Category Archives: From the Designers

Jenny Ladutko : Think Pink!

In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s think pink!  Pink is not just for Barbie’s Malibu home! Using pink in a space can be daunting for many, but it does not have to be so. By manipuating hue, saturation and balance, the color can become complex and create an interior that is warm, whimsical, sophisticated and bold.  Check out these spaces that celebrate pink!

This elegant hall is painted in the ideal shade of coral pink to accentuate the china blue elements. Using the same tone of pink on the walls, upholstery and decor makes the look more refined and livable.

The hot pink leather on these chairs makes a statement. The color and material combination adds a fun contemporary pop.

A bold, sophisticated use of color creates that “wow factor.”

The soft, muted pink in this scheme enhances a calm and relaxed space.

This armoire adds a subtle vintage charm in a pale hue of pink.

If pink on a wall or on large pieces of furniture requires too much of a commitment, try adding pink accents such as pillows and artwork.

Hickory Chair showcased these dining chairs at the October 2012 High Point Market. The inset of pink fabric is a fresh, graphic way to incorporate color while keeping a chic, tailored look.

As shown in the Coastal Living Style Home at Palmetto Bluff, nothing brightens up a room like a pink floral arrangement.

Whether subtle or vibrant, pink can effectively enhance any room. The next time you are looking for some color, try embracing pink and discovering endless possibilities!

For more information on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and how you can celebrate the power of pink, visit Susan G. Komen For the Cure at ww5.Komen.org.

Best,

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Hannah Fulton : Summer Entertaining

I love to entertain. Whether it’s a casual picnic on the beach, or a formal dinner party – I enjoy nothing more than sharing delicious food and tasty drinks with friends. As a Designer, it’s second nature to add whimsical touches to my soirees. One of my favorite ways to spice up a party is to put together my tabletop using design elements in unique ways – urns as vases, lamps ON the table and special finds as centerpieces. Here are few photos that have inspired me!

This color combination is so classic! The blue and white stripes provide a crisp nautical feel while the touches of pink soften the look. I love the blue and white vases, and the concept of taking a collection you would typically see indoors on bookshelves and showcasing the pieces on the center of the table.

 

Bringing a substantial furniture piece outside can set the stage for your outdoor soiree. Add lamps, and your guests will feel right at home!

The lamps and bold pillows add a whimsical touch to this table.

This tabletop shows how ‘simple’ can be oh so sophisticated.  Planning a scheme around one color (or white!), and then adding a pop of color with beautiful flowers is a great way to make the (sometimes overwhelming) task of setting a beautiful table easy.

The setting is the star!  The subtle grey and mercury glass touches, along with the airy white sheers, play up the weathered wood docks and turn this casual space into an elegant setting.

I can’t help but to take home MANY of the wonderful tabletop treasures which come into the J Banks Retail Store on a regular basis!  A few of my favorites which add whimsy and charm to my parties are:

My Dransfield & Ross crab, gator, flamingo and fish napkin rings are always a conversation starter and they look fun on a formal table. On my list (of one million items) of things to purchase from J Banks, are these great wavy dinner napkins, also from Dransfield.  I think everything that Dransfield & Ross comes out with for tabletop is so much fun!

These are my favorite cocktail napkins. The custom monograms by Julia B look like antiques! (But the initials are mine AND pink!)    

These bud vases are also placecard holders!  I recently used them at a 5 year old birthday party – perfect for little ladies and women alike!

In the summertime, these acrylic wine glasses are key to all of my outdoor entertaining.

This book makes concocting your signature cocktail a breeze!

Summer is one of my favorite times to entertain, and with so many delicious finds from my garden and the local farmer’s market, the menu is always easy to plan!  Here’s a little inspiration for you in the form of my favorite summer recipes…

This grape bruschetta is a nice change from the traditional tomatoes and basil version, and is served cold.  This recipe is refreshing with a pop of heat!

Grape Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red grapes, diced
  • 1 cup blue and/or black grapes, diced (I used all red grapes)
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley (I used Cilantro)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 slices whole grain bread, quartered (I used a baguette – but needed 1-1/2)
  • 6 ounces herbed goat cheese, slightly softened
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

1.      Combine grapes, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro and vinegar in medium bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 30 minutes.

2.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange bread on large baking sheet in a single layer and bake, turning once, 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove and let cool.

3.      Combine goat cheese with mayonnaise in small bowl until smooth. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Evenly spread cheese mixture onto crostinis, then top with grape salsa.

When it is hot and the tomatoes are bountiful, Tomato Pie is my ‘go to’ recipe.  It’s the perfect way to use a plentiful harvest of tomatoes, and great for a luncheon.

Tomato Pie (Serves 6 to 8)

Ingredients:

  • 9 inch pie shell (Baked)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Spread the pie shell with Dijon mustard. 
  3. Layer the sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cheeses in the pie shell ending with the cheese.
  4. Mix together the mayonnaise and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. 
  5. Spread on top of the pie. 
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes until bubbly. 
  7. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Strawberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • Greens of your choice – for this salad, I love butter lettuce tossed with red leaf lettuce.
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Slivered almonds (toasted)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Your choice of dressing. I love Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette

I love doing variations of this salad (in the winter, I substitute sweetened dried cranberries for the strawberries and do more of a rustic dressing  (stay tuned this fall)

Cold citrus delight! The perfect compliment to the rich Tomato Pie.

Frozen Lemon Souffle (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest plus 3/4 cup lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
  • 8 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries (6 ounces)
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Wrap outside of a 3 1/2-cup souffle mold or four 6-ounce ramekins with parchment, extending 2 to 3 inches above rim (it should fit snugly). Secure with tape; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, egg yolks, and salt over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and small bubbles form around edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Immediately remove from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on lemon curd with a rubber spatula.
  3. Place plastic wrap directly against surface of curd and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, 2 minutes. Gently fold egg whites into cooled lemon curd. In the same large bowl, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Gently fold whipped cream into lemon curd mixture. Pour into mold and freeze until firm, 6 hours (or up to overnight). To serve, remove parchment, top with raspberries and dust with Confectioner’s sugar.

I hope that you have been inspired and, will have fun setting your table!

Bon Appetit,

 

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Joni Vanderslice: A Summer Under the Tuscan Sun

Ciao!

I have been traveling a lot this summer but have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring my children with me. The majority of my travel time has been in Italy as I have been putting the finishing touches on our seven year design project, the Castello di Casole.  On my first trip in June, I was able to bring my daughter Grace,  and on my second trip in July, I was able to bring my daughter Sarah and her best friend Ella.

There is something about traveling with children that makes the entire experience special. They can be less serious about the experience and they savor every bite and take in every detail.  While these trips to Italy were primarily work related, I was lucky to be able to turn them into “work-cations.” I’d like to share some pictures of the two trips through the eyes of my daughters and their friend by sharing their photographs.

My first trip to Italy was with my youngest daughter Grace.

Grace chronicled our trip with her camera.  Here she is in the Bargalgi chapel with our dear friend Lina Loconsolo. We rarely get to go in this chapel and it was so beautiful. What a treat! Lina is our right hand and more in Italy.

I love how Grace captured so many details of the trip, including these lemons that are growing in the courtyard of the Hotel.

The photographer’s feet.  Love the nail polish!

Grace was in Italy for the initial stages of the Hotel Castello di Casole installation.  It was great that she was there to photograph the install process, and I sent these pictures back to the rest of the company so that they could see the progress of the project.  In this picture, workers were installing the marble around columns in the Bar Visconti.

She also took this detail shot of the sconces in the lobby of the Hotel.

Being around during the beginning of a project has its perks.  Grace will forever carry the title as the “First American in the pool” at the Hotel Castello di Casole!

Towards the end of our trip we even came across this parade!

At the end of July, I headed back to Italy and brought my oldest daughter, Sarah, and her best friend Ella.

Here are the two fashionistas on a shopping trip for antiques and accessories for the Hotel.

Shopping for Italian ceramics.

We did a lot of sight seeing, including visiting the Duomo in Florence.

Ella was our official photographer.  She has a great eye for detail. Here is a great shot from a building in Pisa.

We ate A LOT of Gelato!

We visited the studio of Linda Leopold in Casole d’Elsa. Linda’s work is in Tosca, the restaurant in the Hotel Castello di Casole.

Here is Sarah examining her work …. totally enamored!

The girls would have a mini-photoshoot wherever we went.  Here is Sarah posing on the balcony in Siena Piazza Del Campo.

A shot with Ella and Sarah.

We were also able to eat a lot of delicious food. Ella captured the details of each meal so beautifully.

This is the bread basket at the Tosca Restaurant in the Hotel Castello di Casole.

A delicious dessert, also from Tosca.

It was amazing to see the Hotel open and to enjoy the fruit of our labors. Here are Designer, Adrienne Warner, and I in the Hotel Courtyard.

And here I am with Sarah.

This is a detailed shot of a fence in Florence on the Ponte Vecchio. Couples lock their love together forever symbolically on these gates.

Artists in Siena.

And of course…more gelato!

I came across an Italian phrase recently. ‘Cuori sorridenti e luoghi allegro danno vita a moment lieti’ translated to English means ‘Smiling Hearts, Beautiful Faces, Good Times, Happy Places.’  This saying perfectly captures what my trips to Italy brought for me this summer. If you haven’t had the chance to travel to this fabulous country, I hope you can do so soon.  Take your children if possible, or do your best to take on the experience as a ‘child at heart.’

Visit Castello di Casole!  http://www.castellodicasole.com

Ciao! Ciao!

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Janet Perry: Walk-in Closet to Home Office

I recently had a client who was in need of a home office workspace. Her initial plan of action was to move to another home, but she really loved her current space and location.  We found a solution to this challenge by turning an underused guest closet into a home office.  By adding paint, shelving, lighting and storage, we were able to make this space personal and functional.

We used lime oak flooring.

On one wall we used a sisal backsplash for pushpins and notes.  The desk was custom built from remnants of a beautiful teak species of wood in its natural state.

Keeping with the eclectic mix of materials, this individual stool fit the space perfectly and tucks right underneath the desk when not in use.

To make the space more feminine, we added a chandelier with bling.

We made sure that everything she would need had a space, and was organized.

We purchased baskets that fit in the shelving perfectly to maximize storage and eliminate clutter.

Under counter task lights were added for times when additional light was needed for reading or writing.

To make the space more personal, the owner selected a favorite piece of artwork from a local gallery.  The slate blue wall color was selected to quiet the room and make it an extension of the guest room when the space was being used by visitors.

This project was a success because not only was the client thrilled with the results, but we had fun as well!

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Sharon Cleland: How to Make a Grand Entrance

Initial impressions certainly do count, and the entry or foyer of a home is no exception. The presentation of this room sets the stage for the drama which will follow throughout the home. A careful choice of color, texture, lighting and scale of furnishings mixed with personal favorite items and objet d’art should exude calmness and warmth, and visually communicate “Welcome to our happy home.” Below are foyers which I found especially beautiful and appealing, and an explanation of the details and selections that I thought made them unique.

Note the successful mix of reclaimed floor boards in contrast to the elegant and sophisticated chandelier.

I like the dichotomy of style created by using dramatic artwork and mechanical elements.

Use of the antique mirrored glass and layered artwork adds visual depth and character.

Cool contemporary clean lines look fresh with the splash of color from the alliums.

This is an eclectic, subdued mix of old and new. The grouping of antique prints creates a great visual impact.

Monochromatic drama! Notice the major impact of the nailhead detail on the doors.

The inclusion of the organic elements, along with the rope and basket, add texture and interest.

The size and scale of this mirror is perfect with the ceiling heights in this entry. The elegant neutral hues and contrasting tones work well together as well.

Rustic flagstone floors, and the collection of walking sticks epitomizes English country manor living.

This entry is perfectly balanced with scale and symmetry created with the lamps and stools.

I love this assemblage of artwork, distressed buffet, whimsical flamingo and lamps.

The dramatic floor design with dark trim, and a punch of color in the bench seat are fabulous.

I created an entry vignette using items from the J Banks Retail Store. Components that I feel are important to include in entries include atmospheric lighting to create a warm welcome, an over scaled mirror to add visual depth, botanical greenery for texture, and fresh flowers from the garden for fragrance and to add cheer and happiness!

Entries are not only a first impression upon entering the house, but also the last impression upon leaving. Let this space take center stage to encapsulate personal style and impact.

Cheerio,

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The White Sofa Project

We took one sofa in our retail store and asked each of the J Banks Designers to style the sofa and surrounding space utilizing pillows, lamps and accessories.  Each Designer had the ability to create a space that not only showed their “of-the-moment” loves from our retail store, but also demonstrated how a design client can easily change a space by adding a few new elements. Every week a different Designer would style the space and the results were always unique. Below is an image of each design.

The White Sofa

Styled by Deb Van Plew

Styled by Hannah Fulton

Styled by Cindy Munn

Styled by Shelley Wilkins

Styled by Adrienne Warner

Styled by Patche Pratt

Styled by Janet Perry

Styled by Sharon Cleland

Styled by Lisa Whitley

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped with this project! It was fun seeing the same space interpreted through each different designer’s eyes.

If you’d like to purchase or receive additional information on any of these featured products, please feel free to stop by or contact our retail store at 843.682.1745. Thank you to KPM Flooring for donating the beautiful rugs that were used each week.

JB

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The White Sofa Project: Sharon Cleland

In case you have missed our previous posts on the white sofa project, here is a quick update.  We have taken one sofa in our retail store and have asked each of the J Banks Designers to style the sofa and surrounding space utilizing pillows, lamps and accessories.  Each designer has the ability to create a space that shows off their “of-the-moment” loves from our retail store as well as how a design client can easily change a space by adding a few new elements.  Enjoy our most recent transformation!

Sharon Cleland designed the latest vignette.  Here is what she had to say about her choices:

JB: What is your favorite item or items in the vignette? Why?
Sharon: My favorite item in the vignette is absolutely the distressed antiqued mirror. I love to use mirrors in living spaces as they instantly add depth to the room, and, not only do they bounce light into the space, but also reflect the image of whatever is on the opposite side of the room. I like to think of mirrors as “windows” and especially am drawn to “antiqued” glass to add character and patina to the space.
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JB: Tell us a little bit about your color choices.
Sharon: I am a real  fan of “neutral” color choices for main upholstery pieces, but like to ‘anchor’ the look with a contrasting rug and accessorize with color. I fell in love with this 100% wool Soumak weave Indian rug and used the colors from the rug to pull pillows in a marigold shade with accent colors of taupe and slate. Since moving to this sub tropical climate last year from the cooler shores of Ireland, I am thrilled to introduce sharp fun colors and tropical greenery to interior schemes to reflect the lush outdoors.
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JB: What advice about accessories do you give your clients?
Sharon: Accessories will make or break an interior scheme. I LOVE fewer over-scaled statement pieces  as opposed to lots of small pieces. I chose a less predictable casual beachy theme incorporating  aged driftwood finishes in the cocktail table, and the statement accessory being  the driftwood horse head sculpture which has added impact being reflected in the mirror. The symmetrical overscaled lamps add drama and balance, and the horse theme repetition is echoed in the chess piece on the cocktail table. I collect old hard back books and incorporated them everywhere to add height and interest.
JB: What did you want the overall mood of the space to be?
Sharon: The mood I tried to create here is one of eclectic casual with a tropical flavor!

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Keep following our blog to see more designer interpretations and check out our previous white sofa designs by Deb Van PlewHannah FultonCindy Munn , Adrienne Warner, Shelley Wilkins , Patche Pratt, Janet Perry and Lisa Whitley.

If you’d like to purchase or receive additional information on any of these featured products, please feel free to stop by or contact our retail store at 843.682.1745.

JB

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