Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.

Summer Giveaway – PVE Design

We have been big fans of Patricia van Essche of PVE Design for a long time and she has been kind enough to sponsor our first summer giveaway!  Patricia is an amazing artist who’s drawings depict a celebrated lifestyle of colorful and chic homes, pets, events and more. Her illustrations are whimsical and lively which is right up our alley!  We love her work so much we incorporated it into our Services Page on our website.

Maybe I need to commission her to paint my dog next….

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I will DEFINITELY be calling her to design my daughters wedding invitation (no time soon though!)

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Patricia loves creating custom monograms for her clients.


Her work just makes me happy!

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So we think you should be able to have a piece of happy too!  Our first giveaway this summer is for (2) sets of notecards beautifully rendered by PVE Design.  Here they are:




Enter our Giveaway HERE with Rafflecopter

If you’d like to shop for more PVE creations you can visit her PVE DESIGN SHOP on ETSY.

You can also visit her on Pinterest.

Thank you Patricia!



July 8, 2014   9 Comments

Chasen West Captures Guatemala

If you follow us on social media, you may have noticed some pretty spectacular photographs from our trip with Modenus Blogtour to Milan and Venice Italy this past May. Many of those photographs were courtesy of a young man with a very bright future as a professional photographer – Chasen West. We were so enamored by his talent, that we sponsored him to join us in Guatemala!

This was a bucket list kind of trip for Chasen so it was our pleasure to give him the opportunity to expand his portfolio while helping us at the same time.

I love that Chasen has what I call an “artistic grunge” perspective when he looks thru the lens.  He captured the beauty and the grit of Guatemala very well.

Here are some of my favorites:

Our crazy team with our fearless leader, Fontaine Greene from CRI.


We had (3) mother daughter pairs on the trip which was a wonderful bonding experience!


When we got to the village work site, this is what welcomed us – the beginnings of a very special home.


My college roomie Jen and design buddy Pamela Copeman cut all that wood! They were rockstars:)


I love the traditional Mayan garb the women and girls wear in the village.


This is Jaime. She has been my friend for three years. She rarely says much but she’s happy to see me!


It’s rare to see a retriever in Guatemala but of course our family had a small white golden retriever named Bobby. He was quite sick but he loved his family and followed the mom around everywhere.


Shoes are a treasured item and my favorite thing to bring to Guatemala.


This is Esteban. I met him three years ago while building a house for his family of eight and we have stayed in touch. I brought him new work boots this year.


Beautiful colors contrasting with the barbed wire…. signature Chasen…..


My friend Pamela is a talented artist. She brought watercolors for the kids. They always paint happy, beautiful images despite the surroundings that they live in.


That happy face is contagious!


More infectious laughter and smiles….


This is Maria whom we built a house for. It was an honor to give her and her five kids a new beginning.


Of course we made time for shopping in Antigua and Panajachel:)



And our team bonded even more…..


I can’t wait to go back and see these faces once again!





These photos are the property of Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs and Chasen West Photography. Please do not duplicate without request.

July 7, 2014   2 Comments

Kandrac & Kole Returns from Guatemala

As usual, I’m having a hard time with the reentry to the U.S. after being in Guatemala for a week. There’s nothing more revitalizing than unplugging, focusing on a cause completely outside the bubble of my daily life in the U.S. and spending quality time with great people absorbing another culture. I’m already planning my next trip back.

Our donors this year topped the charts. We raised over $4,000 which allowed us to build a home that included a new stove and a water purification system for a single mom with 5 kids, purchase additional stoves for the village, purchase bags of quality food and baby products for the children of God Bless the Children orphanage along with two other needy families, purchase back braces and support hose for the village clinic and shoes for a deserving family. Joann and I were also able to sponsor one of our team members who otherwise would have never been able to join us on this bucket list trip.


Many of our donors specifically asked that their money go towards a new stove. I wanted to share photos of this incredible gift.

Here is the stove that our mother of five (named Maria) USED to cook on (fyi the fumes and smoke just about killed us all when Maria made tortillas the first day).


Here is her new ONIL stove which vents out the top of the roof of their original little shed they called home. No more open flames near small children’s hands, no more breathing in toxic fumes, no more safety issues.

new stove

Many of you sent in money that we used to build this sweet family a 3 room house. When we arrived at the location on Day 1, our sponsor, Catalyst Resources International had already prepared the site and poured (by hand) the foundation.


In THREE days, our mighty team built this:

new house

The entire family of six used to sleep on this single mattress on a dirt floor under a leaky tin roof:


Now this is what they sleep in (we put four beds in their new home):

new beds

Of course our project was the talk of the village and incredible entertainment for all!




On the morning of Day 2, I took a walk up a very familiar path to visit a family near and dear to my heart that I helped build a house for two years ago.


I came bearing gifts of food, shoes and money. They knew I was coming and this is what welcomed me and my team (tissues please).

P.S. Bienvenidos means welcome in spanish.


It was a bitter sweet reunion because since we last saw each, their two-year old daughter Paola had died of Leukemia.


My heart was very full that day.

I have so many images from my trip that make my heart sing.

Like this little boy that would not let his puppy go for love or money. I love his dirty face and the fact that his puppy is perfectly happy to hang in limbo.


My daughter Riley found her friend Leti for the third year in a row.


A mariachi band sang to my friend Jen (my college roomie sophomore year) on her birthday.


The t-shirts and pants carefully and lovingly stacked at the God Bless the Children orphanage remind me that people really DO care and want to help.


Beauty really was everywhere….


On Thursday night, we had a fun worship service at CRI where Rene Marroquin sang live for us. He sang one of my favorite songs called Beautiful Things.

Here is a part of the lyrics:

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

So very appropriate….

I will be leading another team next summer.  If you’d like information on how to join me, please email me at kelly@kandrac-kole.com.

If you’d like to learn more about our sponsor, Catalyst Resources International, click HERE.

A big thanks to my dear friends Paula and Fontaine Greene for making my team feel extra special.  The bus rides blasting tunes, the great food and the trip to Pana, Cayala and “O” will never be forgotten!

God Bless,


June 24, 2014   3 Comments

Top Images from our Guatemala Mission Trip

I don’t believe words can convey the feeling of my mission trip to Guatemala.  Here are my top favorite images that hopefully “speak” volumes of our work there!

Guatemalan Family -  Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

This is the family we built the home for.  A single mother with 5 children whose husband went to the United States 7 years ago to help the family financially and never returned.

House Building -  Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Here is some of our 13 member team that constructed the entire house in just 3 days.

Group with kids -  Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Some worked on measuring and cutting wood, others hammering and some others entertained and played with the children.

 Pamela Copeman, an interior designer and artist brought paper and watercolors that the kids thoroughly enjoyed.

Kids Coloring -  Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Boys Praying - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

We spent another day at a school bringing supplies and games along with feeding lunch to the children.

We also visited Catalyst Resources International , House of Hope and God Bless the Children orphanages.

House of Hope - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Riley - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Kelly’s daughter Riley

Debbie - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Our friend, Debbie.

We ended our trip spending the last day at Lake Atitlan and Pana Jachel, a couple hours from Guatemala City.

Lake Atitlan - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Lake Atitlan 2 - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

This was a trip filled with several meaningful memories.  It broke my attachment to emails, texts and phone calls and opened my eyes to the abundance we have in our country and what little other countries have.   I witnessed the good of many people and it didn’t matter what anyone was wearing, what they owned or what they did for a living – we were all there to do good.  I am thankful to Kelly Kole for including me on this journey and her courage to step out of her comfort zone and making me step out of mine.


Joann - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole

Joann & Kelly - Guatemala Mission Trip - Kandrac & Kole


June 23, 2014   1 Comment

How to Choose Pendant Lights for your Kitchen Island

Choosing the right pendants for your kitchen island can be a challenge.  The island is the central hub of the kitchen and making the right choice is key.


1.  Opt for direct lighting for food preparation.

2.  Don’t go with the builder grade or pendants from the “big box” stores.  Here is your chance to  make a big impact.

3.  Mount each one so that the bottom of the shade is approximately 66″ above the floor so it is possible to look across the room below the pendants.  Make sure to plan for the height of the people that are in the space to avoid light glaring in their eyes.

4.  The fixtures should have the same finish/feel of the rest of the kitchen.

5.  Choose the best you can afford.  Pendant lighting is the “jewelry” of the kitchen!

Brizo-Kitchen - Kandrac & Kole Blog

This is a rendering done by Joan of Art  that Kelly designed for Brizo’s new launch of the Artesso faucet. As you can see, these pendants are a focal point of the room and really make a statement!!

Here are some of my favorites!

Kitchen Lab Design - Kandrac & Kole Blog

Rebeka Zaveloff – Kitchen Lab Design

Postcard from Paris - Kandrac & Kole Blog

Linda McDougald Design – Postcard from Paris Home

Witt Construction - Kandrac & Kole Blog

Witt Construction

Sarah Richardson - Kandrac & Kole Blog

Sarah Richardson Design  of HGTV photography by Stacey Brandford

Beckwith Interiors - Kandrac & Kole Blog

Beckwith Interiors

As you can see, pendants are beefier and more substantial than they used to be.  Don’t be afraid of going too large.  This is one of the biggest mistakes I see not only in lighting, but in many aspects of design.

If you need more ideas, the best place to search is Houzz.  You will find an array of styles, shapes, finishes and price points.  We are proud to be Visual Comfort,  Currey and Company and Robert Abbey dealers and would be glad to help with your lighting needs!!


June 13, 2014   2 Comments