Friday, November 26, 2010


Happy Friday and greetings to one and all.  Oooooh its warming up here in Brisbane town.  The people have started coming out of the woodwork and its been a week of catching up with past clients and also welcoming through new faces.  Everyone is just so happy...and its nearly Christmas!  Great to see.  I think we should all have the resolve this year to stay cool headed and just enjoy the lead up to the Festive Season.
Speaking of staying cool headed and keeping Christmas stress free, we are offering some amazing Christmas Gift ideas for our customers.  Pop into 18 Doggett street Fortitude Valley, and view our latest range of Lanterns (which make an amazing centrepiece to the Christmas Table), Natural Stone Candlesticks, Moroccan Lanterns, Asian Inspired Wooden Lanterns, Vases, Silver Candlesticks, Urns and pots, and other interesting and unique gift ideas.  It really can be hard to buy for loved ones nowadays, so we try to make the shopping experience a lot easier for you by carefully selecting our accessory range.
New Arrival!  Our Statement Arched Mirror...and dont you love the Antique Wooden Horse and Divine Black Candlesticks!

Our Belgian Urns Crafted from Zinc really do give the 'Wow' factor to a room.

Gorgeous Statement Agean Urn.  Perfect for indoors or out....
Our Giant Cathedral Lantern can be used in a Christmas Setting and then perfect for elsewhere in the house over the remainder of the year...Looks amazing in a bathroom setting, or perfect for the outdoor dining table, setting a romantic and relaxed mood light.
Our exclusive Narnia Hand carved Mirror from France is a gorgeous backdrop against our Rustic Filigree Candelabras, Urns and Church Candles.
What better addition to the Christmas Table Setting than a pair of Silver Candlesticks that would make Jack Jump With Joy!?


We are big fans of the TV Show 'How Not To Decorate' starring the adorable Englishmen Justin Ryan and Colin McAllister.  These Interior Design Gurus and quite frankly...slightly mad individuals...venture weekly into homes that are desperately in need of a complete overhaul.  The boys, in their deliciously 'campy' style create a hysterical mix of humour and complete creative genius to come up with amazing solutions which eventually become a reality.  From 'Drab-ulous' 'Fabulous'.  
Tune in to 7Two Friday nights at 9.30pm for this really entertaining and inspiring show that is a must see for all lovers of Interior Design.


There are those who can just put together a delightfully stylish home without batting an eyelid. You walk into the space and feel completely at ease.  The home cannot be classified to any certain orange melamine benchtops in the kitchen teamed with pine cupboards and matching handles, no garish feature walls to be seen and not a trace of shag pile or oversized outdated 'trend' furniture and accessories.
And then, there are those clients who come into the showroom looking for direction, either for the reasons of time restrictions or perhaps their creative streak leans itself towards other endeavours, who just need some clear advice and professional assistance when it comes to creating a home that reflects their personal taste and style.
There are 5 main rules to adhere to when starting off the process of creating a beautiful home space, and we would like to share them with you.....
1. Ignore the size of the room. Nothing looks more out of place than doll-house sized furniture in a grand living room, or a baby grand piano stuffed into a cozy den. The furniture that worked in your old house or apartment may simply be out of scale for the rooms in your new home, so take a deep breath, let go and replace those items with furniture that is a realistic balance.
This small sun room space is balanced and uncluttered with a medium sized round French Provincial Style dining setting, the addition of shutters in place of heavy drapery, giving this smaller sized room a feeling of spaciousness and light.

2. Hang all of your pictures too high. For some reason, most do-it-yourself decorators hang pictures at a height that only works for NBA basketball players. The focal point of the piece of art should be at gallery level, which is generally considered to be at eye-level for an average person who is 5 feet 7 inches tall. If you are hanging a picture to act as an accent piece for a table or lamp, the elements should be within 10 or 12 inches of each other.
Nina with her collection of Owls...even she admits it scares away the boys and can be a teeny wee bit creepy...
3. Display every nick nack you own. In home interior design, more is not necessarily better. If you own a large collection of porcelain rabbits (or in the case of Nina from Offspring...Owls), it can be visually overwhelming to display them all together.. My Grandmother collects spoons, which were displayed for all to see in the lounge room at one point...but now thankfully she has them in a drawer.  She can bring them out to show off when her art ladies come around, but then they fit nicely back in the drawer away from view.  Its ok to showcase a couple of special items or collectables, pop the rest away, and then swap them over to create a fresh look when you feel a change is necessary.  Collectables can definitely fit into a room scheme as long as they are not in numbers and added to give a subtle quirkiness.  I love Buddhas....Cath loves Antique Wooden and Stone Horses....but we only display one or two maximum in our home at one time....and dont get me started on soft toy collections......

4. Match everything. Have you ever walked into a room where the flowered wallpaper matched the flowered tablecloth, which matched the flowered seat napkins and the seat cushions? Didn't it just give you a headache? If this scenario describes a room in your house, you may want to replace the busy flowered napkins with a complimentary solid color.  Remember...walking into a room that is easy on the eye and mind is the optimum goal here.

The same concept goes for furniture. It is better to have two matching pieces of furniture in a room, paired with a couple of complimentary single pieces. The very best room decor have been carefully collected over a period of years, rather than purchased at Super A-Mart in one fell swoop on a Saturday afternoon.  We have clients who sometimes take years to achieve the right look and balance to their home.  Choosing quality, interesting 
pieces that you feel a real connection with can save you financially in the long run also.

And lastly...Dont..
5. Make it precious. The last major interior design mistake occurs when home decorators try too hard. The result is a room that makes for a great photograph, but lacks any kind of warmth or human appeal. If your guests are afraid to move a sofa pillow for fear of upsetting the aesthetic balance, you need to reassess ideas. I have a friend who once gave me my own personalised pair of little slippers for Christmas, which normally would have been such a sweet gesture, except they were specifically for the purpose of bringing to her home every time I went over for a visit, so that I could slip them on and she wouldnt have to worry about me leaving any marks on her pristine tiled floor with my shoes or bare feet.  It certainly created an atmosphere that wasnt quite welcoming...lovely lady, but now we meet for lunch out instead of me visiting.  Being too precious with your home can actually defeat the purpose of 'home'...which is a space to be enjoyed by yourself and also friends and family.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 200g rice stick noodles
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers
  • 165ml can coconut cream or milk
  • 2 1/2 tbs fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded, chopped
  • 1 tbs finely grated ginger
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 x 200g skinless blue-eye fillets (or other firm white fish)
  • 1 tbs sunflower or rice bran oil


  1. Place noodles in a large bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Stand for 15 minutes, occasionally stirring with tongs, then drain. Remove seeds from cucumbers, then cut into thin matchsticks.
  2. Combine coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chilli, ginger, coriander and cucumber in a large bowl. Add drained noodles and toss well to combine.
  3. Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan on medium-high heat. Rub the fish with oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the fish for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking, then serve immediately with the coconut noodle salad.

    Happy Friday and welcome...welcome to Cocktail Friday.  This week we invite you to kick off the shoes, put your feet the so soothing tones Nina Simone and enjoy this weeks offering.  We do love Lime...the smell, the freshness of the colour, the delicious taste and the fact that Lime represents summer and warmth.  We couldnt go past this one for the Cocktail Friday celebration....Imbibe...Enjoy and most importantly....reeeelax...cos its Friday!

    Key Lime and Coconut Caipirinha 

    You will need.....
    2 oz. Cabana Cachaça (a very sweet Brazilian Rum..use other brand if you cant find this)
    1 tbsp. shredded coconut
    1 tbsp. granulated sugar
    1 lime, quartered
    Crushed ice

    Muddle (no muddle is to smash about the lime preferably using a mortar and pestle that is completely clean...really bash away at the lime and let the juices and rind meld together) lime with coconut and sugar. Add Cabana Cachaça, shake, and pour over ice.
    Yummeny Yummeny....refreshing and deeeelish...Enjoy!
    And so we bid you adieu for another week.  Enjoy family and friends this weekend and most importantly, be kind to YOU!