From the Top

Atlanta design duo Kandrac-Kole uses the city skyline as their muse for a rambling pied-à-terre

The client uses this deep Bernhardt sectional in the sunroom to indulge in panoramic views of Chicago. Chandelier, Visual Comfort. Lamp, Currey & Company.

For a pied-à-terre overlooking Chicago’s Lake Michigan, inspiration for the color scheme was as simple as looking out upon the city skyline from the condo’s 46th floor. “Preserving the view and not competing with it was a specific request of our client,” say Kelly Kole and Joann Kandrac of Atlanta design firm Kandrac & Kole.​ Because the condo was more of a second home, the designers gently pushed their client outside her comfort zone, infusing the space with subtly calming colors such as blush pink in the master bedroom, and stronger jolts such as emerald green in the sunroom, where a deep sectional provides both comfort and a perch for unencumbered views of Chicago. Still, the main color thread that ties the unit together is a soft gray that both reduces visual bulkiness and keeps the focus on glorious sunsets and the lake. Kole and Kandrac’s personal color mantra: “Be brave and go for it! Our best designs are those that have an unabashed yet curated dose of color.”

The extra-wide leather bench accommodates family and friends and reduces the visual bulkiness at the table to preserve those city views.

“Our clients are most pleased in the end when they allow us to gently push them outside their comfort zone.”

In the master bedroom, calming tones rule in the form of blush banding on Fabricut draperies and a landscape from Wendover Art.


Good color schemes always have … An easygoing flow without being too “matchy-matchy,” and, of course, unexpected color in the form of a pillow, small chair or piece of art.

When working with bold shades, never … Overdo it. Not every element needs to be a “wow.”  Some aspects of the design need to take a backseat so other details can shine.

Always paint the trim … Off-white, not bright white. A favorite is Sherwin-Williams West Highland White.

A low-commitment way to use color is … With throw pillows, vases, objects or books. We use to purchase books by color.