MH+D Inside Out: WoodLab’s Joe Seremeth on the Importance of Quality Work

After framing houses in Colorado for a few years, Joe Seremeth found a passion for woodworking and clean craftsmanship. Now the owner of WoodLab, a Maine-based design/build company, Seremeth talks to Maine Home+Design about the importance of quality work.

Q. What inspires you?

A. I’m really inspired by good design, like a Hans Wegner chair. I’m always looking at furniture and thinking about how I would improve it. If I’m working on a dining room or bedside table, I’m thinking about its aesthetic and how I might change the materials or proportions to make something new.

Q. What’s your dream project?

A. I’ve been thinking lately about a home or compound completely designed and handcrafted by WoodLab. If I had all the money in the world, it would be cool to buy a property and transform it into something that I dream up.

Q. Could you describe your creative process?

A. A lot of what we do is driven by necessity. An architect will provide a design, and I will take that idea and determine the best construction methods, proportions, and details. Often I end up drawing from what I’ve done before. If I found a detail that’s already worked, I can use it again, or I’ll tweak it to suit the situation a little better.

Q. How do you know if a client is a good fit for WoodLab?

A. We pride ourselves on fine craftsmanship, good design, and attention to detail. If you’re looking for quick and dirty, something from a big box store is likely a better fit.

Q. What attracted you to this line of work?

A. I’ve always loved woodworking. My dad is a woodworker, so it’s in my blood. I got to pursue my passion at College of the Redwoods in Northern California. As my business has grown, I don’t have my hands in it as much as I used to, but I still love the aesthetics of something that’s designed well and handmade.

Q. What has made your business successful?

A. The one thing that’s kept us in business is the caliber of our work. Although I’ve never been the fastest or the cheapest, the work is always high quality.

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