A drastic before-and-after backyard makeover can be so inspiring. Designers Kelly Kole and Joann Kandrac of Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs in Atlanta, Georgia did just that when they gave Kelly’s new landscape a completely updated look. Kelly shares the secrets of the redesign here, as well as her insights into giving your own space a makeover in addition to her design perspectives.
Our home has a unique design in that the house is in the shape of a “U” with a completely private courtyard in the middle instead of a back yard. Our previous home had a very large back yard so it was important for us to design a space that could multi function and had a lot of green space (even though we don’t have any grass!). My husband wanted a water fall/gas fire pit/landscaped feature as the main attraction so he found an inspiration photo on Houzz.com and our contractors used that as their guide. We added the custom made lattice in the middle for additional greenery (and fragrance).
I was totally freaked out about not seeing trees out my windows in this new house so our landscaper did a great job of bringing in four large pots to carry trees. The trees and the bushes were chosen so that there is a color blooming in the courtyard 12 months out of the year. My favorite is the Japanese Maple whose trunk and branches turn a vibrant red in the winter. Between the grill, refrigerator, comfortable furniture, music on the Sonos speakers, outdoor party lights and fans overhead –– we really can stay outside all day.
How did you get your start in design? Interior Design is actually my 2nd career, which began 16 years ago after leaving the corporate world. I went back to school to the Art Institute of Atlanta at night and worked at a design showroom in the fabric department during the day. I worked at the showroom for four years and met my business partner Joann there. We incorporated Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs in August of 2015 and have literally been going non-stop ever since!
Tell us a little about your design style. My personal design style is full of color, textures, custom pieces and lots of original art. I prefer a very symmetrical design without too much clutter but lots of personality.
Which Summer Classics items are your favorites? I have so many but my favorites in my courtyard are the Sedona Swivel chairs. My husband and I sit in those chairs every evening with a glass a wine in front of our water feature and talk about the day. I also love my new Cottage coffee table because I needed a petite coffee table that wasn’t too wide. The Weathered finish is my favorite because it’s a good medium – not too grey and not too brown/tan.
What do you tell your clients are their must-have items for a beautiful outdoor area? Comfortable seating (comfort being key because so much outdoor furniture is NOT) offering multiple functions (dining, lounging, conversation), performance fabrics such as Sunbrella, ambient lighting and lots of flowers/greenery. The options for an ideal outdoor living space are endless these days – water features, fire pits, professional grills, beverage refrigerators in all sizes, colorful awnings and umbrellas etc. Outdoors is the place to be!
When it comes to color, what are some trends that you see for 2017? We are still using a lot of grey, linens and creams, all shades of blue and green, and deep pink.
What do you feel is important for clients who entertain outdoors? Outdoor living is a big trend that I don’t see going anywhere. Durable and comfortable weather resistant outdoor furniture is an investment that is worth every penny. My Summer Classics pieces sit outside without cover all year and after 3 years they still look brand new. I think it’s important to make the space personal – just like we encourage clients to do on their inside spaces. For example, I have (6) colorful handcrafted masks I purchased on a trip to Guatemala that I hung on the outside of my house. I also have a large handpainted Ohm symbol that my daughter painted on wood hung over the dining area.
Anything else you’d like people to know about you? Please visit our website at www.kandrac-kole.com. We have been blogging since 2009 so please click on our blog for entertaining stories about our design projects, our travels and our commentary on design events and trends.