Category Archives: Tabletop

Setting the Perfect Table

Whether you are planning an informal or formal dinner party a proper place setting is especially important and sets the tone for the entire evening.  Many experts have more detailed ideas regarding a perfect place setting; however, arrangement and creativity are the keys to an artful and unique setting perfect for your style.  Whatever the occasion here are some general guidelines that will allow you to add your own creative twist!

The Everyday Basic Table Setting

The Everyday Basic Table Setting is probably the most common place setting we all use.  If you have monogrammed napkins, make sure that the monogram is on the corner that faces downward toward the edge of the table.  A few additional points to remember: the knife blades always face the plate and the bread and butter plate and knife are optional.  Use your silverware from the outside in.  Let the plates be your guide.  You will build on this basic setting when creating an informal and formal table setting.

We created the basic table setting above by using items from our retail store that include Vietri flatware and glassware, a Daisy Hill placemat, Dransfield and Ross napkins, L’Objet salt and pepper and  Antheor tabletop.

Informal Table Setting

An informal dinner usually consists of a three-course menu including soup or salad, entrée and dessert. This builds on the basic place setting to create an informal arrangement.  All napkins at this point should be cloth and you should allow two feet from plate center to plate center at your table setting- all other items should be equally balanced around the table. Optional dishes include: bread and butter plate, salad plate, dessert spoon and fork, and coffee cup and saucer.

We created the informal table setting above using Vietri flatware, glassware, salt and pepper and  Incanto patterned tabletop. Alligator serving piece from Arthur Court, Daisy Hill placemat, Kim Seybert napkin, Dransfield and Ross napkin ring and seder tree serving piece from Michael Aram.

We had to share a detail shot of these fabulous octopus napkin rings!

Formal Table Setting

A formal dinner usually consist of a five-course menu. Not limited to but including an appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert. Your menu will dictate what utensils, china, and drinkware you will use, hence, you may not need all the utensils shown in the image above. Once again, creating balance among all the items on the table is essential to avoid clutter and to maintain a formal table setting.

Our formal place setting includes tabletop by Antheor, flatware by Vietri, glassware by Vietri, Kim Seybert napkin and napkin ring, Frances Stoia placemat and Sylvie Goldmark salt and pepper.

Above is an additional informal table setting that we created for a beautiful spring luncheon table.

For this tablescape we used Antheor china, Vietri flatware, Vietri glassware,Kim Seybert napkin, Kim Seybert placemat and Michael Aram salt and pepper.

Additional Table Setting Helpful Hints Include:

  • A great way to remember where the bread and butter plate goes is to make a lowercase ‘b’ with your fingers.  The left hand will show a lowercase ‘b’ and this will be the side you place your bread and butter plate.  Try it!
  • Always work from the outside in with your utensils.
  • Be creative with your selection of placemats, chargers, and napkin rings.
  • Bread and butter plate and knife should be set at 11 a.m. and your water glass should be placed at your 2 p.m. location.
All of the fabulous items shown in these pictures are available in our retail store.  For more information or assistance planning the perfect table setting call 843.682.1745.

Table setting images and some content from


Filed under 35 Main Street, Dinnerware, J Banks Design Group, J Banks Retail, Tabletop

It’s SUPER Bowl Week!

Most equate the Super Bowl with the big game at the end of football season.  However, at the J Banks Retail store we have ‘super’ bowls throughout the year.  Our ever-changing inventory is host to so many treasures.  In fact, what could be more perfect than incorporating one of our beautiful bowls into your Super Bowl tablescape?  Here are a few bowls we have right now that we felt were particularly ‘super.’

Stunning textured ceramic bowl with metallic gold finish

Stainless Steel Orchid Punch Bowl

Black bowl with gold horse motif and gold interior

Large glass pedestal compote/fruit bowl

Horn and resin bowl with circular starburst pattern

Italian ceramic pasta or salad bowl (plus we have all of the corresponding dinnerware pieces)

Modern ceramic bird with platinum tone finish

French ceramic serving bowl

If you like any of these bowls, come into our retail store at 35 Main Street on Hilton Head Island, SC to view our full inventory.  If you don’t live nearby just give us a call at 843-682-1745.  We will be happy to ship and always offer complimentary gift wrapping.

Now those are some ‘super bowls’ we’re getting excited about!


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Filed under Beautiful Things, Dinnerware, J Banks Retail, Tabletop, Vietri

Tuesday Tabletop

It’s time for a JB’s style tea party for the little babes in your life. There’s no reason that a tabletop for the kiddies can’t be just as magical as the grown-up’s table!

Boys… girls… (and maybe even some of us “older souls”) will be delighted by the quality and absolute cuteness of these dish sets.

Before you think this is total fantasy… we have good news!

The darling ceramics from Alex Marshall Studio are highly durable, dish-washer and microwave safe.

Sparkling “crystal cut” tumblers are only an illusion. What looks like Waterford cut crystal is actually no-crack acrylic! (You know… the durable stuff that they make sports water bottles out of.)

Mini-sized flatware is tailor made for tiny hands in Italy by Vietri’s Bugatti Bambini line.

Add even more fun with these place mats that your kiddies can color again and again. During dinner entertainment has never been so easy.

Shower your little ones with these tabletop treasures, and create a favorite memory.

Happy Tea Party Tuesday!


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Filed under Dinnerware, J Banks Design Group, J Banks Retail, Tabletop

Tuesday Tabletops – Mix it Up!

If you know J Banks, you know that we never shy away from “mixing-it-up”  and this adage can certainly apply to your dining table.  This Tuesday we wanted to playfully pop juxtaposing styles and textures to turn comfortable casual into a night to remember.

It’s a shame to hide your gorgeous formal china in a dark  hutch or cabinet – let it shine by intermixing individual pieces into your everyday dinnerware.  Amazing gold speckled, cork placemats by Kim Seybert are a glam-natural choice – responsible, casual AND dazzling.   Festive glassware or character pieces (like these adorable corn-on-the-cob salt and pepper shakers from Michael Aram) are fun details that your guests will long remember.    Strike up delight by adding a stylish party favor to your place settings.  A simple box of matches can become a treasure when adorned with a coastal vintage print.

So, pour yourself a rosemary infused greyhound from our lovely martini pitcher, take a deep breath and create an easy, breezy and beautiful tablescape!

Rosemary Infused Greyhound

1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Herb’s Rosemary Infused Vodka (or make your own!)
1 tsp Organic Sugar
1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary for garnish

In a shaker, add rosemary vodka and grapefruit juice. Stir and serve over ice in a sugar-rimmed (technically this makes it closer to a Salty Dog – don’t sugar your rim for a more classic Greyhound) rocks or martini glass. Serves 1.

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Filed under J Banks Retail, Tabletop

Tuesday Tabletops – 4th of July Celebration

We may not be event planners, but J.Banks knows a well-dressed table when we see one (and we delight in the sight!). What better way to launch our new series “Tuesday Tabletops” than in preparation for our nation’s birthday!?

 Our inspiration is Classic Americana with a light, fresh, coastal flair. This is a holiday that goes to show, your place settings don’t have to be stiff to be elegant. Classic basics make a perfect pallet, and fun details like napkin rings and placecard holders add sparkle!

Whether you celebrate your family traditions with a picnic or a sit down dinner, consider adding some creative little details in our nation’s “signature colors.” Make sure to stop by our retail store for a pop of patriotic pizzazz, or even for some star-spangled suggestions!  

Send us photos of your special tablescapes! We’d love to become inspired by you!

Happy Tuesday!


(Image 1: Place Card Holder, Pitcher, Napkins, NapkinRing, Glassware – Image 2 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

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Filed under Beautiful Things, Blue and White, Color, Dinnerware, Glassware, J Banks Retail, Tabletop

Acrylic glassware…..encore!

 Back by popular demand!


Throughout the summer, we have featured our fabulous acrylic stemware (faux Waterford Lismore pattern) and our shoppers can’t get enough!  We are excited to showcase our latest acrylic arrivals in smoke, lime, and fuchsia.  In addition to the stemware, we now have matching tumblers, pitchers, and bowls.  Entertaining has never been so much fun!


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Filed under 35 Main Street, Acrylic, Color, Glassware, J Banks Retail, Tabletop

Summer with Style!



Changing our vignettes is a constant at J Banks Retail!   We love to surprise our shoppers with fresh and fun ideas.   Something as simple as switching out pillows can make a dramatic impact!  Our creamy upholstery pieces were adorned with deep navy, olive green and khaki pillows to provide a masculine atmosphere in honor of Father’s Day.    Immediately after, we seamlessly transitioned to summer by replacing the khaki and green with pops of red.  Adding whimsical melamine dinnerware, faux Waterford acrylic glassware and portable picnic coolers enhanced the story by creating a playful and fun display! 

Thank you to KPM flooring for letting us borrow the perfect finishing touch – a blue and white diamond swirl rug.  Make sure to visit KPM Flooring online or in person.  KPM Flooring is located within our 35 Main Street building and they always have the latest rug, tile and flooring selections.  This particular rug can be customized to your room by selecting the size and colors that are appropriate to your decor.  

 “Summer with Style” is easy to achieve by combining fabulous finds from our retail store with your cherished traditions! 

Our white lacquer placemats with latticework detail are the perfect backdrop for the Antheor china, navy and white batik napkins and whimsical starfish napkin rings! 

Pasta, potato salad, fruit, you name it – we have all the perfect serving pieces!  Our china selections are available in red, white and blue (yellow and ivory too!).


Details – Add a Twist to Tradition!

Personalize your dinner table with individual placecard holders (our copper fish are only $7 each)!  Be creative!  Instead of your guest’s names, display patriotic quotations that will remind them of all the reasons we celebrate July 4th (coordinating placecards are available in colors ranging from marigold to red.  And…don’t forget to pick up the matching, printable dinner menus).  These simple touches will add serious style to your summer soirees!

Alfresco dining (or any type of dining for that matter) is always better by candlelight!  Red seeded glass votives, hyacinth flower candles, and beautiful Belgium “Baobab” candles will help set the perfect mood. 

 Our retail associates love sharing tips and little secrets that can make something good into something GREAT!

Stop by J Banks for all your summertime entertaining needs. 


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Filed under Color, Dinnerware, J Banks Retail, KPM Flooring, Outdoor, Tabletop