Q&A with Matt of Matt Moore Designs
We caught up with Matt of Matt Moore Designs, a Florida based company that specializes in quality finish cabinetry, furniture and custom pieces. Matt has worked on everything from residential remodels to new construction and everything in between. He is here today to give some professional insight on the woodworking industry as whole, current trends, and tips for those just starting out.
Doug Mockett: Where did you get your start in woodworking and what drew you to it?
Matt Moore: From a young age I was surrounded by construction and woodworking. My parents have owned and operated a custom home building company in North East Florida for over 30 years. My first attempts at woodworking consisted of taking my father's scrap materials and tools and using them to build skateboard ramps. Throughout high school and into college my first passion grew into my first job. From being dropped off at job sites to sweep before I could drive, to aiding in installation of cabinetry and wood flooring as I grew older, I always had the drive to create things with my hands. Regardless of the task at hand, I always had the motivation and personal drive to hone my skills and be better. Throughout the daily monotony of building homes I realized that I found more joy the more complicated and custom the project was. Due to my attention to detail, my drive for precision, and need to always refine my processes custom cabinetry became my niche. While getting a graphic design degree in college, I became the sole cabinet installer for not only my father's company but for other builders alike. I have always attributed my precision to my construction background and my ability to think about projects creatively on my art background. One of my favorite quotes from Pablo Picasso states “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
DM: What current trends are you most excited about in woodworking?
MM: Immersed in street art and urban architecture while growing up skateboarding, I developed a passion for loft style modern industrial design. I believe metals and woods, especially in their raw forms, create a beautiful juxtaposition which adds an element of exposure to materials and craftsmanship alike. Even the worst craftsman or material can be covered with a polished paint job, but with natural finishes there is absolutely no room to hide. Oiled finishes on wooden products are a trend that we have been investing in recently. Whether it is wooden countertops, cabinetry, or furniture an oiled finish allows the natural beauty of the wood to show through while still adding the level of protection needed for longevity of the pieces. No matter the design style an oiled finish provides a natural enhancement of the products that surround us on a daily basis.
DM: When you compare the latest trends and best practices with what you’ve seen over the years, where do you see the industry going next?
MM: When looking back at the latest trends of woodworking I believe there is a proverbial line being drawn in the sand. On one side of the line is a small group of craftsmen that strive to produce the best products, processes, and experience that is physically possible. Unfortunately, on the other side of the line is a massive amount of people that are looking for the quickest, cheapest way to get onto the next job. From a young age I have held myself to the standard of “be better than you were yesterday”. I take great pride in every piece that I produce, as well as the relationships with clients that I build these pieces for. I would love to see the industry make a massive sway towards putting an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship, but I feel there is quite some time until that transition can fully happen, if ever. For myself, I will continue to pursue growth of my quality and processes, and hope that through sharing my progress I can inspire those around me.
DM: What tips do you have for someone who is just getting their start in the trade?
MM: More often than not, getting into a trade will be an intimidating process surrounded by older, more experienced associates. The way I have gained knowledge is not by asking how someone does a particular task, but rather why they are doing it. Not all answers will be the same, and neither will the individual techniques. I have always believed that there is a better, faster, smarter way to do something and have pushed myself to always adapt and move forward. You should constantly push yourself outside of your comfort zone because you will be surprised how far you can go. Growth in the trades is about learning a foundation and having an open mind to growing and expanding your knowledge of a particular task.
DM: How do you see Mockett’s architectural hardware fitting in with the latest trends, and what’s one piece of hardware that is not readily available to you that you really wish you could get your hands on?
MM: I believe Mockett is a company that will continuously grow with the latest trends because they, like the trades, are continuously evolving. Mockett is a company that listens to those around them by doing things like the annual design competition and regularly asking for customer input. In addition to their ever growing designs, their customer service is second to none. As a small business owner I am often judged on the relationships I make with my clients and can win or lose a job due to the quality of that relationship. I believe that the relationship between my company and the suppliers I use should be just as important as those I have with my clients, and have made the decisions to use or not use a supplier due to that.
It truly is difficult to think of a product that Mockett does not have a solution for. In our countertops and cabinetry we have used the PCS75/SQ very frequently. Their ease of installation and small profile make it super easy to install in small discrete areas. The only downfall however is a fixed length cord. I would love to have access to a fixture similar to it that can either be hard wired or have options for longer power whips. As a company, we have always had the dedication to superior quality, and have invested fully into providing that quality to our clients. We knew the moment we first used a Mockett product that it fell directly in line with our standards of quality! We will continue to encourage our clients to use Mockett products whenever we can!
Find more of Matt's projects at MattMooreDesigns.com or on Instagram @mattmooredesigns
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