Tag Archives: tree

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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The White Sofa Project: Lisa Whitley

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!

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


JB: What can you tell us about your color choices? 

Lisa: I’m really into the deep blue-green color seen in the pillows and the rug.  I like deeper, richer colors like this, brightened by a contrasting color.  In this case the brightness of the green in the leaves of the fiddle fig tree and the red and orange accents.  Using contrasting or accent colors sparingly tends to make a bigger visual impact.

JB: What is your favorite item and/or items in the vignette? Why? 

Lisa: I knew I really wanted to use the tree, the antique rubbed brass lamp (the one by the tree) and the trunk.  I love the shape of the leaves of the tree and what the height does for the space.  I really liked the finish and style of the lamp.  The style isn’t typical, and the finish works well with the other selections as it isn’t too harsh, and gives a softer look.  I loved the trunk when I first saw it…it reminds me of travel and using unexpected items, for traditional pieces in a room.   All of the other selections were chosen around these three items but it all feels like it evolved over time.

JB: What do you consider when making lighting selections for a space? 

Lisa: I think it’s important to use several different kinds of light in a space.  The brown ceramic lamps on the console give general lighting.  The lamps on the side table act as another level of general or ambient lighting.  They can also act as accent lighting as they are highlighting the pieces on the side tables.  The floor lamp acts as task lighting for reading in this chair, but also helps balance the height of the tree.  The scale of each is important as it helps balance the other elements in the space.  The finishes on all of the lamps used are rich, but not too harsh.  I think choosing anything in a nickel finish would have given this space a completely different feel creating more energy instead of the calmer, cozy feel that I wanted to achieve.

How fabulous is this velvet and mohair pillow from the J Banks Collection? We think it looks great the way that Lisa paired it with the cane back chair.

 JB: What advice do you give your clients when selecting and placing accessories into a space? 

Lisa: I always suggest to use things that you love in your space.  I envision the person living in this space as someone who is an avid traveler and has brought back treasures from their journeys.  Each piece tells a different story of a  different trip that was taken.  Let your space reflect you and what you enjoy.

Cocktail tables don’t always have to be traditional.  Lisa cleverly chose to use this trunk which is a great idea because you could also use the piece for added storage.

Our retail buyers love this agate clock by Rablabs.

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 WilkinsPatche Pratt and Janet Perry.

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.



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

A Driftwood Cafe Adventure

As designers we are often inspired by a fabric, a color, or a room’s feeling, but sometimes we like to take to take inspiration one step further…

This project began when design assistant Nicole Fransen was working with designer Cindy Munn on an over-flow cafe space for the Lowcountry Community Church in Bluffton, SC.  The proposed name of the space (“The Driftwood Cafe”) made Nicole curious to explore the form and essence of driftwood… how does nature form it? are there patterns in the random twists and turns of the wood’s figuring?

“I didn’t want to think of driftwood literally,” Nicole explained, “I thought of how driftwood is created rough and interesting by its journey… and that’s kind of how we are formed as people too…”

The concept led to a logo design, and the logo translated into a dramatic feature wall. But they weren’t sure what the center piece should be….

For such a time as this, it is good to know someone in the business of interesting materials. Timberstone was the perfect company to consult. They specialize in reclaimed and/or antique building materials. When the J Banks designers showed their sketch to Tom from Timberstone, he had an idea!

He had a giant trunk (8 feet in diameter) in Venezuela. What if they used a center slice out of the tree? BRILLIANT!

The next problem they faced was how to cut a slice out of it without breaking it?

The best option seemed to be a two man hand saw… you know, Paul Bunyan style!  For this task Tom called his Amish friend Dan Raber. Dan worked at the hand saw for about an hour before giving up and switching to a chain saw. That did the trick!

Now the beautiful slice has been shipped from Venezuela to Savannah. It is in place and ready to be installed. We can’t wait to see the finished product!!  When you see the end result, you will know the story behind it…

Inspiration can take us down roads we never dreamed of before… we hope you enjoyed this little walk down Designer Adventure Avenue!


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