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Tamas Matyek’s Sustainable Cabinetry Featured in “At Home with Adrian Grenier”

Tamas Matyek, Owner of Cabinet Maker NYC, discusses the importance of sustainable woodworking and why preservation of NYC’s historic brownstones is part of sustainability.

Tamas Matyek's cabinets featured by Adrian Grenier


Tamas Matyek, owner of Cabinet Maker NYC, was pleasantly surprised when Estelle Bailey-Babenzien owner of Dream Awake Inc., a full service Interior Architecture and Experiential Design studio, contacted him on social media about two years ago.

Dream Awake Inc. was working with Adrian Grenier on redesigning a Brooklyn brownstone and thought that Tamas’s work was a good fit for the project. 

The former Entourage-star-turned-environmental activist agreed.  Adrian was renovating a pre-war Brooklyn brownstone for his mother so that she could live closer to him and wanted Tamas to build custom cabinets for the kitchen and wet bar.

But there was a catch – Adrian and Estelle only wanted to partner with Tamas if their values aligned: Sustainable building practices were a must.

“I Only Build with FSC Certified Wood”

In Hungary, where Tamas was born and studied woodworking, classes in Forestry are required to become a professional woodworker. Sustainable forest management was a core part of the curriculum.

To Tamas sustainability wasn’t an optional practice or marketing tactic – it was the only practice he’d ever known.

Sustainable Kitchen Cabinets by Tamas Matyek

“To preserve the stewardship of the forest and harvest wood in a sustainable way is the only way. Replanting of the woods after harvesting is a crucial part of this. The trees must be old enough. Forest management follows and regulates how much wood you can cut each year. This is why I exclusively build with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood in my projects,” Tamas said.

While it was Tamas’s stunning custom cabinetry and woodwork that caught Adrian’s attention on Instagram — it was their mutual commitment to sustainable building that solidified the partnership.

Preservation of Historic NYC Buildings is Part of Sustainability

Cabinet Maker NYC Uses only FSC Certified Wood

“Preserving New York City’s heritage and architecture is also part of sustainability. The renovation of the home for Adrian’s mother included repurposing as much of what was already there as possible. For example, the wall beams were milled down and used as floorboards, and recycled denim was used for insulation in the walls,” Tamas said.

In his Instagram video titled “At Home With Adrian Grenier,” Adrian shares his vision for creating the perfect, sustainable home for his mother.


“This home was intended for my mother to live closer to me. But of course if we build a home for my mom it has to embody all of the values she instilled in me,” he said.

“Honoring the history is part of what sustainability is and so we wanted to be able to bring some of that history and keep it and preserve it – but also update it. I like to bring sustainability into whatever I do. So that brought in a community of artisans, makers, and people who were bringing more than just the craftsmanship but also their heart,” Adrian said.


“It was an honor to be a part of this sustainable renovation project and work with a talented team of other-likeminded artisans. I hope Adrian’s mother enjoys her new home,” Tamas said.


A big thank you to the team who made Adrian Grenier’s mom’s sustainable Brooklyn brownstone a reality:

Dream Awake Inc. 

West Elm

Higher Standard Interiors, Inc.


Powers ioT

Copper Smith


You Can View “At Home With Adrian Grenier” on Instagram


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A post shared by Cabinet Maker NYC (@cabinetmakernyc)




Custom Cabinets vs. Factory Made: The Advantages of Custom Cabinets

If you think of custom cabinets as an investment that will increase not only the aesthetics of your home, but its value as well, the choice becomes clear.  Like a Mercedes  to a Hyundai—custom cabinets may have a higher “sticker price” than factory made cabinets, but the quality is far superior, and they are built not only to last, but to impress.

Ordering and Design Process

When you order factory made cabinets, the process is simple. Open the company’s website or catalog, choose from the limited options available, click or call the 1-800 number, and place your order. If you are a renter in a temporary residence, this option may work best for you.

However, if you own your home, apartment, or brownstone, then investing in custom-made cabinetry has numerous benefits. First, it increases the market value of your home.  Second, you can have whatever you want—the design options are endless.  You choose the color, material and hardware options.

Cabinet Construction Material and Quality

Custom cabinets are made from more refined, more durable materials than pre-fabricated cabinets. At ProWood Inc., we use ¾ inch layered plywood for the cabinet boxes and formaldehyde free Medex while most factory produced cabinets are composed of  ½ inch particle board.  And, while factory made cabinets come unfinished or few choices of colors and finishes, we let you choose from a wide selection of colors and finishes. Your choices are limitless.


Guaranteed Professional Design, Fabrication, and Installation

When you order cabinets from a catalog you are on your own. But—when you invest in custom cabinets vs. factory made cabinets, installations are completed by the same professionals that designed your order. The service is personal and done right the first time.

High-End Kitchen Cabinets That Impress

Many companies claim to produce so-called “high-end” cabinets, but few actually deliver. So what exactly qualifies as “high-end”? ProWood Inc. has come up with a guide to define the elements of high-end kitchen cabinets.

Substance Over Form

Common department stores may claim to offer high-end kitchen cabinetry, but we think they spend more on advertising and marketing than on producing quality products. While these mass-produced kitchen cabinets may look pretty on the outside, they are not built to last. For starters, real high-end cabinets are never made from particle board and plastic. ProWood Inc.’s kitchen cabinets are built from the finest wood and most durable hardware. We guarantee that falling shelves will never be the cause of broken wine glasses or antique china plates.

Professionalism and Superior Craftsmanship

From inception to installation, we work closely with our clients to develop high-end kitchen cabinets that impress. Whether you want to add a pantry to your “man-cave”, or simply create a functional custom kitchen in your suburban family home, we build to fit your requirements.


The ProWood advantage starts with your first consultation. We take the time to get to know you and your preferences. Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where family meals and memories are made. So—showcase it. You choose every element of your custom cabinets from the shape and size, to the finish, style, and hardware—but we are always there to advise you. Whatever comes to mind—we can design!

Trust ProWood Inc. to create high-end kitchen cabinets that impress.

Quality Cabinets Installed Professionally

Quality Cabinets Installed Professionally vs. DIY

If you are considering giving your home a facelift, there are many reasons not to do it yourself. First of all, it is an expensive and time-consuming process—and unless you are an experienced woodworking professional there is so much that can go wrong! DIY cabinet installation could be the most costly mistake you’ll ever make—so whatever you do, don’t DIY.

The Advantages of Quality Cabinets Installed Professionally

Save time and get it done right the first time. High-quality cabinets can add value to your home, but only if they are fabricated and installed correctly.  With a professional installation, you’ll never run into the problem of missing parts or out of stock items. The work is done for you, to  your exact specifications.

When you order pre-fabricated cabinets, you either have to install them yourself, or pay someone else to do it. But, if you order custom made cabinets from ProWood Inc., you deal with the same company, from design to installation. We are invested in our work, and never leave our valued customers to fend for themselves.

Also, most factory made cabinets are built for standard suburban homes—but our experienced cabinet makers are experts and true artisans who know how to work within the space and structural limitations of New York City lofts, apartments, and brownstones.  No matter the size of your living space—we will make your vision a reality with our quality cabinets installed professionally.

ProWood Inc. provides fully customized solutions to meet your needs—all while staying within your budget. Our quality cabinets installed professionally add elegance and class to your home.

Superior Custom Wood Finishes

Custom wood finishes go beyond adding aesthetic appeal to your custom cabinetry—they also help protect it from wear and tear. While you want your custom cabinetry to look good—you also want it to last. There are a number of quality wood finishes on the market, but each varies in its ability to protect and maximize the durability of your woodwork.

On your consultation at the design process of the new custom cabinet, we can recommend finish options that will best fit your need. For example, a retired couple redoing their vacation home may only be concerned with the appearance of the wood finish—while a family with five young children should consider durable finish options.

ProWood Inc.’s Superior Wood Finishes

Polyurethane is the most durable finish and protects wood against stains, spills, and scrapes.  ProWood Inc. uses commercial grade polyurethane as our standard finish.  Many other wood shops use lacquer finishes, however they are not as durable and often fail to create the desired look and finish.

Polyurethane is also available in nearly any color and from matte to the gloss sheen finish.

Gloss finishes are ideal for woodwork you want to showcase, and brighten up a dark space. However, glossy finishes are unforgiving and will highlight imperfections and scratches. Out Italian origin polyester wood finishes providing the highest quality and highest gloss sheen. It’s available in any color.

Stain is often used to highlight high-quality woodwork and to give uniformed color to the specific wood of your choice. It is more expensive than paint, as it has more finishing steps involved, but the finish burble and gives rich colors to the wood. Set up your consultation whit us, and we can guide you to the right direction to chose the correct finishes.

Tips and Information about working with Custom Cabinet Makers

When you are trying to find the right cabinet on the market and nothing fits your needs, you might start thinking of getting a custom made cabinet. Here is some useful information for how to look at your custom cabinets from pricing, to design drawing and more. We hope that this information will guide you in what to look for in your selected custom cabinet maker.

Why custom vs. stock cabinets?

There are times you want certain detail, colors, finish or design to harmonize and work with your furniture, and wall colors. Custom cabinetry should give you a flexible ability to meet all your design needs. Custom cabinetry could fit your size constraints and could give you wide color, and wood species variation. Complicated designs and functional elements are not be a problem with custom cabinets.

Stock cabinetry limits your options, causing you to end up with a lot of unutilized spaces and limited functionality. With current real estate prices, you want to utilize all your space and make a custom cabinet to as big or as small as you need. The unique design of a new custom cabinet can make your place perfect.

Custom cabinetry made form premium material gives you a durable, long lasting product. Many people have encountered problems with leaning and broken doors, sagging shelves, and cabinet bottoms on mass-produced factory cabinets. This is due to the cheap and structurally weak material they use to build the cabinets. The particleboard has low structural strength and that’s why people experience problems with screws not holding up over the time of usage. To provide low cost, the hardware may seem to work well at first, but after a short time it breaks due to the low quality metal and weak design. A custom cabinet built form formaldehyde free ¾” or 1” plywood, Medex and Solid wood, combined with high quality hardware, warranties a long lasting product.

What can custom cabinetmakers build for your home?

The first thing that comes to mind might be custom kitchen. We provide that as well as other custom cabinets in your home such as custom media built ins, bookcases, vanities, custom office built in, custom closets and storage solutions, ac and radiator covers, wall paneling, custom bed frames and murphy beds. You can get all of this and more.

Ways to visualize your custom cabinetry project.

The custom cabinetmaker-using computer CAD program can draw a realistic, scaled version of the custom cabinet unit. These design drawings can be 3D or 2D. The 3D version can even be of photorealistic rendering, which gives you a realistic feel and visualization of how the custom cabinet you order will look like. This includes the wood and the color as well. The 2D drawings are mostly technical drawings, consisting of plans, elevation, sections which show every little detail, hardware, hardware locations, profiles and detailed dimensions. These technical drawings ensure your appliances, audio and video equipment, or anything you plan to store will fit perfectly in the custom cabinetry you order. During the design process, before finalizing these drawings, you will be able to adjust and make changes that you desire. This flexibility will ensure that you will enjoy the finished custom cabinet you ordered.

What about pricing? How much would my project cost?

The custom cabinetry project can be priced as a linear footage base. This could run between $300-$2000 per linear foot depending on cabinet construction, selected wood type and species, selected custom finish, and hardware options. Providing a ball park figure for a custom cabinet project while preplanning can leave you with surprises. Once you get closer to finalizing the details, the actual cost can be significantly different. I can relate this to when you’re selecting your new car. The base model is at a set price, but when you start adding on options and functionality, the price can double. But you have the way to set everything the way it fits your desire and your budget. The same is true with the custom cabinetry. You can set the options just perfect to fit your needs and budget.

How to select the custom cabinetmaker for your project?

When you plan to hire a woodworking professional to work in your home, do some homework. Meet with the owner or professional; ask questions about the process of the design, fabrication and installation. Have you questions ready regarding your needs and design vision, and see if you can communicate well with the professional. Don’t forget he is going to be the one you need to communicate changes and concerns with throughout the design and installation process. Almost all construction projects have some difficulties and bumps in the process; ask about how the professional and company handle the hiccups. Prompt and honest communication is key in the process. Ask for explanations of different cost ranges, material and hardware options available for your specific needs. A real professional has nothing to hide about potential cost. Ask to connect with previous clients for referrals and read reviews you can find about the company you’re planning to hire.

When you hire a custom cabinetmaker, you are paying for more than just better material finishes and design, you are getting personalized service. I like what Warren Buffet said: “honesty is an expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.”

How you know the professional cabinetmaker is well qualified?

Ask your potential cabinet makers about their design and trade qualifications, what schools or programs they have completed, and what association the company is a member of.

AWI is the Architectural Woodworking Institute, which is governs the American premium woodworking stands. CMA is a Cabinet Makers Association, this institution provides continuous education for members to stay current with modern technology and manufacturing in the industry.

Look for their years of experience in the industry and how long the company has been established for. Try to get a feel for if the professional you are planning to hire is passionate about their work and try to schedule a shop visit to see where the fabrication is happening.

I hope I was able to provide you with useful information about what to look for in your custom cabinet maker. Please feel free to contact Prowood Inc, the Cabinet Maker NYC.com for more information. We are dedicated to provide you with exceptional custom cabinetry service. Fill out our estimate form, and we will contact you. Please see our how to start your project page for information on guidance what we need to estimate your project.