significant increase in the availability of both premium vintage and newly constructed “vintage-inspired” kitchen accessories. For wine lovers, this is illustrated brilliantly by antique wine racks.
Standing The Tests Of Time
While the products we buy today may be manufactured with the latest technologies and manufacturing process improvements, for the most part, they are designed to have a somewhat brief lifespan.
An affordable dining room table, for example, may be designed to last five or so years. At that point, most consumers will have tired of the design, outgrown the size, or just want something new, therefore, there is really no reason why the table should be designed to have a lifespan much longer than that. Fifty years ago, on the other hand, an affordable dining room table was built to last fifty years or more. It was not only intended for regular use, it was also intended to be passed-down to the next generation so they would have it to use for their own families.
One of the main reasons the antique furniture market is as strong as it has been over the years is the fact that the furniture built decades and centuries ago was meant to stand the test of time.
While modern manufacturing may allow us affordable items, the hand-crafted effort and superior craftsmanship that went into pieces from the past add a lasting durability.
When you examine the materials used in most antique pieces, it is also apparent that they are of a higher quality than those used to create everyday items today. The choice of better materials, coupled with superior craftsmanship, create pieces that are better able to stand the tests of time. Modern materials are normally selected for cost efficiency – often at the expense of the final construction.
The Appeal Of Antique Wine Racks
Antique wine racks are the perfect example of blending superior materials with expert craftsmanship. Conversely, most modern wine racks are designed to be functional, and an elegant design is not the focus. Usually, modern wine racks are also designed to be affordable.
Consumers tend to purchase modern wine racks, oftentimes knowing that the particular style of the rack is not distinctive or enduring. They look for simple, and affordable. Often, they would not be surprised if the workmanship involved in the construction of the wine rack was less than ideal.
Overall, while modern wine racks can be beautiful, they are rarely designed to be passed down from one generation to another.
The Secret Ingredient To Durability
Antique wine racks (as like the one pictured above) were typically made from wrought iron, a special form of standard iron in which the carbon content had been partially depleted. This created an extremely durable material, often dark gray to black in nature, ideal for construction purposes.
Because of its unique strength, wrought iron quickly achieved popularity for use as an ornamental metal, as well as a base metal used for various furniture and accessory construction. Outdoors, wrought iron tables and chairs made ideal patio sets, while wine racks and bakers’ racks were the popular choices for kitchen and dining room use.
Modern Style Versus Antique Design
The obvious difference between contemporary wine rack styles and the designs of old, is in the fact that antique pieces were intended to be as much a piece of furniture as they were an accessory. Modern designs tend to be very minimalistic in nature, focusing on tight, compact designs and clean, undisturbed lines. Antique wine racks, on the other hand, were designed to be a focal point of a room, often taking on the appearance of large metal cabinets or shelving systems.
The bakers’ rack design was, and remains one of the most popular styles. This design combined an upper shelving system with a lower wine rack. The shelving not only allowed the rack to serve multiple purposes, it also gave it a much larger stature within the room. The upper ledge of the rack might also incorporate a wine glass holder as an added benefit.
The wrought iron gave the bakers’ rack a significant weight, creating a sturdy design able to withstand heavy use. It also allowed the piece to possess an ornamental quality, with wrought iron commonly used to incorporate beautiful scroll work and twisted metal accents into the design.
For larger wine collections, antique wine racks resembled large metal cabinets. Capitalizing on the same open-air design as the bakers’ racks, these cabinets also carried the same ornamental air as the bakers rack designs. The wrought iron created extremely sturdy supports for the various rows of wine bottles, while also providing the unit with an overall stability.
The front of these larger cabinets typically consisted of a hinged metal door, often embellished with an array of beautiful and ornamental metal workings. The doors often incorporated one of various themes, from floral patters to more rustic designs.
The idea behind the cabinet was twofold.
- First, to provide enough visual access to the internal contents to be able to determine which wines were on hand.
- Second, to add enough decorative elements on the external areas of the cabinet so it could stand on its own. It was an artistic piece of functional furniture, used proudly in the interior design of the room.
There are several living, functional examples of smaller antique wine racks as well. Most often, these also used the cabinet design, normally featuring the small hinged door element seen in their larger counterparts.
Smaller antique wine racks were typically used as supplemental storage for dining areas if the main wine collection was housed in the kitchen area. They were also common in outdoor patio or social gathering areas, as they would allow the homeowner to set aside a selection of wines for an upcoming outdoor event and eliminate the need for trips in and out of the house when additional wine was needed.