Friday, June 18, 2010

Before & After Pics of Our Latest Design Project...Words of Wisdom from the Best...Sand Crab Ravioli and our Cocktail Friday Offering...

Our Latest Design Project

Over the next few weeks, we will be showcasing our latest Design Project before and after pics with you.

I spoke with Colette Venardos...half of the Charcoal Design team, about this particular project, the clients, their vision, and how she and Cathie made it happen!

Colette, explain a bit about the history of this home, and the clients vision:
"Well, this was a beautiful old Queenslander dating back to the 1800's.  Just a magnificent home that really was in need of a bit of TLC.  Cathie and my first impression of the home interior, was 'Aussie Country' which was quite outdated, and definitely in need of a freshen up.  The interior just wasnt conducive with the magnificence of this beautiful home.  We consulted with the clients over many weeks, and their main instructions were to create a relaxed atmosphere with a touch of French sophistication. Being a busy family of 4, they wanted to feel like this was their home and a place where they could still kick off the shoes and feel welcomed.

Colette, can you give us a brief outline of the transformation process?:
"We started with a neutral palette, and built around that the custom made table in Reclaimed French Oak.  The chairs too, were custom made with removable off-white covers in a beautiful linen fabric.  A beautiful Vintage mirror sits above the Old Chinese Altar Table, perfect for displaying the family treasures.  The true feature of the whole room is the amazing Dean Reilly original painting 'Chyrsallid'.  It is a stunning addition to the room and complements the drapery, which has a lovely pearlised finish in cream, dusky pink and moss green.  We also had the curtain rods custom made for this room.  They are truly elegant and draw the eye out to the newly transformed courtyard.  We replaced the old fence and repainted the feature wall in a Porters Paints Limewash.  New pots were added and plants added to create a hedge effect.  Our clients love the ambient mood of candles, so we had some wall candelabras mounted.

As you can see by the 'After' pics, the girls have completely transformed this dining room into a stylish space in collaboration with the clients.  A combination of their wishes and vision and an experienced eye via our Design Team.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more images of this gorgeous home...the girls have worked their magic once again!

Words of Wisdom from one of the Most Qualified
Audrey Hepburn really was the quintessential Hollywood actress and epitomised everything that a true lady should be....stylish, graceful, a devout humanitarian with her work for UNICEF and most of all kind.  We just love this of our favourites and a true doctrine to live by.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
.....Audrey Hepburn

Winter Looks we Love!
  Rustic Vintage chair found at a Garage Sale teamed with a sumptuously textured cushion and snuggly throw.  The perfect spot to sit and while away the hours on a cold winter day. 

Sand Crab Ravioli in a Creamy Dill Sauce 
For those of you who are clever enough to make your Ravioli from scratch...I say, snaps to you and a big pat on the back.  I am then also spared having to include the recipe on how to make the pasta and then the crab filling and blah...blah...  Girls like us here at Charcoal who just dont have the time and by the time we would be midnight!...say, buy the ravioli from a good gourmet shop or market and then add the rest as below...Takes about 10 minutes!

Put your water on the boil.
Once boiled.  Add your ravioli.  Cook until Al the meantime make your takes just a few minutes.
Add to a pan a dollop of butter and a bit of salt...heat until aromatic.  Once that divine smell kicks in...add a small container of cream...this recipe is for 2 people, however if its for 4, just double the quantities.  Add a couple of teaspoons of parmesan and gently simmer.  I like to throw in a few chilli flakes and some freshly chopped dill.  Simmer away until the sauce starts to thicken.
Drain the Ravioli.  I like to toss very gently in a quality olive oil so they stay nice and slippery.  Divide up onto your plate and then spoon your delicious cream sauce over the top....finish off with some freshly chopped dill and cracked pepper.  I like to serve up with a little bowl of steamed vegies.
Voila!....enjoy...its completely delicious and so very easy for all those busy girls out there.

Speaking of busy girls....pop your uggies up on the sofa...take a nice deep thankful for reaching another Friday...and CELEBRATE...with our Cocktail Friday...the fixer of all things broken...the mood lifter like none other!

This week, we introduce the Italian Lemon Drop...packed with zing and using Lemons which are in season at the moment, so they are at their best flavour-wise.  Plus!  Its that means this particular cocktail nutritionally is good for you right? If we are all in agreeance, lets raise our glasses to the wonders of Friday, Lemons..bless their little tarty hearts...and the Cocktail.  Cheers everyone!

The Italian Lemon Drop
1 oz Stolichnaya
1 oz Limoncello
¾ oz Cointreau
1 ¼ oz Sweet and Sour
Combine ingredients and shake well.
Serve in a martini glass.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Thank you to everyone for your feedback with the blog.  We are so happy that you are enjoying the read.  Hopefully its giving you a bit of inspiration and a smile.
Until next week....Cheers from the Charcoal Girls...Colette, Cathie and Jen xxx