Friday, February 3, 2012



Usually when you hear the word 'Country' from a design perspective, it can conjur up mental images of Spindle Leg Tables, Old Fashioned Lace Drapery, Oil Lamp Lighting and dare we say it....Doily Accessorising!!...images that send us running for the hills screaming with arms flailing.
And so our return client from bayside Brisbane, contacted the girls with the exciting news of a new phase in her life and new home in the country.  She already had confidence in the girls from past her words..."You create interiors that 'hug'.."  We loved that.  She is a very warm, lovely lady and so the girls set to creating a home that reflected her personality and style.

Colette and Cathie go over the plans and discuss placement options

Initial consultation with Colette and Cathie was that she wanted a clean line with no clutter and a fusion of styles and cultures mixing her contemporary pieces with antiques.
As with prior projects she also clarified the need for quality and longeivity from the design...a space to invite and warm the senses.

As with every project, after the initial consultation with the client, comes the starting point with studying plans and architecture of design of the home to consider light, paint colours inside and out, flooring, furniture layouts per room etc...

And what about hard finishes for example? that something that we would also handle...and the answer is absolutely yes!
"All hard finishes and cabinetry detailing for kitchen and bathrooms were also designed and selected by the team.  In the kitchen, we maintained that overall sophisticated look and style of the interiors allowing balance of flow and functionality within the home."  Says Cathie...

And then the fun starts with colours and texture.  This process is given considerable time and energy to get it just right, and then its back to the client for her thoughts and input with a presentation.  "Usually", says Cathie "if we have listened and taken consideration to the clients wants and needs, there is not a lot of changes to be made from the original concept".

The house is almost at completion, with the next stage being what we call 'installation' the name suggests, this is another enjoyable component for the team, whereby they bring all furniture, drapery, soft furnishings etc into the home.  "It's always a thrill to see the delighted reaction of the client at this phase" says Colette.

And so, from the beginning to the end, our client has the self assurance that everything is done according to her initial vision which in turns alleviates the anxiety out of doing it herself.

This busy, professional lady now has the home that reflects her ideal and a space that she is happy to come home to.

We're really excited about showing you the finished home in the coming weeks.



The view from the front counter of The Jetty

A spur of the moment decision to venture out for lunch with the destination being 'The Jetty' Restaurant at Bulimba and what a treat.  
This is a restaurant that I had been to years before and found at the time that it didnt take advantage of the beautiful view and breezes of the Brisbane River....the building is set right on the river, and so with the new owners, they have taken grand steps to open up the design and bring the river and view to you.  I literally felt like I was on a boat.  And so we people watched as commuters alighted from the regular ferry drop-offs, sipped red wine and ate from the fresh, interesting menu.  Share plates are a great way to really sample the menu offerings and we had the Duo of Dips, Salt and pepper calamari plus a serving of the Spicy Salmon Cakes.  Next time we will be indulging in the oysters...they looked fabulous on our neighbours table.

People watching at the Ferry Dock...always so much more fun with a glass of red in hand.

I highly recommend the Jetty Restaurant on Oxford St at Bulimba.  Its so easy to find right at the end of Oxford and if you are early theres undercover car parking.  The place gets booked out pretty quickly due to the popularity, so be sure to either ring ahead or get in early.

The Jetty Oxford on Urbanspoon


Thank you so much to our friends from A.P Signs this week.
We have had a long standing relationship with Marc and the crew from A.P signs now and wouldnt go anywhere else for our signage needs.  Apart from being a terrific local business with skilled employees, they are also very nice people...and we like that!

This week, the lads installed our new Interior Design sign which now really defines our design consultation space at the back of the showroom.  Our clients can sit in the beautiful surroundings with a cup of tea....or depending on the time of day...a glass of wine??.....and discuss their home space transformation with the team.

Thank you to Marc and the crew at A.P Signs! 

To find out more about A.P Signs please click on the link below:



Just in case you didnt know..this is what Soba Noodles look like

The first time I tried this dish was on a flight home to Brisbane.  They were out of what I really wanted off the menu, so I had to take the second and only other option which was a Soba Noodle Salad with Salmon and herbs on the top.  It was absolutely delicious and I was keen to find a good Soba Noodle Salad recipe in an attempt to replicate the flavours.

Our lunch this week....sooo good.

I had never had soba noodles before and didn't realise that not only are they delicious but also very healthy.  Traditionally made from buckwheat they are a very healthy alternative to pasta and the Japanese use them a lot in their cooking.

This is the recipe for the Soba Noodle Salad we had this week for lunch.  Just top with a small can of tuna and top with fresh herbs.  It really is very quick and easy to make and the flavours are divine!


Soba Noodles - They usually come in a packet divided into 3 sections.  One section is enough for 2 people.
Thinly slice the following:
Snow Peas
Wombok Cabbage
Chopped Coriander, Basil and Mint - Handful


Add your soba noodles to a boiling pot of water and leave for approx 5 mins..check at 4 mins.  They cook just like pasta, only quicker, so be sure to check them frequently.  
Once cooked, transfer to a colander and immediately run them through cold water.  This is a very necessary step.  Cooling the noodles immediately stops them from cooking further.
Drizzle with olive oil while still in the colander and sprinkle with some lemon or lime juice so it really soaks it up.
Transfer to a bowl.
Add your sliced ingredients, herbs and then drizzle again with lemon or lime juice and soy sauce to your taste. Dont overdo the soy as you dont want it overpowering the flavours.
Top with chicken, tuna, salmon or just leave as it is!  Finish off with some sesame seeds and more chopped fresh herbs...
And...voila!  Enjoy.




Feeling in a slightly dangerous mood this Friday, we decided to try a cocktail that had been recommended by friends who were really knocked over (almost literally) by this latest find!

We loved it.  Its fresh with a twist.

Be sure to try this one when youre in one of those 'devil-may-care' moods.  Now, now...feet up...deep breath....cheeeeers.....xx

  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Orange peel, for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients except the orange peel in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with orange peel.


Do not speak- unless it improves on silence.....Buddhist saying


Until next week.  Fun, friendship and folly....The Charcoal Team.