It’s Terrazzo Time!

By | Uncategorized

Welcome to 2020 and the design buzz word of the day is terrazzo! Traditionally, terrazzo is a composite material containing marble, quartz, granite or glass chips in it.  It was cast onsite for floors or precast for bench tops.  Terrazzo dates back to Ancient Egypt and Italy but gained popularity in the 1920s with the rise of Art Deco (which is also back in fashion).  You may recognise it in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2020 we will see new generation terrazzo in tile form, like the Belga Grey terrazzo from Beaumont Tiles and bench tops like Caesarstone’s Frozen Terra.

Terrazzo is a cool, easy way to add texture and interest to any space in your home.

Christmas Cocktail #2 – Holiday Punch

By | Uncategorized

A perfect sipper for a hot Christmas Day!

Combine 60ml each orange juice and raspberry liqueur (such as chambord) in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Strain into 2 flutes and top with sparkling rose. Garnish with raspberries.

Disclaimer. We support enjoying life and the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. We do not support underage drinking, excessive drinking, binge drinking or any other unsafe drinking behavior. Always drink responsibly.

Christmas Cocktail #1 – The Kir Royale

By | Uncategorized

Serve this beautiful cocktail on Christmes Eve.


15ml Crème de Cassis

Dry sparkling wine, to top

Lemon Twist or Fresh Raspberries


Pour the crème de cassis into a Champagne flute.

Top with the sparkling wine.

Garnish with a lemon twist or Fresh Raspberries.

Disclaimer. We support enjoying life and the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. We do not support underage drinking, excessive drinking, binge drinking or any other unsafe drinking behavior. Always drink responsibly.

Time to Shop!!

By | Uncategorized

Need ideas for your Christmas shopping this Holiday Season while you build a brand new Planbuild Home?

Check out our Christmas Shopping Guide

For Cozy Nights at Home:

Look no further than Piyama ( These luxury cotton PJ sets are cool and cute (RRP $60.00) and if you have the air con turned to arctic (to keep the in-laws comfortable), grab a cozy faux fur throw from Pottery Barn ( (RRP $175.00)

For the Entertainers:

Spending Christmas Day by the pool?  Dine alfresco with William Sonoma’s Veracruz Tableware (  – all in indestructible melamine (from RRP $62.00). After the food coma wears off, its time for a board game!  Trivial Pursuit 40th Anniversary Edition (for those trying to remember the last 40 years). (RRP $49.99) (

For the Master Chef:

Give the chef in your life the ultimate gadget – the Marcato Atlas Electric Pasta Machine (RRP $529 on sale for $239.95) from Kitchen Warehouse – Buon Appetito! And no self-respecting foodie could move into a new kitchen without a smoking cloche and smoker from Kitchen Warehouse (RRP $59.95).  (

For the Tech-ie:

Get speakers IN your sunglasses with the Bose Alto Frames (RRP $299.95) ( and keep them clean with Peeps Lens Cleaners (RRP $19.95) (  – it’s what NASA astronauts use!  If you’re ready for a splurge, then get yourself an OLED (or QLED…there seems to be TV war brewing. Don’t know the difference? Watch this blog and in January we will tell you) …LGs 77” C9 4K UHD OLED AI ThinQ Smart TV from Harvey Norman’s should fit the bill nicely (RRP: $7995.00) (

For the folks that have everything:

Bring 1960s cool to the 2020 home of the coolest people you know with Slim Aaron’s famous prints ($783.00 plus shipping from Peter’s of Kensington) ( A little too steep?  How about a personalized cheese board (RRP $64.99 plus shipping) from

Just to give back:

Check out the volunteering opportunities in your area

For even more ideas check out


Trending now…Round Mirrors

By | Uncategorized

Decorative mirrors can elevate even the simplest of bathrooms. If your budget is tight, you can achieve a high-end look by hanging a simple framed round mirror. These mirrors can cost as little as $69 (Ikea) and $399 for luxe gold framed mirror!

Footy Final Feast! – American Style Barbecued Ribs!

By | Tips and Hints

I have been asked many times over the years for my barbecued ribs recipe and I have a little confession – I’ve never really written it down, until now.  Remember that this recipe is simply a guide; the technique and good quality ingredients are all that matters.  If you like the sauce sweeter, make it sweeter. I am partial to a combination of brown sugar, treacle and golden syrup.  I don’t use white sugar for this. If you want it smoky (without the 12 hours in a smoker) try liquid smoke.

Let’s start with the meat: you will need ‘racks’ of baby back pork ribs, USA style. Allow for one rack to feed one good size man.  Avoid using spareribs; the baby backs have a tonne of meat and are delicious when treated properly.   I have found that Rode Meats in Stafford Heights and Meat at Billy’s in Ashgrove have the best quality baby backs around.  Well worth visiting either shop. Make sure that the butcher has trimmed the ribs.  The long ends are grisly and unpleasant – the best ribs are a long rectangle in shape (not triangular).  Ask the butcher if they have removed the membrane on the back of the ribs – this is REALLY important.  It’s the difference between fall of the bone meat and gnawing on shoe leather. If you must do it yourself, take a sharp knife to loosen a corner and start peeling (see images).

The meat needs a nap in a dry rub.

Dry Rub Ingredients (I don’t bother with measurements but here you go):

1 Cup Brown Sugar

¼ Cup Dry Mustard

2 Tablespoons Sweet Paprika

1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Onion Powder

1 Tablespoon Salt (good salt – I use Murray River Salt)

2 teaspoons ground pepper

Mix it in a bowl and rub all over the ribs, cover with cling film and let them rest in the fridge for up to 24 hours (if you have to skip the resting time, then skip it but try to give them at least an hour or 2).

Time for the first cook – yep, you cook ‘em twice.  This cook can be done 24 hours ahead (keep them in the fridge and bring them back to room temperature before heading to the barbecue).  Heat your oven to 150 Degrees Celsius (fan forced).  Place the ribs into a large roasting pan (its ok to stack them up) and add 4 or 5 bottles of whatever beer (stick with a lager or pale ale – stouts are a bit too much) you have handy. You want to cover most of the ribs but not drown them.  Cover with 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil and cook them for 2.5 hours.  At the hour mark, give them a turn.  You will know that they are done when the meat comes away from the bone easily when you bend a rib section.  If it resists, give it another 30 minutes. You should have a little cooking liquid left and that is just fine.

At this point your barbecue should be on medium to high heat.  Mop the ribs with your favourite sauce and cook on the grill side (not the plate) for about 20 – 30 minutes, turning and mopping several times until you get the desired ‘bark’ and the ribs are hot.  My sauce recipe (OK it was originally Bobby Flay’s recipe) is below.  Serve with Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Cold Beer and/or Micheladas!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Niki’s ‘it used to be Bobby Flay’s’ Carolina Barbecue Sauce

¼ Cup Olive Oil

2 Onions – chopped

6 cloves of garlic – chopped

2 Cups Ketchup (USE HEINZ KETCHUP) not tomato sauce, ketchup…did I mention that it’s ketchup?

2/3 Cup water

¼ Ancho Chilli Powder (available from Herbies Spices)

1 Tablespoon Sweet Paprika

1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

2/3 Cup Dijon Mustard

2/3 Cup Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Canned Chipotle in Adobo (optional but lovely and a bit spicy…if you like it hot add 2)

¼ Cup Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons of Honey or Golden Syrup

2 Tablespoons Treacle (or molasses if you can find it)

Salt and pepper to taste

Soy sauce as required

Heat the oil over medium heat and sweat the onion until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a minute – don’t let it brown.  Add the ketchup and water, bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, cover partially and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes or until you are happy with the flavour.  Balance at this point (sweet – brown sugar, salty – salt or a dash of soy sauce, sharp – vinegar), if necessary. Blitz in a blender, or use your hand blender, until smooth and cool to room temperature.

Great Hampton’s Cladding Design Ideas from Planbuild & James Hardies

By | Uncategorized

Hampton’s is the hottest housing trend to hit the market and Planbuild Homes, along with our top tier suppliers, like James Hardies, are leading the way.  We have affordable Hamptons facades and interiors that combine the chic Hampton’s vibe with the relaxed elegance of Queensland living.  Check out these cladding options from James Hardies.

Friday Happy Hour for September 6th!

By | Uncategorized

This afternoon sipper is Springtime in a glass…if it’s too feminine for the fellas, pour 30ml (or more) of limoncello into your man’s favourite beer, then watch and wait – he’ll go back for more!

The recipe comes from Kim Haasarud’s book, 101 Champagne Cocktails.

30ml limoncello
15ml Cointreau
Champagne or other sparkling wine
Glass: flute
Tools: shaker, strainer
Garnish: lemon twist

Combine limoncello and Cointreau in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Top with Champagne and garnish.

Disclaimer. We support enjoying life and the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. We do not support underage drinking, excessive drinking, binge drinking or any other unsafe drinking behavior. Always drink responsibly.

Before you build your home – de-clutter your Cords!

By | Uncategorized

We have sound bars and apple tv’s and dvd players…oh my!  There are voice-activated devices and smart phone remotes.  Can I ‘dim’ my downlights based on my mood?  Solar or not to solar.  These are just some of the questions that you need to think about when you build and over this series of blogs, we will talk about all of them. Inevitably we forget about one important aspect…cord clutter.

As great as technology is, it quite often comes with a spider’s web of connection cords. In fact, did you know that 4K devises require a 4K HDMI cable?  Even Google Home must be plugged in!  If you are planning your new build, have a look at this blog article and make sure that you talk about your technology and power needs with you Colour Consultant. A little planning now will make moving into your new home a breeze!

It’s Friday…time for a cocktail!

By | Uncategorized

As spring heads our way and the temperatures start to rise, its time to make a mojito and relax outside.  This recipe, from the Amanyara Resort in Turks & Caicos, is a game changer! Trust me!



60ml – Bacardi Superior White Rum

30ml – Fresh lime juice

15ml – Simple Syrup (heat equal parts of caster sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved or pick up a bottle from Dan Murphy’s)

10 leaves – Mint

Ice – a couple of cubes plus crushed ice to serve

Chilled champagne, to top


  1. Add all ingredients except Champagne into a blender with ice and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a rocks glass over crushed ice.
  3. Top with Champagne.
  4. Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel and 2 mint sprigs.

Disclaimer. We support enjoying life and the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. We do not support underage drinking, excessive drinking, binge drinking or any other unsafe drinking behavior. Always drink responsibly.

The new design rule…there are no rules!!

By | Interior Design

Check out this fantastic interview with award winning designer and The Block Judge Neale Whitaker It is finally “ok” to mix and match design styles to your hearts content! Mixing styles is a great way to create functional and affordable design without sacrificing your dream room. Try mixing Modern with Hamptons or Scandi-Barn with Mid Century Modern!