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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.

Slattery Residence by Alter Urban Design Collaborative is a fully accessible, energy-generating, digitally operated rehab home (seen above). After an accident left their teenage son unable to walk, the Slatterys needed a new home to accommodate their new reality. The unique and smartly designed home was featured in our most recent Cedar Book, which highlights exceptional architecture featuring Western Red Cedar.

“The knotty grade of cedar brought additional texture to the palette,” Urban Design principal John Sage explained in Cedar Book 9, adding, “it grows with character as its grain, color variation and subtle irregularity express an earthy authenticity unachievable with composite or synthetic products.”

Beautifully toned knotty cedar is particularly chic in this gorgeous cedar-rich project by Jørgensen Design in California. Known as the House Set on the Valley Floor, it was developed by Jørgensen Design for a retired couple. The open-concept living space includes the cedar ceiling, which extends outside.

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Michael Wenrich Architect and builder e2 Homes installed a knotty Western Red Cedar ceiling in this wood-rich project that illustrates how to make wood-on-wood work seamlessly. This is a sophisticated example of real cedar’s rich, durable beauty and the true quality that natural materials convey. The feel of real wood is integral to creating elegant design.

The good news is, whether it’s clear or knotty, Western Red Cedar used indoors for paneling, posts, beams and joinery requires less protection than exterior siding. The exception to this general rule is when the Western Red Cedar may be subjected to high moisture levels, for example, in bathrooms. In such situations, finishes should be formulated for these applications and have good resistance to moisture, and always ensure that the coating is recommended for interior use.