Friday, February 24, 2012



Well, as if she didnt already have everything, with her marriage to legendary rockstar and embodiment of style David Bowie, fame, fortune, ageless beauty that simply takes your breath away and so on and so on and so on....hmmmm..wonder if she gets bored with being so fabulous??....ah but I digress...

Former international model Iman has now released her very own range of exotic fabrics.  In a collaborative project with Unique Fabrics, Iman has released a stunning collection that combines the essence of chic with exotic elements, cultural richness and a modern approach to traditional style. 

 The rich colors, distinctive embroideries and textures of the jacquard woven fabrics will enliven any interior.

We are always available to help with colour choices...from cushion covers, to upholstery, drapery and have the vision and we help to make it tangible.
Phone us on 07 38526002
Visit our showroom at 59 Doggett St. Fortitude Valley. Qld.
email us at



Jacquard is a fabric crafted from a Jacquard Loom.  
The Jacquard loom is a mechanical loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns such as brocadedamask and matelasse. The loom was controlled by punched cards with punched holes, each row of which corresponds to one row of the design.
 Modern jacquard looms are controlled by computers in place of the original punched cards, and can have thousands of hooks.
Thanks to the Jacquard loom we can now have intricate patterning on quality fabric, such as these just released by Ardecora for Unique Fabrics.

An example of exquisite Jacquard.  The Botticelli/Tiziano range by Ardecora was inspired by the Italian Renaissance with emphasis being on sumptuous silks, lavish embroidery, velvet and jacquard weaves.


'Michelangelo' (used to upholster chair on right) in Jacquard and Silk Velour

Contact us via our website for further information or product enquiries

Follow Me on Pinterest


Photo courtesy of cyberpenguin (flickr)
Lately we have been having the same portfolio of tried and tested but now simply overdone salad recipes.  My faves have been the Soba Noodle salad (which I still love but the other 6 mouths are over it)..and also the Avocado and Bacon with Fetta Salad...not to mention the Mango, cranberry and blue cheese salad which I really could eat forever but Mangoes are out of season now :-(
Soooo...the dilemma was to find something new and exciting to try and I stumbled upon this great recipe blog and this photo and thought...well, even if the salad isnt that great I just love the photo!  It makes me want to try it!
Fortunately the recipe is as great as the pic, and its super healthy and easy to make.  Everyone loved this at home, so we will do this one to death too until the next fave comes along.  Regardless it will be forever kept in my recipe folder and like the circle of life will resurrect itself again at some stage of life.
A big thank you to Cooking With Corey blogspot where you can find an amazing array of quality recipes.

Three-Bean Salad

6-8 c. lightly salted water (for boiling edamame)
4 (heaping) c. fresh (or frozen) whole edamame, in their pods
1 c. canned black beans (almost a full 15.5 oz. can of pre-cooked beans)
1 c. canned chickpeas
1 dry pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. scallions, sliced crosswise into 1/4"-thick rounds
1 Tbsp. garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher (or coarse ground sea) salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red chili pepper flakes, or to taste*
1 c. Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1 medium-sized Haas avocado)
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, finely minced

Directions: On high heat, bring a large, covered sauce pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil (about 8 minutes), and then uncover and add edamame. Cook until al dente. If using fresh edamame, boil for about 5-6 minutes. For frozen, boil for 4-5 minutes. When cooked properly, beans should be firm, not mushy. (If they're mushy, they've been overcooked, which will make them taste dry and blechy.) Better to air on the side of caution: Remove a sample bean from the pot using a slotted spoon after it's been cooked for the minimum required amount of time, run under cold water to cool, and then taste-test to check for doneness. When beans are ready, immediately remove pot from stove and drain into a colander.** Rinse with cold water and let cool for an additional 5 minutes or so. Shell and place beans into a bowl. Discard (or compost) pods.

Next, add black beans, grape tomatoes, scallions, garlic, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Then season with kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red chili pepper flakes, and cilantro, and toss. Add the avocado last, about an hour before serving, and gently toss, making sure to coat it with the lemon juice mixture to avoid oxidation. Marinate in a covered glass or ceramic dish in the refrigerator for at least a 1/2 hour before serving, to allow the flavors to meld. Serve chilled (or at room temperature) and enjoy!
Optional Additions: Corn kernels, artichoke, or gourmet brined olives like Kalamata or Greek olives (in which case you could just nix the salt in the above recipe altogether).



And as the 'Kung Fu' Master would say.....

It's green, its mean....its green and if I hadnt tasted it myself I would never have put up a recipe for something that looked so much like a glass of glowing nuclear wastage.  However! was bought for me the other night.  "Surprise me" I said to Pete the Greek...and he surely did.  Initially I thought of holding my nose as it kind of reminded me of medicine.  But of course we were in a rather salubrious establishment with lots of hip and happening kids around us, so I decided to take the medicine straight up.  The Grasshopper is surprisingly a tipple I shall be ordering again, when in the mood for a Liquid After Dinner Mint.  This is the best way to describe the Grasshopper.
Enjoy!...oh yes and ps its easy to make.

3/4 oz Cream
3/4 oz Creme de Cacau
3/4 oz Green Creme de Menthe

1. Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice cubes
2. Shake well
3. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.


And today instead of ending the blog with a clever quote, we found this photo courtesy of the Hornsby and Upper North Shore Advocate
Its of a little Australian Possum who dug his way through a huge box of french pastries, ate his fill and then couldn't cute and such a huge sugar overload for the little fella.  Just look at his full belly!

It made us smile....hope it does you too....
Have a happy weekend everyone and if you are in the Sunshine State (apparently we are...but you wouldnt know it with all the rain we are having...) stay safe and keep dry...most importantly drive with care.
Until next week!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, February 16, 2012


This week the design team have been working on a new project.  The directive for the girls was luxurious, classic, sophisticated style and product.  This is for a lady who knows quality, of which there are no shortcuts.  We make sure you get what you ask for, and its right the first time.  Our clients expect the 'wow' factor and thats what we aim to deliver.

Looking forward to our presentation with the client today!

...And from sophisticated woman to mid-primary aged young man whose parents feel has grown out of his 'Buzz Lightyear' bedspread and priamary coloured bedroom walls.  This has been a fun project for the girls.  We are looking forward to sharing the finished room with you, but here's a glimpse of the 'hero' of the room.  Andrew Martin UK 'Library' Wallpaper which will feature on one wall.  

K1 Winery.  Tynan Rd. Kuitpo. SA.

Every now and then you find a treasure in the most unexpected of places.  Pete the Greek and I were on another child-free weekend in McLaren Vale, South Australia when we stumbled upon the K1 sign, and of course the name Geoff Hardy along with it, before we knew it the car was spun around and along the track to K1 winery we ventured.  

Through the sandstone gates....and down the long agapanthus lined driveway this!  This is the cellar door!  Exciting to say the least.  A lake house in the most beautiful setting surrounded by vineyard and picturesque grounds.

Anyway....once we picked up our jaws from off the ground and contained ourselves we ventured into the cellar door area.  Greeted by very sharp, shiny and knowledgeable staff we tasted a Pinot and Shiraz at the hand crafted tasting bench which is the centrepiece of the space.

Apparently when Geoff Hardy wasn't creating exceptional wines, in his spare time he crafted the tasting bench from a 400 year old piece of Redgum.  And so there we are at the lakeside cellar door, surrounded by quality wine, and expert guidance and if thats not enough enticement for one day, they offer tasting platters full of regional produce!

Lovers of our quality red, Pete and I sampled the Shiraz
and Pinot Noir.

Time does not permit me to publish the accolades bestowed upon the K1 wine portfolio.  Needless to say, with a background of 5 generations of wine making and viticultural experience in the family, the result is a polished, quality range, that the Greek and I purchased, yet realised wouldnt fit back in the suitcase or hand we just drank what we couldnt squeeze in 

Photo courtesy of K1

  On the day we visited the 'special of the day' was freshly picked regional strawberries and icecream.  Considering we passed a strawberry farm on the drive through to K1, I have a hunch these were most likely just off the bush.

Next time we will be sure to linger longer.  According to staff, due to the popularity of their platters and  ambience of the deck setting, its advisable to phone ahead and book.  We really cannot wait to venture back to K1 as it ticks all the boxes for ambience, knowledgeable and friendly staff, food, wine...tick, tick....tick!!..bliss...

Points of interest:

On my return back home, intrigued as to how the name K1 came into being I googled away, and the name K1 was born when Geoffs wife felt that Kuitpo (Ky-poh) was a bit hard for people to pronounce.

In 1987, Geoff Hardy and his family began planting 30 hectares of vines with the aim being to eventually produce high quality grape yields which of course is now a dream realised with the creation of wines of the highest calibre.  Wine Business Magazine have rated K1 as one of the Top 10 Best Cellar Door experiences in Australia.  I wholeheartedly agree and would recommend to all....even if you dont care for the drop of the Gods, just to see a mans vision realised.  It gives us all the inspiration to keep forging ahead and dreaming on....
Thank you to the staff of K1 for their hospitality and also permission for use of selected website photographs and information.  We do love to promote great Australian businesses!
If you would like to know more about the wines, location and the people who make K1 special, then please click on the link below.



I love Pad Thai.  The mix of flavours  really goes well with a nice cold Sauv Blanc in summer...or even a nice Pinot.  You dont have to dine out at the local Thai place to achieve the full impact of this dish, when you can give it a go at home.  I have provided my all time easiest recipe for this dish - apart from Asia At Home mix from the supermarket.  Give this a go...and feel free to add extra vegies, for example we added broccolini, sliced capsicum and also some julienned snow peas.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250g packet rice stick noodles
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
  • 500g green prawns, peeled, deveined
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, tails removed
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped, optional
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • lime wedges, to serve


  1. Place noodles into a heat-proof bowl. Cover with hot water. Stand until tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water.
  2. Combine lemon juice, fish sauce and sugar in a jug. Whisk with a fork to combine.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat. Add oil. Swirl to coat. Add chicken. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until golden. Add prawns, onions and chillies. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until prawns turn pink. Add noodles. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Add lemon juice mixture to wok. Toss to combine. Slowly pour eggs over noodles. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add sprouts. Toss well.
  5. Spoon pad Thai onto plates. Sprinkle with peanuts and coriander leaves. Serve with lime or lemon wedges.


THE YUKIGUNI COCKTAIL.......................................

Is a legendary Japanese cocktail made from very basic ingredients.  Super easy to construct, the Yukiguni is the first Japanese cocktail to appear in western listings, created in 1969 by legendary bartender Keiichi Lyama.
Super easy to make and look how pretty it looks!

Photo courtesy of Savit Keawtavee

Mixing Instructions
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a sugar-rimmed glass. We garnished ours with a Mint Cherry.....Enjoy!.....or as they say in Japan....Tanoshimu!


Nobody trips over mountains.  It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble.  Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.  ~Author Unknown

Image courtesy of Morgue File - Greenfinger
And until next week...we hope to see you in the showroom this Saturday.  We still have a smattering of great half price items...for example our stunning Moroccan Lantern in rust glass is now half price...and its amazing!....We also have huge reductions off of our old doors, pots, urns and more!  Grab a true bargain this weekend.
Need to know more?  Just phone us on 07 38526002, or pop into Charcoal Interiors 59 Doggett St. Newstead.

The Charcoal Team

Friday, February 10, 2012



Seasoned visitors to our store will know that every time they step inside theres something new and interesting to see...the only downside is that the new pieces dont last for long!
So, heres a sneak peek for you.
We only select interesting, earthy pieces that you wont necessarily be able to find elsewhere.

And of course if theres anything that you see and feel you simply 'must have' we are only a phone call away for more information, or come visit us at 59 Doggett St. Newstead. Ph. 07 38526002

 How's this for a cutie...and even better in the flesh...this rustic  Provincial 2 door side cabinet is just divine and wont last!

 What about these side tables/stools...made from old wooden cart wheels...and thats what you'll be doing over these....cartwheels!...they are just gorgeous and so handy to have as a large stool or side table.  Perfect in a raw finish.

 Stop the clocks!...this amazing wooden bench seat/long coffee table ticks all the boxes and more.  Lovers of rustic will be going completely over the top at this amazing piece.  We only have the one of these but also have similar in an altar table style....ask us for more info.

 This rustic red chinese low cabinet is perfect for those who need something with a bit of soul to put the flat screen on, or as a versatile piece for the lounge/bedroom or living areas.  Still in its original hand painted condition.

 This handpainted side cabinet will not last.  We have a pair of them available.  Stunning!
This rice collection bucket is available now.  In its original handpainted condition in soft grey/blue tonings.
Would look fantastic as a centrepiece as its quite large - 500 x 500


Good Interior Design is quite multi-faceted.  To define ourselves as being able to provide a service that encompasses all areas of design for interiors we take pride in giving our clients the option to also purchase original art pieces from our extensive collection via Michael Graham - Gallery 2120

Our featured artist for this blog is the talented and creative Linda Vario.  We have the fortune of having some of Lindas work in our showroom at the moment.  Her pieces are drawing quite a reaction from clientele, in particular her mesmerizing 'Money' series.

Linda Vario was born and educated in Adelaide, South Australia.
For the past 16 years Linda and her family have lived on the Sunshine Coast, drawn by the unique beauty and unequalled colour of this idyllic location.
Influences from the vast richness of art and culture in South Australia to the natural beauty of coastal Queensland are reflected in her art. This journey allowed her creative space to learn, explore and experiment in all aspects of painting, culminating in an ability to apply a broad spectrum of techniques to her work.
I had the privilege of being able to ask Linda about her art: 
 Linda, what was the inspiration for your 'money' series?

I created this series to depict the changing social conscience of Asia and in particular China.  Their new found capitalistic freedom has given rise to a “Starry Eyed” view of wealth and the rewards that consumerism can provide.  Financial success has become the juggernaut to which nothing can withstand.  Trailing in the wake of destruction is China’s rich and vibrant culture, it struggles to catch its breath and patch together some remnant of its once proud and regal traditions.

. Which piece is your favourite and why?
Each new piece I create becomes my all time, most favourite, can never part with it piece of art in the whole world – until I create the next one and then I can let the last one go.  Painting is such an intensely personal pastime; you pour your whole self into each and every creation.

 What is the most memorable response you have had to your work?

In one of the Galleries where my work was being exhibited a woman was standing in front of one of my artworks crying (sobbing) , the gallery owner thought she must have been upset about something and asked if she was OK and if she would like a glass of water.  She replied that the painting had moved her so much and touched a part of her soul – she bought the painting and to this day remains one of my collectors.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given is to; “Paint even when you don’t feel like it, do not wait until you feel inspired because when Inspiration comes He will find you working!”

 When you're not painting, what is your favourite way to relax and recharge?
I love reading – I run a book club where we all read the same book and then get together at the end of the month at a different restaurant each time to discuss the book – It is a great girls night out and explores the other two great loves of my life apart from art – food and reading.

Modern Artist Linda Vario creates intricate, visually stimulating works of resonating emotion and extravagant colour. She has mastered a rhythmical balance of harmonious and spontaneous expression, resulting in works of provocative form and emotive energy. Orchestrating a combination of mediums, layered to create high relief, tactile finishes with three dimensional impact, Linda’s work is unique and highly sought after. We invite you to visit some of Lindas work on exhibit now in our Showroom.
Some of Vario's work currently on show at Charcoal Interiors:

'Red Dragonfly'
'Saffron Green'
A sample of her 'Money' series...We just love it!
To discover more about Linda Vario Art please click on the link below:
Introducing Scott, one of our wonderful fabric reps.

Scott pops in from time to time with new and exciting fabric samples.  He always...yes..always has a smile and is such a genuine guy.
Scotty lists his interests as the beach, spending time staying up late with friends.  Favourite band - Red Hot Chili Peppers, Favourite Food - Steak and Favourite Cocktail...well Mocktail is Guava Nectar with Sugar Free Lemonade....ooh yum!
We have decided to dedicate this weeks 'Mocktail'/Cocktail Friday to Scott...see below.....
Neutral...or Colour?...Scotty says Colour.
Heres the man himself.  Scotty today is wearing Saba and Sportscraft. :-)
Colette, Scott and Cath
Photo via

12-14" pizza base
4 Tsp of Matchett's Lust
100g grated Mozzarella cheese
100g goat's curd
100g roasted red capsicum cut into strips
1/2 bunch of basil leaves
Preheat oven to 190degrees C
Spread the 'Lust' evenly across the pizza base
Sprinkle the Mozzarella over the top.
Bake on a low shelf in the oven for approx 10 - 15 mins.  Check the underside fo the pizza to make sure its evenly golden.
Cut pizza into 8 portions
Top each slice with a spoonful of goat's curd, capsicum and finally basil leaves and serve immediately.

Note: Mathchett's 'Lust' Paste (Chipotle' Pepper Chutney) is now available at Charcoal Gourmet Provisions.

We figure that after the pummeling we have given our livers over the past couple of festive months, that its time to let it breathe...and so here is our version of a Guava Style Mocktail....The Beachcomber!


10 parts guava nectar
2 parts raspberry syrup
4 parts fresh lime juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a tall glass to serve.

The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. -Socrates
....And so until next week.  Thanks for stopping by the blog.  Take some time to smell the roses...hopefully the boxed red long stemmed ones that your love has bought you for Valentines Day!