Senior Designer Q&A

Justin Goodman - Senior Design at Abbey Design and Remodel
We get many questions about our design process and what to expect from working with us. We understand that remodeling your home can be a huge undertaking, and choosing the right materials and color schemes can be daunting. We sat down with our Senior Designer, Justin Goodman, to answer some of our most frequently asked design questions! 

What is your background and how long have you been working with Abbey?

I was studying Management Information Systems at Virginia Tech when I realized I was more interested in design and architecture. In 2003, I started my career in kitchen design at Lowe’s of Alexandria. I worked there for two years until I determined that the more customized, personal approach in the private sector of the industry was a better fit for me. I joined Abbey Design + Remodel in 2013 and the rest is history! 

How do you guide clients in the product selection process? 

Prior to the product selection meeting we ask the client to provide us with any inspirational photos and material lists that they have seen and want us to utilize in their plans. These images usually come from Pinterest boards, magazine clippings, and/or photos of friends’ homes. 

We then create a layout and provide a specification book based on the client’s wishes. During the product selection meeting we discuss the options and why specific products and styles have been chosen for that particular client. Some clients know exactly what they want, which is great, but others come in with less sense of what they are looking for. In those cases, we gather as much information about the client as possible in order to curate everything from the color palette to the choice of materials to suit their lifestyle and overall aesthetic.

How would you define the “Abbey aesthetic”?

The Abbey design aesthetic is transitional that leans more towards traditional. Most of our projects are designed with the current market trends in mind due to the transient nature of people in this area. In general, I like to ask our clients how long they plan on staying in their homes. If they say 3-5 years, I suggest being safe with their color/texture selections as you don’t want to turn off any potential buyers with your choices. If they say 10 years or more, we have more freedom to make more unique and personalized choices. 

To you, what constitutes “good design”? What are some of your favorite elements of design? 

To me a good design is one that is functional and meets the workflow of the client.

I tend to design for function first as decorative elements can always be added to a design later. Good storage is one of those design elements that often gets overlooked, but is very important for everyday life. 

What are some of the latest design trends that you are seeing? Do you have any favorite trends? 

For the last two years. our #1 cabinetry selection has been Koch Fairway w/ Shaker Edge in White mains with a Charcoal Blue island.

The standard for most projects is still painted white cabinetry in a shaker or modified shaker door. We are now seeing some beautiful gray stains on wood that keep that kind of monochromatic look going but with a touch of warmth from the brown undertones of the wood.

We are also seeing more companies offering navy blues and the demand is already there for the “right” kind of blue. There has also been a resurgence of gold/brass-toned plumbing fixtures  and cabinetry hardware but in a more sophisticated way with brushed techniques to tone down the “bling.”

I am currently loving the interesting functional inserts that manufacturers are offering for kitchen cabinetry now. To be honest, upgrades can be very gimmicky, but lately there have been some very exciting innovations that would make anyone that loves to cook enjoy their kitchen even more.

What is your favorite part about working with Abbey and your clients? 

One of the perks of working for Abbey is the wide range of projects and clients that we see in this area. I can design a powder room in a federal style home one day and a chef’s kitchen for a home in a brand new, modern development the next. But arguably my favorite part of working for Abbey is speaking to the clients after the projects are completed and see how excited they are with the transformation of their home!

Do you want to hear more from our team? Follow us at @abbeyremodel and on Facebook message us with your questions!