In The Days of Our Lives, we meet some fascinating and creative folk and take a look at what their typical day holds. Far from being about the mundane, it is a celebration of what it takes to juggle the day-to-day with big ideas, a successful business and a full home life. It’s about keeping all the balls in the air – what is important and what isn’t. It’s about (extra)ordinary moments that fill our every day.
This week, I’d like to introduce you to Oliver MacLatchy, a carpenter, builder, tinkerer and creative force behind Wood Melbourne.
Over the past 18 years, Oliver has worked in carpentry focussing on boutique residences in inner Melbourne. During this time, he has created unique solutions to the challenges of building in small spaces. There were also lots of variations on timber shelves, unusual shaped cupboards and timber trims and features in unexpected places. This led Oliver to launch Wood Melbourne, a range of handcrafted timber bathroom products, in April this year.
Let’s take a peek at a day in Oliver’s life…
Oliver MacLatchy, Wood Melbourne
Wake-up. After so many years working in construction, I wake up early every day. I’m usually up before 6.00 and this is my quiet start to the day. I have an Earl Grey tea first thing each day – my parents are English so I guess that’s come from them. I cook myself breakfast, read the news online, check my emails and orders, finalise my to do list for the day, listen to RRR on the radio and make myself coffee – I’m quite particular about how I like my coffee, like everyone is these days I suppose! I try and clean the kitchen in the mornings too, as I’m always too tired to do it at night. I’m definitely a morning person. I guess between the radio, the coffee grinder and the espresso machine, it’s probably not that quiet a time after all.
Start work: I generally start work by 7.00. I’m either at my workshop or working on site somewhere around Melbourne.
I love having my own workshop, it’s such a satisfying feeling having everything set up and ready to go and being able to keep longer projects or designs on the go day by day.
When I get in, I set up for the day’s tasks and do a mini-stocktake for the day – I try to only go out to get supplies once in the day, so I’ll get a list together.
I start off my work with any time consuming tasks, things like wax-oil coats that take a several hours to dry.
Smoko! I’m not a smoker but I’m attuned to a morning break around this time. Nowadays I like to have something to eat and check Instagram – I’m addicted to it! If I have to go an pick up materials, I’ll do that around this time – lull in the traffic!
10.00 am – 3.00 pm
More working! I usually check emails or messages three times a day – when I’m working hands-on I like to get into the swing of things without interruption so I try and set out my ‘office’ type work breaks. It’s pretty easy to do that with smartphones isn’t it?
If I have customised pieces to make, I get the essential parts done on these then liaise with the client on features. I love being able to make things that people want but haven’t otherwise found. If I have any deliveries to make, I try to tie that in with picking the kids up from school. If I’m delivering bigger items, I like to give myself more time to install them properly and usually do this earlier in the day – I’m better in the morning!
Meetings: I have a few these, these days. I’ll often have one or two a day, meeting with clients on custom-made items, checking out timbers, all kinds of things.
Hometime: I’ve tried to bring a bit of work/life balance into my life but as I love my work it does tend to be something I’m always doing! When I get home, I try to debrief myself (not sure if that even makes sense), reply to emails, make calls and figure out what I need to do the next day!
I like to clear my mind outside and I go and tend to my aquaponics garden. I have goldfish in the water and a few different veggies up top: spinach, chillies, alpine strawberries, leeks, lettuces, roquette and beans at the moment. It’s nice and relaxing out there.
I’m usually in desperate need of shower by this stage! Sweaty work in the workshop!
I am a big fan of dinner and am easily persuaded into dessert as well.
My daughter likes me to read the bedtime story; my son’s too old for that, he’s more at the watching Mythbusters age.
I usually find an excuse to look for something on ebay…or somewhere else on the internet. I like to sit on the couch with my macbook and go on the internet – I admit it.
I read in bed! I’m about to finish The Pursuit of Happiness – it’s been quite enjoyable.
I wake up thinking of things I need to do tomorrow!
You can visit the Wood Melbourne Showroom at 146 Melville Rd, West Brunswick (VIC) on Saturdays between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm or by appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org // You can also follow Wood Melbourne on Pinterest and Instagram.