Friday, January 18, 2013



Colette Venardos Australian House and Garden Interior Decorator Designer
Colette (above) has over 30 years experience in design

Colette Venardos has over 30 years of Design experience under her hat.  What she doesnt know about Interior Design hasnt been thought of yet.  This week, she gives us some invaluable fact they are her top 5 tips, on how to bring balance into your home.

"When I walk into a room it must be well planned and flow harmoniously.  As my star sign of Libra is recognised by a set of scales, balance in design is very important to me." says Colette.

And, so Colette, shares with us below her Top 5 Tips:

1. "The very first thing I suggest before looking at any furniture, colours, drapery to have a really good long look at your space", says Colette. "This could be achieved by a quick floor plan layout before selecting furniture pieces and sizes."
"This  process can help you visualise how the room is going to take shape."

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2. "One absolute MUST for me, is when rugs are used, they need to be of a size that compliments the room.  In a living area it is essential that they either nudge up to the sofas or go under it.  The dining room needs to accommodate the size of the table plus sufficient room to allow the chairs to be pulled out comfortably and still remain on the carpet because theres nothing worse than pulling a chair out and it gets caught onto the edge of the carpet."

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3. "Less is More'.... Too many small pieces in a large room can be very distracting.  I suggest proportion and accessories, artworks etc.. should be selected with as much love and care as the larger furniture items." 
"Every day before I leave for work, I take a good long look in the mirror and then take off one piece of jewellery."  "Less is definitely more." 

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4. "Harmony of colour is very important in maintaining balance in a home.  I always try to choose the wall colour last of all.  Natural light in the room plays a large part and you wont know the flow of light until you have considered the space...once you get a good feel for the light in the room, you can choose your wall colours.  A mistake that I see a lot of, is clients who have seen a colour scheme in a friends home and want to replicate it as their own and often wonder why it doesnt work for them.  Light and aspect really are a huge factor in balance and the selection of colour in your a fingerprint every space is unique in its own way and has to be dealt with accordingly."

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5.  "Lighting" important. "Position of lighting is critical to balance.  For example you wouldn't put glaring light where it is not needed.    A pigeon pair of lamps on a console is not always the right way to go.  Equilibrium.  Every factor of the room needs to be taken into consideration.  Its not just little pieces or big pieces...its everything to create balance and harmony.  Night light should be more moody.  It's important to consider this before either having lighting installed or, purchasing lamps etc....  I recommend a lighting plan to be drawn up by an expert, it is well worth the investment."

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Colette also adds that "The biggest mistake people make with balance is not knowing how to come into a room many people tend to line the walls with furniture...every little space is covered.  Create the space that you want to use within that room....its ok to bring the bulk of the furniture away from the wall.  Thats why its so important to sit down, sketch out the room and the pieces you have or will be purchasing and really look at the overall layout first."  

And so, if you thought that good Interior Design was an easy process, then think again.  That's why it really is so important to see a designer with experience and a proven portfolio (as you will see from our original projects listed on the website
The design team at Charcoal Interiors take the headache out of your Interior Design's just another thing that we do best!

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This week Cathie stumbled upon our latest 'fave' daily read on the every wonderful www!
The website, Trendland, is just that....a land of trends, from fashion, design, architecture, food and more.  Not for the faint hearted, you will be challenged and inspired by the Trendland finds as they take you through a daily journey of creative discoveries.

Donna Karan New York Interior Decorator Australia Brisbane
Francis Bacon artwork.
Image by Richard Powers via

This week, we wanted to share with you Donna Karan's New York digs.  The home, which overlooks Central Park in the cities Upper West Side precinct is a statement to what you would only expect from Style Icon Karan.

Her exquisite taste is reflected in every room, with Artworks by renowned artist Francis Bacon adorning the wall in the hallway as a real stand out feature (see below info on the Francis Bacon Gallery showing now on in Sydney Australia).

To view the whole story on the residence where you will also find links to Photographer Richard Powers website, just click here....



Portrait of Bacon by Reginald Gray...1989

In our story above on Donna Karan you can see the magnificent artwork hanging in the hallway by famous artist Francis Bacon.
Born in Ireland, Bacon was a figurative artist known for his bold, graphic and emotionally raw imagery.  Despite Margaret Thatcher having famously described him as 'that man who paints those dreadful pictures", Francis Bacon, who died in 1992 has a reputation thats steadily grown over the years.
He began painting during his early 20's and worked on and off until his mid-30's.  He admits that his career was delayed because he had spent too long looking for a subject that would sustain his interest.

The unforgettable and at times controversial paintings of Francis Bacon can now be viewed during the month of January and February (to 24th Feb) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. 



The girls have been eagerly awaiting 2 chair projects to be finalised with the upholsterer.  Yesterday they arrived and to say the design team were thrilled is an understatement.

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Cath showing off the fabric....should couldnt wait for it to be unwrapped!

Click here to find out more about our fabric collections

Good quality upholstery is hard to come by, but we specialise in it, using only the very best craftsman in Brisbane for the job.  He's been in the business since Moses was a boy...and takes every job we give him very seriously.

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And the complete work...chair on right using the European velvet fabric Cath is holding above.
Chair on the left in quality leather with studding detail.


Contact us today for a quote on your upholstery job.  It's another thing that we do best!



This week we had some bits and pieces to get rid of around the house and at the showroom.  Being the sustainable chicks that we are, its a big no-no to just throw away an item that could be used by someone else.  There are plenty of people out there hurting who are assisted by the Salvation Army.
So, we set off to the 'Salvos' with our cache of, clothes, chairs, books, electronics etc...
We were so impressed by the work that the volunteers do at the Salvos Depot I just had to write about it.
Next time you think to throw it out into the bin, or the tip, think again...if its in good condition, still works, isnt ripped or stained...then someone else would probably love it!

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Red Hill Salvation Army Depot and Shop.

We visited the Red Hill Depot in Brisbane, but a link is provided below with all the info on where you can find your closest Salvation Army depot station in your area within Australia.

God Bless The Salvos!



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Looking for quality timber flooring?  Our Queensland Timber Flooring representative Andy will be in the showroom on Saturday 2nd February to show you through the vast selection of flooring styles and grades that we have on display here at Charcoal Interiors.
All Queensland Timber Flooring sales staff have a history in the Timber Mill industry, so they are well learned and fit to provide you with all the information you required.
Queensland Timber Flooring use timbers from sustainable forestry.  Their selection of timbers and styles will quite simply impress.
So, notate it in your diary....Saturday 2nd February for a visit to Charcoal Interiors and Queensland Timber Flooring!

59 Doggett St.



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Tomatoes are in abundance at the moment!  Look at the cache from my brothers vegie garden (above!)...what to do with them all??  There's only so much tomato on toast, or tomato salad that a girl can eat!  And so....bring in the food dehydrator!

Yep, I bought one last week.  It looked pretty small in the photo, but when I got it...well it was huge!  A 5 tiered tower of food dehydration possibilities.  So, I got stuck into drying some tomatoes in it.  The whole process was super easy.  I cut the tomatoes into quarters, set it to dry for 9 hours and then let them cool naturally.  

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Once cooled they were layered in a cool little jam jar that I had sterilised...the process was one layer of tomatoes, a sprinkle of salt, a layer of fresh basil from the garden (also in season and abundant at the moment) and then once the layering is finished with you just top up the jar with a good quality olive oil.  We like to use Bon Haye Olive Oil.

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I have put this in the fridge and it will last for about a month.  The dried tomatoes are great for salads, pizzas and pasta dishes.  Also perfect on a cheese platter.
Toooooo easy.  I also know a girl who just uses her car on a hot day to dry her tomatoes!  Place on a tray, pop in the car in the hot sun and just let the natural process happen.  Just dont forget they are there and drive off!




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Well, it seems that nowadays, it's quite unacceptable to smoke in a bar, yet the bartenders are super keen to showcase their drink making skills using the method of 'smoking' your cocktail!

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via aoife mac - flickrcommons

I see it....and I dooo believe it.  Pretty cool stuff and there is a link below where you can see for yourself how its done.  I for one, would rather leave it to the experts as its a bit of fuss, but I do have friends who love this you may like to try it too.  Just remember...where there's smoke...there can be fire!

Base Recipe for the Smokin' Scarlett Cocktail

What you need

2 oz Southern Comfort
5 oz Cranberry Juice
A dash of Lime....mmmmmmmm....Lime....

What To Do

Pop it all in a cocktail shaker and shake, shake....shake!

Then, you can add the smoke if the mood does take you.  See the link below for all the info.

Cheers!  And Happy Friday.


Until Next good, be kind and most importantly smile and have fun!

The Charcoal Team

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