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Holiday Decor: Inspiration to Creation

The task of decorating for the holidays can be daunting.  There are endless options and themes and it can be hard to decide where to begin!

We have been gearing up for this holiday season transforming our retail store into a winter wonderland. Beginning as early as September, our buyers and merchandisers gathered to pull inspiration photos, and to compare pictures of what was scheduled to arrive and what was currently on hand that could be used for this year’s displays.

One of our favorite approaches is repurposing existing items as well as buying the latest and greatest during the Fall Markets!  Mixing the old with the new creates interest, and better yet – allows you to save your dollars for gift giving!

Here is an example of one of the inspiration photos we used for our holiday vision – we love the simplistic, yet shimmering glamour of the tree!

Using this as our inspiration, we took our bare tree, metallic spray paint, and items already found in our store to make our perfect store entrance vignette.

Mercury bottle votives became cool over-scaled ornaments, and burlap ribbon became glitzy dressing by simply spray-painting it silver. The metallic theme was also applied to an older red wreath and voila – we had a new tree topper complete with ‘JB’ letters as the finishing touch!  Combining existing goods with our fabulous new mercury balls, sparkling vine orbs, and festive ornaments makes a grand statement.

Interested in repurposing your existing Christmas holiday décor into new ideas and displays?  We can help!  Our designers are available for hourly consultation to help you create displays that will dazzle.

And if all you need is a little inspiration, then please plan to join us for our Holiday Open House on Thursday, November 8th from 3-7pm.  All of our displays will be ready for gazing AND shopping!

We can assure you, J Banks Retail has the holidays covered with gift ideas for everyone on your list!

See you soon during all our holiday events!


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LEEDer’s of the Pack!

The J Banks Design building was the first LEED-certified building on Hilton Head Island, and only the twelfth in South Carolina. President Joni Vanderslice’s decision to build green resulted from wanting to gain first-hand knowledge of new design practices that could benefit her clients as well as provide a healthy environment for her employees.

So what does being LEED-certified mean?

LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities

Below is an explanation of the many ways that the J Banks Design building applies the LEED building principles. Hopefully these concepts will inspire you to include some  of these options in your home or business.


The reclaimed flooring came from a barn in South Carolina and was sealed with a low VOC product. Low VOC products include any paint, stain, or varnish that uses water instead of petroleum as a carrier. Due to the low VOC paint being water based, not only is cleanup much easier, but also harmful emissions are much lower compared to their solvent-based counterparts.


All retail display cabinets were made locally which minimizes transportation costs thus reduces the need to use fossil fuels.

The showroom drapery dividers are made of linen, a natural material, and were fabricated locally.

The insulation used is Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF). SPF fills and seals all exposed areas and cracks around the perimeter of your structure, giving you protection from air drafts and moisture.


The chandelier is made with a combination of recycled glass and steel.

The butt board walls are made from wood harvested from the trees that were cleared for building construction and were milled on site.

The entire room has low VOC paint, sealants and adhesives.  This room also includes locally made cabinetry.


A skylight was added to maximize daylight and minimize the need for artificial light.

Occupancy lighting sensors are used in this area and throughout the rest of the building. Lights automatically turn on or off due to detected motion in an area. Energy savings can result by turning off the lights when a space is unoccupied. Occupancy sensors can also enhance security and reduce light pollution.


There is low flow plumbing  in the bathrooms that use less water than conventional fixtures. The sinks feature motion sensors and turn off when not in use.

Dual flush toilets help to conserve water.

We have a repurposed piece of antique furniture as the vanity for the women’s restroom on the first floor.  Reusing existing furniture reduces the need for raw material extraction.


All furniture from previous offices was used and the teak desks were made from reclaimed wood.

The carpet is tiled and made of recycled content. Installation for this type of carpet produces far less waste than traditional broadloom carpet. Also, tiled carpet is easier to repair as you only need to replace a small area in the event of a spill or stain.

A skylight was added to this area as well to maximize natural light and reduce the need for artificial light. Natural light in the workplace contributes to better immune systems and healthier happier occupants!

Interior Light Shelf

Interior Light Shelves above the bookcases on the left.

Interior light shelves reflect direct sun to the white ceiling, which then bounces back down as ambient light, thus reducing the need for artificial light. (See diagram below)

Exterior Light Shelves

The perimeter of the upper level features both interior and exterior architectural light shelves. Light shelves are typically used in high-rise and low-rise office buildings, as well as institutional buildings. This design is generally used on the Southern side of the building, where maximum sunlight is found. Exterior light shelves are effective in reducing glare and providing shade, while still allowing indirect light to enter the building. A combination of exterior and interior shelves work best in providing an even illumination gradient.


The VCT (Vinyl Commercial Tile) that looks like cork is made from recycled products.

We use re-usable dishware instead of disposable plates in an effort to reduce waste.

All employees have glass water bottles that they can refill. The glass water bottles are locally made of recycled materials.


All paper, glass, plastics, metals and cardboard are recycled.

All paints, adhesives and coatings are low-VOC or VOC-free.  All non-wooden floors are made of recycled content and all wooden floors are made from recycled heart pine barn siding.

Landscaping consists entirely of local, native and drought tolerant plants. This reduces the need for lawn care and watering.

Parking spaces are made of permeable pavers that reduce storm water runoff.

There is a bike rack and shower to encourage employees to cycle or walk to work.

Natural light is available in almost every room in the building, including interior areas via transom windows at the top of walls.

Roofing contains high-albedo materials that reduce heat islands which helps keep the building cool, thus reducing energy consumption.

We are very proud of our LEED-certification and currently have 4 LEED Green Associates and 1 LEED Green AP on staff.  We embrace the concept of designing green as not only an investment in the environment, but also an investment in better health.

For more information on LEED building you may visit https://new.usgbc.org/leed or call J Banks Design to see how we can assist you in with your green building and design needs.


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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.
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.
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!




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.


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