Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.

Barry Dixon on Blending East & West in Design

Joann and I spent the last two days at  ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) for a portion of 2014 Discover ADAC’s week of keynote presentations by some of today’s top design experts. We made a point of attending Barry Dixon’s keynote yesterday called “The Mix: blending the history of Eastern & Western aesthetics into all-American design..”

We saw Barry speak last year at Design Camp Atlanta and all I can say is he is a wordsmith like none other. I wish I could have made a list of the vocabulary words he used during that one hour so that I could incorporate them into my vernacular.

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Both times we’ve heard Barry speak, I walk away with a heightened sense that inspiration is all around us. It’s a matter of slowing down long enough to open up all of our senses and notice these inspirations. (Ok, it also helps to travel the world as Barry has).

Barry made the point over and over that mixing influences from all over the globe – particularly Eastern and Western - is what makes his designs so special.

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Whether you are a designer, a writer, a chef or just somebody who wants to be inspired by beauty, listening to somebody like Barry Dixon is a lesson in what to look for.

When Barry was in Instanbul, Turkey he went to the market and fell in love with all the little shoes. They inspired his color line for C2 Paint as well as some of the hues and textures for is fabric line for Fabricut/Vervain.


On his farm in Virginia, he is inspired by the textures and colors of the eggs produced by his five different breeds of hens.


The texture and color of his puppy’s fur has inspired him.


Barry’s drafting table in his office becomes a collection of items that inspired his new fabric line for Fabricut/Vervain – bird eggs from his farm, a page from a children’s book he loved in his youth, a brass gift from an old friend …..


Dahlias cut from his garden provided endless inspiration for his collection for C2 Paint.


It’s amazing to witness colors and items from nature and travel transpire into the beginnings of a new fabric line….

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or a new paint line…..


I love the “no rules” approach that Barry Dixon has to design. If it’s beautiful, you love it and it has a travelled story, incorporate it into your living spaces no matter what. To me, that’s what  makes a house a home.

What inspires you?

Do you take TIME to be inspired? Fall is a beautiful season of colors, textures, shapes and smells that might just change the way you think about things ……


October 8, 2014   No Comments

Serenbe Designer Showhouse

Joann and I took advantage of a lovely fall day last Sunday and visited Serenbe for the last day of the Designer Showhouse sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. What a treat it was!

If you live in Atlanta and haven’t visited Serenbe, put it on your calendar! Serenbe is pioneering a new community model that is connected to nature. It is a purposeful community where people live, work, learn and play in celebration of life’s beauty.  The gorgeous homes, restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops, culinary workshops and festivals, music events, films, lectures, farmers market and more are set among acres of preserved forests and meadows with miles of nature trails.

I have visited Serenbe many times including a family reunion three years ago. You can read about my visits HERE and HERE.

It was so refreshing to go to a show house and see designers that aren’t in all the usual Atlanta show houses. Each designer in this house did an incredible job. BRAVO!

Here are some of my personal highlights:

The footbridge to the home set the tone:


The living room designed by Melanie Millner was fantastic. I’m always taking note of furniture placement in a room. This space is jam packed with seating opportunities but never felt crowded.

living room

There were several outdoor areas as one should expect at a Serenbe home! This space was designed by Hope Vanzant.


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The Master Bedroom, designed by Yvonne McFadden was very tailored and sophisticated. I’m dying over the bedside lamps.

Note: bedside tables do NOT need to match. In this room, there was a desk on the left side. Perfect.

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The master bath was serene.

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The back hall designed by James Wheeler was expertly designed especially given the tight space. How great is that bench?


The foyer was designed by our good friend Kerry Howard. It was one of my favorite spaces in the house.  This was not an easy space to make spectacular but Kerry made it a show stopper.


The guest retreat designed by Karen Ferguson was another favorite. The grass cloth wallpaper enveloped the room and made it elegant and cozy. I loved the raw edges on the linen pillow cases. Notice how the upholstered headboard extends behind the bedside tables. Very cool.



The terrace level family room designed by Melanie Davis was a perfect reflection of the vibe of this home – urban, organic, stately and so handsome!

(This light fixture is to die for in my opinion.)

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I have to admit that my favorite room in the house is the artists retreat by Niki Papadopoulos. You might look at it and think it’s way too busy but when you were in the space it was very homey and perfectly done.

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I love the gallery with it’s eclectic mix of portraits and abstracts.

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The artwork throughout the house was fabulous.

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Afterwards, Joann and I strolled thru the little town of Serenbe and had a snack at the Blue Eyed Daisy.  We walked around to a back courtyard and found this!

Remember I wrote a blog on this concept of “Before I Die I Want To….”?? Anyway….

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Joann and I wrote down our goals. Mine was “to visit Thailand”.  Joann’s was “to make a difference”.

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It was the perfect end to a really fun, fall day.


P.S.  All photos taken on my new iPhone 6 Plus.  Gotta love it.

October 1, 2014   No Comments

A Dwell with Dignity Reveal!

As you know we have been working on a Dwell with Dignity assignment for weeks preparing to transform a 2 bedroom apartment for a very deserving, formerly homeless, mother of two.  To learn more about this project and the background click HERE!

We spent the day preparing for our portion of the project – a shared bedroom for 2 young girls, ages 3 years and 18 months.   We were told that the girls loved reading, arts and crafts and dress up!  We were very excited to get started!!

Kandrac & Kole Blog

Here is the before:


We had a lot of work to do…..

Kandrac & Kole Blog

Kandrac & Kole Blog

The beautiful bedding and decorative pillows were graciously donated by Serena and Lily and Lacefield Designs.

We had a great DIY group who transformed many of the pieces for us!  Do you remember this?


Many thanks to Dena Stormer of Hearts and Sharts for giving this old dresser new life.  (this was Kelly’s husband’s childhood dresser).


We got lucky with some great knobs from Hobby Lobby!

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Thanks to the wonderful donations of some essentials and arts and craft supplies from Lori Creed Raney of Hedgecock Creed.  If you haven’t heard about her new furniture line, click here!!

We received a monetary donation from our client Rebecca and and an amazing gift from Jeanine Harper who cleaned out her daughters old dress up trunk and donated several gorgeous, costumes, tutus and girly outfits, along with a pile of awesome books!


Here is the recipients reaction when she walked into the girl’s room:



This room was truly a labor of love.  Many thanks to Woodstock Furniture Outlet for donating the bunk beds and mattresses, Currey and Company for the table lamp and Lamps Plus  for the fun bubble chandelier!


This chic fabric for the window treatment was donated by Steve McKenzies, a wonderful lifestyle store located in the West Midtown District of Atlanta.   While you’re there, make it a point to have lunch at Miller Union, a fabulous restaurant right next to their store on Brady Avenue.

Many thanks to SJC Window Designs for fabricating the valance and for always being willing to donate her skill and time even when she is swamped!!

Our industrious and skilled installer Chris Ray of Hangman Installations helped us hang the window treatment, art, lighting and lended a hand to anyone else who needed assistance that day!

The 18 month old is still in  a crib until she is old enough to be in her own bed.  The reason the bunk beds were used was so that once the crib was removed, the two beds could be used side by side and there could be a matching set of twin beds.  In the meantime, we put a baby blanket in the crib donated by Sugarboo Designs that was so soft, I would like an adult version for myself.  The saying makes my heart melt!

“Lord, look down from heaven above and touch this special child with love.  Protect and guide this little one until each and every day is done.  Remind us often that it’s true: This little life is a gift from you.  A miracle You’ve sent our way.  Lord, bless this child today.”



One of the most special features in the room was the original art we had commissioned by one of our favorite Atlanta artists, Jason Kopydlowski of  Jay Scott Studios.


Upon viewing this piece, the girl’s  mother fell to the floor!!



Here’s more of the reveal!





To see the before and afters of the rest of the apartment and more inside information on the project click here!

All of the designers and volunteers unselfishly gave of their time and talents to create a special place.  It was a pleasure to be a part at of this project!


Pictured above:  Brian Pinion of AJW Designs, Kim Turner (co-founder of Dwell with Dignity), me - Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc., Ann Wisniewski of AJW Designs, Julie Montgomery of juliemontgomeryinteriors.com, Nancy Foster, Terri Hunt, Lathem Gordon of gordondunning.com , Dena Stormer of heartland sharts.com and Cate Dunning of gordondunning.com.


As if this wasn’t emotional enough, the recipient has written a book about her life story and we each got a signed copy.  I read it in a day and a half and was so moved by her determination and courage.  You can purchase a copy here!


Thank you Dwell with Dignity for creating this wonderful foundation and allowing us to make a difference in other’s lives!!


Their mission:  To help families escape poverty and homelessness through design; one household at a time.



Photography by Tom England Photography and Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs, Inc.

September 29, 2014   2 Comments

A Highpoint Market Preview Via Decor Mentor

Thank you to our social media friend Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor for putting together a fabulous Highpoint Product Preview via a global Twitter chat this week!  Lead by Lisa and a panel of design talents, a sneak peek of some of the incredible products we will see next month at the Highpoint Furniture Market was previewed on Twitter under hashtag #hpmkt.

Trends we are already seeing? Multi-functional pieces, blues in many shades, unusual art and sculptural influences, a touch of glamour, lots of texture, and more monochromatic collections.

Thanks to Lisa Ferguson, Lisa Kahn, Kati Curtis Design, James Saavedra, Pulp Design Studios, Erica Islas, Jennifer Brouwer for your curation! You can see all the hot picks on the Decor Mentor Pinterest Board HERE but the following are some of my faves:

The Jagger Chair from C.R. Laine. That is just simply COOL.

CR Laine Jagger

The Madrid Hutch by Noir

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This antique double vanity with marble top by GJ Styles will be a hit I’m sure.


Thank you Jennifer Brouwer for spying this beauty from the Libby Langdon Lighting collection for Crystorama. I can’t wait to put it in an upcoming project!


Are you noticing a trend yet? Yes, NAVY will be HOT, HOT, HOT!  This is the Westbury Dressing Chest by Kindel Furniture picked by Lisa Kahn.

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We love everything our friend Stacy Kunstel creates for her company Dunes and Duchess. This Oval Captains Compass Console is one of my favorite picks.


dunes tableLisa Ferguson chose the Shangai Loft Money Chest Bar from Red Egg as one her Top Picks.

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Yes, the quatrefoil shape is still a hot trend. Chosen by Erica Islas as another Top Pick, this is the Dakota table by Decca Home.

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Did I say NAVY was HOT? This is the Mercer Sofa by Canvas Home. LOVE IT.

Mercer Sofa from Canvas Home

Beth and Carolina at Pulp Design Studios picked many items that I loved including this sophisticated Gold Cloud Bookcase from Lazy Susan.

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What’s not to love about this unique wing chair from Caracole called What’s Up Pussycat?
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This last one is for our client Janet because I know she will love this console table from Chelsea Home designed by Lisa Kahn.

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Joann and I will be heading out to Highpoint on Friday, October 17th to see these and many more new products in person.

Stay tuned for our next report!


September 19, 2014   No Comments

A Trip to Bermuda Courtesy of Lexington

At last October’s Highpoint Furniture Market Joann and I took a trip to the impressive Lexington Home Brands headquarters in High Point.  Before we took the tour, the Lexington team surprised me by announcing that I was the winner of a trip to Bermuda courtesy of Lexington! (Hey it pays off to but your business card in the gold fish bowl!)  Four days, three nights for myself and a guest at the beautiful Elbow Beach Resort in Bermuda. This was an incredible gift considering almost 50 years earlier, my parents spent their honeymoon at the exact same resort!

My husband Mike and I went to Bermuda over Labor Day Weekend. Bermuda is a tiny island that is easily navigable – just 22 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. We rented scooters and explored the island and several beautiful parks on Sunday. The views took my breath away.


The hibiscus flowers in white, pink and yellow were everywhere.


Our favorite restaurant hands down in Hamilton was the award winning La Trattoria. BEST.PIZZA.EVER.


Of course our last day was the most beautiful.


So what kind of company caters to the  design trade to such a degree that they would give away a trip like this?

Lexington Home Brands

Founded in 1903, Lexington Home Brands is one of the most respected companies in the industry, having built a reputation for design leadership and exceptional value.

We put the Twilight Bay Cocktail Table in a clients home three years ago. We STILL get calls off the web asking where this table came from.

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Last year in Highpoint, I saw the Sea Mist Writing Desk through the window of the satellite Lexington showroom and it stopped me in my tracks. The shagreen finish is stunning.

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Lexington is well known for creating some of the most sophisticated and gorgeous outdoor furniture on the market. I LOVE the Aviano Sofa.

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I am on a perpetual hunt for nesting tables. They are the perfect answer to every family room.  These Aquarius Quadrant nesting tables are some of the prettiest I’ve seen.

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So thank you Lexington Home Brands for such a special treat. See you next month in Highpoint!



September 6, 2014   No Comments