Friday, July 9, 2010

Transformational Before & After Pics of our latest design project, Muse Mooching...Dali, Austen, Andrew Martin and Starck...Plus! Cheers to the Lucid Mint Muse Cocktail..Happy Friday Everyone.

The 'new look' study...completely transformed with custom made built-ins and oak desk, stunning hand crafted rug, and leather feature chair...just a few of the beautiful new additions to this space.

On the far wall...a unique Ancient Chinese Ancestral Painting that was carefully framed and now stands pride of place in the study.

More Before Pics of the now transformed Study....below

Musings over our Muse.....

I heard a friend talking about her 'muse' this week....and wondered...what is being a muse all about?  It sounded like a pretty important role...I mean there is a fair bit of pressure involved with being a muse I can imagine.  A muse is the source of inspiration for creative work....a bit like a creative, artistic style of mentor really.  Everybody has someone that they look to for inspiration or creative validation.  Salvador Dali looked to the love of his life 'Gala' for inspiration.  She was his greatest supporter,and also his business manager.  She inspired Dali and many other writers and artists.  In music, the most influential muse seems to be patti boyd-probably the queen of muses. She has inspired three songs about her sweet self. First-"Something" by the Beatles, specifically first hubby George Harrison. Her second husband Eric Clapton wrote "Layla" about his tortured feelings about romancing his best friend's wife. It did not stop him from marrying Patti and writing her third song "You Look Lovely Tonight".

I was inspired just by the idea of the many muses over the years...of course everyone is inspired by something or someone.  Who inspired our design team then?...I made it my mission to find out!  Its hard to get the design girls to sit down for five minutes, let alone chat with them about who inspires them....but when I sat down for a chat on this topic, both ladies were energised and transported into another place.....gosh I would like to get into their heads sometimes :-)  
For Colette, her inspiration is Andrew Martin.  Colette: "The Andrew Martin team has travelled the world and is able to creatively put a design together from almost nothing...and create something spectacular".....their style is not contrived or predictable...and I draw on this for my inspiration".
Andrew Martin

Cathie: "I simply cant decide on just one (a little bit like Caths shoe shopping habits...just quietly...but I digress...) so firstly, it would have to be Coco Chanel.  She was an extraordinary influence on fashion, with her designs now transcending time and trend.  From humble beginnings designing hats as a hobby, that soon turned into creating beautiful couture for her wealthy European clientele.  The little black dress (an iconic Coco creation) now is a necessity in any modern fashionistas collection. 
 Coco Chanel
And secondly, Phillipe Starck.  The famous French furniture designer in contemporary style, with one of his most recognisable pieces being the Louis Ghost design.  His designs also transcend time....ageless and are used worldwide.  He also designed the interior of the private apartments for French Prime Minister Francois Mitterrand.  He has produced some of the most iconic shapes of the 20th Century, perhaps his most permanent mark on design is through his bold reworkings of everyday objects....he thinks deeper than the glossy surface".

Phillipe Stark

A Phillipe Stark Design...The 'Louis Ghost' Chair.  We used the Louis Ghost Chair in one of our Photo Shoots for Q Weekend Magazine.  An exclusive Charcoal Interiors Design Project.

Winter Goodness Roasted Vegetables with Bacon

With all of the beautiful fresh produce in season at the moment, there is a literal plethora (I love that word...and use it as often as possible in context...) of fresh garden vegetables out there at the moment.  Perfect timing for a healthy, quick side dish recipe.
We have 6 in our household and it can be hard to find a healthy side dish that everyone will eat.  I have come up with the perfect option.  Vegetables roasted, and then jazzed up that little bit extra with some diced bacon....yum!  I also grate a little bit of fresh parmesan over the top at the end...its a great twist to the same old same roasted vegies and the kids love it too.

Roasted Vegies and Bacon

  • 5 slice(s) bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 potatoes peeled and halved or quartered depending on the sizing
  • 1 stalk(s) celery, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small onions, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • optional...10 minutes before the completion of the roasting, add a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes..they blister nicely and add colour to the dish. 
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cook bacon to desired crispness, drain, and reserve 3 tablespoons rendered fat. Set bacon aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, potatoes, celery, onions, rosemary, salt, and pepper together with reserved fat and lemon juice. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a baking pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove foil and continue to roast until vegetables are browned, about 20 more minutes. Toss in bacon.

    And Finally...Friday just wouldnt be complete without another amazing concoction from the Charcoal Interiors Friday Cocktail Recipe Book!

    The Lucid Mint Muse....Get ready for it!


    2 oz. Pineapple Juice
    1 1/2 oz. Lucid Absinthe
    1 wedge of Lime
    Mint leaves


    Muddle mint leaves with lime wedge and add Lucid. Add ice and pineapple juice and shake briefly. Top with Lemonade and add the mint sprig.

    To all our readers, thank you for your comments this week via the facebook page.  We do love hearing from you and the support and feedback is most welcome.

    Wishing you all a very happy Friday....Cheers to you all....From the Charcoal Girls - Cathie, Colette and Jen xxx
    Cathie and Colette Venardos....Jen is hiding under the table in the background :-)