About Us

Here's my Story...

I grew up in the lovely little town of Wellsville, NY, with a banjo-picking pharmacist father, a whimsical creative nurse mother, and two very brilliant brothers. They all liked playing Trivial Pursuit and took pity on their Artsy Ignorant daughter/sister. Our home was very cluttered with stuff...the kind of place where we always had to clear the dinner table BEFORE and AFTER dinner. I dreamt of a magazine-ready home, stylish, new, tidy spaces, and instant gratification. And that's what I did.

Allied Health won over design, and I became an Optician...it was eyes, feet, or teeth...eyes won. I married a charismatic, handsome Jersey Boy, and we started a life together. We relocated his family business to beautiful Blacksburg in 2008. Over the years, I loved renovating and decorating our varied rentals and homes, friends' houses, and anyone else who would let me. It continued to be my creative outlet and passion. Then everything changed.

After 10 years of trying to start a family, I was finally going to become a mother. Guess what? My brother's wife was pregnant too...want more? We had the same due date....the day our mother was diagnosed with cancer a year earlier. Our mother would never meet her granddaughter and grandson, but I believe in divine intervention and miracles. I see her in our daughter every day... It must be hoarding skips a generation.

Walking through my childhood home, I could finally see through the clutter. I saw rooms surrounded by things she loved that she had a personal connection to. Everything had a story. This woman kept and collected rocks(brought back from far away places by friends). She had feathers(with a note about a possible angel dropping it), prisms(in every window, also given as wedding presents with a poem). And the penny that was "unearthed" years before, proudly laminated and displayed on the refrigerator after my brother swallowed it. Our "cluttered" home did not tell the story of her though.  She was embarrassed to have people over my whole life. I finally saw the light.

My house all of a sudden felt cold, impersonal, and fake. I came home and started donating things that I had no connection to. Replacing it with original art, local pottery, or items that really spoke to our family, told our story, and inspired us. My implementation of design completely changed. I now had a purpose.  You can have both.

In Focus Interiors was born from my need to help people take all those meaningful pieces and arrange them in a warm and pleasing way. Named as a nod to my optical roots to "help you see your home in a new light" like I did. I love to incorporate what you have in new creative ways.  Mom always said, "It's not a throw-away world," and I believe that...BUT I also think we should donate the things that we don't truly love or bring us joy. I look for inspiration pieces, original or local art, and repurposed finds for my clients. I still love instant gratification, so that's why I do one-day installations. I help you find solutions for all your collections and "clutter." And I still love creating magazine-ready rooms.

But that's my story. What's yours? 


Mary Kate Gaines

Reveal, Restyle, Relax

Professional Affiliations