In a perfect world, every house project might start with a clean slate and unlimited funds. But then again, sometimes working around sentimental pieces and within the constraints of a budget can lead to a creative end result. For this suburban Atlanta home, interior designers Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole of Kandrac-Kole combined old and new to create a comfortable yet stylish family home.
“We were able to reuse about 40 percent of the client’s furnishings from their family and living rooms,” says Kandrac. “The homeowners were well-traveled and had several pieces of artwork and accessories we could incorporate.”
This project was for a busy family of five with a large dog, so all of the textiles had to be durable yet comfortable, adds Kole. Another goal was to improve the flow of the room. “When we arrived at the house, each room was somewhat out of balance, so adding additional chairs, small tables and bookcases/consoles that were more in scale with the large walls helped to bring symmetry to each room,” she says.
For the family room, the designers began by painting the built-ins from top to bottom, choosing a rich gray to allow accessories to pop. They used an existing sectional the homeowners had recently purchased, but livened up the dark furnishings with colorful pillows, art and a rug.
Since the homeowners are from Boston, Kole & Kandrac wanted to incorporate a bit of a New England vibe in the dining room. They slipcovered existing chairs in a crisp linen stripe, then added an assortment of oars as wall art for a nautical reference. As a clever nod to the family’s travels, the designers commissioned custom artwork that showcases the longitude and latitude lines of memorable places they’ve traveled.
A sitting room (otherwise known as the formal living room many of us have but don’t know what to do with, jokes Kole) now serves as a grown-up place to have cocktails. The designers maximized seating with two comfy wing chairs. Pillows and a rug in blue and white tie in with the New England vibe and keep the room from being too formal, while better lighting also turns it into a good area for reading.
After the transformation? The whole family—including their 70-pound dog—have three like-new places to enjoy family and friend time … with more space to walk and happier colors.
Special thanks to Emily Followill for the terrific AFTER shots.