Functional Minimalism

Joe Seremeth of WoodLab brings an architect’s vision to life without sacrificing functionality or style

“With this one, it’s beautiful. It’s a really nice bathroom. Clearly the approach was minimalist, and you certainly get a sense of serenity here. It’s a very peaceful, beautiful place to relax. The design is from a well-known local architect, Carol Wilson. The whole thing is straight from her drawing. I do a lot of my own design work, but many of the things we build come from architects and designers. A lot of times we get drawings and will flesh out the ideas so they’re functional. Designs often come through to us, and I have to make them work. The architect drew this, and we helped bring it to life.

“Although I’m proud of this work, and we’re always very happy to take part in these beautiful projects, this photograph showcases some of the less complicated work we do. In this particular bathroom, there are actually two other very attractive flush teak cabinets. To the left of the sinks is a three-door veneered credenza with continuous grain.

“These specific shelves are made of teak, as is the ceiling. They’re seemingly floating with no support, but there are hidden brackets secured to the framing in the wall. That’s how they’re able to support the two sinks. The ceiling is actually built in a panelized shiplap system we created. In order to achieve the seamless look that was desired, every four slats are mounted to a piece of half-inch ply, which acts as a backer and creates a tongue for the next slat panel to lap onto.

“The architect was very specific about the coloring of the teak and wanted it to be very uniform. But when you’re talking about a natural material, there is always going to be variation. Different pieces of teak come from different trees. When you get teak in the rough and you open it, it’s every color of the rainbow. It’s green, it’s purple, and it’s orange. At first there was some concern, but experience tells me that you have to wait. When it’s exposed to sunlight over time, that’s when the well-known brown color of teak comes out. It was winter, but I took every chance to bring it out into the sun while we had it.”

—Joe Seremeth, owner of WoodLab

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