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.


Learn more

Design Accessories

The HP5CI Cooktop

Designed by: Highland Appliances

About me:

Renowned for the craftsmanship and the usage of superior quality materials in the production of products, Highland offers a range of cooking appliances second to none.

Australian-made, the HP5CI is a world-leading cooktop that combines the power of gas with the efficiency and control of induction – creating the perfect cooking surface.

No expense has been spared to produce this perfect combination of cooking technologies.  4 x 22mj gas burners combined with a 3.7kw induction zone on a sleek black ceramic glass surface. 

Highland – they’re serious about cooking.


Black ceramic glass, solid stainless steel knobs, enamelled cast iron pan supports, solid brass burners,


1015mm x 505mm


Highland Appliances
1263 Ferntree Gully Rd
Scoresby, Vic  3179
1300 511 072    


Design Accessories

The Lole Collection

Designed by: Enrico Corradini


I am: Modular glass creations


About me:

Drawing on more than 60 year’s experience, Studio Italia Design lighting pieces offer the best in Italian design innovation and production.

Their latest releases are an impressive addition to their already innovative and exciting lighting collection. From Italian designer Enrico Corradini, comes the Lole Collection – a stylish collection of modular glass creations.

Twisted hand-blown and worked glass suspends from the ceiling resulting in beautiful and unique lighting statements. Suspended over tables or used as a sculptural centrepiece in a lofty space, these dramatic lights make a statement in any location.

Available in crystal, white-crystal, black crystal and red crystal, these models lend themselves to a wide range of custom solutions for homes.


Special Lights




Design Accessories

Smeg SIHP2100S 100cm Induction Cooktop

Name:  Smeg SIHP2100S 100cm Induction Cooktop


Designed by: Smeg


I am: A 100cm black glass induction cooktop


About me:

The SIHP2100S 100cm ceramic cooktop features 4 induction cooking zones – with the heat for cooking being generated in the base of the cooking utensil. There is neither heat nor time lost in heating a medium such as the element itself and then the ceramic surface; the energy (heat) creation is direct and fast.

In each induction cooking zone there is an induction coil just below the ceramic surface, each producing an electro-magnetic field. All that’s needed is to place a magnetised utensil on the induction zone and heat is created instantly.

This instant and highly-controllable heat cooks the food and when the utensil is removed from the induction zone, the electromagnetic energy (heat) is instantly stopped.

The new Smeg inductions also offer “Boost Functions” that provide an additional surge of power for even more intense heat ideal for rapid boiling or stir frying.

A Smeg induction ceramic cooktop is extremely energy, time and cost efficient. Perfect for the modern kitchen.


Materials: Black ceramic



1000mmW x 400mmD x 4mmD

Also available in 60cm with 3 zones, 60cm with 4 zones, 70 cm with 4 zones and 90cm with 4 zones.

Smeg Appliances
2-8 Baker Street BOTANY NSW 2019 AUSTRALIA
+61 2 9384 5678
Fax: +61 2 9666 1318



Design Accessories

Metropol Carpet Collection

I am: 100% Wool Carpet


About me:

The Metropol Carpet Range has a well-established reputation for quality and design innovation. It is made from the highest quality New Zealand Wool and is proudly presented through an exclusive Metropol Dealer Network across Australia.

It embodies a versatile range of features including:

•    Contemporary – in colours and design
•    Luxury – the unmatched warmth and texture of wool
•    Environmentally Friendly – with the benefits of natural fibre
•    Superb feeling under foot
•    Wool Carpet – naturally embodied anti soiling characteristics
•    Extra Heavy Duty Residential rating
•    Available in 3 new designs: Plush, Twist and Textured Loop.

My materials: 100% Pure New Wool

My dimensions:
366cm Broadloom width


Gibbon Group
61 7 3881 1777




Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

Perrin and Rowe: Sofitel St James Hotel

Designed:  Perrin & Rowe


I am: Hotel fitout featuring Perrin & Rowe


About me:


The stunning Sofitel London St James is located in the former home of Cox’s and King’s bank in the very heart of London, England. This sympathetically renovated building is English heritage grade II listed and now houses one of London's most unique five-star hotels - combining traditional British design with a contemporary style.

Designers for London’s luxury hotel, Sofitel St James, located on the corner of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place, specified Perrin & Rowe fittings to complement the hotel’s 186 bathroom schemes of sleek black tiling, marble and dark wood.

Brassware chosen from the Traditional Collection includes chrome three hole basin mixers with high spouts, pop-up wastes and crosshead handles, four hole bath mixers with hand showers and separate, dual control, exposed thermostatic showers.

Special attention was paid to the hotel’s listed building status, the design implications this created and the overall task of pairing an elegant building with a largely contemporary interior.

Perrin & Rowe is available in Australia through The English Tapware Company. All Perrin & Rowe products purchased in Australia are manufactured in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Standards for tapware.


The English Tapware Company
61 3 9818 1403 

1300 01 61 81






Vegetal Chair

For Design Hunters™, the Vitra Home Collection represents
over 70 years of design history. It includes classics by Charles & Ray
Eames, Jean Prouvé, Verner Panton and Isamu Noguchi as well as contemporary
designs by Jasper Morrison, the Bouroullec brothers, Hella Jongerius and other
leading designers.

Behind the iconic design of the products is a lesser-known
story of how each came to be. Discovering these tales gives us even more reason
to covet these beautiful designs, so we thought we’d share them with you. Enjoy
the first of our Vitra stories...

The Vegetal Chair by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

While the Bouroullec brothers were designing the organic Algue design (2004) for
Vitra they became inspired by a 19th century artist who had developed a method
of growing young trees into the shape of a chair. This concept is behind the
organic form of the Vegetal (2008).



The goal was not just to design a chair that looked like it
had ‘sprouted’ but also to show the construction of the chair through an
interpretation of the natural growth process of a plant. Ronan Bouroullec says,
“Our task as designers is to find new structures and new forms of construction.
This chair is not just a motif – it is a structure”


Vitra Chairman, Rolf Fehlbaum, describes the Vegetal chair
as “The most difficult design and development he has ever been involved in”. It
took a dedicated period of four years to develop and perfect this one design...
but what a result. Beautiful Bouroullec branches.

The Vitra Home Collection is available through Space


Space Furniture




Glimmer from Absolut Vodka

Now we know most of you don’t even want to hear the word mentioned, but the reality is Christmas is on its way – and so, as the shopping malls dust off the decorations and the Christmas displays are stocked, we thought we’d bring you a little a tipple of what’s to come.

Each year ABSOLUT Vodka produces a limited edition bottle to celebrate the festive season. This year, they’ve created ABSOLUT GLIMMER – where the bottle has been transformed with a ‘dazzling’ crystal patterned glass.



Now we know fundamentally these things are done to sell more bottles, but we like it when companies actually explore their packaging like this – it makes the product more than just a consumable and asks us to appreciate packaging as something with aesthetic value, something worth keeping.

As part of their advertising campaign ABSOLUT will also be collaborating with photographer Murray Fredericks – renowned for his captivating images of australia’s remote landscapes.

ABSOLUT GLIMMER will be available to buy late October 2010, and you’ll be seeing Murray Frederick’s photographs in ABSOLUT advertising from November.

Thanks to ABSOLUT, we’ve got a boxed, limited edition GLIMMER bottle to give away. All you have to do is tell us your idea of the perfect Christmas – the most creative answer will win.



Design Hunters

Benja Harney

Fuelled by a passion for paper goods from last week’s story, we couldn’t ignore another resurgence in the field of paperphilia that is capturing imaginations worldwide.

This is one to add to the list of professions that, had you known existed at school, you might not have spent hours trying to fathom the molecular structure of DNA, but instead devoted yourself to the fun stuff.

Paper engineering is the art of crafting objects, pop-up books and other delicate intricacies from the most basic of materials – paper, glue and scissors.

Benja Harney, 33, is a self-taught paper engineer based in Sydney, whose work ranges from creating paper ornaments for the Christmas pages of home magazine titles, through to carefully constructing paper wings for display in the window of Hermčs alongside priceless statement handbags.




I popped down to Benja’s diminutive studio in Surry Hills where the various stages of his celebrated Hermes wings dangled from the ceiling, and where I avoided as best I could squishing his fragile designs.

His work has developed from "little project after little project, then big project, then paid project", and he now boasts hotshot clients such as the Commonwealth Bank, florists and high-end fashion houses.

"It’s come to the point where I don’t have the time to do all the things I have been asked to do."

While some of his work remains contained in the pages of the magazines, like his colourful paper fruit spread for Women’s Health (pictured), recent projects such as the Hermčs window and a display at the Saxony Store are bringing his works from the confines of the pages and into the sculptural realm.





Back in his studio, my eyes are drawn to the groaning shelves laden down with vintage and not-so-vintage pop-up books – among them Le Petit Prince and the Hungry Caterpillar.

Curiosity has had the better of Benja in a few cases, where the books have been taken apart in the name of exploring their intricate pop-up procedure.

His mother would guard the most precious pop-ups as a child, when Benja was already showing signs of a fascination with folding.

His own pop-up book remains a goal for the young designer, but having just completed a paper model of the Sydney Opera House for October’s Open Day his dreams seem to be well on track to realisation.

"If you told me 5 years ago that I was going to be doing a commission for the Opera House I wouldn’t have believed you!"





Women's Health magazine feature


Women's Health magazine feature


Park Life poster by Benja 



The Naked Chair

Outofstock are an international collective of designers working out of Singapore (Wendy Chua and Gabriel Tan), Spain (Sebastián Alberdi) and Argentina (Gustavo Maggio). Read the full profile in the current issue 08 of Habitus magazine – subscribe, or download the iPhone or iPad app now.

Here, we talk to Wendy Chua about the Naked Chair.


It's a standard question, but we’ll ask it anyway; where did the idea for the Naked Chair come from?

Designed during the recession, the idea was to be frugal with materials and intelligent with logistics. Instead of an excessive use of material to hide "ugly" structural details, we thought stripping the design to its bare structure as a form of aesthetics is a better way to go. 




‘Flat Pack’ – words synonymous with Ikea – is an important feature of this product; why was this decision made?

We wanted to redefine flat-pack. We believe the word can conjure up imagery of good material and good design as well. 


I’m assuming the name 'Naked' is significant, what does it mean and where did it come from?

Naked refers to the stripping of superfluous expressive designs to reveal the beauty of the structure. 




Physcially, the chair has a lot of different angles working together, was it a complicated design to get right? 

We have been working with Bolia DK who is the producer of Naked chair and it does have its challenges. We have added a couple of ribs to strengthen the cantilevered metal folds to increase its product lifespan.


Generally (if you can generalise) where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Anything from a traditional craft detail on an old temple door to a poem that springs forth imageries!


Could you tell us a little about how Outofstock operates, and how your international approach works (are you all based in the one place)?

We are mainly based in Singapore and Barcelona, Gustavo has recently joined us in the Asia office! We use skype and other online business tools to communicate. We also meet up once a year in Europe for a nice retreat.


Okay, one for our readers; when you all actually manage to meet up in person, where do you go for a coffee/meal/for entertainment? ('cause there’s always time for play, right?)

The last time we were together, we had lunch on the pebbled beach of Nice, enroute our roadtrip back to Barcelona from Milan. (Thanks to the cancelled flights due to the Iceland volcano eruption.)


Where can we buy the Naked Chair?

It will be available from Bolia DK soon. :)





Design Accessories

The Opera Camper

It seems an odd pairing, but in a workshop just outside of Eindhoven, Netherlands, an Australian icon has been transformed into an exciting piece of movable design.

The Opera Camper trailer, inspired by the Sydney Opera House, aims to bring a little luxury to the camper trailer experience.

Designed by Axel Enthoven, the Opera is the result of a number of year research into the unique limitations of portable accommodation – and it seems to have taken as much engineering genius as the Opera House itself!

The Opera has a long list of features including ‘hot air heating’, teak flooring, ceramic toilet, twin beds (electrically adjustable and easily transformed into one), kitchen sink (of course), onboard boiler for hot water supply, fridge and low-energy LED lighting “from awning to floor” (yes there are uplights!).





Of course, the most striking feature of the design, the tent roof (or ‘the sails’ as we better know them), is made of exterior canvas and a lightweight frame and stainless steel fittings.

The camper starts at €24,000 (around AUD$35,000), which is more than your standard hardtop camper, but these design features don’t come cheap. It’s available in a range of colours with various add-ons available.

We’re still trying to get word on whether or not this amazing camper is available in the Region, but let us know if you’ve spotted it anywhere?




 [lg_folder folder="stories/2010/september_10/move/opera/opera_gallery" display="slide"]



The Surry Hills Terrace

We came across this beautiful renovation of a Surry Hills terrace and knew we had to share it with you all (we're very envious of this one!). Michael Bechara has another project featured in Habitus issue 07 – page 125.


[Ben] This terrace is a renovation of an existing building, what limitations did that present?

[Michael Bechara] I think with most existing buildings and especially period homes such as a terrace, unless you plan on gutting out the entire house, it’s important to add details which are sympathetic to the existing structure.

Finding that balance between a contemporary addition and the original structural elements of the home is the key. With this home in particular, my clients wanted to maintain the original feel, but still incorporate new elements without them sticking out like a sore thumb.


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design dining

What did the interior design on the home entail?

The project included design, selection and project management of the kitchen, metal Doors [TV room and kitchen], paving outside the kitchen, a paint and colour schedule, selection of furniture and cabinetry, window treatments [blinds and curtains], rug selection, lighting selection, vintage door handles, artwork and the timber floors repaired.


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design kitchen and living


Could you tell us a little about the owners and the relationship you had throughout the design?

My clients, Craig and Vanessa, had purchased the house a year prior to the renovations. This gave them time to establish what they loved and disliked about the home.

Instead of giving me a strict brief, they asked me to suggest details and we went from there. Being collectors and admirers of furniture, art and ceramics, both Craig and Vanessa were very hands-on clients and really enjoyed the process.

The relationship was great and we remain friends, and they often call me up to go take a look at something they spotted for an opinion.


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design living details


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design fireplace

Were you also responsible for any of the architectural decisions? What was existing?

Structurally, the only detail we modified were the doors in the kitchen and TV Room. The new addition of metal doors added character to what was the 1980’s extension on the house and by using the doors in both areas we created a stronger visual link between the two... along with the choice of the wall colour.

Originally you felt like the TV room was a separate entity from the kitchen back to front of house. There is now a continuous flow throughout.


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design kitchen

There appear to be a number of vintage design pieces, were these the Craig and Vanessa’s pieces or were they bought specifically?

Craig and Vanessa have collected pieces over the years and I specifically purchased both vintage and new pieces to complement their collection. Having the green light to shop for both new and vintage pieces made this job a very exciting one to work on.


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design bedroom and living room

Could you explain the layout of the terrace?

The house was once a corner shop, which would have had a residence at the back and upstairs.

The ‘shop room’ has been converted into a formal living space with the amazing high ceilings and original window, further back on the ground level is a guest bathroom, central staircase, kitchen, living and dining room to the rear of the ground floor. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. 1 bedroom is being used as a home office.


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design bedroom


michael bechara, surry hills, terrace, interior design formal living

How do you think the interiors communicate with the Surry Hills surroundings?

Surry Hills is a mixing pot of both the old and the new. The juxtaposition of the two is what makes Surry Hills so dynamic.

From original terrace homes and quirky corner cafes through to funky and cutting-edge restaurants and public spaces, Surry Hills has managed to embrace both without one overpowering the other. This harmonious blend has been translated into the interior of this home.


Michael Bechara Design
+61 407 004 988

Around The World

Diamant Hotel’s Designer Lofts

  There’s nothing worse than a bland hotel room – the cookie-cutter approach just doesn’t work for us. That’s where Diamant Hotel in Canberra comes to the Design Hunter’s™ aid. A charming addition to their hotel experience, Diamant are now offering an exclusive collection of 1-bedroom loft apartments with individual design-focussed environments. There are three themes across the apartments; ‘The Panton Loft’, ‘The Mid-Century Moderne Loft’ and ‘The Featherston Loft’.   The Panton Loft This loft apartment pays tribute to one of history’s most exciting designers, Verner Panton, with playful shapes and silhouettes courtesy of his iconic 1-2-3 seating system. The living/dining areas are accented with touches of chrome while an original ‘Arco’ lamp sets the 60s tone of this exciting yet functional space. Upstairs the mood is “space-age pop” with Kartell bedside cabinets and Magistretti eclisse lamps.             The Mid-Century Moderne Loft Focussing on natural finishes and timbers – rosewood, teak, cork complemented by leather and rustic hessian fabrics – this suite offers an indulgent, warm and embracing interior. The spaces, complete with rosewood ply ad leather modular sofa and an oversized cork-based lamp the apartment has been curated by Ken Neale with Don Cameron.           The Featherston Loft This loft puts Australia’s foremost mid-century modernist on centre stage. Grant Featherson’s graphic, sculptural forms are exemplified in the ‘Scape’ dining suite, offset by the voluptuous ‘System 4’ modular sofa, and of course the classic ‘TV Chair’ design. The apartment lets the privileged guest experience the creative range of one of Australia’s most talented and widely respected furniture designers.           The Diamant Hotel loft apartment concept represents a new and exciting alternative to short-term accommodation in Canberra. Far from a cookie-cutter approach, these apartments offer unique design experiences for the roaming Design Hunter™.   Eight Hotels eighthotels.com   abc