SEATTLE — A South Seattle woodworking company creates some of the most luxurious bathtubs in the world, retailing for the cost of a new Lexus.
"I can't afford one right now,” laughed Nathie Katzoff, founder and CEO of NK Woodworking. “But I have been in them before. They're handmade pieces of art, essentially, that are functional. It has the appearance and the insulation factor of wood but it's functioning as a composite bath."
The company is also known for handmade curved staircases, which require hundreds and oftentimes thousands of hours of work. Some designs sell for more than seven figures.
For Katzoff, it’s all an extension of the trade he learned as a teenager: wooden boat building.
“It is one of those skill sets where if you can build a boat, you can build anything,” he said.
He founded NK Woodworking in his mid-20's almost accidentally, as a way to do custom jobs.
One project leads to another, and now he oversees 25 of the best woodworkers in the country.
While NK Woodworking designs are out of reach for most consumers, Katzoff believes true art doesn't need to be owned.
"I don't have to own the Mona Lisa to appreciate it and I don't have to own my bathtubs or a sculptural stairway to appreciate that it exists,” he said. "I like going to museums, I like seeing photos of work, I like knowing that cool work and interesting pieces exist out there because it inspires me to either create or just to feel appreciative of what humans can do."
NK Woodworking and Design is open Monday through Friday and visits to the showroom are by appointment only. They can be reached by phone or email.