Highlands Reserve Featured in Our State Magazine

At the pinnacle of 4,500 ft in Southern Appalachia, you will find an “island in the sky” with diverse plant communities, rare species, and a bark lodge from which every journey in this magical land begins.  The stewards of this incredible property are Robert and Betty Balentine.  They have expanded this reserve to 120-acres with … Continued

Virginia Tech University Invites Nature Inside with Wood Wall Paneling Design

Bark House Live Edge wood slabs create wall in Turner Place dining facility
When Virginia Tech University constructed Lavery Hall, a giant stone‑and‑glass building that houses the campus’s world‑class dining facility, the project managers searched diligently for natural building materials that would help them achieve a LEED Silver green building certification. In Pursuit of Sustainable Wood Wall Paneling  David Chinn, Capital Project Manager at VT, decided on a … Continued

4 Extraordinary Ways to Use Trees in Architecture

4 Extraordinary Ways to Use Trees in Architecture
Though architecture inspired by nature is nothing new, modern architects constantly seek new and exciting iterations of biophilic design. Now more than ever, bridging the gap between the great outdoors and indoors includes regenerative, or even living, natural building materials. Striking feats of biophilic architecture connect people to nature through one of the Earth’s most enduring displays of life: … Continued

5 Reasons to Incorporate Natural Building Materials in Luxury Design

Eco friendly white birch wall panels on ceiling in dining room in Linville, NC
Seamlessly blurring the line between inside and outside spaces has been a longstanding hallmark of luxury architecture. But it’s time to think beyond glass doors and floor‑to‑ceiling windows that invite the sunlight in. Even glass walls create boundaries between the house and nature, separating the two environments. Invoking a sense of nature need not require overwrought design. It … Continued

The Legacy of Bark Shingle Style Architecture

Natural Bark Tiles Architectural Digest P Lamb Bark House
If you’re ever looking to evoke the quiet, rich voice of the deep woods with your luxury architecture project, look no further than North Carolina. Nothing is more suited to the task than shingle style architecture, a unique aesthetic that celebrates the deep local natural and cultural heritage. The Basics of Bark Shingle Style Architecture … Continued

The Benefits of Wood Wall Finishes

The Benefits of Wood Wall Finishes
From visual and auditory aesthetics to its many, many green qualities, wood offers countless architecture and design benefits. Certainly, nothing beats the presence and force of nature’s beauty on the walls of a living or working space. Shall we count the ways? 1. A Color for Every Occasion Rich wood hues, whether in dark or … Continued

How to Choose Split Rail Fence Materials for Sustainable Architecture & Design

The traditional art of the split rain fence is not lost. Here's how to choose split rail fence materials that honor the past while regenerating the future.
Picture an idyllic pastoral farm or historic battlefield outlined by a time-worn rustic fence. It’s a design element that pays tribute to our American heritage, celebrating and remembering the painstaking labor that once went into the traditional art of split rail fencing. Appreciating one of these historic fences is one thing, but incorporating one into … Continued