Friday, November 30, 2012



Honolulu International Airport Design, Vladimir Ossipoff, Hawaiian Design, Interior Decorator Fortitude Valley CBD Luxury Design Brisbane
The very grand Honolulu Airport

Although I did not recognise Vladimir Ossipoffs name, I have unknowingly admired his work at Honolulu International Airport.  Funny because Pete the Greek mentioned that the terminal had not changed for years and years (he’s been to Hawaii a bit over the years). ...I was too busy marvelling a the open air corridors between terminals that allowed me,  the traveller to experience Hawaii’s temperate breezes either whilst waiting for a flight...which was problem..sitting with the breeze on my face, or immediately upon disembarkation (and what an introduction to this marvellous island of Oahu).  The Architecture is quite though provoking really, as there are no walls between terminals.  Overhanging roof lines which extend way over the average combined with the use of local materials and very careful and thoughtful regard to the environment for brilliant effect, which is as I have since found out is to be Ossipoffs trademark.

Vladimir Ossipoff

Born in 1907, and raised in Japan, educated in California Ossipoff completed over 1,000 buildings, all in the Hawaiian Islands.  Lauded as one of the most influential architects of the 20th Century, Ossipoff’s strikingly beautiful structures can be found throughout Honolulu and the outer islands.  He combined elegance with functional simplicity, free flowing floorplans, courtyards, comfortable shady verandas and exposed beam ceilings being his trademarks.

Pete the Greek driving on route to Waimea Bay

We hired a car to explore the island and in particular I wanted to see if we would be fortunate enough to spy one of his creations on the coastal drive.  We left Waikiki and decided to follow the coastal roads as opposed to the highway, taking in the beauty of the Oahu coast.  High up on the hill overlooking Diamond Head and Honolulu is the Heritage Listed residence Lijestrand.  Owned by Bob Lijestrand and built by Ossipoff for Bob’s parents on a lot high above the city with spectacular views of Downtown and Diamond Head. 

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Lijestrand, Hawaiian architecture, interior decorator designer brisbane fortitude valley cbd, luxury design

Lijestrand Hawaiian architecture, Interior Decorator designer brisbane fortitude valley cbd, luxury homes

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Credit with thanks for photos via Liljestrand House website.

Ossipoff was responsible for every aspect of its design and construction, including all of the furniture.  Even the rugs are original and were provided by the architect.  The residence is a true time capsule and listed on the national Register of Historic Places.  As we were heading along the coastal road, and with no extra time permitting, we didn’t get the chance to book a tour of the home, however this experience is now going on the ‘Bucket List’ of must see and do’s.

Thank you to the Liljestrand House Website and proprietors for providing us all with such fabulous information, and you can find more on the website.



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The super sleuths of finding amazing pieces are Colette and Cathie.  Whenever I go away, half the fun is being on a holiday and the other half of the fun is knowing I will be coming back to work and not really knowing what to expect in regards to their latest 'finds'.  This week they have truly excelled with possibly a couple of the most unique old Antique Workbenches I have ever seen.
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These benches are circa 1900s and have all the original vices and quirky hand forged attachments.  One even has the original hand made drawers with little compartments.  
Rustic and handsome, carefully restored without detracting from their original beauty these benches would make the absolute perfect gift for the man who has everything and wishes to reminisce on a by-gone world when his Grandfather taught him perfectly suiting a high end mens boutique space as a shop counter.  I could go on and on and know that your creative minds will take over with ideas, but for now, they are available on the showroom floor and of course being 'one-off' pieces will not last!

Speaking of benches, we also have this absolute beauty that came into the showroom this week and promptly sold (gotta love that)...however, the good news is that we can stock more into the showroom on request. 

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 Rustic, solid and super versatile this console has extensions at the sides and back, so it would suit an entrance, kitchen or even work as a small dining table.  We think this console would also work well in a boutique.  Once again, your creative minds can go crazy with the options.  We love the zinc top.  
All enquiries for this console/bench and Antique Workbenches can be directed to us here at Charcoal Interiors.
Ph 07 38526002



Today marks the final day of Movember and we say 'seeya later' to those hairy mo's that some of us women have had to endure the annoyance of over the past month.  Pete the Greek had a full beard and moustache overnight it seems!  He also got some silicone stuck on his top lip and moustache this week while doing some very handy things around the house.  He walked around oblivious to its existence for hours, unknowingly allowing the paste to set into a rock like blob.  So, after chiselling away at it without success, he went for the scissors and now has a very wonky looking mo.  

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Heres a pic of the Mobros of 85 Team.  
The total as it stands at this moment is $1373 raised by the team for Prostate Cancer research and Mens Health issues!
Its not too late to donate!
Click the link below and any donation of $2 or more is tax deductible.
We look forward to bringing you photos of the boys 'Shave Off' this Saturday.
Thanks so much to everyone who has supported and donated.





We are now on Instagram!  All you need to do is click on the follow button below....Voila!..and be instantly connected through to us for daily updates and all photos!



Over the weeks leading up to Christmas we are going to be sharing with you our top fave Finger Food recipes, keeping in with the seasonal produce theme, so it will be fresh, fun, colourful and most importantly super dooooper easy.

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Due to the over supply of fresh Basil in the herb garden at the moment, heres a fantastic Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade recipe that just requires blending!

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photo credit to prideandvegudice via flickr with thanks


What you need....
3 cups fresh basil leaves
150g walnut pieces 
2 - 4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp grated fresh lemon zest
1 and a 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Black Pepper

What to do....
Set aside about 25g of the walnut pieces.  Chop the basil, garlic and most of the walnuts in the food processor until chunky, stopping often to scrape the sides.  Add oils, maple syrup and the lemon zest and process until thick and creamy.  Stir in reserved walnut pieces.  Season with salt and pepper. Can be stored in a glass jar with a thin layer of olive oil on top until ready to serve.  

Pita Chips.
Once again you cant get much easier than this.  You just need a packet of Pita Bread....slice into triangles (I use a pizza cutter) then spray with olive oil, dust with rock salt and parmesan and then place on baking tray and cook in the oven until they are crispy and crunchy.

This is great party fare....more to come next week.



You know you're not in Kansas any more when Margaritas for breakfast are frowned up....sooo not fair and have hit reality and arrival back to Brisbane with a thud! 

The beauty of holidays is that you can throw the diet to the what you like, drink what you like, and at whatever time the mood takes you.  Lunch at 4.30pm with those big waffle fries?...sure!....cake at 10.30pm?...of course!....Margaritas with your ham and eggs Miss?? problem!  I found the perfect Margarita at The Shorebird restaurant and bar at Waikiki.  (see pictured).  The good side to this discovery is finally I had found Waikiki gold!...but the negative was that I then, due to being on holiday, considered it quite normal behaviour to have one for breakfast, lunch and a couple at dinner too!  Twas marvellous.  The staff there were just lovely too.  I think showing open appreciation of Margarita perfection every time they delivered one to my table helps with all-round employee mood.

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Here's the recipe to the Ultimate Lime Margarita...take it from me...I'm an expert ;-)

Serves 4

What you need.....

1 cup Tequila
3/4 Cup orange liqueur, such as triple sec
1 cup fresh lime juice....mmmmmm.....limmmeee......
1 tbsp sugar

What to do...

Combine first 4 ingredients into a 4 cup measuring cup
For blended margaritas fill blender halfway with ice cubes.
Add half of margarita mixture
Blend until mix is thick and icy.
Divide between two glasses
Repeat with more ice cubes and remaining margarita mixture.

For Margaritas on the rocks (my personal fave)
Divide margarita mix among glasses and serve

For both recipes: before pouring the mix in glasses, coat the rims with salt....

Party Tip - Mix can be made up to 8 hours ahead and prior to being blended with ice...just cover, refrigerate and use when youre ready to parrrtayyyyy!




Until next week.  Enjoy your Margaritas and the Party Season. 
Love, light and laughter....The Charcoal Team

Pete Venardos Jenny Venardos

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