One damp morning this winter, Jim Abdo was looking through architectural renderings at his office in Logan Circle, one of the many leafy Washington neighborhoods anchored by a statue of a long-dead guy riding a horse. Abdo got his start as a property developer by buying decrepit buildings and modernizing them, and his headquarters shows off the trick. The adjoining storefronts had been stripped bare and rebuilt, all warm wood and cold glass with exposed brick and beams. It looked like a Brooklyn design studio or a Silicon Valley start-up, or at least how those offices might look in a Nancy Meyers movie. But Abdo has built his business in the unstylish land of think tanks and tepid salmon lunches and boxy women’s suits.