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Cabinet Making from the Heart

Elegance Custom Cabinetry Strives for Perfection

Article by Courtney Reed

Photography by Lucy Hawthorne & Elegance Custom Cabinetry

Originally published in Edina Lifestyle

Imagine moving from your homeland to a new country. You don’t know many people, and you don’t speak the language. The future is totally unpredictable. All you have is a craft and a dream, and the will-power to build a new life.

That is how Dmitry Ivanovs started his journey when he moved from Latvia to the United States. Raised by his grandparents and bringing with him what he calls “old school standards,” which include values like transparency, honesty, and hard work. Dmitry carried these skills, principals, and his passion for cabinet making to Minnesota. “It was always my dream to own my own shop,” says Dmitry. And, after perfecting his skills by working for and with other cabinet makers, he finally felt ready to branch out on his own. He started Elegance Custom Cabinetry in 2008, and today, they are one of the premier cabinet making companies in the Twin Cities.  

The goal, says Dmitry, “was to make a difference through my product and artistry.” The detail and originality in his designs are truly unique, and can be seen in his meticulous process from start to finish.  The Elegance Custom Cabinetry team finds inspiration globally, for example, from countries like Great Britain, where cabinetry design is oftentimes cutting edge. But, many of the ideas stem from Dmitry’s vision, artistry, and passion for cabinet making. A portion of the process is still done by hand, but the precision, perfection and a lot of the grain matching is achieved with Dmitry’s commitment to investing in high end, digital equipment. The computerized technology in the machinery not only improves efficiency, but also ensures that cuts, molding, inlays, painting and priming is done without flaws. His team prefers to work with exotic woods like Mahogany, Walnut, Rose Wood and White Oak Burl. In the shop, Dmitry is quick to point out his various pieces of equipment which he says, “allows them to stay one step ahead” in the industry. Dmitry laughs when he says, “Some people tell me it’s overkill, but it’s all about the quality.”

In addition to state-of-the-art equipment, Elegance Custom Cabinetry provides top of the line products and hard to source exotic wood, veneer, Italian primer, high quality stains, and paints that feel like velvet. Creativity is constantly at the core, and Dmitry likes to mix materials introducing chevron-patterned Walnut with a brass inlay, or Ebony and Sycamore combinations that really bring out the clarity and beauty of the wood. Elegance Custom Cabinetry can produce any type of style, from contemporary to traditional, but Dmitry loves the more modern design. He mentions that “Euro style” is a very popular way to maximize smaller areas because the cabinetry is frameless and takes up less space. Another current trend is a “yacht finish” or what Dmitry refers to as a “Rolls Royce finish,” which is very smooth, polished and flawless. From custom kitchen cabinetry, to bath cabinets, bars, bookcases and mudrooms, Elegance Custom Cabinetry has completed a variety of unique projects for hundreds of customers.  

To say Dmitry is a perfectionist is an understatement. Striving for perfection he says, “just shapes people and makes them better.” He chooses his projects carefully, taking time to pour his passion into his craft, while turning it into pure art. Ultimately, the customer and their vision comes first, but Dmitry definitely recalls his favorites. “There is always one project every year,” says Dmitry, where he is pushed to be better than before. But, each and every job is always treated as if it is being finished for his own home.

Beyond the hard work in the shop and on the job site, Dmitry makes time for industry trade shows, continuing education, and networking with other cabinet makers across the globe so he can make sure Elegance Custom Cabinetry stays at the top of their game.

At the heart of it all, is a true love for what he does. It circles back to his youth, hard work, and striving to do better every day. Confident in what he has accomplished, yet still humble, Dmitry reflects and simply states, “I am not a business man, I am a cabinet maker.”

For more on Elegance Custom Cabinetry, visit or call (612) 607-9248. Instagram @elegancecustomcabinetry.