Friday, August 24, 2012



Yes, its the last week of winter here and already it feels like Spring has been missed...its rather hot here today with a storm brewing on the horizon....Summertime...we are ready for you!


As usual the girls have sourced some beautiful new products for our new look showroom.
This week, we would like to share with you some of the smaller new arrivals.  

In particular we have been fortunate enough to source a limited amount of authentic round French Cheeseboards.  Patience has paid off after searching high and low for these over the past 12 months or so.  Although you can buy them brand new, ours are old and rustic, crafted the traditional amazing way to present your cheese selection or perfect for serving up pizza on.  Too pretty to hide away we like to display ours at home in the kitchen on a hook for all to see. 

 Available for a very limited time only, with price on application.  Contact us today to find out more...the last of our French Riddling Racks was sold this week, with no stock available for another 6 be quick!
Phone us on 07 38526002

Next, we have our stunning Bamileke side table in the black finish.
The traditional African Bamileke is crafted in Cameroon from the one tree trunk.  Available in assorted colours, we love it in the black.
Each piece is individually crafted by hand and therefore individual...use for a coffee table, or side table.  The perfect size and height.  We love it!

Here's a couple in situ - Photo credit to Elle Decor

Available now and in the showroom for viewing.  
59 Doggett Street.  Newstead.  Qld  4006.  Ph 07 38526002

And now to my personal of these walked out the door on the day it arrived!  This traditional metal pot is just one of those pieces that you could use in literally any room of the house.  Ageing has given the pot a very interesting patina that we are completely in love with.  Price on Application for this one...and its the last one quick before it goes to a design job!

The Bruxelles Armchair in crisp and fresh white Belgian Linen is not only pleasing on the eye but also comfortable and surprisingly spacious enough to really lounge in comfortably.
Timeless beauty.  Totally washable slip covers in Belgian Linen.  Available now in white and ecru.

All the above and so much more, available from Charcoal Interiors. 59 Doggett Street. Newstead. Qld.
Ph 07 38526002



For those who are new to our blog, firstly, I'm Jen and work as part of a family team with sister-in-law Cathie on the left and Mother-in-law Colette on the right (below).  People are surprised to find that we are all family and we also get along like a house on fire!
Colette and Cathie are the designers for Charcoal Interiors with over 40 years combined experience in the trade.  This is no 'fly-by-night' operation and the girls put their hearts and souls into bringing new life into your home...and this always starts with the presentation process to our client.

Time is spent with the client in their home space and then the girls collaborate...until they get the look and concept just right.  To say these girls are dedicated is an understatement.
Today, they set up for a client presentation.  Our clients are looking to update the look of their waterfront coastal home and importantly really bring together and give direction and personality to their home interior.

This gorgeous contemporary rug is the hero of one of the rooms. 

The girls prefer to actually present their concept and fabrics etc...rather than vision boards on a computer.  That way, our client gets to feel the textures, see the actual colours and most importantly the quality of our chosen fabrics etc...

Classic, sumptuous interiors is what we do best.  You can see just a small selection of the many projects completed by the team at Charcoal Interiors on our website.  Just click below to be taken to our project catalogue.  We are also contactable via our enquiry form on the website and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.



A friend of mine is a big time Fennel lover.  I must admit I have only ever had it as a 'must have' ingredient with restaurant its not something that I would jump at on a menu....Oooooo I think I will just choose the Fennel salad....not really something that would ever pop out of my mouth so to speak..until now. I am a bit of a Fennel fan now after she prepared it for me as a side dish to some delicious crumbed Pork Cutlets...of which I have found a similar recipe and want to share it with you all.



1 and a quarter cups of plain flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
2 and a half cups of fresh sourdough or quality breadcrumbs
2 lemons, finely gated rind only
1 cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 pork cutlets, fat and bone trimmed
olive oil for shallow frying
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed and very finely sliced and with the fronds put aside and reserved
Half a cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup of whole egg mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained and finely chopped
lemon wedges to serve

How to....

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Put flour into shallow dish.  Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl.  Combine breadcrumbs, lemon rind, half the parsley, half the garlic, and sea salt and pepper to taste in a large plastic bag.  Lightly dust cutlets with flour then dip into egg mixture to coat.  Add cutlets one at a time to breadcrumb mixture.  Seal and press the crumbing mixture on to cutlets.  Transfer to a large plate.
Pour enough oil into a frying pan to reach a depth of 2cm.  Place over a medium heat.  When oil is hot, add cutlets and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until crumbs are golden.  Transfer to prepared tray and place in oven.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.  (Test the cutlets by pressing the centre - if they're firm, they're ready).
Combine remaining parsley, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well, then add fennel.  Coarsely chop reserved fennel fronds and stir through salad.  Combine mayonnaise and capers with salt and pepper in another bowl.  Serve cutlets with salad, caper mayonnaise and lemon wedges.

Fennel has an anise flavour, and the more you cook it, the milder the flavour becomes.  The unusually strong flavouring of Fennel brings with it, the challenge of pairing a complimentary wine.
A nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc goes well with the Fennel due to its fresh, crisp, clean and grassy qualities.  There really is nothing nicer than a quality Sauvignon Blanc...chilled in a glass...gosh I am already salivating!
Below you will find our Sauvignon Blanc pairing suggestion for this dish.

Bon Appetit!


OK...I got my dates mixed up last week and thought that this blog would be the start of our Spring and Summertime features.  So, in fact THIS is the last of our wine review series and what a way to end...very appropriately with a crisp, clean and delicious Sauvignon Blanc tasting review.


David Bowley

Sauvignon Blanc has held its ground as the waves of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc continue to flood the market.  Happily, Australia has stuck to its knitting, producing wines that have structure and not seeking to emulate the Marlborough style.  This variety is not going to go away any time soon...Adelaide Hills leads Margaret River at the head of the pack.  And this new found beauty by Vinteloper Wines has had our hearts all a flutter and thats not just because of its creator David Bowley :-)

Anyone who has driven through Adelaide CBD and the hills regions will know that vineyards are pretty much part of the permanent landscape and this is what drove David from an early age to eventually create his own range of wines - Vinteloper.
Since the first release in 2009, with grapes sourced only from friends vineyards, he is making highly sought after artisan wines of expression and credibility.
We love the Vinteloper Sauvignon Blanc from hand harvested and sorted grapes.  With super freshness on the palate and flavours of snow pea, passionfruit and lime this is a wine that has obviously been nurtured through the process...the proof is truly in the tasting.

Davids wines are available online and only at selected retail outlets due to the limited quantities produced every year.
For more info you can check out his website.



Anyone who enjoys poking around in the garden, would remember the iconic Colin Campbell who passed away this week after a short illness with great fondness.
Colin was the reason why the Roma Street Parklands are ....well...parklands and not some eye-sore.  Can you imagine the day he presented his vision to government...they must have thought he was mad....but boy doesnt it look so amazing and of course we will remember him every time we drive past or walk through it.  I know that every time I stick the old trowel in the dirt there will be a little smile for Colin.
Thanks Colin for your passion, knowledge and for making the world a better place by being a decent bloke...a true Australian that will be missed by many.


Until next week!...Love..Light and Laughter...
The Charcoal Team

Friday, August 17, 2012




TO THIS!....

 The dilemma for our clients was that they had one very studious young 9 year old whose bedroom was in dire need of an update.  But how do you cater for the transitional stage between that awkward age of pre-teen through to young adulthood whilst still updating in an appropriate style?  
This young man also needed a space for his books, nick nacks, sports medals and trophies and of course to sit and study.

And so Colette and Cathie got started with ideas, drawing up plans for the new cabinetry and the new bedroom transformed into a very comfortable and befitting space.

Colette sketched out the original concept by hand and then its off to the client for approval.  After that, our craftsmen take over...with the finished product below...

  He now has a place for everything and everything in its place!  When the girls arrived to view the finished cabinetry and take some photos they were greeted at the door by one very excited 9 year old who practically dragged them into his room...proud to show it off!

Needless to say, with minimal fuss and disruption the girls had European brand wallpaper hung as a feature to one wall...a completely new paint scheme...custom cabinetry catering to our clients exact specifications...the addition of a new rug and table lamp for reading and then minor re-arranging of existing pieces to the layout.

Not only is the new bedroom space going to carry through until he leaves home without having to make any major changes but this room would also be great as a study or media/reading room for a couple of empty nesters once the kids have flown the coop!

Charcoal Interiors.  Interior Design Service.
59 Doggett Street. Newstead. Qld.  4006
Ph. 07 38526002



Do you recall a few weeks ago we mentioned that one of our clients had purchased the 'Cashmere Lion' wallpaper and we have been excitedly awaiting its installation.  Well, the wait is over!  
Pretty stunning isnt it?

Our client selected the wallcovering with suggestions from our design team and we recommended quality tradespeople to utilise for this job.  

Cathie and Colette are happy to assist with all design enquiries.  Please phone us on 07 38526002 for all the details on our consultancy service.  You can also see more of our project photographs on our website.



Our Black Tango Occasional Armchair brings a Hamptons feel to your home whilst also sating your need for a comfortable yet stylish chair.  We love this chair.  Also available in natural.

Or how about these completely divine custom covered chairs (below) in European Fabric teamed up with our black pedestal table....just the thing for a relaxed afternoon 'tete a tete'.....

And we are finding that our new buttoned 'JoJo' sofa in ecru coloured linen is quite the spot for kicking back with an afternoon coffee!



Hands up if you like cheese!...yay!...hands up if you like cheese cake!...yay!...then you will loooove this surprisingly easy recipe.  Dont be fooled by the fancy description or photo because this really is just as simple as can be and your friends and family will indeed believe that youre the next Nigella or Donna.  Be sure to lie about how how you slaved for ages in the kitchen and of course theres all those very laborious techniques that you had to master blah..blah....then make sure they do all the washing up so you can sit with a nice Cab Sauv...(see below Happy Hour article) and chill...

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This Cheesecake, like the sweeter version is best made 24 hours in advance so that theres time for it to firm up.


125g watercress and a little extra left over for garnishing
580g cream cheese
125g blue cheese
3 large eggs
1 bunch fresh chives finely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
3 sheets filo pastry
2 tbsps olive oil


Bring pan of water to the boil and blanch the watercress for 10 seconds.  Drain and refresh with very cold water.  Squeeze out as much water ass you can and then finely chop and set aside.

Beat the cream cheese with 100g of the blue cheese and then beat in the eggs.  Stir in the chopped watercress and chives and season with a little salt and pepper.

Herat oven to 108 degrees celsius.  Brush each sheet of filo pastry with the oil.  Line an 18cms loose bottomed cake tin with the sheets.  The good part of this is that you dont have to be neat!...right up my alley...just be sure not to leave gaps.  If you have any large pieces hanging over the sides then just scrunch them up and it adds to the rustic look once baked.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the pastry case.  Dot the surface wit hthe remaining blue cheese.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour until golden and just firm in the middle.  Turn off the oven and leave the cake to rest inside for 15 mins.  remove and leave to cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 4 - 5 hours (as mentioned above its best to leave it overnight).  Serve with a garnish of fresh watercress or a simple waldorf style salad works well too.  Its quite a heavy cheesecake so something light and fresh to go with it is suggested.



Spring is so close now I can almost touch it...the Jasmine buds on the vine are just starting to pop and today in Brisbane at least its an almost balmy 27 degrees.  If we were lambs we'd be skipping and jumping for joy at the prospect of a new season just around the corner.  And so this is the last in our little series of wine reviews for a while.  I am sure that for those in the cooler parts of Australia today (and we understand some areas are experiencing snow, hail and arctic type winds) we shall  be gratefully sating your palate with this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.


For anyone who has travelled to South Australia and toured around the Fleurieu Peninsula wine region, you will know that the name Bleasdale is one of the most respected of all the grape artisans.  It's Pete the Greek and my favourite winery to visit and no matter which region we visit whether it be McLaren Vale or the Barossa, we always pop our heads into the Bleasdale Winery at Langhorne Creek.

Bleasdale Cellar Door and Tasting Room (Historic Shed)

There is, in my opinion no other winery quite like this one.  Their motto is that there is a story in every glass, and as soon as you walk in through the historic shed cellar door with all the memorabilia, warm friendly and open house style service you definitely get the feeling that at the end of this visit youre going to have some stories of your own to share.  
The Potts family history is extensive and interesting....and hey...I have to go home some time so space and time does not lend itself today, but in the words of yourself a favour and check out the Bleasdale Website.

Being a lover of excellent wines, yet not exactly the connoisseur in my opinion the best way to describe the Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon is that its rich, earthy and always, always no matter the vintage has a distinctive berry flavour...dare I say mulberry?...and a lovely oak finish.  Not being a big Cab Sauv drinker I will always have a bottle of this wine on hand at home for when the mood takes me.  Grab yourself a bottle and share your thoughts...or stories perhaps?

Bleasdale Wine Press

Be sure to see the huge original grape press crafted from a massive old tree trunk when you visit the winery.  The press is in a separate section and they do like you to ask permission before heading into the shed for a look.



And so to the end of another week.  We hope we may have inspired you to make some changes in your home space...or perhaps given you some food for thought in  respect to wallcoverings and the incredible impact they can make in even a small space.
Until next week...wishing you Love...Light and Lots of Laughter....
The Charcoal Team


Friday, August 10, 2012



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This week is a shortened blog due to the 3 of us madly racing around to get the showroom back into order after finally....drumroll....our timber flooring renovations have been completed!  Oh...we are so happy to be able to announce that we will officially be welcoming customers back into the showroom from early next week, however we have had a few people popping their heads in today and even made some sales in amongst the topsy turvy state of things!

Thanks to our friends Queensland Timber Flooring, we now have a beautiful new floor surface which showcases all of the gorgeous timbers and finishes available through this well established Sunshine Coast based company.

This process has taken a few weeks due to the huge expanse of flooring to be laid and also the very special sections with parquetry.
First, the plastic and particle board were laid over the existing concrete meaning all furniture need to be moved either into storage or covered in plastic and sealed.  Then the timber boards were laid, then sanded and finally coated with a low toxic water based finish which is very durable, eco friendly and can be walked on within an hour of you can see in the photos, not only is the finish really nice on the eye, but also it brings out the richness of the timbers handsomely.

...And now to big job of not only bringing our beautiful pieces out of storage and onto the floor, but also unwrapping some of our 'goodies' that the girls have been absolutely busting to place insitu.  The results are already looking impressive and we have only just started today...

Colette and Cathie unwrap one of many new custom made sofas...this one is in Belgian Linen and so completely comfortable that we all want one for our own!
Below...voila!...unwrapped and ready for you....

Kicking back on of our custom made sofas, with Euro fabric cushioning. Our French Marble Louis 16th Style Fireplace...circa 1900 with art by Warren Haney, tall Candelabra and Italian Standard Lamp trimmed with Swarovski crystals.

Below we are loving our new super comfortable Wingback chair in the Belgian Linen.
Someone bring me my pipe and slippers....

Our 'Narnia' Mirror from France (below), hand carved and simply divine stands pride of place in one of the new floor sections the girls are progressively setting up.

We also love the altar table and lamp.

Warren Haney Art 

 Dont you just love our new chairs in simply beautiful French Fabric..these are one of a kind too!

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More to come next much more to come.  This is just a mere snippet of what we have started unravelling for you.

Originality, Classic Style and very carefully selected pieces are what sets us sure to visit us at 59 Doggett Street. Newstead. Brisbane.
07 38526002


And so, its a very quick blog from us today, but next week will be packed with recipes, more of our products as we unravel further and further through the week and a few surprising little extras that we are working on.
Until then....
Love, Light and most importantly Laughter at all times!...The Charcoal Team