Friday, July 6, 2012




On a recent google browse Cath had a double-breath-taking moment, with not only an article on the stunning new apartment of Gerard Butler via inspirational online bible Architectural Digest but also the newfound works of  Elvis Restaino who made all of this happen.

The seed was planted on the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland years ago when Elvis was a child (and also incidentally...if you're going to name your child 'Elvis'...well there is a great destiny awaiting you right there!)...when Elvis asked his mother who had made the ride? (I have been on this ride myself and it is just magical).  To which his mother replied, that it had been made by Production Designers, and it was then that Elvis made the decision that indeed this is what he wanted to be when he grew up.
And so after 15 years in the set production industry, and suggestions from his celebrity clientele that he take on Interior Design projects, he had the fortune to meet Gerard Butler (lucky duck..) and so the rest is history.  With a liking towards Elvis's theatrical approach to design, Gerard enlisted him to tackle the project of completely transforming his Loft in Manhattan.

The results are simply stunning and very much reflect the philosophy of Charcoal Interiors and so we just had to share this with you.  There are some really inventive elements to this design and I will attempt to share some of them with you..time was a big endeavour with unanimously stunning results.

All photography credits to Durston Saylor..photographer to the stars and also with an extensive and impressive portfolio.

The design brief was that Gerard wanted something "Elegant and gorgeous yet at the same time masculine and raw".
Reclaimed timbers were chosen not only for the sustainability aspect but also for its incomparable quality.  Timbers were sourced from old barns and warehouses and used throughout.

Due to strict modern day safety codes, to comply, Elvis needed to ensure that a fire rated door was fitted at the entrance to the apartment, but unfortunately standard solid core fire doors would have clashed with the design, and so he managed to source a pair of circa 1920's 8 foot mahogany doors which complied with all fire codes and ratings and enhancing the original design...amazing and from a design perspective too, we can relate to this kind of tenacity in sourcing just the right piece for a client...the attention to detail is inspiring.

Anyone for a movie and popcorn in the divine Home Theatre?
We love the use of the pillars...lovers of these please contact us as we also have wooden hand carved pillars in stock...only one pair available and POA.

The intricate archway detailing throughout was achieved by using chicken wire and plaster.  The painters then matched the paint colour to real limestone sculptured lions that were installed.

Coloured plaster gave much more of a dramatic effect than paint, giving texture and depth...or as Elvis would the walls 'life'

Sumptuous fabrics were used in drapery and soft furnishings.  Truly an apartment fit for the modern day Spartacus with impeccable taste :-)

The kitchens cabinetry and splash backs were fashioned from left over reclaimed timbers sourced from old barns and warehouses.  And everybody should have a chandelier in their kitchen at some stage in their lifetime.

Please be sure to click on all of the links provided, to be taken to the original Architectural Digest article, Elvis Restaino's website and also Durston Saylor photography as this is just a small snippet of inspiration offered here today.  We also highly recommend you day dream over Elvis's latest project 'Erieville Manor' bed and breakfast around 5 hours drive from Manhattan, where you will be pampered with meals derived from recipes of his mother and grandmother, plus there is a section on his blog where you can also drool over his fully restored 1955 Porsche who wouldnt feel like a moviestar driving that!  Once you see the photos of Elvis via his website and Erieville site, you will see he is most befitting of not only the car, but the lifestyle which so warmly encompasses him....a star in his own right.

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Its great when a client has an idea that is a bit left field and we are always happy to encourage a different perspective on how our product can be utilised.
This week we share with you an alternative use for one of our Asian side cabinets which in itself is a piece of beauty and functionality, yet by adding a contemporary style wash basin in crisp white with clean lines the transformation is pretty impressive.
We really love this look!
Thank you to Melanie for sharing this with us.



Every year, just down the road from the showroom here at 59 Doggett St, Newstead, the Teneriffe Festival kicks off two days of Art, Food, Entertainment, Stalls and Fashion Parades with the highlight being the Running of the Rams and guess what?...its free!!

So, after you've finished your Ram Running, Fine Food sampling and danced your feet off with all the free Live Music come into the showroom for a little bit of solace...we are in a little bit of a state with our renovations, but still open for business! if you want info on tables, rugs or just want to find out more about our exclusive custom made service, we will be here on Saturday from 9.30am to 4.30pm and happy to assist!



It might be cold outside, but now is the time to start sprucing up outdoor areas at home in time for Spring/ usual in Winter time there are some terrific bargains on outdoor furniture and we have jumped on the bandwagon this week with this great special that is sure to be snapped up! Worthington Outdoor Sofa. 3.7m in length (huge!) with synthetic rattan and outdoor hardy canvas covered cushioning...this is a sumptously comfortable sofa that looks as gorgeous in real life as the pics...Was $6530...NOW $5500! Call us today on 07 38526002 or message us.


I used to think that Omelettes were hard to make...a bit like souffle.  After about 2 weeks of low carb cooking a while back I just got so tired of the same old scrambled and sunny side eggs that I decided to tackle Omelette making...and guess what?..its easy!  So easy in fact that we are now going through a real Omelette phase at home, with omelettes for breakfast and dinner.  There are so many fillings options and i will give you some inspiration at the end of this 'Eat' article, but for now, I wanted to share with you our Mediterranean Omelette.


serves 4
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 20g baby spinach
  • 100g shaved leg ham
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped semi-dried tomatoes

1.Whisk eggs, milk and chives together in a jug. Season with salt and pepper

2.Spray a small, non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup egg mixture.

 Swirl to thinly coat base. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until just set. Transfer to a board. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 4 omelettes.

3.Place a quarter of the spinach, ham and tomato along the centre of each omelette. Roll up to enclose filling. Serve.

Omelette tips:
I dont necessarily use milk every time I make omelette...just the egg is enough.
If you are finding your omelette is taking ages to set on top, just pop it under the grill for a few seconds.
We serve ours with sour cream....delicious! (low fat of course)

Alternative filling ideas:
Savoury Mince and cheese
Bacon and cheese - we use low fat cream cheese to bring the calorie count down and also gives a creamy texture.
Chilli Concarne
Asian style with shredded chicken, sprouts, thinly sliced capsicum, snow peas and carrot with oyster sauce.
Fill with left over Indian - ie Korma or Butter Chicken and serve with Yoghurt and Mango Chutney

Once you get into omelettes you will find the options endless! might even like to try a sweet version by adding a filling of jam and cream and a little caster sugar into the batter mix.....dust with icing sugar...!


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Well, after Wednesday nights State of Origin match and our soiree with the rellies and friends you would have thought that we'd had enough red wine for the week, but due to our commitment to keeping the Australian Wine Industry thriving, I just had to share with you one of our latest 'finds'.

When you're a Shiraz drinker and you decide to have a Pinot Noir instead, well, you can feel like a bit of a traitor.  But, being committed to improving my palate, I have made a conscious decision lately to try new things in red.  There's Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (or Cab Sav as we like to call it)...then there's Malbec, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Barbera and Zinfandel, and I thought I was being rather adventurous the other day by order the Syrah...only to find that in fact Syrah is just another way of saying 'Shiraz'....when did all that start anyway?? 

It's been a rather arduous task all of this experimenting with Reds, but I have made sure that my Shiraz palate stays tip top along the way and doesnt feel too abandoned.  However, it was on a very rare one on one with my daughter last weekend at The Lark Food and Drink and perusing their quality wine and cocktail list that she decided on the Dalrymple Pinot Noir 2010 vintage.

The Lark - And Open Fireplace in the Couryard...very attractive during this cold winter we are having!

  I ordered the Shiraz and enjoyed as always comparing the differences between the Shiraz colouring against the lighter Pinot Noir.
In French, the grape "Pinot Noir" translates as black pine, named for the color of the dark purple fruit. It's is a wine that's been produced with a huge variety of complex notes and aromas in different regions around the world. Which makes it difficult to come up with a definition on which everyone agrees.  In general its a light to medium dry red wine with dark fruit notes i.e cherry and raspberry.

I found the nose of the Dalrymple very much in the cherry range...once I snatched it off my daughter...with plenty of softness and also a lovely cherry aftertaste.  Pinot Noir has been labelled the 'cross dresser' by some because it doesnt know if its a red, or because of the softness a white!  To say its versatile though is an understatement and there is a broad range of foods that the Pinot will compliment...with some being:

Leaner meats
Sausage style meats
Earthy foods such as Mushrooms, Truffles, Peppercorns, Coriander etc...
Creamy cheeses
Sweet vegetables like Tomatoes, Beetroot, Carrots and Capsicum
Autumn fruits like figs, plums and all the berries

I will be trying the Dalrymple next time we go the Lark (which will probably be this weekend as its seems to be our new ritual) and forgoing my Shiraz.  I am hooked!...and I think it will match perfectly with their Veal Involtini (veal wrapped in pancetta, stuffed with sun-dried tomato) which is part of their new menu.

The Lark - 1/267 Given Terrace Paddington.

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For more information on the Dalrymple Pinot Noir 2010 vintage or any of the Dalrymple Wines products 

Dalrymple is one of Tasmanias leading boutique wineries producing some of Australias most distinctive Cool Climate wines.  
Dalrymple’s celebrated vineyard consists of just 12.3 hectares.
Tea trees, eucalypts and ferns protect its terroir on all sides, whilst sea breezes from nearby Bass Strait moderate day and night temperatures, thereby encouraging the grapes to ripen evenly.  Most of the vines are over 20 years of age.  The team at Dalrymple are completely commited to fine wine making in particular that of the Pinot Noir....the pursuit of excellence.  We hope to pop into the winery on our next visit to Tassie and look forward to promoting more of this fabulous product.  Its also great to see The Lark with its very sophisticated wine list selection, promoting and selling quality product from Tasmania. 
Happy Birthday to his Excellence The Dalai Lama.
Thank you for inspiring us always to do the right thing...I know we mess up  from time to time, but you really do bring out the best in us.

And so....until next week....Light, Laughter and Love...
The Charcoal Team

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