Tag Archives: St. Patricks Day

Sharon Cleland: When Irish Eyes are ‘Designing’

(When we overheard our Irish colleague, International Designer Sharon Cleland, mentioning that she grew up right next to the mountain that St. Patrick himself lived on for six years – we immediately knew we needed her Irish edge for a blog post the week of St. Patrick’s Day!)

Hello everyone and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I want to take a moment to share some of my favorite Irish scenes and how they translate into elements of interior design. The rich tapestry of the landscape from the textures of the rugged countryside, peat bogs, cliffs and seascapes to the velvety, mossy fields, century old dry stacked stone walls and meandering country roads all seem to somehow translate into elements that can be used in design.

Tweed Landscapes and Velvet Hills

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Taking just a glimpse at this picture you can see the influence that the landscape undoubtedly had on the creation of tweeds.  The color scheme, texture and patterns all mirror the Irish countryside.

Rugged Irish landscape

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Felted tweeds look like patchwork hills of planting fields!

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And these rolling hills in the Glens of Antrim look like the could be covered in velvet!

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Irish Arans

Seeing herds of sheep, or even experiencing a sheep induced traffic jam are not uncommon occurrences in rural Ireland. The wool of the sheep has allowed the country to produce some of the most beautiful woven goods in the world for centuries, including Irish Arans. Irish Arans, also known as ‘fishermen’s sweaters’ are made of wool that was traditionally undyed and cream-colored. Originally the jumpers were knitted using unscoured wool that retained its natural oils which made the garments water-resistant  and meant they remained wearable even when wet.

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I see the complex woven patterns that are found in the Irish Arans in so many domestic products including, throws and even ceramic pieces.

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Both the throw and ceramics pictured above are available in J Banks Retail!

Stacked Stones & The Giants Causeway, County Antrim

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The Giant’s Causeway has always been inspiring to me.

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And the century old piles of irregular meandering dry stacked stone walls will always remind me of my home.

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Being stateside I am reminded of these Irish elements in the most unlikely place – during tile selections! The geometry and permanence of tile in certain shades just seems so Irish! Like this stone mosaic (above), and this Carrara honed hex mosaic tile (below).

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I hope you have noticed some uncanny similarities and will consider Ireland for a moment as much more than just the land of leprechaun’s and shamrocks!

Irish Blessings,

Sharon Signature

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Sharon Cleland, International Designer

P.S. This is a picture of the area near County Antrim, Ireland where St. Patrick is said to have worked as a shepherd while a slave.  You can read more about St. Patrick here.

Atmospheric Slemish scene

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The White Sofa Project: Janet Perry

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!

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

JB: You obviously went with a sophisticated St. Patrick’s day theme but is green a color you like to use in a lot of your work? 
Janet: I love to use green. Just look outside! We are seeing this hue of green in fabrics and in fashion.
We love the gorgeous detail on these pillows!
What a great way to incorporate navy into the vignette through the lamps.
JB: What is important to you when selecting accessories for a space? 
Janet: It is important to have the accessories compliment the space as well as being practical and useful, i.e., lamps, frames for photographs, candles for soft light, etc.
JB: You did an excellent job of mixing different wood colors and finishes on your case goods, yet the room still looks uniform and put together.  Do you have any advice to others on how to do this with their own furnishings? 
Janet: I prefer the eclectic feel to a room. Items have been collected over the years, so taste and lifestyles have changed. So mix your treasures, and “tell” your story.
Using rolled blanket as a bolster – so clever!
JB: What is your favorite item or items in the vignette?  
Janet: The rug is where it all began! 

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

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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Filed under 35 Main Street, From the Designers, J Banks Retail