Category : Blog

The J. Banks Design Group’s blog is where the firm shares news of ongoing projects, company events and philanthropy efforts.

The J. Banks Design Blog

Our recent posts include the design inspiration soaked in by the team during a trip to Paris Design Week in January. From two concurrent events, Maison et Objet and Paris Deco-Off, many newly released products were sourced for upcoming projects.

We also shared news of the latest activities at the Valentine Project, an orphanage founded by the Vanderslice family. Joni Vanderslice, our president, traveled to Tanzania, Africa, with her family to see how progress had been made in different aspects of the program. From tutoring on the grounds to primary school at Stabella Academy, the children have been excelling in their studies. Even out in the community, they are often at the top of their class. This is a testament to how the right care, encouragement and love can help any child succeed. The children are proud of their grades and show their report cards with enthusiasm. They are smart and they know it!

The most important and gratifying success is how much these children love each other. From the youngest to the oldest, they care for each other. They know who their family is. They know this is their home. The Valentine project is not a holding place; it is a playground, a worship center, a dining room, a farm. It is full of the peace that surpasses all understanding. It is a home. We will continue to share news about this important effort in the coming years.

Discovering Your Design Style

As we are cooped up with our loved ones by our side, some closer than others, making a plan to discover your design style for your home can be a great way to not only pass the time, but create a productive activity for all. Whether you are searching for an escape, finding ways to incorporate time with those under one roof or simply keep the brain engaged with the outside world, figuring out your design style is important. Our surroundings tend to create a mood that many times we are not aware of; creating an environment that sets the tone for a positive mood is even more key right now.

Joni Vanderslice designs several product categories under license to Holland & Sherry Rugs and is shown here with Kate and Wayne Consolio and rugs samples from her eponymous collection

J. Banks Collection for Holland & Sherry Rugs Launches during Paris Deco Off 2020

Joni Vanderslice and members of the J. Banks Design Group team traveled to Paris in January to attend Maison et Objet and Paris Deco Off, two of the international design community’s most inspirational shows. While we saw many beautiful new products and attended some incredible events, the highlight of the trip was the launch of the J. Banks Collection for Holland & Sherry Rugs. We welcomed members of the Press, industry colleagues and design enthusiasts to the Rue de l’Echaude showroom for an opportunity to meet Joni, see the rugs and learn about our collaboration with Holland & Sherry.

Inspired by rustling palm leaves, rushing water, and the trellis patterns of her native South Carolina Lowcountry to the more exotic and often visited Tanzania, Joni has brought these themes to her first rug collection: the J. Banks Collection for Holland and Sherry. This intermingling of local and international brings an excited familiarity that truly embodies the J. Banks Design Group’s philosophy of bringing the resort experience to our projects. Created with hospitality and performance in mind, these 11 designs are available in several different rug qualities that stand up to the functionality required for commercial settings as well as high traffic areas in the home.

Made-to-order, each rug can be crafted using different techniques and materials depending on the functionality required:

  • Hand tufted (made in Nepal) – The hand-tufting process is upscaled by using the same luxurious fibers that are found in hand-knotted rugs.
  • Indoor/Outdoor (made in India) – Hand-knotted rugs, with custom dyed polyester for indoor/outdoor use.
  • High/Low Pile (made in India) – Beautiful wool is used in a flatweave with raised pile construction.

We are so thankful our incredible partners at Holland & Sherry as well as the many friends and colleagues who came out to support us.

About Holland & Sherry:  Well known for sumptuous fabrics, Holland & Sherry has developed collections which range from custom embroidery, rugs, wall-covering and trim, to leather, hardware and lighting. Every item they produce reflects their core values of quality and craftsmanship.

Montage of Guest room details

The Guest Room

The guest room in our home gets lots of use.  Not only do we enjoy entertaining, we love to host friends both old and new.  In our design work, the guest room is a place that we can focus our attention to detail to help our clients create lasting memories for their friends and family.  In a word, hospitality is the gift of making people feel as truly welcome and cared for as they do at home—and even more so. When family and friends come to visit for an overnight or longer, it is so nice to provide them with all the essentials for a happy, memorable stay, and some thoughtful luxuries too. The world’s great resorts and hotels do that as a matter of course, which is where I believe this crossover story starts.

Interior by Sharon Cleland

In a guest room, as elsewhere, thinking about how the space is meant to function helps me to determine what furnishings and accessories to include. Beside the bed, I always make sure to have a place to set a glass and a bottle or carafe of water. I want people to feel comfortable using it, so I’ll make sure there is a coaster or something comparable handy. When possible, a bedside table that is large enough to accommodate a reading lamp, a guest’s reading glasses, a book, and even a box of tissues makes the room feel homey. Optimally, the bottom of the lampshade or wall sconce should be 20 inches above the bedside table or mattress. The smallest of details all layer to create a welcoming experience.

Montage of four images that illustrate layering texture in an interior

Layering Texture

Successful interior design is all about getting each of the elements in a room to work well together while still standing out and making an individual impact. Nowhere is this more apparent than in layering texture in a room.  The following are Joni’s thoughts on layering texture:

“Layering texture in interior design is most successful when it activates and pleases all the senses. We respond to a design first with our eyes, of course, but the quality of touch is just as important. The relationship between the two is fascinating. As a designer, I know that the eye longs for elements that break up the continuity or sameness within our field of vision. For me, that ability to interrupt the continuity is texture’s purpose and function.

three images of collections used in decoration of living room

Artworks and Collections in Interiors

The most dynamic and livable interiors include artworks and collections. They are not confined to furnishings of any singular look or period combining personal pieces and art works that vary in period, shape, form, color or culture and arranging them harmoniously creates interest, timelessness and in some cases a bit of whimsy. Interiors are deeply personal and by layering artwork and collections tell the stories of the people who inhabit them.  J. Banks Design Founder and President, Joni Vanderslice , includes the following chapter in her monograph, Southern Coastal Living.


View of pool and brick patio in Palmetto Bluff designed by J Banks Design Group

Southern Coastal Living: Indoor-Outdoor Living

We are so very fortunate with our climate in the South, especially along the coast, which permits relaxed, indoor-outdoor living bringing us into nature on a daily basis. Many native species of flora and fauna flourish in this part of the country, where gardens are the passion of many. Our harbors and the ocean are so full of bounty and beauty. On Hilton Head Island, where development is planned and much of the land protected, our indigenous wildlife has a safe home. How we interact with the outdoors, how we extend our living and entertaining spaces beyond the walls of our houses, how we ease ourselves into the landscape are questions my designers and I think through with every home that we work on, including our own.

A collage of a man's office, showing his collections of fishing equipment and memorabilia

Happy Father’s Day!

“Men’s Spaces” – an excerpt from Southern Coastal Living: Stylish Lowcountry Homes by J. Banks Design

In almost every home that we do now, the men want one room that is their own designated domain: a place where they can get away to, concentrate, watch a football game. They always want these personal spaces to reflect their interests: golf, boats and the nautical life, travel, whatever it may be. Part of the fun for me is pulling that information out of them. Watching them settle in once the rooms are complete is such a pleasure. They really use their rooms. Usually, they cannot wait to show off their space to their friends and visiting family members.

the team at J Banks Design Group attends Maison et Objet and Paris Deco Off during Paris Design Week

Paris Design Week – January 2019

J. Banks Design Group’s President Joni Vanderslice and Melissa Mittag, Director of Brand Management, traveled to Paris last month for Paris Design Week to attend Maison et Objet and Paris Deco Off, two of the international interior design community’s most inspirational shows.  To have an international perspective elevates the level of design we are able to create and serves to inspire the entire J. Banks Design Group team.

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