Michael Uhthoff’s integrity makes giving a recommendation for his work easy. If you have a dream for your home, Michael Uhthoff is the craftsmen to make it happen. We found him to be affordable, true to his word on estimates and on scheduling the jobs. We have used his services for three projects.
Not only has Michael’s artistic zeal and professionalism made the five months of renovations bearable, his unique creations have made our visions appear before our eyes.
When we purchased our home, we had two areas that needed to be addressed: the front of the house, which lacked curb appeal, and our dining room that was dark and way too small.
In the first project, Michael created a gable and a porch on the front of our house that transformed it (the worst on the block) into a showpiece.
In the second project, Michael created an extension to our dining room, using the original footprint (which saved us a lot of money), to give us a functional dining room. The room now has French doors, infusing it with natural light and a view of the garden.
The third project was a total bonus project for us. Using his design and engineering skills, Michael created a unique outdoor deck space, fully suited to our needs. It is accessible for those with limited physical function, it will accommodate our large family yet comfy enough for just the two of us in the morning, and is aesthetically way above our grandest hopes and dreams. Well done Michael!
Michael’s superior design talents, coupled with his skill as a woodworker, and capped off with his very high sense of integrity have made these projects a joy to live through.
We most heartily recommend him for your renovation and unique furnishings dreams.
“I am delighted to write this testimonial for Michael Uhthoff.
Lorenzo de' Medici of Florence was an enthusiastic Renaissance patron of artists, poets, scholars and artisans. What must his life have been like, surrounded by the likes of Michelangelo, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci? Over the past 14 years, on a modest scale, we have had a de' Medici experience.
The first work Michael did for us was more journeyman in nature, making livable a house we had purchased in Victoria when we moved from Vancouver. Michael removed a wall here, fashioned fencing there, expanded a closet somewhere else.
We soon learned that Michael's talents went way beyond the carpentry we had asked of him. His forte lay in the design and construction of fine woodworking. Michael comes by his talents honestly for his grandmother, Ina Uhthoff, was a leading Vancouver Island painter. Add into the mix three years of training with an Italian master craftsmen and you have the foundation for a remarkable skill set. As Michael built more projects for us, we came to realize that he is not just an artisan but truly an artist.
Michael has created more than 20 projects for us (hence the comparison to de' Medici patronage!) ranging from simple carpentry to complex bespoke built-in and stand alone cabinetry. The latter range from a beautiful African bloodwood front door to our house to a stunning cedar gazebo in our back garden. All the projects, no matter how simple, share the hallmarks of Michael's talent - design, proportionality and craftsmanship.
Like many great artists, Michael is humble about his work, revelling in the process but modest about the result. Ask him what sets him apart and he will tell you 'curves'. His ability to work with wood in the round is a unique talent which is displayed in many of our lovely pieces.
Therefore, we believe he is in a class of his own. There is no competition on Vancouver Island for the expertise Michael possesses.
Close study of Michael's designs reveals incorporation of what the ancient Greeks discovered in that the human torso is most pleasingly represented if the artist adheres to a proportionality rule of one to the square root of two. That simple formula is ubiquitous in the natural world. It underpins our concept of beauty, not only in the human form. That explains why Michael’s designs are pleasing to the eye, giving a sense of balance and harmony.
Michael has learned after years of working with clients on challenging projects that his best designs are collaborative. He is one of the few designers I have worked with over some 50 years who can combine input from a client with his own concepts for a project and create something that is greater than the sum of the two parts. Several of our more complex projects incorporate our vision into Michael's realization.
He loves his work. His passion defines outcomes. You can see the soul in his work. In our society many are defined by what they do, not who they are. Michael, however, has found the perfect blend between those separate states, producing superior results.
I have no hesitation commending Michael for any project where you seek the highest standard of excellence. We are certain you will derive as much pleasure as we have in working with Michael and acquiring the types of eloquent pieces that grace our home.”
“There is a special pleasure in participating in the production of a beautifully designed and well-crafted piece of furniture or cabinetry. Capturing that feeling is what Michael Uhthoff is all about, both for himself and his clients. In our experience, it starts with the initial consultation where Michael is always ready to provide options and alternatives to achieve a project’s objectives. He shows the same interest and enthusiasm no matter how modest the project.
In our case, we have worked with Michael on six projects over a 10-year period. Some were relatively modest like a bathroom vanity, a window seat, and a fireplace surround. Others like a china cabinet, a suspended dining room buffet, and a library were more substantial and complex. Although these projects varied considerably in the challenges they represented, Michael gave the same care and attention to each.
Importantly, each of these projects was completed within budget. Key to this is Michael’s willingness to discuss a client’s budgetary constraints and how these can be met while meeting expectations for a workable and aesthetically pleasing finished product.
Michael is clearly a highly accomplished and proficient craftsman; his work attests to that, but in our minds he offers something more. He invests himself in every project he undertakes, whether large or small. It has always been our impression that the first person that has to be satisfied with his work is Michael himself. This means that projects always meet expectations and sometimes offer more when Michael provides further detail and refinement to a piece of work.
We have no projects on the books right now, but when we do, the first and only person we will call will be Michael.”
“Michael Uhthoff has proven himself in his capacity as a creative artist. The intricacies of a fine piece of furniture or a house’s design is enhanced by his ideas and suggestions.
With every endeavour Michael has taken on, it has been done with a fine eye to detail and he often goes the “extra mile” to ensure that the customer is fully satisfied and he works hard to ensure the approval and gratification for all.
Not only have I enjoyed his friendly demeanour, but his professionalism has been an asset I have appreciated in all the projects I have had him work on for me.
I deal with a lot of tradespeople and I chose Michael for the woodworking projects in my own home (vanity, kitchen, etc.) because he is hands-down the absolute best that I have worked with. I do not hesitate to recommend Michael for any project that needs the meticulous effort in creating a product of excellence.”