To satisfy homeowners seeking to add a signature style to their indoor living spaces, more and more design professionals and builders are going back to basics and rediscovering the versatility, durability and good looks of cypress.
“There’s really nothing quite like it,” says Hal Mitchell of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org. “It’s an exceptional wood that offers variety and lasting performance to any home, anywhere. And for interior applications, as paneling, millwork, cabinetry, or flooring, cypress delivers a unique look that complements practically every architectural style. So whether in the woods or ocean front, rustic to contemporary, with cypress, the possibilities are endless.”
to modern design
When it comes to material selection for architect Jody Beck of Traction Architecture in Tampa, Florida, Beck chooses cypress to “warm-up” her designs. Despite the influx of trendy building materials, cypress is her go-to material. So much so that she featured it in a beach house she recently designed for her family on Anna Maria Island, Florida.
“Almost all of the wood in the home is cypress,” Beck says, “including cypress flooring in the bedrooms and awesome, built-in cabinetry. This consistency from room to room, coupled with cypress’ natural warmth and wonderfully subtle glow, sets off the rest of the home’s material palette, offering a nice juxtaposition to the clean, modern spaces.”
A horse of a
Craig Carver, owner of Greenville, South Carolina luxury home builder, The Carver Group, favors cypress because it’s user-friendly and offers great variety. He recommends it to clients wanting to add pizazz to otherwise lackluster ceilings and walls.
“Cypress is really easy to work with,” Carver explains. “It readily accepts paints and stains and can be used as exposed beams, cabinetry, and other decorative elements. Most importantly, because of its natural color, which ranges from honey to light chocolate, you can better engineer a desired finish. I haven’t found a comparable product that gives as nice of a finish.
“We recently built a custom bathroom vanity out of cypress that was on the darker end of the cypress color spectrum. We applied a stain to accentuate the natural color and created a stunning look that couldn’t have been duplicated with another wood species. We also are getting ready to do an entire family room with cypress. Paneling, ceiling, moulding - it’s going to be absolutely beautiful.”
Spotlighting the grain
For Tampa, Florida award-winning builder, Marc Rutenberg, Marc Rutenberg Homes, it’s cypress’ texture and rich grain that separate it from other species, and make it especially desirable for a home’s unique, architectural details.
“Appearance is number one,” Rutenberg says. “And while cypress is usually seen with a flat grain, showing intriguing figure, some homeowners are requesting vertical-grain cypress, which has a fine grain that has an almost delicate appearance. The tight pinstripes are bone straight and they bring a fantastic texture to the surface without being busy. It achieves a wonderful look.”
Show your signature style
For your new home or next remodeling project, be sure your design professional is specifying cypress. Because when it comes to versatility, durability, good looks and style, cypress is hard to beat.