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From West Coast minimalism to New England modernism, these biophilic homes prove that when it comes great rooms with dramatic ceilings, natural building materials are always the best way to make a statement. 

Bright & Beautiful 

Long Porch Camp by Centerbrook 
Location: Southern New England 
Photo by Peter Aaron

This barn-style home is an excellent example of biophilic design. The great room feels bright and airy thanks to the large windows and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Meanwhile, the vaulted ceiling that features a beautiful knotty grade of Real Cedar, instantly and seamlessly connects occupants to the surrounding landscape. 

The honey-hued paneling also serves as the perfect balance to the dark, monochromatic contemporary furniture. So it’s warm and cozy in the winter and light and spacious in the summer. We’re also loving how the cedar ceiling complements the heavy timber framing, creating visual interest inside and harmonizing with tree-covered areas outside.

Dark & Minimal 

Castle Rock by Klopf Architecture
Sea Ranch, California
Photo: Mariko Reed

To make an architectural connection to the dark forest on this lot, the homeowners here opted for black stained Real Cedar siding. But they didn’t stop there. In a bold design move, they brought their dark stained Real Cedar inside the living room. The result is a striking, yet elegant, black cedar ceiling that ties in with the window frames and leather seats and contrasts beautifully with the white walls and bright yellow dining chairs. 

One of the reasons this daring feature works so well is that Western Red Cedar is pitch and resin free, which means it accepts and holds a wide range of finishes exceptionally well. In fact, few building materials give architects so many options when it comes to finishes. 

Rich & Radiant

[Bracketed Space] House by Matt Fajkus Architecture 
Location: Austin, Texas
Photo: Charles Davis Smith

With clean white white lines and muted furnishings, this award-wining design is really about letting the warm chocolatey, tonal range of the cedar ceiling take center stage. And by drawing the eye up, it really emphasizes how all the elements of this open space work together in a cohesive, yet visually dynamic, way.

Additionally, the continuous ceiling/soffit system also provides an immediate connection to the outdoors. Which is fitting because not only is Real Cedar a great design choice for any style of decor; it’s actually a green choice. That’s because natural building materials, such as cedar, actually absorb and store carbon. Plus, bringing elements of nature, e.g. cedar, has been scientifically proven to enhance the well-being of occupants.