Friday, September 10, 2010

Sprucing up for Spring, Our Home Cover Story, Colettes Spring Tips for Freshing up a Room, Art in your Home...Its so Easy!..Dominique Portet, The Cherry Vixen....Plus! Savoury Pancakes with Super Salsa!...

Spring has well and truly sprung, and from what I can glean from the comments lately from our Interstate followers on Facebook, the pleasant warm change is not only just isolated to us Brisbanians!

We have had so many people coming into the showroom this week, who want to refresh an old tired looking room for Spring.  Our Senior Designer and co-director of Charcoal...Colette Venardos has been busy putting together some fabulous design ideas for her clients.  

One client has a room that just needs that little bit of something extra to really give it a bit of colour...Colette has found a gorgeous imported French Fabric to use for an upholstery project in this will add a nuance of interest and colour without being too overwhelming.  

Colette suggests the use of  a hint of colour and patterning in a room.  She says "You dont overwhelm with too much is brought in with subtleties rather than overpowering...I honestly feel that too many patterns congest a room.  Keeping things subtle guarantees a room its classic, timelessness".

On the weekend, Charcoal Interiors featured heavily in the Courier Mail Home section. In fact, we were the Cover Story, with a couple of our design projects showcased, and not to mention the cover of Home Magazine Liftout...not quite the Rolling Stones, but we were pretty chuffed.  You dont get chosen for these things unless the belief is there and we were thrilled and honoured to be chosen by the Courier Mail.

  In the article, Cathie was interviewed and asked for her expert opinion on Artworks and how they are able to add style and tone to a home.  The good news when it comes to collecting art for your home, is that there are no rules to be broken.   Cathie says " Home decorators are now digressing from the "this goes with that, goes with this" packaged look of design and thinking more of the idea of putting a traditional armchair with a modern clean-line sofa...and Cathie goes further "Its OK to infuse all of that with artwork and pieces that crate an eclectic fusion of styles.  It brings together that whole timeless feel and gives a home its soul".
 Charcoal Interiors Exclusive Project Featuring Dean Reilly Artwork
We have some amazing artworks in our showroom by Archibald Prize and Moran Prize finalist Dean sure to pop into the Valley this weekend for the Valley Fiesta, and come visit us too!
Our Sale is almost over...Do Not Miss Out on significant discounts available now.

Valley Fiesta...Fortitude Valley comes alive this weekend with amazing live performances, art, fashion, food and so much more.  For more information click on the link below and be sure to visit us while in the Valley Precinct...we are the heart and soul of art, fashion and style.

Part of the excitement of working in this gorgeous showroom space every day, is that you just dont know who is going to walk in through the doors.  

This week we were delighted to welcome Dominique Portet, Owner of Dominique Portet Winery in Victoria.  Such a delightful man, and we have promised to visit him next time we are in the Yarra Valley.  Being a bit of a wine buff, I am particularly looking forward to sampling his wine, that has been lauded by the likes of James Halliday. 

Anybody who walks into the showroom between the hours of 1pm and 3pm will find us at some point stuffing ourselves with the weeks new recipe.  We decided to try a Healthy Savoury Pancake Recipe with fresh Salsa Topping.  I made the Pancakes the night before, let them cool, wrapped them in alfoil and then refrigerated overnight.  I did the same with the salsa....preprepared it, except for the Avocado, which I cut up fresh and then served up immediately to keep that lovely colour to the avocado.  I also added a bit of fresh coriander as a garnish to keep the colour up and vibrancy and freshness to the dish.  It was a fantastic, easy recipe and perfect for Spring lunches, dinners or it would be great to bring along to a picnic.
Spinach and Feta Pancakes


  • 1 quantity Basic pancakes (see easy peasy Pancake recipe below)
  • 1/2 bunch English spinach, trimmed, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 100g Greek-style feta, crumbled 
Basic Pancake Recipe...makes 10
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Whisk all pancake ingredients together in a bowl until all the lumps are out and its nice and smooth.
  2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush pan with butter. Using 1/4 cup mixture per pancake, cook 2 pancakes for 3 to 4 minutes or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining mixture, brushing pan with butter between batches. Serve with the salsa dressing (see below) on top and add the Avocado last to keep it fresh, and a vibrant colour to the dish....enjoy!
Serve with: Diced Tomato, parsley, coriander, avocado and red onion salsa (just mix all these ingredients together in a bowl, adding a drizzle of lemon juice and balsamic..and a tiny sprinkle of raw sugar)
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons extra milk if batter is too thick, or has thickened on standing.
To 'freshen-up' day-old pancakes, microwave, covered with paper towel, on medium-high (70%) for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until heated through.

Welcome one and all to Friday Cocktail, we bring to you the very sexy and delicious...
CHERRY VIXEN....sigh...Oh, we do love Cocktail Friday so....For this one, you are going to need to set the mood with some Barry White and Candlelight.....Oohhhh Babeeeee....

Cherry Vixen

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients: 2 ounces Frangelico
1/2 ounce grenadine
1/2 ounce Kahlua
1 cherry or Hershey kiss

Directions: Combine Frangelico and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until foamy. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with Kahlua. Garnish with a cherry or kiss!...Mwaah!

As we pull down those big shopfront rollerdoors on yet another Friday, we say kick off your shoes, put your feet up and ponder another week in the battlezone of life survived.  Here's to family, friends and Friday!
Have a great weekend!

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