Many people say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. That may be true most of the time, but not when the National Kitchen & Bath Association and many of its 60,000 members convened earlier this year for the organization’s annual convention.

These interior designers are spreading the word far beyond the Nevada border about trends in their industry and sharing with their clients new ideas from the convention.


“Green” homes in the Lowcountry come in all colors, and they all help to lessen resource depletion and pollution in the environment.
Common denominators in these eco-friendly homes include energy-efficient appliances, products and systems; sustainable, recycled or reclaimed materials; the reduction of carbon footprints; the improvement of indoor air quality; and water conservation.

 Luxury furniture in the Lowcountry comes in as many shapes, designs, materials, textures, colors and sizes as the diverse homes they inhabit and the homeowners’ lifestyles and personalities they reflect.

We are seeing sleek and sophisticated, steel and metal, leather and wood, retro and vintage, contemporary, traditional, eclectic, mock crocodile patterns, intense blues and purples with a wide swath of influences from historic antebellum Savannah and Charleston, the West Indies/Caribbean, Old World European, the Mediterranean, coastal and farmhouse.
There are at least three common elements found in the high-end furniture in the Hilton Head Island area: Homeowners and interior designers insist on custom quality, premium materials and meticulous craftsmanship.

small-livrmHead out down the twisting, spanish moss-draped streets of Callawassie Island, and you might come across a house tucked in the woods whose tin roof and simple lines look like many of the other beautiful homes in this island community.

But look under that roof, beneath the concrete floors, and you’ll find a world of difference in this house — you’ll see the high-tech system that harnesses the power of the planet to heat this home. You’ll see rainwater being triple filtered before it hits any waterway. And that’s just a couple of the cutting-edge eco-friendly enhancements you’ll find in the home of Be Green Packaging’s Marc Blitzer.

Blitzer’s Bosch geothermal heat pump adjusts as needed to cool or heat the 2,300-square-foot home. The system uses the nearly constant temperature of the earth to provide air conditioning, heat and hot water through a system of closed looped tubes buried to a depth of six feet and circulated through a heat pump, which Blitzer has in his attic.


Interior design is about much more than picking the right curtains or the right furniture. It’s about creating a comfortable space, a space where families create memories, a space that is warm and inviting.

Two interior designers from the award-winning J Banks Design Group on Hilton Head Island took some time with Monthly to talk about what goes into the process of creating that perfect space.

byrd_00104Kitchen No. 1:
Subtle and subdued


The Designer

Deb Van Plew is originally from Chicago and attended Purdue University. She has been on Hilton Head since 1993 and has been with J Banks for 12 years.



dixon_night_outside-kitchenToday’s home expansions break down the walls, add multilayered decks, fire pits and weatherproofed TVs.

Ask most transplants why they moved to the Lowcountry and the answer will invariably be “the weather.” Those who now live here were once chased indoors up north by cold, snow and daylight hours swallowed by 9-to-5 jobs.

Whether newcomers are still working or have come to retire, most count themselves fortunate to have discovered what the locals call paradise and are taking full advantage of the warmer clime.
That sometimes means rethinking how and where families choose to relax.

“Back in the day it was always about how big the house was. People were going from 3,000- to 4,000-square foot homes in order to have a larger living or family room,” said Scott Littlejohn of HB Panoramics on Hilton Head Island. “What we’re finding now is people are increasing their living space by building a living area with a pool, a kitchen – somewhere you can have some fun, especially during the long days. It’s why they moved here in the first place.”

A Paint Primer and Goof Proof Tips, Tools, and Techniques

By Debi Lynes

paintedroomColor theory is interesting. Shades, tones, and color hues can say things words cannot. Color has a way of calming or exciting the mind, soothing anxiety, and stimulating creativity. Color can isolate or build harmony. In fact, in the field of interior design, supportive and facilitative design, and architecture, “functional” color is now used to promote human health and wellness, both physically and mentally. Needless to say, the selection and application of paint color can be a great way to create your home sanctuary.
Here are 7 goof proof tips and techniques for getting the most from your paint.

Shelby Stephens and her husband, Joey Charnasky, are your classic outdoorsy Hilton Head types. So when they began building their Indigo Run home in 2010 they prioritized connecting the house with the environment.