Friday, March 4, 2011



OK, OK...I know that time flies and all that, but seriously this year is zooming along waaaaay too quickly for our liking.  I cant believe we are into March already and the start of Autumn.  Although here in Brisbane you would never know it because 'muggy' and 'hot' have been the order of the day.  

 Vogue Livings take on french console doubling as wood storage space...
Still, its nice to have Autumn and the cooler months to look forward to.  Bring on the weekend trips up the mountain for wine by the fireplace, soups and casseroles....mental note: 'must dig out slow cooker from the depths of our kitchen cupboard'....coats, jeans and most importantly....BOOTS! 


As the weeks go on we will be highlighting style and fashion  that we LOVE for Autumn/Winter...there is a lot to get through, so here is a little bit of a teaser to start with.

We are LOVING the Maxi Skirt for Autumn/Winter.  Worn almost 'skirting' (pun intended) the floor, or just above the ankle, the maxi skirt is this seasons essential wardrobe item.  

How to wear the Maxi Skirt and not look like a schoolteacher? Follow a few simple rules and you will be maxi skirt empowered in no time!  This new hem length is a welcome alternative to the panic-inducing miniskirts of late — not only do they cover a multitude of sins; they are also an easy piece to throw on for work that will transition easily from summer to winter. However there are a few guidelines to help you pull it from frumpy to fabulous.  

Firstly, heels are a must.  Demure pumps will elongate your silhouette while also lending to a ladylike and polished look for work and evening, or try wedges for a modern, daytime feel.
Avoid wearing heavy layers on top. Instead, keep it simple and fresh with a T-shirt for the weekend, or a silk or chiffon blouse for easy glamour. Add a pop of colour or a statement print on the top if you are bottom heavy, and once the colder weather sets in, team it with a slouchy jumper, belted around the waist for a defined figure, or try a slim fit cardigan.  We also love the skirt style teamed with a structured jacket..  Oh...and dont forget the boot!  The ankle boot will be 'this' years must have....great with skirts, dresses and jeans.  Even Jen who is a tad 'heel-shy' will be investing in a pair!

Look for styles in the sheer with inlay to cover up and keep it from looking 'lingerie'.  A great night time 'maxi' look as well.


This week, we had some great people through the showroom doors.  Lots of new customers too!  The Sale signs are drawing people in, and we have had so many people enquiring as to where we are relocating to.  Once we have all the 'T's' crossed we will be able to divulge the new locale.
Sometimes it can be hard to follow Mum and Dad around the shops.  Today we kept cute little Max entertained with our Block Set.  He was super chuffed at his 'Big Boat' Block Construction, and Mum was happy to be able to browse the showroom and make a few decisions on which piece was going to work in the home space.
Thanks Max for being such a well behaved and charming young man.
'Max' and his handiwork


We try to accommodate our clients home furniture needs as much as we possibly can, to the point where the Charcoal Creative Team will actually go the lengths of designing a piece of furniture to suit.  The latest project for the girls was a tough one.  How to fit a table to seat 12 into an inner city apartment lift?  The average apartment lift well dimensions just do not accommodate a large table such as this, but our client loved to entertain in a big way, so what to do??
After careful planning and consultancy with the client, the girls and our Charcoal Interiors Craftsman came up with a design that was both practical and stunning to the eye.  

The 'Camelot'

Crafted using reclaimed hardwood, this table splits in two and then disassembles into 5 separate pieces for easy transportation into the lift.  Our customers are finding that the Charcoal Design Team are not limited in their thinking....and that anything is possible if you have the right people behind you with the skills and foresight.  The table was so popular that we have had another one made.  It arrived in this week and is now on the floor ready for a new home.

Everything Must Go...and we are serious!
Before heading to our beautiful new premises, we need to clear stock from the Showroom.  Come and see the huge discounts on our stunning custom made Dining Table range, Chairs, Occasional Tables, Mirrors, Lighting, Japanese and Asian Cabinetry, Altar Tables, Homewares and Accessories and so much more!

JUST ARRIVED!!...More of the Beautiful Bella Chandelier....Be Quick!  She will be going...going..gone!  Our biggest selling Chandelier, the Bella is a combination of class and romanticism to suit many interior applications.  Ask the girls for more information.  They will be happy to assist.


Part of the anticipation of the cooler change of season is the eagerly awaited opportunity to break out the slow cooker for some comfort food sessions.  This week we tried the Chorizo and Chickpea stew which was really easy to make and tasted exceptionally good!  Stir in some baby spinach right at the end (it will wilt quickly) for a bit of greens and ever important vitamins.  Yum, yum!

Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 250g piece pancetta, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1.5cm cubes, cooked for 2-3 minutes until almost tender
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine
  • 600ml tomato passata (found in pasta aisle)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chicken stock
  • 1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Crusty bread, to serve


  1. Heat oil in a casserole or large, deep frypan over medium-high heat. Cook pancetta and chorizo, turning, for 2-3 minutes until starting to crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Drain excess oil and fat, leaving 2 tbs in pan.
  2. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion and capsicum and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Return the pancetta and chorizo to the pan with the garlic and oregano. Stir for a further minute, then add the potatoes, chickpeas, wine, passata and stock. Season, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

    Note: this recipe is also great in the slow cooker.  Let it bubble away quietly for up to 6 hours while you are at work or shopping etc...too easy


Are you ready for a little Retro Inspired Imbibing for today?  I know we were this week.  
The origin of the Harvey Wallbanger is a matter shrouded in mystery, but at least two prominent theories exist. The first is that it was created by a bartender by the name of Bill Doner at a bar called The Office in Newport Beach, California. While this explanation is simple and easy to believe, many prefer the popular legend which holds that it was named after a surfer from Manhattan Beach near Los Angeles. 
This version states that the surfer, named Harvey, enjoyed the cocktail known as a screwdriver, which is vodka and orange juice, spiked with Galliano liqueur. After a particularly difficult day in which he lost an important surfing competition, he is said to have consumed one too many of his favorite drink. When he finally did leave the bar, he was so inebriated that he tripped and stumbled into some furniture and a wall before making his way out the door. He was a regular at the bar, and when he came back the next time, he found he had already earned the nickname "Harvey Wallbanger," hence the name of the drink.

 And now to make one of your own.  To really get in the mood for this one, we suggest sitting down with re-runs of Californication whilst sipping this deliciously decadent brew.....enjoy!

Preparation Time

5 minutes




  • Ice cubes
  • 12 thin orange slices
  • 1L (4 cups) fresh orange juice
  • 180ml vodka
  • 90ml Galliano liqueur


  1. Place a few ice cubes in six serving glasses.
  2. Divide the orange slices, orange juice, vodka and Galliano among the glasses. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.

After another huge week, its time to say Happy Weekend to all.  Until next weeks blog where we will be checking out more style faves, and we have some gorgeous Glamorous Rooms to share with you!
...until then...  
Colette, Cathie and Jen...The Charcoal Team xxx