(BPT) – Looking to overcome your storage dilemma with more than a metal rack or a makeshift cubby? Take your cue from these design pros. Throughout the home, they’re creating functional and beautiful storage stunners. How? They’re doing it with all-natural cypress. And you can, too!
Starting at the Entryway
A well-designed mudroom – crafted to handle the mess of rain, mud, snow and sand – can be warm, welcoming and functional. Tripp Josey of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org, suggests using cypress to dress up that high-traffic space. ‘Cypress is a beautiful wood, perfect for cabinets and cubbies, flooring, paneling and ceilings,’ Josey says. ‘And it’s a durable material that can stand up to everyday use, and look good doing it.’
Cypress in the Kitchen
At the heart of it all, and integral to any smart kitchen layout, is the island – that all-encompassing oasis used for storing pots and pans, preparing meals and working on homework. ‘In the kitchen, homeowners are looking for functional design with as much storage space as possible,’ says Ellie Schroder from Maison de Reve Buildings, Abita Springs, Louisiana. ‘If you have modern, painted cabinets, set off the island in a complementary color and a textured wood like pecky cypress, so that the island is like a piece of fine furniture that’s different from the rest of the kitchen.’
In the Bedroom
Closets and dressers are great for keeping clothes out of sight, but they don’t offer much storage for knickknacks, picture frames and other personal items. Woodworker Julie Philippus from Mandeville, Louisiana, suggests building into the walls for rooms lacking storage. ‘Built-ins can be an inexpensive way to add extra storage and a custom look to bedrooms – or any rooms – that are short on space,’ she says. ‘To dress up basic shelving, I like adding pecky cypress backboards to create a one-of-a-kind look.’
For the (Home) Spa
Whether outfitting a guest bath – or splurging on your master – creating a luxurious, spa-like sanctuary involves more than fancy faucets and fixtures! Enhance your space with a custom vanity that provides aesthetic warmth, as well as plenty of storage. ‘Vanities serve a utilitarian purpose,’ says woodworker Jason Straw of Gainesville, Florida. ‘But a custom, modern vanity crafted from real wood is similar to art. When relaxing in the tub, you can sit back and enjoy its presence.’
And no worries about crafting cabinetry for wet zones. Straw believes cypress is the best choice. ‘It’s not only beautiful,’ Straw says, ‘but the cypressene oil found in its heartwood naturally protects it from water damage and mildew.’
For the Finishing Touch
If you work from home or need to put in extra hours, a home office is a must-have – offering a quiet space to stay on task and organized. According to Jane Frederick of Frederick + Frederick Architects in Beaufort, South Carolina, and 2020 president of the American Institute of Architects, design and comfort are two primary considerations when it comes to picking out a high-quality desk.
‘Touching a solid surface speaks to the quality of construction,’ Frederick says. ‘And the finishes make a big difference. I once designed a desk made out of solid, river-recovered cypress, with a live-edge walnut top. In addition to being built to last, it’s stunningly beautiful.’
Whether building a dream home, renovating an existing one, or simply trying to be better organized, look to cypress for creating functional and beautiful storage stunners. Visit www.CypressInfo.org to see how.