Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.

Vern Yip and Fabricut

What a surprise to be invited to a private dinner at the Atlanta home of Vern Yip by Fabricut, one of our favorite fabric suppliers.


photo image Fabricut 

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We were there with 20 other interior design bloggers who were attending the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta to celebrate the new fabric and trim collection.  We received the new fabrics and trims just a few weeks ago and have already incorporated this collection in about 4 projects!

Vern’s inspiration comes from his world travels and background in architecture.  We were shocked to find out that he double majored in Chemistry and Economics at the University of Virginia, was about to attend medical school and then changed his mind and went to Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and got a masters in management and architecture.

Vern and his partner Craig were extremely gracious hosts!

Vern Yip:Craig Koch

They spent a lot of time walking us through their home and it was heartwarming to see how personal it was.  As you walk in the front door, straight ahead is this beautiful picture of Vern’s mother.

Vern Yip - Mother Photograph

Behind this is a magnificent staircase…

Vern Yip stairway

As you go up the stairs you are greeted with this wall of framed family photographs.

Vern Yip framed wall

Vern Yip -old photos

Along with the many personal photos throughout the house, the vast collection of  art is exceptional.  This piece called The Raft of the Medusa from Pictures of Chocolate is by Vik Muniz, one of Vern’s favorites artists who does photographic representations of work using ordinary objects such as sugar, thread, chocolate syrup and garbage to create bold, deceiving imagery.     

Vik Muniz

As we went from room to room, the fabrics and trims in the new collection are used throughout.  One of my favorites below is an asian, global/ethnic print shown in blue and is also available in black, grey, haze, orange and red.  It was in the children’s family room/playroom along with an adorable, actual photo of their 4 dogs.  Craig owns Wagalot, a service that includes doggie daycare, boarding, grooming, training, dog wash and special events.

Vern Yip Trend

Vern Yip Dog Photo in Playroom

Meeting their children was also a highlight of the evening.  They were waiting to greet all of us at the front door when we arrived.

I couldn’t help taking a selfie with each of them!

gavin selfie

vera selfie

After our tour and the kids went to bed (they were so well behaved), we sat down for a decadent meal and interesting conversation.

Vern Yip Kitchen

Vern Yip Dinner Menu

Here are a few more of my favorites from the collection:

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photo image Fabricut 

The tapes and trims are easy to work with and are so reasonably priced. The fabrics are whimsical, yet practical.

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Above photo images Fabricut

There really aren’t words to describe this experience and the hospitality we received.  Vern and Craig not only opened their home to us but their hearts as well.

Vern Yip - Joann & Kelly

A special thank you to Rebecca Creal, Trend Managing Director and Vice President of Sales and Jen Yeung, Marketing Specialist for Trend.

Follow all of Fabricut’s social media channels here:


March 1, 2015   No Comments

How to Improve Your Quality of Life with TOTO

Can a toilet improve your quality of your life?  Absolutely, and that is what I learned after attending KBIS 2015 with BlogTour Modenus.  TOTO was one of our sponsors as we attended the leading premier event for the kitchen and bath industry.


photo Chasen West Photography for Modenus

I love attending these events because as Kelly and I believe “You don’t know what you don’t know”.  It’s hard to break away from our work when we are extremely busy, but we really can’t afford NOT to experience this type of learning.  This is what allows us to stay educated, inspired and on top of our game.  We are only as good as what we are exposed to!

Being immersed in the TOTO brand was very eye opening for me.  I love a company that stays innovative and puts people first.  Toto has become the world standard of excellence for a quality bathroom experience.

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photo image TOTO

The founder, Kazuchika Okura had a vision in 1912, before public sewage systems were widespread in Japan.  After seeing more advanced systems overseas, he was intent on establishing a ceramic sanitary ware laboratory to develop healthier and cleaner living spaces!

The Toto Motto – created in 1962

“Take pride in your work, and strive to do your best”

Quality and Uniformity | Service and Trust | Cooperation and Prosperity


photo image TOTO

One of the products that we spent a lot of time learning about were washlets.  Washlets are a highly advanced system in hygiene and comfort.

While a TOTO washlet may look like an ordinary toilet seat (and it does fit onto any toilet seat) – it’s inner workings and features offer incredible comforts and cleaner living.


photo image TOTO
  There are some wonderful benefits for anyone but even more helpful for the elderly, someone in physical therapy, or even young children who need help in cleansing.
Several businesses across the country have installed the washout to give their customers the opportunity to experience it for themselves.  Click HERE to find a location near you!
 Here are just a few of the many options available:

1.  Heated seat

2. Built-in bidet

3. Automatic open/close lid

4. Auto flush activated by sensors

5. An integrated wand to release a warm, soothing stream of aerated water and is the ultimate in hands-free hygienic cleansing.



photos image TOTO

In addition to all of the above, TOTO strives to act responsibly as a corporation and are actively involved in several community based projects.  They have a long history supporting Habitat for Humanity and made significant product donations over the years.

Needless to say, we are big fans!


February 28, 2015   No Comments

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