Welcome To Vigilant's Blog...

Our namesake the Baltimore Clipper Schooner, "Vigilant" sailed commercially on the world's oceans for over 130 years. For us here at Vigilant it represents superior design, durability, dependability and value. All of our wine cellars, wine racks, wine cellar doors, wine cabinets and lockers, custom cabinetry and millwork, and cigar cabinets that bear the Vigilant name are crafted with those values in mind. We build our products using the finest materials and craftsmanship for the enjoyment of our customers.

Vigilant Crafts Wine Lockers for Nine52 at 416 West 52nd Street

Posted By on July 18, 2016

Vigilant recently worked with Spivak architects and GAIA realtors of New York, NY to build a contemporary wine storage locker solution as part of their design and construction of a gorgeous, luxury condominium complex, Nine52, in the heart of historic Hells Kitchen in Manhattan. Its location provides a taste of American history in every step, and boasts delicious food and lively entertainment in a spunky neighborhood. The new condos channel the unique energy of the area by utilizing metal and wood to create an edgy and attractive living environment for their sophisticated residents. Vigilant helped foster this mood by handcrafting this ebonized mahogany wine cabinet with a natural interior.

Vigilant wine lockers multi-sized doors

Vigilant wine lockers with multi-sized doors.

The cabinet is the centerpiece of a shared wine lounge in the lower level of the building. It stands amidst a beautiful sunken garden, fitness center and conference center, and creates a sense of community amongst the wine loving residents. The atypical layout of the locker doors complements the unique, urban environment of the building’s style and the resident’s tastes. Each locker accommodates between 12 and 36 bottles of wine. This variation in storage capacity allows residents to select a locker based on their personal wine collection. Each locker is individually keyed and is climate controlled for ideal wine storage conditions, allowing for easy access to perfectly chilled wine.

Vigilant wine lockers stained in ebony

Image representing Vigilant wine lockers installed at Nine52 Condominiums.


Custom Vigilant Wine Cabinet Makes for a Sophisticated Home Dining Space

Posted By on May 23, 2016

Constructed of custom species maple wood, this sophisticated custom wine cabinet (designed for a residential client in New Jersey) makes for one impressive dining space!

This exceptional piece is as functional as it is aesthetic.   The illuminated wine display stores up to 354 bottles of wine and features a dual-zone cooling system providing optimal storage conditions for both red and white wines.  A distressed two-stage finish and special trim, were custom manufactured to match the existing woodwork, providing a seamless fit into the room’s architecture.

The finished mahogany interior offers adjustable slotted shelves to accommodate a variety of storage needs. Removable wooden louvered panels conceal the cooling system while allowing for ample airflow to the unit. Argon-filled, dual-pane glass doors are insulated for efficiency, and a condensation removal system keeps moisture to a minimum.

As far as eating spaces go, we think this one is exquisite!  We’ll take our eggs with a side of red wine please – cheers!


Custom bank of distressed wood refrigerated wine cabinets with illuminated wine display.

Custom bank of distressed wood refrigerated wine cabinets with illuminated wine display.


Vigilant Designs Custom Wine Lockers for Abenaqui Country Club

Posted By on February 8, 2016

Vigilant recently collaborated with Abenaqui Country Club in Rye, New Hampshire, to create custom wine lockers for their newly renovated lounge, the 1903 Room. The space received more improvements with the addition of Vigilant’s custom non-conditioned wine lockers for club members. The mahogany wine lockers feature framed tempered glass doors with adjustable euro hinges and an adjustable mahogany shelf in each locker. The wine lockers also flaunt a clear lacquer interior finish and a beautiful ebony stain and matte lacquer exterior finish. The brass hardware, finished framed end panels, and locker lighting create a striking look. The lockers include individually numbered brass plates, and individually keyed locks. Each locker can hold up to 14 bottles of wine, with a total capacity of 420 bottles.

Vigilant's wine lockers in the 1903 Room

Vigilant’s wine lockers in the 1903 Room

Dianne Guilmet, Abenaqui’s Food and Beverage Manager, met Vigilant’s owner, Charlie Griffiths, at a trade show in Texas. Dianne was immediately impressed with Vigilant’s products and during the course of their discussion, discovered that they were both located on the Seacoast of NH.

“The quality (of the lockers) is beautiful,” Guilmet says. “I was impressed with Vigilant’s responsiveness and attention to detail. And, being in such close proximity, Charlie was able to make a couple of site visits to ensure our project was moving forward smoothly.” She adds that the “1903 Room now includes a bar and a seating area, and the wine lockers match perfectly with the surrounding millwork, which has a rich ebony finish and dark green granite accents, which are the club colors.” Guilmet also notes that the wine locker program is already so popular that there are more interested members than available lockers, but club members are more than willing to share their lockers.

What’s Up With Cigar Store Indians?

Posted By on December 11, 2015

The Native Americans introduced early 17th century European settlers to tobacco, teaching them how to plant and harvest it properly. It’s said that Sir Walter Raleigh introduced Europe to the tobacco plant after his voyage to the Americas, and it soon become a valuable commodity. Tobacconists were turning a great profit and cigar shops began opening through the country. But there was one issue; a great deal of the population was illiterate. Waves of immigrants were entering the country and wouldn’t be able to read the shop signs. The cigar store Indian solved this problem.

Tobacconists began using the cigar store Indian as an advertising tool to represent their business. The idea was similar to red and white barber poles outside barber shops or the show globes that represented apothecaries. Native Americans were the natural choice, as many people associated them with the introduction of tobacco. The figures were often three-dimensional, life-size and stood on the sidewalk to draw customers.


An Antique Cigar Store Indian

Many of the artists who carved the Indians were originally ship and masthead carvers. When the demand for boats declined, they had to find another source of work. Some of the Indians were made of cast iron, but most were wooden and painted in the carver’s home or workshop. The female statues were often carved with a papoose and had a headdress of tobacco leaves. The male figures were often ceremonial-looking and carried a tomahawk or weapon. All were brightly painted and incredibly intricate.

This visual advertisement proved successful up until the 20th century. Sidewalk obstruction laws were implemented in the early 1900s and many of them were destroyed or melted down during the world wars for other purposes. Today, these figures are often seen as offensive or as perpetuating a hurtful stereotype. Even though they’ve fallen out of favor, some of the original pieces are sold for up to $500,000 and are considered folk art. Some cigar store Indians stand outside tobacco stores, so keep your eyes peeled the next time you go to buy a cigar. Or if you already have an impressive cigar collection, check out our handcrafted cigar humidors to keep your investment in top notch condition.



Turn Any Space into Your Dream Wine Room

Posted By on November 24, 2015

Wine storage requires space. Some are lucky enough to have plenty in their homes, but if you live in a small apartment or condominium, you may have limited options. But you’re not out of luck; there are some unsuspecting places that can be transformed into an impressive wine room.

It’s not necessary to have a sprawling wine cellar in your home to tastefully display your wine collection. A contained space can (believe it or not) hold up to a few hundred bottles without looking too crowded. The answer is finding a location in your home that can house your wine in a controlled environment. It is important to keep your collection out of a direct sunlight, safe from vibrations, and at an acceptable temperature and humidity. If not, your prized bottle of vino might age more rapidly than you would like.

A great option is turning your closet into a wine storage area. This is a surprising and awesome way to make use of the space, if you don’t mind switching clothing out for wine. A reach-in wine closet can be outfitted with Vigilant’s premium wood wine racking and our handcrafted wine cellar doors, or you can choose to install a built-in refrigerated wine cabinet instead.


A converted wine closet flaunts mahogany wine racks

Our wine cabinets are perfect for wine collections in a smaller space, as there is no build out. They ship fully assembled and ready for installation. Another factor to consider is cooling costs; conditioned wine cabinets are on average 60% less than if one was to cool a traditional wine cellar. Easily customizable, they have an array of storage options and design features that you can alter to match current décor in your home. These features include style, size, wood species, finish, hardware, and even LED lighting.  Wine cabinets are truly a great way to utilize the space and guarantee a perfect wine storage environment.


This small residential wine room features custom built-in wine cabinets for maximum storage

Another option is to put that space under the stairs to good use. You can easily convert unused space under a flight of stairs into a dazzling wine room. You can choose wine cubes or wine racking to house your bottles, along with other available features such as diamond bin storage and a decanting area. Curved corner racking proves helpful in limited space, as it allows for a seamless transition around corners. Even a basement alcove or a pantry can be converted into a small walk-in wine room. Vigilant can help determine what’s right for you and your home, as well as what cooling system or humidification is needed. Visit our Small Wine Rooms and Wine Closets page for unique ideas and suggestions.