"This is possibly the nicest house I've been in," says John Yarema of Yarema Inc. Considering his typical clientele—the world's rich and famous, with wood flooring price tags that commonly reach more than half a million dollars for a single job—that's saying something.
Although these days the majority of Yarema's work is in New York City, this home was right in Yarema's backyard, in Michigan. The home's owner, a famous attorney with multiple homes, has been a client of Yarema's for 15 years, but he was not thrilled with Yarema's reaction when he said he wanted to rip out the carpeting in his son's room and have Yarema install a fanned plank floor. "I said I'm not interested in doing something like that," Yarema recalls, adding that any number of local contractors could have installed that floor. "I said, 'Here's the design I'll do, and that's the only design I'm doing in that room.'"
The client acquiesced, and although Yarema typically eschews laser work these days, he chose that route for creating this floor. "This is exactly what a laser is good for—repeatable parts that are perfect," he explains. "There are 40 rows, but each row has the same piece." The engineered fishtail parquet, fashioned from French oak offcuts from a previous job, grows from pieces that are 3.5 inches across to 17 inches across closest to the wall. It was then hand-scraped, dyed dark to match the woodwork, and oiled on site.
This marks the fourth room Yarema has installed in the home, which he says is like a "little castle" with curved stone walls on a 200-foot radius. His next job for this client could take him to the Caribbean, or the Southwest, or be right back here in his backyard. At this point in his career, one thing is certain: Yarema will do it on his terms, or he won't do it at all.
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