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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Design Hunters

Terri Winter: Design Hunter™ Profile

If you’ve ever found yourself standing in a department store looking at around 30 different salt and pepper grinders with no idea which one’s the best and little more to go on than the price… then Terri Winter can help.

This is exactly the situation that helped Terri and her husband Berndt come up with top3 by design 9 years ago.

top3 is a design store founded on the concept that good products should stand out in their design and their quality of manufacture – helping identify the top 3 products in any category.

The store now has 2 locations in Bondi Junction and Crows Nest in Sydney and a thriving online store – with plans to expand into other states in the near future.

We met with Terri to find out what makes her a Design Hunter™, her top tips for buying good design and her thoughts on sustainable design...



What makes you a Design Hunter™?

“I became a Design Hunter™ almost by default, it’s not that I went out to become one. I think it’s wanting quality and not necessarily fashionability.

“I’m looking for integrity in products from a wide range of areas and places, rather than just whatever is the current here and now – I just love finding great, cool design.”


The Bauhaus Chess set by Josef Hartwig - the beginning of a lifelong obsession with design


Is your home filled with the designs from your store?

“Yes, but probably not the way that people would expect.

“It doesn’t matter how many designer objects you have if you put them all in one place it’s always going to look like a dogs breakfast, so I think you still have to have a strong sense of who you are and what the flavour of your mood is.”



Tips for finding and buying good design?

Make sure you do go somewhere that cares about good design

“There are a lot of stores that do mix brand with funky stuff and don’t differentiate between that and I think you need to know that you’re dealing with people that are going to be honest with the design integrity if you’re not sure of that yourself.

It has to mean something

“Whether it means something to you is more important than whether it’s a brand or not. I think people used to buy brands because they were ‘brands’. I think people are now buying brands because they know it’s real and authentic.”

Authenticity and attention to detail

“I look firstly for integrity in design and to be honest that’s getting more and more difficult.

“As design has become more of a buzz word, so to speak, over the last few years more and more companies that aren’t very design focused are putting on the ‘design’ persona and it’s becoming more and more difficult to get through to understanding if their company has integrity.”


Coveted: the Aalto Vase


What about sustainable design?

“I think that integrity of design and longevity of design is more important than people producing stuff that’s ‘green’.

“It shouldn’t be a sub-category, it should be a part of the process – part of every design process.

“I think if you’ve got a Piet Hein candelabra, or a Stelton Vacuum Jug that’s lasted you for 40 years and you’ve never replaced it, the fact that it’s made out of plastic doesn’t make it bad.”


If you were leaving the country for good and had to pack light, what would make the cut?

“I think it would have to be a group of Australian things if I was leaving the country.

"Even though I have the covetable things like the Aalto Vase and the Bauhaus Chess set and those things I adore, if I felt like I was leaving the country forever I would want to take some of this country with me.

"So it would be a couple of products from people like Stephen Blaess and Sarah and Nick from DesignByThem and basically get myself a little Australian collection to remind myself of what I’d left.”


'Stem' from DesignByThem

top3 by design also power the habitusliving.com shop, where you can find a selection of their products.

top3 by design


Night Light Table

We spotted this fantastic little piece over here (thanks Design Milk). It’s called the Night Light Table and is produced by English duo, Charlie Crowther-Smith and Richard Bannister (could they be anything but English with those names!).

These tables, perfect for the bedside, use natural timbers and a colourful led backlit shelf. The table comes in orange, yellow, blue, green and purple.

Our first question was naturally, ‘Where can we get one?’ – expecting that most-common of answers… ‘Well, we’re not actually in production yet,’ or ‘We haven’t secured a supplier’.

Instead Charlie informed us that they are indeed making the tables and can ship the pieces internationally. We asked Charlie a few more questions about the design…



How did the Night Light Table come about?

“The design came about after a chat over an English breakfast with Rich one cold, dark winter’s morning.

“We were just saying that we needed a piece of furniture to brighten up our winters.”


Tell us a little about your design firm and this collaboration.

“Rich and I share a workshop although run separate businesses. I worked for Rich when I had just finished my furniture-making course.”

“It is quite easy to collaborate with someone you share a workspace with, constantly being able to bounce ideas off each other over a cup of tea on the step.”


Could you describe the design process?

“The table evolved as we made it. It was loosely based on a desk that I had designed for college.

“We just stared building and the design became more refined with each prototype we made. We both have bedrooms full of previous models with slightly differing dimensions and form.”



Why the bright colours?

“Colour plays a huge role in everything I design, I love it and Rich does too. So the idea to fill a from with colour projected from our furniture just seemed like a good idea.”


Where do you see this particular piece sitting within a home?

“At first we designed the table with bedroom in mind but I think it would work equally as well in the sitting room or as a greeting beacon in a hallway.”


Do you have plans to extend this into a range at all?

“We have talked about extending the range to maybe include a console table but we are yet to make one as yet.”


Finally, what inspires you?

“I am inspired by lots of things, other design, there is so much amazing and original work cropping up all the time. Recently I have been looking at scientific graphs to get new ideas about shape.”

Charlie Crowther-Smith


We also love…

The ‘Pinch’ table by Charlie


The Stonehawke House

Photography: Christopher Frederick Jones

A sloping block at north-west Brisbane’s 29-lot Stonehawke development at The Gap captured the design eye of Base Architecture director Shawn Godwin and his interior designer wife Natalie as the ideal site for their future family home.

“(We) wanted a house that would become our family home for the next 15 years and to be very much designed for our lifestyle with our two young daughters,” Godwin says.


“From the start it was going to be a tough project as the site is very steep but I knew that once we resolved the levels the planning (would) evolve quite well and now we get the best of all worlds in the views, the elevation, the openness, the nestling with the bush and wildlife which enables us to open the house up on to privacy.”



The end result is a geometric “charred box” wedged into a hillside that wraps around an “out of ground, off-form concrete pool” while a fusion of organic, raw materials such as sandstone rockwork, various species of native tall trees and swathes of spotted gum in flooring, joinery, windows and doors reflects the materiality of the house’s aesthetic.


Earthy hues echo the landscape and a mixture of rough sawn, stained plywood, galvanised steel and horizontal and vertical sections mimic surrounding tree forms.

The duo’s design of the Stonehawke House/Lot 16 has won a host of awards including the 2010 AIA Brisbane Regional House of the Year, Regional Commendation, Brisbane – Residential Architecture – Houses and the 2010 AIA Queensland State Housing Award.

As part of his practice Godwin also offers information sessions on building and renovating, the first of which, Houses – Renovating and New Builds, will discuss examples, construction costs, consultants and timeframes with a town planner and engineer also on hand to answer questions.

Seminar: Houses - Renovating and New Builds.
When: Wednesday, August 18, 6pm – 8.30pm (approx.)
Where: Base Architecture, 204 Days Road, Grange, Queensland.
Cost: Free
Contact: 3352 5899
Numbers limited.

Base Architecture
+61 409 268 890
+61 7 3352 5899

Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories


I am:    Window Covering

About me:

Once again at the forefront of technology and innovation, LUXAFLEX® DUETTE® Architella Shades have a remarkable honeycomb shade design.

This revolutionary product takes 1 honeycomb and nestles it inside the other, resulting in truer colours, crisper pleats, and superior energy efficiency.

Research reveals that heat loss from your home occurs through uncovered windows, therefore choosing the right window protection can reduce heat loss through windows. 

The revolutionary design forms three distinct air pockets for increased insulation against heat and cold. These pockets trap air, making your windows more energy efficient, reducing heating and cooling costs year-round.


The additional inner layers of Duette Architella Fabric provide an extra barrier against the harsh Australian sun that washes out colours – allowing original hues to maintain their true beauty, even in the brightest light.

The signature TruPleat Inner Structure keeps both the front and back pleats of Duette Architella Shades crisp and consistent, from top to bottom.

For more information call 13 LUXAFLEX (13 58 92) or visit luxaflex.com.au






Design Accessories

The Coast Collection

Product Name:    The Coast Collection from Great Southern Design.

Designed by:    Patternique® for Great Southern Design

I am: Fabric

About me:

The Coast Collection is a range of hand screen cotton prints suitable for upholstery, cushions and drapery.

Designs are inspired by the rich beauty of the Australian coastline – capturing the essence of our culture and lifestyle. Each design has its origins in organic natural forms and is distilled with a unique modern aesthetic.

The Coast Collection is designed and hand screen-printed in Australia, supporting the local textile industry.

Great Southern Design is distributed in Australia by Radford Furnishings


Images above and below:

“We have taken a prel-oved chair, once owned by Betty Langley, a textile designer in the 1940's, and covered it in The Coast Collection design Castaway (Seat cushion) and Coastline (back cushion).
“The Lampshade was made using Coastline and supplied by our friends at Tubdesign.”   

Radford Furnishings











Design Hunters

Calibre de Cartier Launch

The famous Woolloomooloo wharf, with its mix of modernized chic and tough industrial heritage was transformed last night into an elegant masculine space, and became the perfect setting to host the launch of the latest timepiece from the Maison, Calibre de Cartier.

The Maison’s Calibre de Cartier is the result of Cartier’s commitment to creating both masculine timepieces and unique automatic movements.

The evening welcomed a number of high-profile guests.

Find out more on Calibre de Cartier here.


Calibre de Cartier

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The Point Perry Beach House

On a sloping site in Coolum, Queensland, architect Lindsay Clare designed a classic Sunshine Coast beach house. Almost 20 years on the home, with panoramic ocean views, has been sensitively renewed by architects Owen and Vokes.

“We didn't set out to re-design the original Lindsay Clare House, but rather to preserve its character,” explains Owen and Vokes’  Emma Hodgkinson.

The architects made only a few alterations to the existing house, including an extension and re-location of the kitchen and the opening of the rear wall, all helping to connect the living spaces to the landscape beyond.

“Our new work includes a garage 'bunker' with garden over, and the rear extension with verandah access to two bedrooms and two bathrooms.”


Most of the original features of the house have been retained – aside from re-painting the home from the original blue to the new crisp white.

“[The alterations involved] re-occupation rather than re-modeling, such as inserting new built-in joinery to re-orient the living spaces towards views or to connect with landscape spaces,” Emma says.



The whole project involved making the flow of the home, which is over 5 levels, work for its occupants, rather than a disjointed collection of separate modules. A fibro-clad rear extension has helped to achieve this with a small excavation into the hillside.

Perhaps the most striking addition is the solid timber casements overlooking the courtyard which can be opened or closed for privacy and weather – although as Emma explains, “they have actually only been closed once during a wild storm”.



It appears that with homes such as this – and perhaps this is a broader comment on life itself – it is the restrictions placed upon us, the challenges and the remnants of history that deliver the most creative results.

The project won the 2010 Australian Institute of Architects Sunshine Coast House of the Year.

If you liked this house, you’ll love the home of writer John Birmingham, also by Owen and Vokes, in the upcoming Issue 09 of Habitus magazine – out September 2010.


Owen and Vokes


Photographer: Jon Linkins


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Villa Sawah – Ubud

Think of Bali and thoughts of great surf beaches and spectacular sunset vistas instantly spring to mind. At some stage though, inevitably, you are bound to hit on the rice paddy landscape as the quintessential Bali image.

Nowhere else in the world does the rice field, or sawah, serve as such a potent backdrop to the built form. Using this as a platform, architect Guy Morgan has crafted a unique piece of architecture just outside the mountain enclave of Ubud.



Villa Sawah, completed in late 2003, sits as an example of a building with true connection to site. Access to the villa is purposely limited to exclude the usual
drive-up approach by car or even bike.



Its striking elevated position above the landscape allows for minimal impact on the surrounding productive rice fields and all-important traditional irrigation system. In addition, it has provided the opportunity to cleverly conceal all services under the house, but more importantly, enhance views onto the surrounding landscape and accentuate sight lines of mountains and river forests further into the distance.

“Balinese almost never build their houses in the middle of the rice fields, so a compound did not seem appropriate,” Guy says. “Instead I drew references from the agricultural buildings in the area (mainly battery chicken farms), and of course the traditional long house.” This in itself generates a unique personality for the project and something that the owner, who has a strong affinity with Indonesia and the region, specifically wanted to see as part of the final composition.

In Villa Sawah there exists the perfect blend between site and internal space, light and shade, form and scale and the unique ability to live and work in one of the most tranquil of Balinese settings.


Guy Morgan Arhcitects



Design Accessories

Lomography – back to basics

Words Ben Morgan

Now, I feel ashamed to admit it, but I’ve only just come across the LOMO camera. I vaguely recall these ingenious devices experiencing a resurgence a few years back, but I hadn’t realised the following they’d garnered.

Lomographic pictures are described by The Lomographic Society (see what I mean about a following) as “moment-catchers; characterized by vibrant colours, shadowy framing, surprise effects and spontaneity”.’

The Lomographic Society boasts over 1 million members who get out and about snapping with everything from ‘fisheye’ cameras to the new Spinner 360˚ – which captures ‘unlimited panoramas’.

Essentially, these lo-tech cameras can create sometimes-blurred, sometimes overexposed and colourful images on 35mm film.  The result is never the same and the process is extremely analogue (does it worry anyone else that the next generation probably won’t even know what ‘analogue’ means?).



Fisheye 2 (exposure above)

Starting with the Lomo LC-A – a Russian-made film camera – Lomography (the company who now sells the Lomo cameras), has since added a range of cameras and quirky accessories to help “document the incredible planet around us”.

In an age of digital photography, this is a counter-revolution we could get used to.


Diana F+ Exposure



Diana F+



Design Accessories

Small Stories, Big Picture

At the Habitus headquarters in Sydney’s Surry Hills we’re smack bang in the middle of a creative hub, surrounded by designers, artists, musicians and food creatives.

It is truly a place to live in design – and it’s also the first place to hear about those underground activities before they hit the mainstream. That’s how we found out about the Small Stories, Big Picture event to be held as part of the upcoming Sydney Design 2010.

The idea is to get people out and about in Surry Hills, on their bikes, taking snaps and gathering stories along the way.

Each Saturday throughout the Sydney Design 2010 festival (31 July – 15 August), 25 people will be invited to join a cycling tour of the Sydney suburb, visiting design and fashion destinations along the way and discovering their stories.

Provided with a bike, a LOMO camera (read more about that over here) and a ‘passport’, riders will go from Cloth and Metalab (more on that here), visiting I Ran the Wrong Way (more about that here) and collecting stamps from bespoke retailers in between, which can be used for discounts later on.

The whole thing will wrap up at the end of Sydney Design 2010 with an exhibition and party at the Beresford in Surry Hills – where there’ll be a photo swap and raffle of the LOMO cameras.


Small Stories Big Picture


A Bike by Cloth



Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories


It’s rare these days that we get even a few minutes of peace away from the interruptive presence of technology. One of the few places, but one too rarely considered a retreat, is the bathroom.

In Spanish designer, Patricia Urquiola’s vision of the bathroom for Axor, the bathroom is no longer a necessary utility. Instead, it becomes a luxurious plant- and light-filled retreat that allows maximum freedom to express individuality.

The collaboration between Axor, the designer brand of Hansgrohe, and Urquiola began five years ago with the WaterDream 2005 project. Many of the aesthetic features of the recently released Axor Urquiola range take their inspiration from this initial collaboration – a combination of soft curves and hard angles, with a focus on nature and harmony of elements.



Urquiola believes that living spaces tell the personal stories of those that occupy them, and so the Axor Urquiola collection celebrates detail, variety, and the individual.




“I designed this bathroom for an imaginary couple,” says Urquiola, “for two different personalities.” Thus, the two bathtubs, two facing showerheads and two basins in the ideal spatial layout created by the designer.

This is a concept that looking firmly forward, to new ways of experiencing the bathroom. It also remembers the past, however, celebrating memories with basins and baths that recall the shape of the washtubs of bygone eras.




The collection responds to changes in the way space is used. In the Axor Urquiola concept, the sleeping area is fused with the bathroom, separated by a freestanding screen that functions also as a radiator. Thus, a holistic, nature-filled space for relaxation and regeneration is created.

Axor Urquiola, launched recently at the Matisse showroom in Auckland, follows on from previous collaborations between Axor and renowned designers, including Phillippe Starck and, most recently, the Bouroullec brothers (yet to be released in Australasia).






Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Profile: Carrie Choo

As far as Design Hunters™ go, Carrie Choo goes one further: “I see myself more of an experience hunter,” she says. “Having travelled to fabulous cities to live, shop, love and learn, I’ve been able to find genuine curiosity for so many things.”

Carrie is the face behind the successful Daily Addict brand. Daily addict brings subscribers daily ‘insider’ stories on places to eat, see and play in Sydney and Melbourne. Essentially, if it's worth being addicted to, they’ll cover it.

“We launched Daily Addict Sydney in January 2008,” she explains. “Our first feature was on a hole in the wall cafe in Balmain called The Little Marionette – it’s still a local favourite.”

Carrie recently launched the latest arm of Design Addict with a Melbourne edition headed up by Kate Vandermeer. “When we scoured high and low for our Chief Melbourne insider, tastemaker and all round fabulous person with their heart 'in the right place', we found Kate Vandermeer,” Carrie says.


daily addict website 


3 quick questions:

1. What do you see as the major differences between Sydney and Melbourne (with regards to the things you cover)?

Our passion and editorial focus remains the same - to connect our style-seeking readers to the most memorable experiences, interesting events and undiscovered gems in their home city.


2. What is your favourite design object (that you own, or you wish you owned)?

I have my heart set on a set of original Piero Fornasetti plates. Something about so many facets of his beautiful lady fascinates me. Perhaps I can relate to a woman with many interpretations? 


3. Can you tell us what keeps you inspired?

Genuine people and their stories. The generosity, immediacy and appetite of the digital online world. Entrepreneurs making their own way, and those willing to share what they’ve learnt.


Daily Addict