Each week, we're bringing you top tips, favorite products, and Q&A's with the designers in our Coastal Living and Southern Living Designer Network.

Owner of J Banks Design Joni Vanderslice. Photo courtesy of Joni Vanderslice.

Hilton Head Island, SC designers Joni Vanderslice and Shelley Wilkins of J Banks Design share their top tips on how to bring the look of the natural environment inside your home.

"At J Banks Design we are known for delivering projects that have an authentic sense of place. It's important that our designs establish a relationship between the

Project designer Shelley Wilkins. Photo courtesy of Shelley Wilkins.

internal structure and the external surroundings so that the design feels authentic. Typically we will use local artisans for specialty pieces or local artists to add the right flavor. We also create a connection through color, texture and form. In this particular home, which is located in a coastal plantation known for its natural beauty, we were inspired by the palettes we found outside. Creating an internal balance with the outdoors allowed us to give our clients a sophisticated yet casual and comfortable home, perfect for their relaxed lifestyle."


Tip #1: Take a walk outside and let mother nature be your best inspiration! Throughout the home we used hues and color stories that we observed while surveying the property. Our palette was formed through leafy greens, the blue marsh, earthy browns and sandy taupes.


Tip #2: Use authentic, natural materials from mother earth like rich woods, leathers, natural linen, hide and wicker. These materials and textures will soften transitional lines of a home and add an organic vibe. A perfect example in this home would be the traditional wooden dining table that was specifically chosen to mimic the surrounding woods outside. We also scattered antiques and pieces rich in history with new pieces, just as seen in life.


Tip #3: Use natural motifs for art and decorative accents. In this particular project we used framed botanicals of coral, sea turtles, ferns, and waterlilies as well as whimsical fern wallpaper in the master bathroom. These touches connect the natural architectural elements with the traditional decorating style.


Tip #4: Finally, always add a touch of animal skin! The animal hide ottoman and pillows in the living room pull the entire home together and add a pop of nature's glamour.