Nicola Holden Designs – Contemporary Interior Designer, London.

Being a part of the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design) means that we are required to accrue a certain number of CPD (Continuing Professional Points) each year. Some of the topics are very important, but quite dry, like Client Contracts. Other subjects are somewhat more fun.

I recently attended a CPD by Spiral Cellars, learning about the ins and outs of their spiral wine cellars. And, I have to say that I am now wondering how I could incorporate a spiral cellar into my home renovation plans! I am sold!

Spiral Cellars 1

The Spiral Cellar was originally invented by Georges Harnois in 1977, following a visit to the Pont du Gard. Georges first built a test cellar in timber and then developed the concrete system which is still in use today.

Spiral Cellars 2

Due to the thermal properties of concrete, this spiral cellar offers the ideal conditions for storing and aging wine. Unlike other wine storage options, a Spiral Cellar requires no mechanical cooling and is maintenance free. And, more importantly in our small London homes, it adds space, and therefore value, to your property. And don’t forget about the added ‘wow’ factor.

Spiral Cellars 3

With some clever thinking on positioning and ventilation pipe routing, a Spiral Cellar can be located in any ground floor room of a property. It is up to 2.5m in diameter, between 1.35m and 3m deep, and costs between £12k to £45k. The largest Spiral Cellar can store up to 1900 bottles of wine.

Spiral Cellars 4

Wine is currently a good investment compared to other investment vehicles – and free of CGT. And, given that people are tending to entertain at home much more these days, it means that your wine collection will be close at hand. Now do you understand why I’m hooked?

The CPD ended with a spot of wine tasting too! All in all, an excellent afternoon.

Wine tasting

So, can you see the benefit of a spiral cellar in your home?

“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Image credits from Spiral Cellars. Final image © Nicola Holden.

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I have recently discovered a new online store that got me so excited that I wanted to share it with you, my lovely readers.

MadeEthical.com is a home furnishings and accessories business based in London. It was set up by co-founder Alex Pescott after a holiday spent in South Africa. During the trip he bought some beautiful souvenirs from local craftspeople and it felt so good to be helping the local communities that he wondered if there was a way to do more to help, and that was the inspiration for this very special online shop.

Sinatra Chandelier

When I read MadeEthical’s story it really hit home for two reasons. Firstly they sell beautiful homewares on their website, which appealed to the Interior Designer me. And secondly, a portion of all the money they make goes to African charities, which appealed to the African Charity Trustee me.

Picture Frame - Mosaic Green

Alex comments: “We identified several small, community based projects who understood local needs better and we started sourcing items directly from the people who made them, paying the craftsman an honest wage & turning them into positive role models in their communities. Of course we couldn’t source all our inventory from South Africa but regardless of what item a customer purchases from us, we will gift an item to one our community projects.”

Armchair Mammoth

Don’t you just love this range of handknitted toys, produced by Gogo Olive in my Zimbabwe? Gogo Olive started as a simple vision of a group of women singing and laughing together while creating things with their hands. It gathers around 60 women-knitters from four different projects in 3 different areas of Zimbabwe. As well as creating employment for local women the aim of Gogo Olive is to give them hope as they have the opportunity to use their craft skills to build a future for themselves and their families.

Knitted Toy - Elephant

So there you have it – feel good shopping at your fingertips! What are you waiting for?

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

Image credits from MadeEthical.com.

If you have enjoyed this post why don’t you head over to our Facebook page, or follow Nicola’s updates on Twitter or Pinterest. Full details of our Interior Design services can be found on our website.