About Habitusliving


Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.


From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.


Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.


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Edible Tapestry Tales

A few months ago I was lucky enough to sit around a table with 10 complete strangers in a small loft-style apartment in Sydney’s Bondi, where I shared a meal as rich in storytelling as it was in gastronomic exploration.

It was the first Australian dinner by English duo Francesca Unsworth and Rachel Khoo (or Khook as she likes to call herself). Titled ‘Edible Immigration Tales’ the dinner “weaved historical anecdotes relating to Australia’s gastronomic history into the menu” and “showed how its waves of immigrants had shaped the way we eat today.”


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Taking the idea of ‘pop-up’ restaurants and giving it a bit of substance, Edible Tales creates food adventures through meaningful stories and exciting culinary creations.

“In a way it is a response to how a family meal should be, slow and hopefully engaging,” says Francesca. “There are no distractions, like menus or wine lists, and diners are at our mercy to be guided through the experience.”

Well, the good news is that you’ve now got the opportunity to take a seat at the table with ‘Edible Tapestry Tales’, part of the 2010 State of Design Festival in Melbourne.


edible tales tapestry workshop state of design 


edible tales tapestry workshop state of design

Held in The Victorian Tapestry Workshop, 3 dinners over 3 nights (23, 24, 25 July 2010) will echo the careful ‘handmade’ processes of tapestry.

“It is careful process that requires great concentration,” Francesca says. “Watching the weavers at work shows just how stupidly chaotic contemporary work spaces can be, with people juggling a million things at once. 


edible tales tapestry workshop state of design

“I hope we can reflect the delicate nature of this attentive and contemplative craft in our dining experience.”

Edible Tales have partnered with family-run vineyard Molly Dooker wines – known for their fantastic label designs – and the event is supported by habitusliving.com.

We’re giving Design Hunters™ a bit of a heads-up as spaces are filling up fast and you’ll need to reserve your spot early so you don’t miss out. Email Edible Tales to book your place.


Edible Tapestry Tales



Design Hunters

Favourites: Easton Pearson

This is the first in our 'Favourites Series', asking people featured in the magazine about their favourite things. Easton Pearson are profiled in On Location, issue 08 of Habitus magazine - out 23 June 2010.


Your name: 

Pamela Easton & Lydia Pearson

What you do:

Design women’s clothing

Your latest project:

Re-launching “EP Manchester”. Luxury cotton & linen for the home

What is your favourite…

travel destination Mumbai

hotel/place to stay Taj Mahal Bombay

airline Qantas of course!

magazine The Monthly

three people that inspire/excite you

     1) Kandinsky

     2) William Dalrymple

     3) Georges Fouquet (jeweller)

design classic Striped Sailor’s T-shirts

new design iPhone

meal Fresh shucked oysters, preferably eaten on the rocks where they grew

restaurantPetrelle” in Paris

drink Jasmine Tea

barSardine Tin” Southbank

gallery/museum GOMA in Brisbane

book Zagourski – “Lost Africa

item in your studio Pantone Colour Book for Textiles

artwork “Cosmic Oceans” 1823, Jodphur, India

artist Bulaki

piece of technology Clean Energy

creative philosophy “respect your influences, cite your sources, look forward”



Easton Pearson


Hero image: Jared Fowler


Around The World

the club hotel

The new generation of discerning travellers is looking beyond just tourist attractions and historical landmarks. They are interested in delving deeper into the culture and heritage of a country. What better place to start than from the hotel itself?

the club hotel by Harry’s Hospitality is a boutique hotel that recently opened along Ann Siang Road, a conservation area located within the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown, which has been transformed into a chic locale for many pubs, designer boutiques, cafes and restaurants in recent years.

the club hotel capitalises on the rich Chinese heritage of the area, but instead of a straightforward interpretation, Singapore’s colonial past is given a tongue-in-cheek twist – guests are greeted by a statue of Sir Stamford Raffles with his head literally in the clouds to portray his grand plans for the island.

Taking cues from the area’s early role as a remittance hub for Chinese immigrants, guests are “flown” to their rooms by signages taking the form of messenger birds.


the club hotel singapore

Each Signature room is defined by its own unique design feature, from fitted wraparound ceiling-to-floor curtains encasing the entire room, to a bed frame flanked by two grand pillars carrying calligraphy scrolls with morning greetings.


the club hotel singapore


the club hotel singapore


Even wardrobes are not spared the designer’s touch. Instead of the usual built-in or walk-in closets, they take the form of a daringly minimalist concept with just one or two strategically-mounted, exposed hanging rods.

the club hotel is designed  by Ministry of Design, who worked on the full concept, branding and spatial design, while Jane Yeo Design Consultants were responsible for the club’s food and beverage concepts.


the club hotel


the club hotel singapore


the club hotel singapore


Design Accessories

Barazza Velvet Touch Screen Oven

Designed by:



I am:

Barazza Velvet Touch Screen Oven


About me:

Velvet ovens combine technological excellence with the pure elegance of a minimalist design that matches any modern kitchen.

The door opens automatically thanks to a control on the touch screen display, whether it is drop-down or side-opening. Alternatively, the Velvet ovens are available with drop-down door with handle.

The touch screen display with its 16 million colours is an interactive system that allows you to intuitively control the Velvet oven functions by simply touching the appropriate symbol.

A high-tech marvel that is extremely easy to use thanks to the intelligent software that allows you to set and customize programs. 



The oven interior consists in a single, non-deformable body without visible welded parts having a capacity of 65 litres.

The interior surfaces, including the door and the baking trays do not have sharp parts or welded spots.

The Vitreous structure of the easy clean enamel makes the surfaces perfectly smooth so that cooking grease and oils simply slide off for easy cleaning. 


60cm Oven (65 litres)


1800 809 143






Design Accessories

Special Lights

Special Lights, a Sydney-based lighting company hinged on its European heritage, doesn’t just provide one-off lighting products – it prides itself on delivering a comprehensive service that sees its customers through the entire renovation or construction process, from initial advice to staged delivery and liaising with those on site.

Dating back over 70 years to its conception in 1938, by an Austrian family who had a successful lighting business back in Vienna, a design philosophy has since evolved with lighting playing a central role in the investment of any new home.

The team focuses on layered lighting where different general, accent or decorative layers work together to create virtually any type of ambience within a space.

Scott Fuller, Head of Design Services at Special Lights, has been designing lighting plans for over 10 years and explains that his team does not treat lighting as simply an afterthought.

“Many clients are really starting to see how important lighting is in terms of defining the entire aesthetic, style and mood of their home.”

With an ever-increasing concern for environmentally-friendly solutions, Special Lights also tackles inefficient energy consumption by using the latest trends in technologies such as LED lighting. With an interest in such technology, as well as a comprehensive understanding of building regulations, architects and designers are able to work alongside Special Lights without a hitch.


Special Lights










The North Fitzroy House

Like many of the renovations we write about on habitusliving.com, so often it is an emotional connection to an existing home that begs the inhabitants to stay.

For the residents of this North Fitzroy house, it was this connection, and a close relationship with their architect, which would wrestle their tiny terrace into the 21st Century and retain its unique character.

“They’d lived there for about 4 years,” says Architect Nic Owen. “It was just a typical little two-bedroom Victorian brick Terrace […] it leaked when it rained and needed an awful lot doing to it.”

“The brief was to create a new, larger, brighter environment to cater for their growing family,” he says.


nic owen north fitzroy house


nic owen north fitzroy house

“North Fitzroy is tightly controlled with planning and the heritage overlays, but the site also had an incredibly challenging orientation.”

With the rear of the home facing east, Nic explains that with any upward extension the narrow terrace would throw shadows across the Southern neighbour, but the heritage controls also asked that little of the additions could be seen from the street.


nic owen north fitzroy house


“We had to be very respectful and mindful of the existing structure,” Nic says. “So whatever we built had to be sympathetic in terms of its size, form and massing and we had to retain the front two rooms.”

The second-storey addition is essentially a “modern glass structure wrapped in a timber skin”, that sits close to the Northern side, next to a cobbled side lane.


nic owen north fitzroy house

Double-height windows – nested into the existing ground-floor openings – have been used on this Northern façade to tie the two eras together, while fixed metal louvers provide privacy and let in the winter sun.


nic owen north fitzroy house

The owners were keen to use as many environmentally sustainable initiatives as they could – difficult on a site with so many physical and planning restrictions. Along with water saving techniques, the home’s north-facing roofs have photovoltaic cells and solar hot water systems installed.

The North Fitzroy house sensitively restores a Victorian treasure, while providing a distinct, yet harmonious modern counterpart – and of course, a family home.


Nic Owen Architects




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Design Hunters

King of Nothing Launch

Whether you’re into it or not, ‘street wear’ is entrenched in our cultural vernacular. Although it’s something that was originally just a ‘mish-mash’ of different clothing styles, from band tees to sports shoes and flannelette shirts, it has grown into an identifiable style.

Recently, the new brand King of Nothing was launched at the aMBUSH Gallery in Waterloo – and what better way to celebrate street culture than with live performances from Paper Plane Project, DJ Butcher and Eloquence & Truths as well as a skate ramp and a ‘street skating jam’ (we’re not sure what that actually means, but it sounds like fun).

King of Nothing is pitched as a collaboration of artists and fashion designers to create “quality apparel that you can work, play, paint, skate, date and create in”.

The Series One Collection includes a men’s denim range, printed crew neck jumpers, ‘heavyweight’ zip hoodies, classic flannel shirts as well as a jewellery line and new t-shirt collection.

If you’re after a bit of grunge, you can check out the King of Nothing offerings on their website.


King of Nothing



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Sea Circus comes to town

Bali’s charms are alluring enough as it is, but for a British girl in need of an escape from the dreary English winter, relocating to the idyllic island was a reverie too perfect to resist.

So Charlie Hunton hatched a plan along with her boss and boyfriend Josh Herdman.

They were to quit their advertising jobs, pack it all in and runaway “to join the circus”.

To Bali it was, where side-by-side with a handful of talented designer friends they founded the Sea Circus – a beachside eatery that opened its doors on April 1.


sea circus bali restaurant and bar 

With a crew of designers behind it, Nick Cox of Projects of Imagination, who created the interiors for Melbourne’s Coda and Trunk, Charles Pelletier and Georgina O' Connor (who collaborates with Joost Bakker), the look is beachside casual meets circus chic.

The circus theme is played out in the aesthetic, vibrant yellows for the chairs and sky blue for the tables, under a lofty tent-like structure draped with string bulb lights. 

The bohemian twists are courtesy of the ringmaster and vintage-lover Charlie.


sea circus bali restaurant and bar

There are biscuit tin vases and scrabble pieces acting as reserved signs, “nods to London’s vintage markets, which I miss dearly,” says Charlie.


sea circus bali restaurant and bar

“I often recruit 'mules' from London, Melbourne and Sydney to help with the vintage finishing touches.

“My poor friends are currently having to pack vintage milk bottles to help with our new cocktail concept which will be shared around in milk bottles!”

While Charlie hones the intimate dining details which pepper the communal tables, Australian chef and Longrain-alum Stuart Marsden is manning the stove, focussing his attention on the local seafood fare.


sea circus bali restaurant and bar


sea circus bali restaurant and bar

Everything on the menu – both little and large – is made and designed to be shared.

There’s music to let your hair down to and themed parties like the recent Mad Hatter’s tea party that unite locals and visitors alike. 

“It’s a playground for discerning travellers” as Charlie puts it.


Sea Circus


Design Accessories

Phaidon Design Classics on the iPad

Well… the iPad is here. For those of you who haven’t got one, or have never heard of it, the iPad is Apple’s latest device, essentially a giant iPod Touch. However, this definition doesn’t really do it justice.

Now, we could tell you about all its features, and it is a beautifully designed device, but we thought we’d highlight our favourite ‘App’ so far instead.

There isn’t an abundance of applications for Design Hunters™ – other than all those iPhone apps that have been awkwardly upsized for the 24cm display – but we already have a favourite.

Phaidon Design Classics is a collection of 999 of the most influential designs of all time, which used to come only in 3 cumbersome volumes. Welcome the ‘iPad Edition’.

This great app puts 1000 products (999 + the iPhone) at your fingertips, literally. Using the brilliant touch-screen display you can browse the entire collection – ranging from kitchen scissors to the Eames Lounge to the Hindenburg – in 3 different ways:

1. You can use the default setting, which shows a random selection of products ‘floating’ towards you. You can click on an image to get information and more photos of the product:




2. Alternatively, you can use ‘cover flow’ to browse through products in order:



3. Finally you can use the search function to search the whole app, refining your results to particular types of products and products by certain designers:




If you’re going to buy and iPad, or you already have one, this is a must-have item for the Design Hunter’s™ library – whether you’re searching for a particular product, or wanting to connect with designs you’d forgotten even existed.

It’ll set you back a cool AUD$23.99 on the iTunes App store, but it’s worth every cent.


For those of you who are wondering, you will soon be able to access Habitus magazine on the iPad and iPhone. Stay tuned in July to find out more.



Phaidon Design Classics iPad Edition





Design Hunters

Studio JuJu

Priscilla Lui and Timo Wong are the partnership behind studio juju. We take a moment to get to know a little more about their after their successful trip to this year’s Salone Satellite in Milan.


Q. How did studio juju come about?

A. We worked together previously in a studio, the Design Incubation Centre, and were doing their d.lab’s “Objects around the Tablescape” series together.

After working on a few other projects together, we felt that we shared the same sensibilities towards design and passion towards making things.

And since we really enjoy working with each other, we decided to start studio juju. 


Q. Can you describe your favorite piece in the juju collection?

Timo: My favorite piece is actually the storage we did for Saporiti Italia. They organised a design award inviting a selection of Singaporean designers to propose a series of storage for luxury accessories.

To me those pieces communicated very strongly the idea of luxury by the use of materials and bold contrast which accentuates the presence but yet within a quiet and delicate nature.


Saporiti Luxury Towers


Priscilla: I find it a little difficult to pick a favorite piece. For the current collection, I like the way the Platypus chair makes me feel active on it, and funnily, makes me relax at the same time, as I have somewhere to place my idle fingers.


Platypus Chair


I like the Bambi, for its character and how its low seating height creates a posture that doesn’t want me to lean totally, and to be on my legs just as how it looks like the Bambi deer on its 4 legs, always ready to ‘gallop’ away. I like the strength in the forms of the Duck and Crane Lamps, and how expressive they look when they give us light at their angles through the way they ‘nod’.


Bambi Chair


Bambi Chair


Duck Lamp


Crane Lamp

Crane Lamp


Perhaps, there is no favorite piece for me at the moment.


Q. Where do you find inspiration?

T: I find inspiration in details and segments of things I see everyday.

P: Those snippets of the everyday that I see and hold to memory to be important or interesting will inspire me. Dialogue with Timo further drives the inspirations.


Q. Could you tell us about your favorite places in Singapore?

T: The West Coast Park is very nice when I go jogging at nights. Yet it is a contrast of atmospheres. Because it is extremely near the seaports, there are a lot of huge cargo ships by that stretch of the park. It becomes very dreamy and industrial at the same time, when you can hear both the waves and the clanking of machinery.

P: This particular bread shop in Holland Village. Its décor is not the prettiest of places; however the smell of bread and coffee, as well as the people that come all the way just for its bread, these elements fuse together to create a very pleasant mood.

I also like this wood factory on the outskirts of Singapore, where we get our raw wood materials. The place is filled with lumber from floor to ceilings of almost 5 metres tall. We are close to the lady in charge of that place, so she often gives us wood samples. 


Q. What was it like to exhibit in Milan?

It’s our second time; we were there last year too. The experience was really good, to be exhibiting alongside people from everywhere. Most importantly we made good friends whom we update one another on projects that we are working on. It made the world smaller knowing you have friends like yourself on the other parts of the world.


Rabbit studio juju



One-shelves studio juju



Q. Can you explain your approach to

A. We believe that the creation
of new experiences is important for us with the projects we undertake;
it can be through the archetypes we suggest, language or even colors
that we use.



At the same time, we look for relevance and appropriateness in most
of our design. Whether the scale is of an interior space or an object
for the table, the purpose and its function must first be clear.



We avoid debating over the poetics of our design because the outside
is a skin that wraps the inside, it's very simple. The approach to give
character to design is more feasible, to allow it to exist within our
sight and touch.

Good design will resonate without much talking.


Q. Do you have favourite materials?

T: I don’t really favor any particular material over another as it depends on the application.

P: I like how alive wood feels in my hands, and how quiet metal is. But I don’t have favorite materials. We often ‘match’ materials to the experience the project wants to create.


Bollard and the Black Box studio juju

Bollard and the Black Box


Q. Finally, if you could have one design in your own home, what would it be and why?

T: Table B by Konstantin Grcic for BD Barcelona. I like the extruded precision of the aluminum material, which is at the same time raw, the way it ends on both sides. It is something I know I will keep for a very long time.

P: L2 and L01 speakers, and the SK 4 phonograph by Dieter Rams for Braun. I love how considerate the whole design looks, from its meticulous simplicity to its strong functional appeal that contributes to its honest aesthetics. It does not try to be too flamboyant, so it will fit in very nicely into homes.


studio juju


Design Accessories

Zekka – fashion in Perth

A trip to Tokyo and London was all that it took to convince design enthusiasts Conor Youngs and Romina Gilde Matos to forgo careers in law and psychology to follow their real passion. Returning to Perth with a desire to match their experiences, the pair launched themselves into an ambitious retail project in 2006 – Test Tube – showcasing an innovative selection of internationally sourced goods, previously unseen in Perth. Its quirky, bright-striped timber décor, envisaged by Matthews Architecture, quickly gained a reputation among the designer set, attracting a steady number of Design Hunters™. “The opening of Test Tube was a real gamble for us and we were not sure whether the clientele [for our products] existed in Perth,” Romina says. But buoyed by its firm success, the pair took another leap forward early in 2008, establishing Zekka as the latest place for cutting-edge fashion. Focusing on a small but dedicated client base, who were regularly travelling interstate and overseas to buy high-end fashion, they again called on the expertise of Matthews Architecture to create a unique space and experience.   zekka perth fashion cafe Taking the concept of a “cabinet of curiosities” into their chosen turn-of-the-century CBD site, Romina says they strove to include as much of the original architectural features and history as possible. Adding another dimension to the retail space, a café was set up at the rear, with its specially-blended Crema bean mix drawing in people who are as discerning about their coffee, as they are about their clothes.   zekka perth fashion cafe Their select but evolutionary collection of designs currently includes Julius, m.a+, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Guidi for men, and Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, m.a+, Marc Le Bihan, Ohne Titel for women, and is constantly in evolution. “Our client is interested in art, design and fashion,” Romina says. “They like to discover and experiment with new collections.” And after being awarded the best-dressed boutique award at the WA Fashion Awards last year, Zekka is an absolute must-stop for the design conscious.   Zekka zekka perth fashion cafe   zekka perth fashion cafe abc
Design Accessories

Bespoke boarding

How do young, athletic New Zealanders combine their love of extreme sports with a passion for design? By custom designing a snowboard, of course.

Candleman Snowboards, which made its first custom board 15 years ago, promotes the ethos ‘snowboarding is all about self expression’.

Once a year it holds a competition to design snowboard graphics, with winning designs joining the Candleman Snowboards range as official new season products. This year’s entries were open for judging online, with votes coming in from around the world. 

Architecture student Rhys Pemberton won the Girls’ design first place with his design ‘Retro Times’.

“I think white space is underrated and I have learnt this from studying landscape architecture, and have implemented this on the top of the board,” he says, also noting he believes there should be no gender in snowboarding; it’s a sport about individuality where anyone can have whatever colour, graphic or style they like. “I consider it as a unisex board.”

‘Yeti’, by graphic design student Adam Tan, won the Boys design first place. “I just wanted to depict something that represented the love for the snow (with the Yeti and girl),” he says. 

“I like to do customs, like painting skateboards and shoes, which is why I wanted to design something for a snowboard,” he adds. “[The board is something] people could also be proud to put on to their walls and be aesthetically pleasing.”


Candleman Snowboards


2009's winning entry




candleman 2010's winning entry, Yeti

'Retro Times'


candleman 2010's winning entry, retro