KMH Grand Opening

Since 1996, KMH Design Inc. has been a tasteful staple of the Beaches communities. The brainchild of Kathleen Hines Franza, the design house has been the name behind some of the most beautiful homes at the beach-- and, most recently, the awe-inducing Atlantic Beach Country Club revamp.

So what’s next for a colorfully decorated designer and her staff, you might ask? KMH Home-- the company’s first retail space.

Located in the Courtyard at 200 First Street, the retail space will be filled with all kinds of homegoods, hand-picked to give your home that signature KMH feel. From entertainment aids to luxe linens, there’s a little piece of style for everyone.

To get a feel for what we can expect from the space, and a little background on the designer herself, we chatted with Franza about all things KMH:

Q: When did you first discover your passion for design? Did it come naturally or with a fair share of challenges?

A: Ending up where I am today was never consciously planned, it just happened and to this day it still surprises me. Reflecting back, I realized my mother was a major influence. She had great style and we grew up in a house with Danish modern furniture.  From when I was little she encouraged me to decorate my own room and find my own style.  While I went through many phases I ended up loving a more modern, simple design esthetic. Along the way I had the good fortune to meet many people that helped foster this new found love. After working with still photographer’s then film companies in Miami I moved to Jacksonville to be close to my family. I worked for many years with my brothers in their commercial furniture company when I had the good fortune to meet an architect, who has become my lifelong friend. She gave me my first interior design job and from there, there was no turning back. To date it has been 20 years and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Q: Are there any projects you’ve worked on that you were most proud of or most passionate about?

A: We of course are very proud of ALL of our work but when the architecture is perfect, the location is stunning and the clients are with you all the way then I believe it is easy to be passionate.

Q: How would you describe your design style?

A: Our preference has always been simple, clean but timeless interiors.  Our design style is surely reflected in our interiors however the client’s personality and their lifestyle is the driving force.

Q: What’s your least favorite current trend in design? What about your favorite?

A: Edison bulb light fixtures. Large format tiles that transition from interior to exterior.

Q: How do you balance work with your everyday life?

A: Unfortunately, I am on 24/7 (you did mention passion).  When time allows it is always spent with my family. They help keep me centered.

Q: After years with a successful studio space, what inspired you to venture into retail?

A: Our design offices have always had some sampling of products to showcase our style so after many years we started to discuss the idea of a retail location.  We formulated our concept and began researching locations.  We got close a few times but either the location or the timing just wasn’t right. Then one day all the stars aligned, and the perfect spot opened that allowed us to have our offices AND a retail shop together without compromising a thing. Not to mention the PERFECT location. (Thank you ESJ) We couldn’t be happier.

Q: What are you most excited about and what can we expect from KMH Home in the future?

A: Everything! The response has been overwhelming. The support our clients and colleagues have conveyed has been amazing. We have MANY ideas about how we can be more than just a retail store. It’s all about the experience, the story our products tell and the commitment to helping our customers find their own design style!  We are planning all types of in store events, learning seminars, client appreciation incentives along with gift services. So many things to plan! Stay tuned.