Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.

Take a New Look at Wilsonart

Take a new look at Wilsonart – you will be surprised! If you know the name Wilsonart, you might think of laminate countertops – like what you had in your first apartment or in an older home. Not anymore. This is the beauty of making the investment to visit industry shows like KBIS (the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show). While on our Modenus Blogtour to Vegas, we spent a good bit of time with our friends at Wilsonart and boy did we learn a lot!

One of my favorite products was the Wilsonart chalkboard and marker board laminate. Think about the applications for this – a kitchen wall, arts & crafts room, a classroom or daycare, a restaurant or conference room. This product comes in 4’x8′ sheets and requires very little maintenance.

chalboard laminate

Wilsonart is still known for their laminate surfaces – made stronger and more durable than ever with their AEON performance technology.  However, this isn’t the laminate you have in your memory bank. Check out some of my favorites.

Think about laminating a kitchen or tv wall with this Antique Wood laminate.

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I love the Blooming Grove design – so great for a happy laundry room or kids bathroom.

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How about the Coffee Beans in a matte finish for the backsplash of a coffee bar?

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As we saw in person, the options are endless and SO MUCH FUN. 


If the laminate option doesn’t appeal to you, check out the Quartz designs sold by Wilsonart. They look fantastic mixed with an interesting laminate. 

laminate quartz

I love the Mehndi semi translucent quartz – a mix of taupe and creme with gold veining.

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If you saw our article in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, you know that brass is back. Imagine the Mehndi quartz paired with this Visual Comfort natural brass lighting by Alexa Hampton in a bathroom. Divine.

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The bottom line is this – think outside the box and be creative. Wilsonart can help you make it happen. I had so much much fun looking at the Wilsonart Pinterest boards for inspiration. The folks at community furniture.com made it happen. So can you!

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February 24, 2015   No Comments

Jewelry in the Kitchen!

Top Knobs are more than just cabinet hardware.  They are the jewelry that completes the outfit!!


photo image Chasen West Photography for Modenus

Top Knobs was one of our Modenus BlogTour sponsors and we were fortunate to spend some time visiting their booth at KBIS The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.


photo image Chasen West Photography for Modenus

Celebrating 20 years of inspiring beauty, Top Knobs specializes in fine decorative hardware for the kitchen and bath.  As an interior designer, I value their exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.  The architectural details and the weighted feel is immediately apparent in each piece that is hand-finished.  Every door handle, pull, hook or fixture is completely sealed and finished.  On top of all that, Top Knobs offers an exclusive lifetime warranty.  How great is that?  They have over 4,000 kitchen, bath and closet designs.  Here are some of my favorites:

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photo image Top Knobs

The Aspen II Collection - Each piece is hand cast from 90% recycled bronze and hand-finished for a beautiful, elegant style at an affordable price.  The 43 products are available in three plated finishes: Polished Chrome, Polished Nickel and Brushed Satin Nickel.


photo image Top Knobs

 The Transcend Collection:  This is one of their brand new introductions at KBIS.  This 5 series cabinet hardware collection is available in five finishes:  Bushed Satin Nickel, Polished Chrome, Polished Nickel, Sable and Umbrio and is composed of 33 different shaped products.
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photo image Top Knobs
 I was asked to interview Top Knobs’ President Warren Ramsland for a YouTube Video produced by The Interior Design Community and Modenus.
photo image Chasen West Photography for Modenus
photo image Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.
Here are the questions I asked him:
1.  How long has Top Knobs been in business and how many KBIS show have you been an exhibitor?
2.  What popular trends are you seeing in cabinet hardware coming to the marketplace?
3.  There is a lot of buzz at this show about the Design Challenge contest.  How many entries did you receive, who are the judges and when will the winner be announced?
4.  Kandrac & Kole uses Top Knobs for its quality, selection, finishes and turnaround time.  Is it true that 98% of orders ship within 24 hours?  Tell me about the warehouse and its efficiency.
5.  What is in store for Top Knobs this coming year?
For the answers, stay tuned for the upcoming interview!
Top Knobs Social Media:

February 23, 2015   No Comments

Head over Heels for Walker Zanger

We are literally head over heels for Walker Zanger! Ok so the truth is we were at the Walker Zanger booth at KBIS with Modenus Blogtour and we took this photo trying to win a contest. I still laugh looking at it. Regardless of our shenanigans that day, we are HUGE fans of Walker Zanger and especially their new collection called Sterling Row



 We had just been at the Walker Zanger showroom in Atlanta specifying the Sterling Row collection for an office lobby and were SO excited to see all that Walker Zanger had to show at KBIS. If you are not familiar with Walker Zanger, you should be.

Walker Zanger has been quarrying marble and stone throughout the world for over 60 years. Craftsmen in the Central Mexican highlands still press and finish each terracotta tile by hand, Tunisian artisans continue in the Roman tradition of hand-fitted mosaics, and Italian masters etch designs into solid stone, then individually gild them with gold and silver leaf. Taking inspiration from these traditional art forms as well from historic architecture and decorative arts, the  designers at Walker Zanger create exclusive collections that make our job easy!

One of my favorite collections is the new Sterling Row combination of porcelain tile and marble in hues of grey, white and black.  Floors, backsplashes, walls, fireplace surrounds – these exquisite inlays can be used in so many applications. It’s the perfect eye candy. 



Everywhere we looked at KBIS we saw the beauty of Walker Zanger tiles. 

At Thermador in the kitchen displays….. 


At Kallista…..


At The New American Home ….. 

I stood in this bathroom for 15 minutes I loved it so much. The combination of 4 different kind of stones was a skillful design that came together beautifully. The reflection makes it hard to see, but the mirror stretched across the vanity and into the shower. Very cool. 



Thank you Walker Zanger for being one of our sponsors this year for Modenus Blogtour in Vegas. What an experience to see Walker Zanger products in so many really beautiful applications!



February 20, 2015   No Comments

Kitchen Investments for Life!

As VIP bloggers with Modenus BlogTour at KBIS 2015, we were invited by two of our sponsors, Poggenpohl and Blanco to an exclusive, exceptionally styled tour of 3 penthouse suites at the The Residences at Mandarin Oriental to view the “Art of “Performance”


Art of Performance - Kandrac & Kole Blog

photo images Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.


photo image Chasen West Photography for Modenus

It seemed strange at first glance that a former Cirque du Soleil performer and ballerina were brought in to entertain us when we were there to view kitchen and bath products, but it was to convey how their products are very “performance based” and a true work of art.  They are performers as well as models for the Las Vegas sculpture artist Richard MacDonald.  You have got to look at his website, it is spectacular!!

Poggenpohl has been making kitchens since 1892.  They have manufactured kitchens for all kinds of homes in over 70 countries around the world.  A Poggenpohl kitchen is built to order and designed exactly for the space and people who will use it.

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photo image Poggenpohl

 Poggenpohl’s focus is on creating a kitchen that is personal and meets the demands of your lifestyle, cooking, entertaining and organization.

Poggenpohl Accessories - Drawer with spice jar bank, spice shaker bank and curved inserts - nut tree

Poggenpohl Accessories - Pull-out with bread box

photo image Poggenpohl

Poggenpohls drawer systems are designed so you can see everything at a glance.  Their drawers are renowned for their strength and the ability to withstand a lifetime of hard use. The materials they use to create them are enormously strong, as are the jointing techniques employed. Even the concealed runners beneath the drawer use roller bearings instead of ball bearings, as this means longer life and a smoother glide for years longer than an ordinary drawer. Every aspect of a Poggenpohl kitchen reveals the same perfectionist approach.

Poggenpohl 2 - Kandrac & Kole Blog

photo image Poggenpohl

As a thoughtful design enhancement, Poggenpohl also offers interior lighting for its drawer units. The lights switch on automatically when the drawer is opened.

Here are a few fascinating images of  Poggenpohl’s sleek kitchens:

Poggenpohl 3 - Kandrac & Kole Blog

Poggenpohl 4 - Kandrac & Kole Blog

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photo images Poggenpohl

A Poggenpohl kitchen is an investment for life.

There are many good reasons for choosing a Poggenpohl kitchen. These include the wide choice of finishes and materials; enduring construction; made to measure individuality; and the highest standards of quality.
The very best quality, the longest life and the very best of support.

Also included in our tour of the penthouse residences was Blanco and their luxury sinks, faucets and decorative accessories.

The kitchens in the penthouses included the Blanco Steelart Sink designs.  These sinks start out as a single sheet of stainless and are sculpted by hand into seamless, stunning, yet hardworking designs.









photo images Blanco


photo image Chasen West Photography for Modenus

The Blanco Culina is a semi-professional faucet that has won the reddit design award for product design.  It combines high performance with high style.  It has a clean, elegant design.  There is a convenient toggle switch button that controls and changes the water stream from a solid stream to a spray stream.

In addition to their sinks and faucets, Blanco introduced a new integrated dark walnut cutting board accessory for its award winning ATTIKA™ kitchen sink.   It includes a raised geometric rim with soft contours that separate wet and dry areas.  It creates the ideal preparation zone.


photo image Blanco

Check out this video on You Tube of the stellar night!

It was a pretty amazing evening showcasing these luxury brands and reconnecting with friends!


photo image Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.

 From left to right: Joann Kandrac, Rose Dostal of RMD Designs, LLC, Kelly Kole, Laurie Gorelick of Laurie Gorelick Interiors, Julia Buckingham of Buckingham Interiors  and front and center Mark Williams of Mark Williams Design Associates

I agree with Miles Redd’s design rule when it comes to investment – “Buy the best and you only cry once.”


February 16, 2015   No Comments

Creative Power Session at Steve McKenzie’s

Joann and I have (gratefully) been smothered and covered in design work since we returned back from the holiday. Today we decided we needed to step away from the office to refresh and what better way to do that than to attend a creative power session at one of our favorite Atlanta shops –  Steve McKenzie’s!


Today’s session was a gathering of about fifty of Atlanta’s designers, bloggers, tastemakers and photographers all gathering to discuss marketing and branding of your “personal story” and tips on how to get published. 

Even though Joann and I feel like we are pretty good marketers of our brand, it never hurts to hear a new perspective or to be inspired by a colleague. 

Designer and business/life coach Michele Williams of The Scarlet Thread lead the charge today emphasizing how important it is for all of us creative entrepreneurs to identify and market “our personal story”. 


The talented girls of the popular blog Ends in Style (Christina Wedge, Alex Hernandez and Susie Roupe) spoke to the group about the success of their lifestyle blog and the importance of collaboration of talent when it comes to success in the design world. Christina reminded us all that the photography you choose to use on your website, in your marketing material and on your blog is crucial as it is a direct reflection of your brand. Lisa Mowry reminded us (especially the bloggers) to give credit to the photographer of the images you are using! 


We owe a great deal of our success in being nationally and regionally published to our friend Lisa Mowry who is an impressive editor/stylist/writer in the magazine publishing world. Lisa shared some tips today on how to get published.


Just a few: 1) Call/email Lisa before contacting another scout – she will work hard for you! 2) Email her a full range of photos of your project – not just a few 3) The “story” is crucial – send her bullet points (not long photographs) about what is interesting/unique/special about each space 4) Magazines are interested in bathrooms right now 4) The quality of the photographs you send are important – especially the lighting. Don’t send the images too big. Email or dropbox is fine. 5) Be patient when waiting for Lisa to work her magic. (We’ve had projects take 6-18 months to be published). 

We LOVE any excuse to visit our friends Jill and Steve McKenzie. If you haven’t visited their interiors and lifestyle shop in Atlanta, you must! (Tip: make it a fun afternoon and go for lunch next door at Miller Union or around the corner at West Egg Cafe.)






Thanks Jill and Steve for hosting this event. It’s one of the great things about being a designer in Atlanta – the educational and inspirational opportunities are endless!


February 5, 2015   No Comments