The Wall Street Journal provides a welcome break from coronavirus-related stories with this profile of G. Michael Merritt and his company, Merritt Woodwork in Mentor, which creates “precise millwork for stately home libraries, expansive closets, custom kitchens, staircases and open living areas” in properties worldwide.
Merritt’s rooms feature “hand-carved elements, movable paneling and restore antique decorative features, often using hard-to-find woods,” the Journal says.
“Wood brings a natural aspect by bringing the outside in,” Merritt tells the newspaper, adding that the right wood can create what he calls “a crisper interior” for a tailored, modern look.
As you might have guessed, this is pretty exclusive work. The Journal says Merritt “is one of the largest companies working on high-end construction” and that its custom work for a large single-family home “can range from $5 million to $15 million — a fraction of the overall construction budget for a typical client.”
Construction projects can last two to three years, with the workers usually completing one project at a time, according to the article. For one recent project, a $300,000 kitchen, Merritt’s artisans “had to integrate bleached elm kitchen cabinets with various ceiling elements, matching everything to the millimeter,” the Journal says. A current residential library project in an East Coast home that includes carving ornate Louis XV-style screens, will require about 5,000 working hours.