(BPT) – Inspired by popular home-improvement television shows and information-rich social networks, homeowners and savvy design professionals are using natural materials like cypress to transform their creative aspirations into beautifully tangible realities.
“Cypress is a versatile wood that offers design freedom, lasting performance, and a lifetime of good looks,” says Linwood Truitt of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association (www.CypressInfo.org). “Regardless of a home’s architectural style, the color variation and richness of cypress offers a unique look that is guaranteed to enhance any home, anywhere.”
So, how is cypress being used to build today’s dream homes?
Designers create inviting spaces
While cypress is typically used for exterior applications — siding, decking, and covered porches — home-improvement experts are bringing cypress’ warmth and charm indoors.
Renowned carpenter and TV host Ty Pennington prominently featured cypress ceilings and trim in his most recent project, the “First to the Future Home” with NextGen Home TV. The truly next-generation home shows how to combine traditional materials, such as cypress, with the latest products and technologies.
“It can really stand the test of time,” Pennington says. “That natural color with that natural grain, you can only get from cypress, which you got to say looks awfully nice.”
Paul Barnett, president and executive producer of NGHTV.com, said the team selected cypress for the project because of its good looks and lasting performance.
“There’s something special about the look and feel of wood that makes it appeal to homeowners probably more so than any other material,” he says. “What sets cypress apart is its rich grain, natural durability and flexibility with choosing a finish.”
The finishing touch
For interior applications, cypress readily accepts a variety of finishes, including paints and stains. However, many homeowners and design professionals select cypress for the appeal of its honey-like hues and the richness of its grain, which can be preserved by applying a clear sealer or transparent stain. Regardless of the desired finish, cypress will provide timeless beauty to complement any design scheme.
To select the best finish, consult a local building products retailer or paint supplier and strictly follow the directions and recommendations provided by the product manufacturer.
Architects side with cypress
For centuries, cypress has been the wood of choice for exterior applications where longevity and good looks really count. In addition to siding and decking, cypress serves a myriad of applications, including shingles and shakes, exterior trim, shutters, fencing and fence posts, window boxes, furniture, landscape design elements and other outdoor essentials.
And while cypress offers undeniable beauty, architect Greg Mella, Washington, D.C., says durability is one of the main reasons it continues to be a go-to product.
“Cypress’ heartwood contains a naturally occurring preservative oil called cypressene, which makes it resistant to rot, decay and bugs,” he explains. “A lot of the wood that’s typically used for projects outside the home is treated with chemical preservatives to help it maintain its resistances, but these chemicals have an environmental impact that’s commonly overlooked. Many designers select cypress, because it provides a natural solution to these issues.”
Explore the possibilities
Before beginning your next home-improvement project, browse the photo gallery at www.CypressInfo.org and be inspired. Because when it comes to selecting a product based on its versatility, durability, and good looks, cypress is hard to beat.