Friday, January 11, 2013



Interior Decorator Designer Brisbane Fortitude Valley Curtain Furniture Shop

Well hellllloooo...we are back!  You know its been so great to have an actual 'proper' summer this year in Brisbane.  The last few years its just seemed to rain, rain and rain some more with the sunshine hidden behind masses of clouds.  But what an exception this Summer and the Festive Season was!  We had a pool party for New Years Eve which was stacks of fun....our holiday was spent lying by the pool (Jen)...Beaching it, Reading It and Shopping It (Cath)...and Lunching It and Reading It on the Back Verandah (Colette).
Theres something to be said for 'Slothing It' and now we are back recharged and re-invigorated for another year.


Interior Decorator Brisbane Fortitude Valley Curtain Blind Shop Bespoke Furniture

Missed our basement Sale over Christmas? need to panic or fret....To start things off for 2013 and as a treat for you, we have extended our now famous Basement Sale!
We had loads of people through and treasures were purchased but we still have authentic Moroccan Lanterns left (2 available)....Japanese Step Chest Circa 1860's ready for a new home, selected potted faux plants to suit the black fingered of us...$1 each!....Dining Tables starting at never to be repeated fact we have a glass topped Italian Made 6 seater dining table for the crazy price of $150! if that gets you excited and thinking about the possibilities then pop into the ends tomorrow (Saturday 12th January).  We are open til 4.30pm.  Any questions?  Just call us on 07 38526002.
Charcoal Interiors
59 Doggett Street.
Newstead.  Qld.  4006



Looking for something more inspiring than just the suggestion of white, white and then more white for those small space design dilemmas?...Want to create mood and an authentic space with your personal stamp on it, without it looking like a page from an Ikea catalogue??...then Cathie Venardos of the Charcoal Interiors Design Team has her 5 fave tips to make your apartment not only liveable...but loveable!


1. Choose Multi-functional pieces, for example try an ottoman sofa bed which doubles as a place to sit and a place to rest your weary head.  Great for very small one bedroom apartments.  Less is definitely more, so use a beautiful leather trunk as a coffee table or side table and then it can double as a storage area.  Stools can be tucked under kitchen benches and brought out when unexpected extra visitors arrive, plus these double as little side tables if the need arises.

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Charcoal Interiors exclusive project.

2. Don't be afraid to use large pieces as a statement.  "It's OK to go BIG", Cathie says, "With a feature piece i.e sofa, side board, console, altar table or one of our feature Japanese Cabinetry pieces, and then bring in your layers and textures, feature accessories such as lighting, lamps, side tables, chairs and art."  An excellent example of this is in the photo of Cathie with Charlie, our Egyptian inspired statue, that is truly a large statement piece which really packs a visual punch, point of interest and looks amazing in this Hamilton Apartment.

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Cathie with Charlie

3. Wall Colour - Stick with neutrals and lighter tonings to open up a room.  "Not necessarily white as such", says Cathie.  "There are some wonderful moody tonings available now, and we specialise in choosing the best combinations for our clients".  And feature walls can create a really dramatic effect.  "For example, a bold coloured sofa up against a dark coloured feature wall looks completely stunning, and then bring it all together with neutral tonings with rugs".  his kind of application perfectly".  

4.  Wallpaper can work well in smaller spaces, however the rule is to choose something that isnt too 'busy' with its patterning, and very large patterns are definitely a no-no.  Cathie recommends Geometrics, Metallics, Stripes or wall coverings with texture.

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5. Mirrors...."Open out rooms by using mirrors, but dont skimp on size" says Cathie.  "A good sized scale feature mirror with beautiful detailing can really create a dramatic effect...the real wow factor, whilst opening up the space and being practical also"

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Cathie Venardos is a Senior Designer and owner of Charcoal Interiors.  The design team of Cathie and Colette Venardos are available for in-house consultations by appointment, or you can contact her via the information below.

Cathie Venardos
Charcoal Interiors

We are suckers for a good love story and this week a friend shared such a beautiful story of intense personal passion and love for art and each other experienced by Scultpor, Painter, Draftsman and Printmaker Alberto Giacometti and  his wife and muse Annette.
Alberto Giacometti was born in Borgonovo near the Italian border.  Alberto attended the School of Fine Arts in Geneva.

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Alberto Giacometti - source Wikipedia Commons

In 1922 he moved to paris to study under the sculptor Antoine Boudelle who was associated with the great Auguste Rodin.  It was there that Giacometti experimented with cubism and surrealism and came to be regarded as on one of the leading surrealist sculptors with Balthus, Picasso and Ernst among his many associates during this time.

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Alberto and Annette circa 1940's in Paris

Between 1936 and 1940, he began concentrating on sculpting the human head, focussing on the sitters gaze. He preferred to use models he was close to, using his sister and other female artists and friends.  Alberto became obsessed with creating elongated limbed sculptures of which he explained reflected his unique view of reality.  He often carved until the sculptures were as thin as nails andd reduced to the size of a packet of cigarettes.  Giacometti married Annette in 1949 and she became is greatest fan with unconditional love bestowed upon him.  With their union set his tiny sculptures took a turn, becoming larger, although the bigger  they were sculpted, the thinner they became.  Giacometti said that the final result refresented the sensation he felt when he looked at a woman.

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Woman of Venice VII which appears in the Gallery of NSW.

In 1958, Alberto was thrilled to be asked to create a monumental scultpure for the Chase Manhattan Bank building in New York which was beginning construction.  Although he had always aspired to create a sculpture of the magnitude required he was completely taken aback by the enormity of New York City, and it appears he had never before seen a sky scraper.  Work on the project resulted in the four figures of standing women, which were to be his largest sculptures.  He titled them Grande femme debout.  The commission was sadly never completed as Giacometti was unsatisfied with the balance between the sculpture and the site.  He abandoned the project.

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Woman of Venice II in painted bronze - source Wiki Commons

However, Annette was undoubtedly the greatest influence on his work.  His sculptures of female figures in their radical elongated shapes (always with Annettes body) were the most inspiring.  These would not have been made possible if they hadn't embodied the woman that he carried in his soul.  An unconventional relationship that was theirs and with many other women ebbing and flowing through their lives Annette became his greatest inspiration.

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'Woman with Chariot' Sculpture..source - Wiki commons.

Giacometti died in 1966 of heart disease.
Until her death in 1993, Annette made it her lifes goal to protect the works of her late husband, tirelessly fighting against counterfeit works.
"When you look at art made by other people you see what you need to see in it" - Alberto Giacometti



Now here's a blast from the past.  I was at the local fruit and vego shop last night, looking for Greek Yoghurt and who should be standing next to me eyeing the shelves himself...but Richard Fidler from my all time favourite comedy trio Doug Anthony Allstars! 

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 Doug Anthony Allstars - Fidler on the right

 For those who are too young to remember (and I do pity you...I really do) DAAS were an acoustic comedy trio from Australia banded together for 10 years. Richard, Tim Ferguson and Paul McDermott - who the youngies may recognise as the front man for Good News Week made up the group of 3...thanks for the memories. I was tempted to tap him on the shoulder just to say..."'re Richard buying?"  But, I just thought it would be best to be uber cool and just observe from a distance, quietly appreciating to myself this very talented and super smart had headphones on....
Oh and Richard ended up buying a packet of chips......Organic of course :-)



I haven't seen the movie Bucket List, and I got told off by Pete the Greek this week when I started reading out my 'Bucket List' for 2013.  He informed me that a Bucket List is indeed a list of things to do before you 'Kick The Bucket'...mortified...because I really am expecting to live way...way....WAY beyond 2013...I changed the name of my list to simply, 'To Do List of 2013', thus averting any tempt of fate from the Universe.

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image via flickr credit p medved

On top of the list is a variety of travel destinations...places to do and things to see....Paris, Bali, Tasmania, Broome and Kakadu.  And so today when I stumbled across THE list of 13 Greatest Travel Destinations of 2013 by Richard Bangs of the Huffington Post, I simply had to share....

How about visiting Zambias largest wildlife park?...the Orangutans in Borneo?....Running the wild rapids in Pura Vida?....or discovering the beauty of Bosnia with purportedly the cleanest air and water in all of Europe? on the link below to be inspired!



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Fresh tomatoes picked on the farm, Party Time with cool paper lanterns with built in LED's, Skinny Girl Margeritas, the colours of summer in mosaic, and fun in the vegie patch on the farm...summer is bliss...



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Hands up if you over indulged over Christmas!  Hands up if you're too scared to hop on the scales!??
I qualify for all of the above.  But, hey, its Christmas and with all the chocolates just getting thrown at you, and the desserts and cakes and all the yummy cheeses what is a girl to do?  You can't be just wouldn't be the gracious thing to do...right?
So, this week its back in to it, with swimming in the mornings before work, meditation to get the mind right and then I put all my meals for the day into a great new app I found called My Fitness Pal.  Its great!  And it keeps me on track...I really truly do believe its my 'Pal'  :-)

I love pizza.  And if someone says I cant have it because its laden with calories, well I do get that, but I also like to find new ways to sate my penchant for it.  And so I have come up with a great alternative for pizza still with all the great flavours and a lot more healthier with half the calories.  

1 circle of wholemeal lebanese bread
Tomato paste - enough to spread over the base (I like make my own mix in a bowl with tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil from the garden...or dried is ok too...same with oregano)
All of the following to taste - Red Onion, Baby Spinach, Greek Feta, Mushrooms, Fresh torn basil, any kind of cooked meat...could be chicken, really thinly sliced salami (go easy on it and just use a little bit), ham, turkey...and a smattering of grated low fat cheese for the top.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Spread tomato mix over the lebanese bread and then just add all your ingredients.  I like to put a bit of grated cheese down first, then the onion and mushroom and everything else on top of that.  Finish off with the rest of the grated cheese, but dont be heavy handed.  The more cheese that goes on it adds to the calories but also detracts from the other fresh flavours on the pizza.  
Cook until golden brown (doesnt take as long as a traditional pizza so keep an eye on the oven).  I like to top mine with a few slices of avocado and drizzle yoghurt over the top.  

Here is the a pic of my latest creation and the Greek loved it.



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Holidays are cool because you get the chance to loiter around the shops a bit and actually look at things instead of flying into the shops cramming all the necessities into a basket and then racing home only to forget the most important thing on the list in your mind.....arrrghhhhhh....but not on holidays...its just sooo nice and cruisey.  

Because we were having a party and it was all a bit of a last minute decision we thought that giving a party cocktail mix would be a good idea.  I had heard great things about the Skinny Girl Margarita mix, and it really didnt disappoint.  Its fantastic.  And not expensive.  For those who know me...or follow the blog they will know that not only myself by the other girls here LOVE Margarita...we are unofficial experts on them.  This ticked all the boxes for flavour and freshness. 

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Here's one made for me by Pete the Greek!

I added some extra lime juice because I really love that extra tang and freshness, some ice and of course we rimmed our glasses with lime juice and salt (then use the lime wedge for garnish).
Voila!  New favourite find....and I think as the name states it will make me a Skinny Girl if I drink enough of it??
I will keep you posted on that one....

Skinny Girls Cocktail Link


Well, here's to the first week back to work.  Another week done and dusted and dont forget our fabulous Basement Sale on tomorrow (Saturday 12th January.)
Charcoal Interiors
59 Doggett St. Newstead.  Brisbane

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Til next week...
Love, light and laughter...always.....
The Charcoal Team

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