Next in our lineup of “faces behind the design” is our talented designer, Maggie Bebel. It takes a special skill set to develop an idea from numerous small samples and renderings and turn that into a cohesive design that allows for a space to function better, safer, and more beautiful. This is exactly what Maggie loves most about being a designer at the Gaines Group. She has eyes and influence on almost every project and is a tremendous support to the clients throughout the design process.
Maggie is originally from outside of Chicago but eventually moved to Virginia and settled in Charlottesville. She credits her early love of working with Legos as the greatest influence and catalyst into the world of design. She has early memories of crafting elaborate house designs from Legos that were continuously improved upon and very detailed. It was this experience combined with her interests in building house models on computer games and HGTV that led her to Radford University to study interior design. Maggie credits her dad for recognizing this passion in her and nudging her in the direction of design.
Maggie says Radford “snuck up on her”, as it wasn’t high on her list of schools to attend. The university drew her in with its small class sizes and professors who were excited to be hands-on. The accredited design program, walkable campus, and familiar faces sealed the deal. As a student, Maggie immersed herself not only in the design program but also led campus tours, served as the Treasurer for the school’s chapter of ASID, was member of AST, and the Honors Academy. It was during this time she developed a passion for color theory and had the opportunity to intern at multiple residential design firms.
After graduating from Radford in 2016 with a BFA in Interior Design, Maggie joined the team at the Gaines Group. It was a funny, full-circle moment as she had previously been high school classmates with Ray Gaines (firm founder’s) daughter and then college classmates with another one of Ray’s daughters. Maggie instantly made these numerous connections the minute she saw a familiar face in the Charlottesville office and felt at ease catching up almost immediately.
Maggie’s role as a full-time designer is to guide clients through the entire selection process. She is a part of all the phases of the design process but spends most of her time working one-on-one with each client to develop the overall design aesthetic. She then coordinates this key information back to the construction documents. She works on a wide range of projects undertaken by the Gaines Group including multi-family, residential, light commercial, and education settings. She values being flexible and enjoys the opportunity to work on a variety of projects.
When asked about her favorite projects to work on, there are two that really stand out. First, she deeply enjoyed designing Weiler Orthodontics as it was one of the first projects she was a part of. She had the opportunity to apply much of her knowledge gained during college in rendering and furniture selection and she loves how it all came together in the end. On the residential side, Maggie says she enjoys working so closely with many amazing clients over the years and one project that stands out is the Pleasant Valley Modern House. This project was characterized by stunning views and was the first larger residential project she played a key role in designing the numerous small details.
Outside of the Gaines Group, you can catch Maggie serving up local beers at Restless Moons Brewing just a few blocks from the Depot. She also enjoys gardening, thrifting and antiquing, photography, reading, and playing games with friends. Maggie laughs that most people don’t recognize her outside of work without her four-legged adventure buddy, Pippa who she adopted while in college.