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