Project of the Week – West Hills

Location: Portland, Oregon
Architect: FIELDWORK Design & Architecture
Photography: Brian Walker Lee

Located in the West Hills above downtown Portland, the primary inspiration for this project was the environment in which the project is sited – immersed in the forest, with framed views of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. And what better way to pay homage to this breathtaking northwest scenery than using locally sourced sustainably harvested wood? Continue reading “Project of the Week – West Hills”

How to build a modern cedar dog house

Western Red Cedar pooch nook with stairs

Being in the dog house has never looked so good, as furry models Lola and Daisy prove in Real Cedar’s latest DIY video on how to build a modern cedar dog house.

In the latest Real Cedar DIY video, expert builder Jim West from Westworks Construction walks viewers through a simple, step-by-step process to craft a modern Western Red Cedar dog house that can double as a stylish side table. The practical piece is both a comfortable nook for your dog’s bed and a functional piece of real wood furniture that adds warmth and texture to your garden, home or office.

“Well, the girls sure seem to like it,” West says, referring to his sweet pugs who came along on building day to test out their cozy new modern indoor dog house. Continue reading “How to build a modern cedar dog house”

Easy DIY: How to build a garden privacy nook 

Easy DIY: Modern garden bench

Define and enhance an outdoor space this summer with this easy-to-build and charming garden privacy nook. The nook-style bench is both a private sanctuary setting and a beautiful visual piece that adds natural texture to your garden or patio.

The garden privacy nook is a large structure, but it’s not a complex build, explains expert builder Jim West of Westworks Construction, who walks viewers through the process of crafting the Western Red Cedar nook. The build starts with the Western Red Cedar framing of the seat and the roof system; from there the Western Red Cedar cladding is placed over the structure. West suggests that a second pair of hands would help with the build in terms of moving the structure. Continue reading “Easy DIY: How to build a garden privacy nook “

Three reasons cedar is the best environmental choice for your new deck

Okay, so Real Cedar boasts greater beauty and more versatility than man-made materials – few would argue that point. But, Real Cedar is so much more than just good-looking and strong; it’s also the best environmental choice for your new deck.

  1. Renewable and biodegradable                                                                                                                                              Homeowners who choose Western Red Cedar over synthetic substitutes aren’t just building a more naturally beautiful deck, they’re also making the best decision for the environment. That’s because independent studies prove that when it comes to environmental performance, natural wood is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials.

Continue reading “Three reasons cedar is the best environmental choice for your new deck”

Easy DIY: How to Build a Portable Cooler Stand


Entertain in style with Western Red Cedar

The portable Western Red Cedar deck bar and cooler stand will be as much a conversation piece as a practical staple. Easy to pull off, but still worthy of bragging rights, this Western Red Cedar beauty involves just four simple steps and voila, you’re ready to down a few cool ones without having to step off the patio.

The build starts with a medium-sized cooler (the size of the cooler determines the overall scale of the bar), and it has a section for ice, with drainage, in the center. On the opposite side of cooler, is a bar where you can line up shots, slices of fresh lime or whip up cocktails.  Continue reading “Easy DIY: How to Build a Portable Cooler Stand”

Trend to watch: Ebony-stained cedar

Charcoal stain: edgy and modern, yet warm

It’s no surprise architects are opting for charcoal shades when it comes to stains, but in some cases clients are slow to catch up – at least until they see the final results.

When architect Robert Hutchison approached his clients in the Pacific Northwest with the proposal to stain the Western Red Cedar siding with an ebony shade, clients were concerned the dark stain wouldn’t blend into the forest, but Hutchison convinced them to trust his vision, and they were thrilled with the results.

“Clients are sometimes concerned that using a black stain will make their building stand out, but the opposite tends to happen,” explains Hutchison. “I finally convinced them to go for it. As soon as the first façade was completed, they immediately called me and left me a message saying, ‘Oh my gosh, the building almost disappears into the forest!’” Continue reading “Trend to watch: Ebony-stained cedar”

Easy DIY: How to build a modern outdoor cedar bench

WRC perfect for outdoor projects

Western Red Cedar is always the best choice for any outdoor project, and this stunning modern outdoor storage bench is no exception.
“Stable, lightweight and easy on the tools” is how expert builder Jim West of Westworks Construction describes nature’s most versatile wood, which he used to create this modern outdoor storage bench.
West guides viewers through a simple three-step process to easily build a highly functional and beautiful bench with a two-fold purpose. It serves as both a relaxing spot to sit and a place to store outdoor goods, such as sports equipment or gardening gear. Along with watching the video, download the free plans to build this cedar storage bench.

Continue reading “Easy DIY: How to build a modern outdoor cedar bench”

Trend to watch – Modern, knotty Western Red Cedar ceilings

Modern, knotty Western Red Cedar ceilings add organic warmth and texture to a home, delivering a sophisticated earthiness with architectural punch. Knotty Western Red Cedar is considered the rising star of cedar materials – it’s a versatile, sustainable, high-performance wood. And designers are noticing the natural appeal of knotty cedar, in particular when it comes to ceilings.

Continue reading “Trend to watch – Modern, knotty Western Red Cedar ceilings”

Project of the Week – 1200 Pennsylvania

Architect: Studio 804
Location: Lawrence, KS
Photo: Dan Rockhill

Low on carbon, high on style

Every year professor Dan Rockhill and his Masters of Architecture class at the University of Kansas produce an inventive, sustainable building. But in 2016 they took it to the next level with “1200 Pennsylvania” –  a modern, fully accessible and sustainable spec house that features an air-tight, insulated thermal envelope, efficient light fixtures and appliances, as well as a high-performance mechanical system.

“LEED Platinum is the highest level you can achieve, and the use of Western Red Cedar contributed tremendously to that,” explains Rockhill, who oversees Studio 804 at the university’s Department of Architecture. “The siding is low-maintenance, 100-year-old Western Red Cedar reclaimed from railroad bridge trestles that have been dismantled by the logging industry in the northwest part of the country.” Continue reading “Project of the Week – 1200 Pennsylvania”