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November 9, 2015

K & K

Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole are known for creating inviting interiors with pops of color. They are also the dynamic designers and founders of Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs.

KK: grew up in Princeton, NJ, and graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in speech communications and international studies. After 14 years in the corporate world, I decided to follow my true love – interior design. I earned a certificate in residential interiors from the Art Institute of Atlanta and started working at a local design showroom.

JK: I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Atlanta in 1992 with my husband on a company transfer. In Cleveland, I worked as an administrative assistant to high-level executives. After the move, I stayed home to raise my two daughters and worked part time at a design showroom. I quickly found my niche. I did merchandising and served as the buyer for the next 13 years.

How they met: Kandrac and Kole met while working at a showroom in Atlanta. They also designed a show house together. “After that experience, we knew we would make great business partners based on our passion for design, our styles and our work ethic,” said Kandrac. In 2005, they started Kandrac & Kole.

Claim to fame: Voted one of Atlanta’s Top 20 Interior Design Firms by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

First design job: A show house at Governor’s Towne Club in Acworth. We designed the guest bedroom suite in a Southern plantation-style mansion.

Design pet peeves: Improper scale (such as a small piece of art hung too high on a large wall) and cookie-cutter design.

Current design obsessions: Original art; mixing antiques and modern together for a collected, meaningful design; and wallpaper for texture, interest and pizzazz. We use a lot of Thibaut Design and Schumacher wall coverings.

New (or re-emerging looks) we like: Inlaid bone and the use of horn. Clean and fresh lines without a lot of clutter. White walls (like Benjamin Moore’s color of the year, Simply White) that serve as a backdrop to beautiful things.

… and looks we are glad to see go: Anything that is (visually) heavy, curvy and dark. Also designs that are overly “country” or “southwestern.”

Most unusual request: A client asked us to incorporate a way to always have his guns nearby, including in his master bedroom and by the sofa.

Biggest design mistake we’ve made: Selecting a velvet sofa for a client with three cats. It was like a magnet for cat fur.

… and mistakes homeowners make: Not calling an interior designer soon enough. Mistakes in our business are costly. A designer always pays for her/himself tenfold.

Atlanta-area stores/showrooms: Steve McKenzie’s; Boxwoods; Currey & Co.; Huff Harrington; Pieces; and Stanton Home Furnishings.

Places for unexpected finds: Scott’s Antique Market. Also Gregg Irby Gallery and Westside Market in Atlanta; and GDC Home in Charleston.

Blogs: The English Room, Design Indulgence, Lisa Mende Design, Velvet & Linen, Style Blueprint.

Instagram: House Beautiful; Parker Kennedy Living; Waiting on Martha; Dominomag; FoodintheAir; interiordesigncommunity; and natgeo.

Non-profit project: We build homes and support several orphanages in Guatemala.

Latest project: Just finished designing three bathroom renovations in one house.

Dream project: A big and beautiful beach house, preferably in Rosemary Beach or Charleston. But we aren’t picky.

Find Kandrac & Kole at:

KK livingroom

The clients of this Atlanta home hired the design team to create an adult entertainment area, where guests could sit and have a drink while dinner was being prepared. In the chat space, the designers placed four designer wing chairs facing a marble coffee table.


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