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 Accessories

ILVE Keeps it Simple


While many of us dream of the big kitchen – huge oven, double fridge, massive cooktop – the reality is that most of us have limited space and limited time.

That’s where the compact size and multi-functionality of ILVE’s Combination Microwave Oven comes to the fore. Featuring the latest European styling and functions, all unnecessary features have been stripped back to reveal a clean, sophisticated product.

For those of us who have limited space the Combination Microwave Oven is the perfect alternative to the standard microwave – with 6 cooking functions; convection, drop-down grill, forced ventilation, automatic defrost and microwave capabilities.

It’s compact exterior belies its large 38-litre internal capacity, more than capable of catering to your daily needs. A triple-glazed ‘cool touch’ glass door and child lock also provide added safety.

With stainless steel construction, electronic controls and a built-in design, ILVE Combination Microwave Oven fits seamlessly into any contemporary kitchen design, while providing an brilliant alternative to larger standard ovens and microwaves.

Stainless steel construction including internal
Triple glazed cool touch glass door

600mm W x 450mm H x 550mm D

The innovative and practical ILVE Combination Microwave Oven is available from selected retailers and on display at ILVE showrooms in Australia. RRP AUD$2999.00.



+61 2 8569 4600.


Vista Sofa and Kelly Chair ranges

Designed by: Nick Garnham and Rod Carlson


I am: A Sofa and a Chair


About me:

The Vista and Kelly ranges are the latest additions to the Jardan stable after recently making their debut at the Saturday in Design event in Melbourne.


Consisting of a full range of sofas and modular pieces; Vista provides flexibility with a myriad of configurations and  a deep version for those who want that little bit of extra luxury.

Designed to offer the user a sublime level of comfort combined with a refined and tailored appearance. Also available in a fitted loose cover.


The Kelly range is of smooth moves and endless embracing curves. The range includes standard and high back versions in both chairs and sofas. The concise footprint marks the Kelly perfect for most contemporary spaces from inner-city apartments to the grandest of corporate foyers.

The Kelly presents with an inviting aesthetic and finely upholstered form all in one sinuous package.


The Vista and Kelly ranges available now through your designer, architect or any of Jardan’s agents both nationally or internationally.



  • Sustainably sourced hardwood timber frame

  • CFC free multiple density foams
  • Water based glues

  • Available fully upholstered in your choice of fabric and leathers



Sofa – 288cm by 98cm

Chair – 71cm by 76cm


Melbourne 61 3 9548 8866 
Sydney 61 2 9663 4500
Brisbane 61 7 3257 0098  









Design Accessories

The TomTom Letterbox

The TomTom Letterbox represents the first in a series of products from collaborations between DesignByThem and independent Aussie designers. Made from powder-coated Zincalume, the TomTom is highly rust-resistant and uses Nylon pivots for smooth opening, while a tab at the back means it can be locked with a standard padlock. Inspired by the Australian suburban landscape, TomTom reflects the desire of homeowners to differentiate and customize their home on the streetscape. “From manicured gardens to concrete rendering and colour schemes, the possibilities for making one’s home unique seems endless” says Tommy.     DesignByThem (apart from being one of our favourite young studios) have a passion for Australian manufacturing and supporting emerging designers. The letterbox comes in 5 colours and retails for AUD$330, with the Australian hardwood post an extra AUD$120. We’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win one of these new release TomTom’s. Simply fill in the form below and tell us the best thing about your front yard. The most creative response will win their very own TomTom.   DesignByThem 
@DesignByThem        abc
Design Accessories

The MINI Scooter E Concept

Following on from last year’s launch of the MINI E, the iconic car brand has unveiled its latest concept for two-wheeled travel – the MINI Scooter E Concept.     The scooter is billed as “a rallying call for spontaneous riding enjoyment”, the MINI Scooter E Concept is an electric-powered scooter designed to present a solution to urban mobility. It is a faithful interpretation of MINI’s car design aesthetic, with a characteristic ‘MINI’ feel – while incorporating “CO2 –free” technology, allowing the suer to recharge the battery from any domestic electrical outlet. In typical mini style, space is save by building the motor into the rear wheel.       However, the scooter is definitely aimed at the youth market, with built-in Smartphone integration (including accessories such as a helmet with Bluetooth controls). The Smartphone can also be used as a sort of ‘key’ allowing the scooter to start when inserted into the console.     We love this as a concept, and it will be interesting to see if it enters production. It would obviously be a popular addition to our Region, where scooters are rapidly gaining traction (so to speak) as people try to downsize, reduce their impact on the environment and live ‘smarter’ in urban areas.   Perhaps this is a sign of things to come; maybe we’ll be seeing other car brands bringing their unique aesthetics to two wheels?   What do you think of the MINI scooter concept? Would you buy one? What are your thoughts on scooters in general? Tell us in the comments below. Find out more about the MINI Scooter Concept E here.   MINI Space
 minispace.com   abc
Design Accessories

The Induction Standard


Induction was once the future, now it’s the accepted standard for anyone who wants high-quality results at home. Neff is at the forefront of induction cooking with cooktops such as the award-winning 900mm T44T90N0.

The model was awarded an International iF award in 2009 as well as being recognised by the German Design Council in 2010.

As with all Neff induction cooktops, the T44T90N0 features the unique Tip & Twist control – a removable magnetic control dial – that is both simple to use and ergonomically designed.

It also has Neff Power Boost integrated which allows the unit to heat up 55% faster than conventional technology, while offering superior response and accuracy.

The cooktop offers five cooking zones, a residual heat indicator, keen warm function and an LED display for each zone.

Induction truly is the safest and most accurate way to cook, delivering the instantaneous response of gas without dangerous flames.

The surface of the cooktop does not get hot, only the pan heats. This also means that food cannot burn on the surface, making it a cleaner way to cook.



Black ceramic glass with stainless steel trim



900 mm wide x 550mm deep x 50mm tall


Imported and distributed by Sampford IXL

Call 1300 727 421 or visit neff.com.au   


Finders Keepers at the Arcade Project

Gaffa in Sydney aims to foster young artists and designers, developing their careers and giving much-needed exposure. The Arcade Project is just another of their initiatives.

We spoke to Sarah Thornton from the Finders Keepers market, who will be taking over The Arcade Project for the next 3 months.


What is The Arcade Project and how has Finders Keepers become involved?

The Arcade Project was an initiative started by Gaffa, in which they opened retail pop-up shops for 3 month leases. We were keen to get involved and change the lease periods to smaller blocks of 4-5 weeks and rotate new designers more often.

We also wanted to collaborate with designers to include our own collective and use this opportunity to host our first series of workshops at Gaffa.



How will the next 3 months work?

We really wanted to move into something different from the markets that we usually run, something that helps further build designers profiles beyond the market stalls.

This is an exciting opportunity for designers to directly experience a retail setup without having the major commitments.



Reading in the Frankie magazine bookstall


How did this partnership come about?

Gaffa approached us to get involved in some way, shape and form so we decided to put together a proposal.

Instead of just occupying one space we really wanted to use the whole space to its full potential, in this way we’re helping facilitate but it's still up to the designers to really utilise the space and the connection with their direct networks.



Why the shorter leases?

We thought it would be a good idea to offer the shorter leases and also start the collective for the designers who weren't ready to occupy a full space either because they didn't have enough stock or financially it was a big step for them. It was nice to be able to group together and offer an alternative opportunity via Gaffa.

I think we are bringing something new to Gaffa.



What’s the response been so far?

We have just launched, we actually are having the launch party this Thursday! Come along.

So far the response has been great, I think as it's such a unique opportunity we have had lots of initial interest. It will be interesting to see the response as it builds over the next few months.


The Finders Keepers





Cotton Duck, Surry Hills

Since opening Danks St Depot in the former gastronomic wasteland of Waterloo in 2002, the committed locavore Jared Ingersoll has built a solid reputation for his ethical and sustainable approach to ingredient sourcing.

Fast-forward 8 years, a Sydney airport offshoot, pin-up for the Slow Food movement and a couple of award-winning books later, Ingersoll somehow found the time to open his latest venture – Cotton Duck.


Where Danks Street Depot excelled at brunch and lunch, Cotton Duck is set to snag the more formal lunch and dinner trade in this former warehouse space on Holt Street.

The space is simple, industrial and inviting, with an open kitchen as the centre stage and tables spaciously dispersed to accommodate the 30-odd covers.

Cotton Duck is, in more ways than one, bringing back some quasi-extinct practices to the dining scene.


Unlike its Surry Hills’ neighbours, where queuing around the corner has become a necessary infliction before any decent dinner, Cotton Duck is experimenting with a rare Sydney restaurant concept – taking reservations.

The menu too is breaking the mould, offering a ‘DIY degustation menu’ (2 courses for $55, 4 for $85) and bringing back such old-school greats as the mushroom vol-au-vent, with chicken and heart jus and a meltingly tender vitello tonnato revisited with great refinement.




“Fashion has a bad way of making something good uncool,” Jared said when I complemented him on his revival of these retro favorites.

“If you forget that it’s considered old school and a bit cliché and just focus on what it is, many dishes that fall into this category are awesome!”

The décor is a mirror image of the style of the food itself, true to the raw ingredients, but thoughtfully conceived and stylishly executed.


“The stripped-back nature of the elements – the polished concrete floors, the rawness of the timber, even the lighting, reflects the food in its presentation and conception,” said Jared of the design.

The principles behind his produce-sourcing extend to the design, which called for local designers and architects and salvaged materials, among them Hannah Tribe’s laser-cut plywood lighting feature created for his Eat Green Design dinner at the Powerhouse Museum. 

Ingersoll liked the feature so much he bought it from Tribe, so it lives once more, cascading gracefully in simple spirals from the ceiling.


Cotton Duck


The Mona Vale House

There aren’t many people who would offer up their new home as an experiment, but the owners of this home in Mona Vale were keen to try out as many sustainable initiatives as they could.

“They wanted to build a contemporary beach house that would be test-bed for a few sustainable initiatives,” explains Architects John Choi of Choi Ropiha.



“One of the clients, Graham, comes from a background working for SEDA (Sustainable Energy Development Authority) and so he has always had an ambition to do something that was a sort of model house to try out some innovative active systems and passive design initiatives."


Solar panels and a 15,000L water tank




For those of you who aren’t across the sustainability lingo, passive systems are those that orient the building to take advantage of sun and cross-breezes etc. to regulate temperature while active systems are things such as solar panels for heating.

However, this home also needed to be a contemporary abode, so all the sustainable bells and whistles had to be subtly and eloquently integrated into the design.


The roof pitch takes advantage of the Northern sun in Winter


“It’s a south facing site with a great view to the ocean so we wanted to have a lot of glazing area to make the most of it,” John says. This meant that they were limited with passive solutions. The answer was to use solar panels to provide heat for underfloor (hydronic) heating.



It can all sound a little overwhelming, which is probably why a lot of people are reluctant to take on sustainable features, but if we all start to understand it, the resulting design can be both beautiful and sit softly in the environment just like this home.

“If you want to do something that’s exceptional, you really need clients who have the joint ambition to do it and a capacity and tenacity to see it through, and we certainly had that on this house.”


Choi Ropiha



Outstanding photography courtesy of Simon Whitbread


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321 Water

Since appearing on the ABC’s New Inventors program in July 2009, Gretha Oost and her 321 Water bottle have been getting closer and closer to production.

While there are a number of well-designed water bottles out there, Gretha’s design integrates a ‘tree-like’ water filter into the body of the bottle, turning it into a design feature.


The design grew out of a passion to see less plastic water bottles going to landfill. To encourage people to use 321, there was a need for it to provide filtered water – one of the reasons a lot of people buy bottled.



It’s rare that a product that hasn’t even entered production gets a lot of pre-orders, but through her ‘Thirst for Change’ program (and investor funds), Gretha has been able to whip up almost 8000 purchases, helping the bottles to enter production.

Designed in collaboration with Charlwood Design, 321 Water has been a few years in the making, but it’s almost here and we can’t wait to see it.

In another collaborative approach, the packaging for the replacement filters will be housed in their own special box designed by Tim Fleming of Flatland OK.

To pre-order visit the 321 Water website.


321 Water


Taste of Young Sydney

“When are you next generation going to stop talking about how you can do things better, and do something about it yourselves?”

This was the question asked by Sydney Morning Herald senior writer Helen Greenwood to young Flinders Inn chef, Morgan McGlone. Morgan’s answer: “Good point”.

Morgan went on to speak to Fooderati’s Melissa Leong and together they “hatched a plan” and Taste of Young Sydney [TOYS] was born – bringing together Sydney’s young creative chefs and restaurateurs to put on ‘pop-up’ dinners.


“So many of our friends are doing amazing things,” explains Melissa, “some of them as the head chefs of iconic Sydney establishments where they’re bound by a certain aesthetic that, while amazing, is not completely their own.”

“This presented an opportunity to showcase something unencumbered by the expectations of a certain style and restaurant legacy, but instead take their skills, inspiration and ambition to present a different offering.”


[TOYS] has already held two very successful themed dinners; the first, ‘PHAT’ and the second ‘SKIN AND BONES’ creating some amazing and experimental delights.


Each of the chefs involved creates a course for the degustation menu, and each also must collaborate with the [TOYS] music crew to create a soundtrack to their course (so cool!).

The next dinner is coming up as part of the Sydney International Food Festival and will see the group take over the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale on 12 October 2010, delivering a menu around the theme ‘BUBBLES’. It’s $95 per person and you can book here.

The ‘BUBBLES’ line-up:

Monty Koludrovic (Becasse), Annemarie Rodrigo (Bistrode), Tomislav Martinovic (Tomislav) & sommelier Richard Hargreave (Bilson’s)… alongside Morgan McGlone (Flinders Inn) & Dan Hong (Lotus), sommelier Banjo Harris-Plane (Est.), cocktails by Luke Ashton (The Corner House), Mitch O. Bushell (NYC).


Taste of Young Sydney

Photography: Maja Baska and Nathalie Swainston



Design Accessories

Win a Designer Rug

Designer Rugs is Australia’s market leader in custom-made rugs and carpets for residential and commercial interiors.

The company has collaborated with some of Australia’s most distinguished names in Art, Fashion and Design including Akira Isogawa, Catherine Martin, Easton Pearson and Dinosaur Designs to name a few.

Each collection is handmade from the finest quality materials including New Zealand Wool and Silk.

Designer Rugs’ showrooms showcase a wide range of exclusive designs in stock and all designs can be customised to exclusively transform your interior.

Designer Rugs and habitusliving.com are giving one reader the chance to win their very own 100% Wool Saffron rug valued at $990.00. To win, simply click here, fill in your details and tell us why you’d love a new Designer Rug.

The winner will get to choose their own rug from the Saffron Collection.

To view more of the Saffron collection and for showroom locations visit the Designer Rugs website.


Designer Rugs

Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Profile: Lucy Feagins

How did The Design Files come about?

I originally started because I was reading so many excellent international blogs and I just felt that Australia wasn't really represented. I would read about all these amazing designers and products and shops, mainly in the US, and it was frustrating that there weren't really equivalent Australian design blogs.

I didn't necessarily think I would fill that gap though. I just kind of started and it snowballed from there.

I started writing The Design Files in January 2008... although back then it was nothing like the beast it is today! Today it is much more in-depth, more organised and a little more structured. 



Georgie Kay - Guest editor whose home was profiled by Lucy


So, is blogging your day job?

No not my day job! Everyone asks me that! It is gradually turning into a little business... and it does turn over some money now from advertising. But if you actually looked at the hours put in vs. income I don't think it would seem like a viable business. Maybe next year.

I work as a set dresser and interiors stylist. I work on TV commercials, TV shows and films. At the moment I am working on a feature film, which we start shooting next month in Melbourne.
Also I style interiors for a handful of lovely local magazines and for print advertising. It is fun, creative work but it is freelance.... which means it is quite up and down. That is why the blog is such a good side project – it fills the gaps!

I have found that my styling work perfectly complements my blog work - I am often outsourcing something and will spot a new store or product that needs to be blogged!


What’s it like talking to all these amazing designers?

Um, AMAZING! The Design Files is the best excuse to make contact with people I admire and get a sneak peek into their world (an unexpected but welcome side-effect of writing a popular design blog). 

I have truly met some of the most amazing people through this blog. Many have now become great friends – Megan Morton, Liane Rossler, Joost Bakker, Trent Jansen... so many superstar Australian designers. And guess what, they are all truly so nice! Talent alone is not enough to get yourself on The Design Files. I only interview nice people.



Liane Rossler in her Sydney studio. Image kindly supplied by photographer Daniel Boud of Boudist


Where do you go to get away?

Oh it is really difficult to get away from the blog because you can never escape. The Internet is everywhere!  I went to Bali earlier this year and spent 4 hours every day by the pool on my laptop; very bad.  I went to New York last year and the same thing happened (minus the pool). I could do with some advice in this area!


Best coffee in Melbourne?

That is just seriously impossible to answer because Melbourne has such good coffee. Can I say 2 places? Market Lane in Prahran, and Seven Seeds in Carlton. But there are so many more.


Where to next for The Design Files?

Oh there are many plans afoot for 2011. But they are a bit secret. One super exciting project I am working on right now is a Design Files calendar for 2011, featuring the work of 12 local illustrators.

HEY! That's an exclusive, you heard it here first! I have not even blogged it yet. It's The Design Files first ever-printed papery physical thing. It will be available to buy online in November… stay tuned!



A Day in the Life of Lucy Feagins



7:30 am:

By 7.30 if I am good I will have already been to the gym, and I'll be on my way to work by now, munching breakfast in the car!

8:30 am:

I start work at 8.00am. At the moment I am working on a new Australian feature film. First up when I get to the office I get a coffee, check my 200 emails and try not to let my boss see how many Design Files-related requests I am responding to.


10:00 am:

Meetings, emailing, list-writing, more coffee, more mid-morning snacking…


11:00 am:

Usually by 11.00am I head out to source props, furniture, fabrics etc... I have some favourite shops and suppliers who have such beautiful things, are happy to loan and hire stock to me, and always give me good deal - Safari Living, Loom rugs, Jardan furniture and Spacecraft are firm favourites who I visit regularly. It is a bit of a danger zone because I often end up buying myself something whilst doing the rounds!  


1:00 pm:

Lunch is usually in the car, on the run... very bad habit.


6:30 pm:

I finish work at 6.30pm most days... I dash home, grab some groceries on the way, cook some quick and easy dinner and have an hour catching up with my boyfriend over dinner before it's back to the laptop.


8:00 pm:

Back to the laptop until midnight catching up on The Design Files stuff - responding to emails (it never ends!), making contact with interviewees, formatting photos, writing and uploading content... god this makes me sound really boring.



Not at all Lucy, not at all!


The Design Files