Ocala native Kay Rains, the head of Koontz Design Studio, is a skilled designer with degrees in architecture and interior design. A true creative force, Rains has an eye for balancing aesthetics and function with a refined vision. She believes every client has their own story to share and each design should be created with thoughtful precision, showcasing a space uniquely reflective of the client’s life, needs and aspirations. Her consistent dedication and innate flair means that every project is executed to the highest standard and with joyful enthusiasm.
What is your design philosophy?
You should have fun with the process. Expressing yourself through the design of your environment should ultimately evolve into a space that makes you happy.
How did your background prepare you for your work?
My previous work experience was a great fortifier for the creativity I express now through interiors. Working in an architectural firm pushed the envelope of my creative expression from sitework (work done at a site in preparation for a construction project, such as excavation, sheeting, shoring and grading) to the last structural beam being carefully coordinated and intertwined with mechanical, exterior cladding, finishes, etc. This holistic approach gives me a great appreciation for space or spaces in its entirety. I take into account the design of the home from the moment I cross the property line.
How do you approach your work with clients?
Getting to know a client is the first step to a successful design collaboration. How they interact with each other as a family or with guests is intricate to the design foundation. What is their personal style or taste? A hobby, collection or favorite color can manifest a design direction. Once a substructure has been established I springboard to a special layout, textile choices and overall presentation of a design.
What types of projects are clients seeking help with?
Clients have come to appreciate services that range from consultation on small accessory placement to rolling out floor plans, getting inspiration and design services for a new home or business.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your work?
I love people, so the most satisfying part of my job is watching the people I design for respond to the vision, an idea, the color selections, wallpaper samples, fabric swatches, drapery sketches or presentation boards as they come to life for their living space.
What separates the team at Koontz from other interior design companies?
Koontz has a friendly team that is ready to make your home beautiful from start to finish. For over 100 years the store has carefully crafted a quality atmosphere and lasting product selections, while continuing to stay timeless and fresh.
What’s your favorite aspect of the design process?
I am like a kid in a candy store with all the creativity at my fingertips. The new fabrics, furniture silhouettes, wallpaper patterns or paint colors, for example, just makes me happy. I am a creator at heart and it all just makes me bubble over.
Can you share a favorite recent project?
I worked with a client who wanted to surprise her husband with a new office in their home while he was away for a few days. I love surprises. This was a real pressure cooker. One of the most important ingredients when I am designing is to have fun and my hope is that the client will also enjoy the process. The client came in on a Friday for a consultation. We developed a plan and then it was time to execute. Did I mention he was gone for only a few days? Within days, we removed furniture, painted, delivered furniture, arranged and accessorized the space for the grand reveal. He absolutely loved it! Although it was a race to the finish, in true Koontz fashion it was done with ease and excellence. Months have passed and the client is still talking about it.
What makes our area so special?
Florida has a real jewel in the city of Ocala. We are so blessed by being centrally located in the state. The area is rich in lush land blanketed with rolling pastures and grand oaks. It has diverse cultures, deep local history, an array of entertainment options whether it be for family or a simple date night, bustling commerce and the great fortune of appealing to those near and far to visit and to live. Yet, Ocala has retained a small-town warmth that makes it a great place to call home.