Steven Meltzer, founder and owner of Abbey’s Kitchens, Baths & Interiors, is able to sum up what sets his company apart in three words: “service, service, service.” Mr. Meltzer got his start in the remodeling industry when he joined his father’s home improvement business after college. He worked in the contracting division for 10 years before eventually deciding to go out on his own, opening Abbey’s in 1986.
Now an industry veteran specializing in high-end home renovations, Mr. Meltzer has had his work featured on the cover of magazines including Woman’s Day and House Beautiful. Having spent over 40 years in the business, he knows the pitfalls and inconveniences that often accompany a remodeling project—and goes to great lengths to make sure that his clients never experience any of them.
Each project generally begins with a visit to the home to take pictures and learn about each client. Clients also fill out a detailed questionnaire about their lifestyle, including their hobbies, cooking habits and even medical conditions; all of this information is used to custom-tailor each project to the particular client. Mr. Meltzer is able to combine the functionality that his clients are looking for with design aspects that are currently in style. For bathrooms, for example, he says that right now many people are interested in showers with multiple showerheads, thermostatic valves that keep the water’s temperature stable and glass tile instead of traditional ceramic. He also takes into account the client’s routines and needs in helping them choose the best storage solutions for their kitchen and bathrooms. “My job is to tell my clients what is out there,” he says. “Then we work together to combine elements from each layout until they’re happy with a final product.”
But Mr. Meltzer’s job is far from over. He accompanies his clients through every step of the process, including visiting tile stores, custom designing backsplashes, choosing countertops and even helping them choose appliances. He orders all of the materials and schedules subcontractors to handle every step of the renovation. He firmly believes that being personally involved with each step makes the process significantly easier and more enjoyable for every client by minimizing errors and delivering a superior finished product. “Many places operate like the old childhood game of telephone,” he says. “If one person is doing the design, one is doing sales, one is ordering the materials and so on, something is bound to get lost in translation.”
At Abbey’s, the top priority is ensuring that clients are happy, from start to finish. When it comes to design consultations, Mr. Meltzer gives his clients advice on making timeless choices. “Think of your kitchen or bathroom as a tuxedo,” he says. “Tuxedo trends come and go—lapels and lengths change. But if you go with a classic tuxedo, it is always in style.” Similarly, he says that when spending time and money renovating a room in your home, you want to end up with something you’re still going to love 10 years later. In addition to kitchens and bathrooms, Abbey’s also does media rooms, bedrooms, closet interiors and outdoor kitchens. Because of the changing trends in home décor, Abbey’s does not have a showroom; Mr. Meltzer says it doesn’t make sense when the styles and options change so frequently. Plus, he says, “My clients’ time is very valuable—why should they have to keep running to a showroom?” And that level of customer service never goes out of style.
Contact Abbey’s Kitchens, Baths & Interiors at 973-376-8878 or visit www.abbeys.com.
By Rachel Jager