Friday, June 29, 2012



Not only do our furniture pieces stand the test of time, but also happily, so do the relationships we have with our clients.  It's always such a pleasure to work with people who appreciate good design as was the case with these long standing clients of Colettes who came to us after moving to a new boutique development residence with river views in our beautiful Brisbane.

Their purchases of quality pieces through Colette years prior were a great starting point incorporated with the new furniture into their new home.  With a great eye for detail, which always makes Colettes job easier, they asked Charcoal Interiors to assist with freshening up selected pieces more suited to the new dwelling.

Firstly, Colette took the dining room tub chairs for a complete re-upholster, updating them in a sophisticated, tailored look that really compliments the space (see below).

The sophisticated tailored look of the new fabric has completely transformed these once leather tub chairs...and we sat in them before comfortable!

The client brief for the study was to create an amazing feature wall...and not in paint colour either, but instead using a glamorously stunning wallpaper feature.  And so, the 'Cowboy' by Carlucci was chosen and stands in all its grandeur in Charcoal and Silver tonings as the backdrop to their newly upholstered sofa in sumptuous black crushed velvet.  The sofa was reupholstered with all new inners and also buttoning detail to the back. (see below)

And how's this for urban glamour?!  'Cowboy' wallcovering by Carlucci...completely Luxe!

Charcoal and Silver tonings on the feature wall create a stunning backdrop for the newly upholstered sofa in black crushed velvet...divine....

You Can View More of our Interior Design Projects via the website

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We are loving our latest arrival into the showroom!
'Geisha' by Unique in the Burnt Turquoise....also available in 4 other colourway options.

Uses: Drapery, Soft Furnishings and Accessories.  We are looking forward to using this in the showroom!


Belgian Waffles with Sparkling Strawberries and Lemon Cream
served with Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling

Serves 4
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
1 punnet strawberries
¼ cup Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling 2010
¼ cup caster sugar
½ cup pure cream
1/4 cup lemon curd or lemon butter
8 Belgian waffles
extra lemon curd or lemon butter, for serving
icing sugar, for dusting
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling 2010, chilled, for serving
Hull and halve strawberries. Combine with Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling and sugar and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly whisk cream and lemon curd together until soft peaks form. Just before serving, lightly toast waffles and, on individual serving plates, top four waffles with sugared strawberries, a dollop of Lemon Cream and a teaspoon of extra lemon curd and sandwich together with remaining waffles. Drizzle plates with syrup from strawberries, dust waffles with icing sugar and serve with a glass of chilled Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay.

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Even teenagers these days would be more likely to recognise the name Wolf Blass than Frank Sinatra nowadays, as is the iconic status of the Blass name.
Founded in 1966 by German immigrant, Wolfgang Blass who arrived into the country with little money and a diploma in wine making.

When Wolf started making his own style of reds and whites that have frequented most households at some time or another, he suggested that his drop would "make strong women weak and weak men strong".
A self confessed eccentric with his trademark Bow Ties and at time outspoken views on the wine industry in Australia, Wolf Blass is to wine what the flying kangaroo is to Qantas.

Wolf Blass is celebrating the release of the 2010 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling Brut, the first sparkling wine to be released under the Yellow Label range in Australia and the fifth bubbly to wear the iconic Wolf Blass badge.
Made from the traditional sparkling wine varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the grapes have been sourced from premium vineyards across Australia. 

The 2010 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling Brut is a classic sparkling wine, bottle-fermented for nine months and matured on lees to emphasise elegant fruit flavours and displaying a delicate mousse. The nose exhibits delicious lemon curd and brioche aromas along with hints of honeysuckle. The palate has a textual finesse with bold strawberries and cream flavours, layered over a good dose of toast with a lengthy mineral finish.
The Yellow Label Sparkling Brut style is best matched with shellfish, prawns, antipasto, seasonal salads, soft white cheeses and summer fruits.

Thank you to our friends at Wolf Blass for sharing the divine recipe for Belgian Waffles with  Sparkling Strawberries and lemon cream!
Would you like to know more about Wolf Blass Wines?  Just click on the link below.


Enjoy your weekend whilst sipping on sparkling and chowing down on your Belgian Waffles!
We look forward to welcoming you to the showroom soon.
Love, light and laughter....The Charcoal Team

Wednesday, June 27, 2012



Another port of call on Caths latest trip to New York was the historic Dakota Building, built in 1884.
Credit - Wikicommons
Built on the west side of Manhattan across from Central Park, it was a lone structure in the beginning with open fields and squatters tents to the back of it.  So far from what was then the center of Manhattan, the locals said it may as well have been built in Dakota!....hence the name The Dakota building.

With its Gothic and Victorian architectural and interior detailing, this is one of the citys most legendary apartment buildings.  Many of the the 93 apartments in the building have 14 foot high ceilings that spread over huge floor spaces.

The apartment complex is not only famous for its grandeur but also for being the movie set to  Rosemarys Baby and also more recently Vanilla Sky.  Unfortunately its saddest claim to fame is that John Lennon was murdered at the front entrance (see below) of the Dakota on the 8th December 1980.  He was only 40 years of age...and what I personally believe to be one of the greatest losses in my lifetime.

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John and Yoko lived in the building for several years prior to his death and Yoko still resides there today.  She can often be seen strolling the grounds of Strawberry Fields which is a 2.5 acre landscaped  section of Central Park, dedicated to the memory of John Lennon.  The focal point of the memorial is the mosaic circular pathway of inlaid stones with the single word 'Imagine' in the centre (see below).  This was gifted to the project by the city of Naples.

There are rumours that the Dakota building is haunted, but that doesnt seem to stop people from residing there and at up to 6 million dollars for an apartment, I dont think the ghosts have had any impact.
Other famous residents were Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall and U.S television reporter Connie Chung...word on the street is that Lindsay Lohan has been trying to buy an apartment there, but due to the selectiveness of the  private administration mentioned below, this may well happen about the same time that hell freezes over.

The building which is closed to the public and administered by a private board is particularly difficult to attain photos of the apartments and interior.  This is one very rare photograph that we managed to find.
Credit to Studio M blogspot
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Last week we brought you the Rock Baroque range from Hooked On Walls with its super daring blend of pattern, colours and texture.  And now to take the tone down a tad, this week for the more conservative we introduce the new Urban Classic range of wall coverings by Hooked on Walls.  
Classical Ornament

Urban Classic is about Belgium craftsmanship and the transformation of this heritage.

'Grid' - available in a huge variety of colourways

Designs are transformed with the old reworked, creating a new passionate connection with art at its heart.

Urban Flower

Classical Ornament - perfect in the lighter tonings for this room

A selection of wall covering in the Urban Classic range...exquisite detailing akin to beading and tapestry in some of the range.

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Oh I do love lamb...lamb cutlets, lamb stew, lamb korma....lamb icecream....not really.  But, yes, I do love lamb...and my apologies in advance to all the vegetarians and vegans out there, but I was raised on a farm...

This is such a simple and super tasty recipe and great for Winter too.  Because we are using lamb mince you will also find this to be a fairly budget friendly meal also.  Enjoy!

Serves 4


500g lamb mince
1 cup pistachio kernels, finely chopped
1 medium red onion peeled and finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 egg
2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
1 large bunch continental parsley - leaves only
half cup pearl barley
2 roma tomatoes finely diced
half bunch coriander
half bunch mint, leaves only
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon juiced
third of a cup of extra virgin olive oil
extra 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachio kernels
2 limes juiced
1 teaspoon cardamon
1 tablespoon olive oil


Place lamb, pistachios, half the onion, garlic paprika, cumin, coriander, egg and breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.
Roughly chop 1 cup parsley leaves and add to lamb mix, reserve rest of the parsley leaves.  Stir in until well combined.
Divide the mix into 8 portions and form into 7cm long log shapes.  Insert a metal skewer through the centre of each log.
Place debabs on a large plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required...refrigerating helps the mixture to hold and slightly set.
Place barley in a fine sieve and rinse under cold water.
Place barley in a saucepan and cover with water.  Boil over a high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 mins or until tender.  Drain.
Allow to cool and then place barley in a large bowl.
Add remaining red onion and parsley, tomato, coriander and mint.
Toss until well combined.  Whisk oil with lemon juice in a jug and season with salt and pepper.  Add dressing to barley tabouleh just before serving.  Whisk extra virgin olive oil, extra pistachios, lime juice and cardamon in a jug.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside until required.
Heat a chargrill, barbecue hot plate or large frying pan over a medium-high heat.  When hot, brush with olive oil.  Cook lamb kebabs, turning often, for 8 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  To serve spoon tabouleh onto serving plates.  Top with kebabs.  Drizzle cardamon, pistachio and lime dressing over kebabs.


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Due to the fact that its completely freezing here and that none of us have frequented or will be in the coming weeks a tropical island full of cocktail selections to inspire us, I have decided to stick with the theme of late and promote another quality Australian wine.  This is the latest 'must-drink' and a bargain at that too.  This is an exquisite drop and I was initially reticent to share as then word will get out and everyone will want some...but sharing is caring right!?

Polished Shiraz Cabernet 2010 by Godfrey Wines is the latest find and as their website states "I challenge you to find a better wine for the price"....challenge accepted and they win hands down!

Godfrey Wines is a super premium winery based in Springton, South Australia. This small outlying town of the Barossa Valley is only minutes from the Eden Valley and some of the most wonderful vineyards in Australia.

In June 2008, Lisa and Sandy Goda range of wines that over delivers in every way. Lisa and Sandy promise never to release a wine that is not good enough for their table.

We are the not completely snobbish about our wines, but with that said, I can tell the good from the not so great.  Polished is my all time favourite wine so far as I love the big boldness of a good Shiraz Cab blend but with a smooth finish....and this wine has it.  Its not super complicated and very easy drinking....Mothers Milk we call it at home.  And the other sign of a great wine is that you dont wake up the next day feeling ordinary.  And so in summary, if you enjoy a really oaky Shiraz with a smooth finish and that lovely blackberry and red currant on the nose then this wine is definitely for you.  But just remember...its our little secret :-)

Like to know more about Godfrey Wines?  Just click on the link below.


And until next week.....or this coming Friday...which is only a couple of days away!  I better get cracking on the next blog!
Love, light and most importantly...laughter!....
The Charcoal Team

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Friday, June 15, 2012


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Ah...the Winter I do love thee!  Starting today we have selected stock marked down by 50% which also includes a lot of our new arrivals!  Are we mad you ask?? a little bit crazy, but we have just been informed that works start soon on our new timber flooring for the entire showroom!
And so, in a nutshell...the more we sell, the less we need to move around.  So, pop into the showroom for a bargain and save our backs at the same time!


Charcoal Interiors: 59 Doggett Street.  Newstead.  Ph. 38526002. Open every day but Sunday.


The latest from the super innovative and clever people from Hooked on Walls is their Rock Baroque Collection.  A daring blend of colours, patterns and textures makes this the perfect range for those not faint of heart and really does bring out the Rocker in you.....verrrry Lenny Kravitz!

 'Big Damask'

'Cashmere Lion'

'Precious Paisley'

Available in various colourways...this is just a glimpse of the new collection...more to come in future blogs.  We just know how much you all love your wallpaper!
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Thank you to our friends at Unique Fabrics for always supplying us with quality product.



I was back in beautiful Wintery South Australia on the weekend.  I left Pete the Greek to look after the tribe and set off on my own for a couple of days in the gorgeous Adelaide Hills which are so beautiful this time of the year with the green rolling hills and what seems like a stone pub with fireplace in every little town you drive through.  It wouldnt be right to drive right past now would it!?

I am always blown away by the beauty of the little townships, in particular Stirling with its wide streets, grand homes, manicured Paul Bangay style gardens and cosy restaurants and pubs.  I always feel like I am in the English countryside when I visit.  Here's one of the homes I came across whilst driving back from the Organic Market (see below 'Out and About' Article).

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Back in the olden days as I would say to my kids...or when I was a teensie bit younger I used to live on a farm in SA and we specialised in Organic produce.  My Mum and I had a small business making Organic Apple pies for our little shop on the property and supplied pies to various cafes and restaurants in the Adelaide Hills.  The Organic Market was one of these cafes we sold to and I hadnt been there again in years and years...almost before the wheel as I would say to the kids.  Anyway, I popped in on the weekend and it was absolutely packed with locals, which although inconvenient as my little tummy was a-grumbling, was also a good sign...if its busy, you know it must be good.  

With a passion for food, the proprietors select the very best in seasonal produce with a focus on wholefoods, certified organics and biodynamics so the menu is fresh and flavour packed....and licensed with a great selection of organic wines including my  fave, the Temple Bruer range (local to the area).  After your meal, check out the shelves of the market shop which are brimming with all things good in food, baked items, wines, beers fresh fruit and vegetables and more.  There is even a little area for the kids to listen to music, and a play section in the corner of the cafe.  

Next time I am taking the Greek away from the tribe and will be bunkering down at this cafe for a relaxed afternoon of good food, fast quirky service and a dose of eclectic people watching....a MUST see on your next visit to the Adelaide Hills....or as the locals would say "Dont tell too many people about this gem or then everyone will discover it!" 



News Flash: Avocados are in season!  They are flavoursome, fresh and abundant at the moment.  I personally have Avocado for breakfast, either with my omelette or on wholegrain toast with fresh lemon (also in season..yay..) and then its a must have in my salad wrap for lunch.  I loooooove Avocado!  I am also facebook friends with 'Australian Avocados'  Click here to become Facebook friends with Australian Avocados and keep updated on their yummy recipes...

They have these super tempting recipes which are posted from time to time and I really love trying them.  Avocados naturally lower cholesterol, improve eye health, reduce the risk of oral and breast cancers, help guard against stroke, promote good heart health and are a powerhouse of Vitamin!  They taste great!  Mash them, crumb and fry, slice in a salad, on toast and so much more.  This little green package is chock-a-block full of goodness and flavour.
Thank you to our friends at Australian Avocados for providing this super easy recipe for Zesty Balsamic Avocado.

Serves 4 people
Preparation Time - 5 minutes

2 Avocado
4tsp of Balsamic Vinegar
4tsp of Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Bunch Chives finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut Avocado in half and de-seed.
Cut into the inside of avocado in criss-cross pattern without piercing the skin.
Pour Vinegar and Oil into Avocado and Season with the Salt and pepper
Sprinkle with the chives.

Note: Great snack in between leals or served as an entree with fresh greens on the side and some crusty still my beating heart....sounds deeeelish!

Would you like to see Australian Avocado website that is absolutely bursting with not only recipes but also nutritional information and so much more?  

All recipes, and info have been provided by our friends at Australian Avocados.  We love promoting quality Australian business!




Well, I have for the moment exhausted my list of Winter Warming cocktails...lets face it..its cold and furthermore, there are only so many ways you can jazz up a Mead recipe!
I was very happily surprised on my flight home from SA on Sunday to be served up on my request for a Shiraz, the St Hallett 'Faith' Shiraz.  I had been to the winery previously and was truly impressed with the attendant at the Tasting Room who explained in laymans terms the options and varieties available...we of course went straight for the hard stuff...the reds! 

(above) Pete the Greek at the St Hallett Winery Barossa Valley

 And so, my flight home was not only made more comfortable by a glass or two of Faith Shiraz, but also took me back to that day at the winery.

If you are looking for a vibrant and expressive example of Barossa reds, then this is worth a try.  Quite affordable and with dark cherry and juicy raspberry notes on the palate, this wine even in the latest vintage of 2010 is very drinkable now.

To find out more about the St Hallett Winery, wines and the beautiful Barossa Valley, click on the link below.


...And so to finish off for this week, we wanted to share with you an amazing find brought to us by our favourite design e-newsletter 'Lost at E Minor'...the Automated Fresh Pizza Vending Machine!
It's been available in areas of Europe now for years...and apparently there is one for fresh Cupcakes also.
Pop your money in, select your fresh ingredients and in 2 and a half minutes you have a freshly baked pizza to your specifications and with fresh ingredients....just like mamma used to make!
Image via Lost at E Minor

Until next week!  Have a great weekend...enjoy family, friends and all else in between!
The Charcoal Team xxx