Catching Up with Jodi Kines

Our talented designer, homemaker, mom and marathon runner Jodi Kines.

GA!: Jodi, let’s start at the beginning-where are you from, where did you go to school, etc.?
Jodi: I am a Belmont native! My family moved here when I was just six years old, so I grew up in Belmont, graduated from South Point High School and went on to get my Bachleor of Fine Arts degree just down the road at Winthrop University.

GA!: How long have you owned a design business?
Jodi: I began doing residential design consultations while still in college, so I have had a small ‘side’ business since 1998. However, I left a corporate design job in 2005 to completely focus on my design business while juggling the start of a family.

GA!: What types of design projects do you specialize in?
Jodi: Most of what I do is residential design – everything from assisting the architect during the design phase of new construction drawings to selecting furnishings and finishes for the home. We take on projects of all scopes, scale and budget. Some of my clients have had small renovation (or revitalization) projects going on with me for over 10 years! Others will call for just a simple consultation and then do all of the implementation themselves. We also do some small commercial design work as well. In 2013 we designed and managed the relocation of a local law firm and are thrilled about one of our most exciting projects in 2014 – a local dentist office just beginning new construction here in Gaston County.

GA!: You are so creative! Where do you come up with your ideas?
Jodi: Inspiration is everywhere – especially in this digital age; like most of my clients and friends I love to flip through design magazines, Pinterest and Houzz! Mostly, though, I listen to my clients; that’s where the inspiration becomes personalized. I had a wonderful mentor straight out of college, Mr. Bill Little, who always encouraged us to ‘hear what our clients didn’t say’ just as loudly as we hear what they do say. I really try to take this to heart when meeting to kick off a new project.

For example, a client may ask me about rearranging or replacing their family room furniture, often saying it just doesn’t feel like it fits or doesn’t feel cozy. I could choose to hear ‘needs new furniture’ or I can hear them saying the room feels out of proportion, disconnected and uninviting. Adding a well-fitting rug to the space could easily solve these design challenges without ever rearranging a single piece of furniture. I feel it’s my job to see past what clients think they may ‘need’ and keep an open dialogue throughout the design process to ensure we far exceed their expectations when the project is complete.

GA!: What first interested you in interior design?
Jodi: I have always loved art and been a creative, crafty person, but I am NOT at all artistic! I also love people and thrive on the collaborative process. My high school art teacher, Allison Hall, suggested I look into an interior design career. I began researching the industry and collegiate programs and never looked back. I love the combination of creativity and project management. It’s a perfect fit for my personality and talents; I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else!

GA!: How does design make a difference in people’s daily lives?
Jodi: I think our lives are more impacted by design than we realize; that’s why I am so passionate about what I do. The way a space is configured as well as the colors, textures, and patterns used to furnish it have a direct impact on the people that live and work in the environment. I genuinely believe a well-designed space can make you more relaxed, generally calmer, happier and more productive.

GA!: What parts of design do you most enjoy?
Jodi: Connection and collaboration. I love working with other design professionals and clients to find the best solution to design challenges; it’s incredible to see varied backgrounds and perspectives come together to solve simple, everyday problems. I also love getting to know my clients on such a personal level. Helping someone put their personal touch on their personal space is, well, very personal and I love connecting with each client, understanding how their family lives in their home or staff works in their office and helping them find ways to do it better, more efficiently and within their financial means.

GA!: What is the design mistake you see most often?
Jodi: So many people are too intimidated to even start making changes to their space; they feel overwhelmed with ideas and become too paralyzed to do anything all. While the internet and social media are wonderful tools that inspire many ideas, they also leave many people feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. Most design decisions are not permanent, don’t be afraid to go for it, just start somewhere!

GA!: When you are not doing design work, how do you spend your time?
Jodi: Most of my time away from work is spent enjoying my two young boys and husband. I stay busy with school, sports & church activities. Over the past few years, I have become an avid runner and triathlete and can usually be found hitting the pavement in the wee hours of the morning! Some of my most creative ideas happen when I am alone with my thoughts on a long run or bike ride.

–Jodi has a degree in Interior Design from Winthrop University, and is the owner of PlanIt Design, LLC in Belmont, N.C. Contact Jodi: