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May 19, 201207:13 PMShop Talk

New design center on Leland Avenue offers a window to the past

May 19, 2012 - 07:13 PM
New design center on Leland Avenue offers a window to the past

Galliher & Huguely president Geoff Huguely, design director Donna Godwin, general manager Brian Roberts

Those in search of crown molding, cabinets or windows may want to check out the new Galliher and Huguely Showroom and Design Center in Chevy Chase, but history buffs may want to take a gander as well.

The design center, set to open June 1, is the latest venture by the four-generation family-owned D.C. lumber company, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year.

Located inside the spiffed-up former Gaylord’s on Leland Street, the showroom offers one-stop shopping for contractors and home owners interested in custom and semi-custom cabinets, countertops, doors, windows, molding, wainscoting and hardware. 

Also adorning the new showroom will be old ledger books listing transactions completed over the course of the century and photos displaying the horse and buggy method of delivery.

Company president Geoffrey Huguely says his grandfather, George, Sr., started the D.C. business in 1912. In 1925 the Huguelys bought out the Gallihers (as listed in their record book) but never changed their name.

Geoffrey’s son, Scott, is chief operating officer. The only co-owner lacking the family name is general manager Brian Roberts of Wheaton, who’s worked in the business since age 12, starting at his grandfather’s lumber company then in Kensington. Roberts says the collective years of employee experience “must be about 400.”

(Left) This display includes Roberts' collection of Galliher & Huguely toy trucks; (Right) A contemporary kitchen designKitchen displays by names like Plain & Fancy, Smithport and Woodharbor fill the front of the new showroom along with Jeld-Wen window displays. Hardware and about 50 cabinet door samples stretch along a wall near the conference area, and everything in the space, including the wainscoting, is available for sale.

Donna Godwin, director of design services, can help clients’ tweak their plans on a 60-inch flatscreen TV in the conference room.

My eye went right to the large conference table made from a recycled glass and concrete slab. The company, Vetrazzo, also repurposes Christmas lights and beer bottles in their innovative countertops.

Most items in the store are eco-friendly, and Godwin says people are returning to an earthy look: wood cabinet tops and granites with a matte finish. Also popular are customized inserts to keep everything organized.

The new showroom was “in the works for five years,” Roberts says. It was just a matter of finding the right location.

With a strong client base in Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Huguely says he “thought it was important to bring the product to the customer.” Instead of running around to various suppliers, customers can get everything they need in one place—including some history and experience.  

“There probably aren’t too many problems we haven’t faced in 100 years,” Roberts   adds.

4618 Leland St., Chevy Chase, 240-396-6137, www.galliher-huguely.com

(Left) The conference table displays a recycled glass and concrete Vetrazzo tabletop; (Middle) Close-up of a Vetrazzo countertop using recycled glass and beer bottles; (Right) Photos like this poster depicting the company's history will be on the store's "history wall."

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About This Blog

Welcome to Shop Talk. We’ll keep you posted on the local retail scene: openings, closings and what’s new from local entrepreneurs. Jump in and tell us what you want to hear about: Fashion trends? Trunk shows? Events?

A contributing editor of Bethesda Magazine, Karen Watkins has lived in Bethesda for over 20 years, and has been with the magazine since the first issue. She has written for nearly every department and started writing Shop Talk in 2005. When she’s not busy writing, she’s likely to be shopping—doing “research.” It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

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