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 Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Table Lamps


Bague Piccola

  Designed by: Patricia Urquiola and Eliana Gerotto for Foscarini Why we love it: Ok, well... one or more of us might be an Apple fan, and this reminds us a lot of the Mac Pro casing. But as an object, it’s sleek, refined and modern. Love10 Where you can get it: Space Furniture  

Anglepoise Fifty

title    Designed by: Anthony Dickens Why we love it: What isn’t to love? This table lamp looks like a chocolate mould and deconstructs the classic desk light with it’s ‘two-face’ form. Where you can get it: Corporate Culture  


title    Designed by: Marc Pascal Why we love it: Although made with polycarbonate, the forms of Pascal’s Orchid light feel very organic. The light is far from a static table lamp – tactile and a real centrepiece. Where you can get it: M2 Products – various stockists  

Twiggy Tavolo

title  Designed by: Marc Sadler Why we love it: This is simple, elegant and looks like a bluebell heavy with morning dew (poetic huh?). We can’t really think of anywhere this wouldn’t work. Where you can get it: Space Furniture  


Designed by: Arik Levy for Tronconi Why we love it: What can we say? This has to be the perfect gift for any studious chemist. This is such a fun, playful, yet graceful design with satin-nickel-finished metal the light has a glass diffuser with tiny glass spheres. Where you can get it: Core Furniture

Air lamp

title    Designed by: Ray Power for LZF Why we love it: It’s hard to believe this light is made from one single sheet of Polywood®, but it is. Simple in form, minimal materials, curvy – what more coud you want? Oh, yeah, it comes in 8 different colours. Where you can get it: KEZU

Table Jewellery

title    Designed by: Volker Haug Why we love it: We love Volker’s mischievous, charismatic lights. This table lamp has a form made of a single bent length of bronzed brass for an industrial feel. It’s a bit like a black piece of neon tubing – so cool. Where you can get it: Volker Haug

Studioilse w084t

title  Designed by: Ilse Crawford Why we love it: For those who want something simple, functional, yet stylish – this is the lamp for you. It’s got a playful aesthetic with the honesty and warmth of wood. Where you can get it: Corporate Culture  
Design Hunters

Marc Pascal

Inspired by organic elements and form whether they be human, botanical, aquatic or insect, Melbourne-based ceramicist and lighting designer Marc Pascal’s luminous pieces are borne of an evolving design palette underpinned by myriad techniques, processes and materials. A former Victorian College of the Arts fine arts and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology industrial design graduate Pascal last year scooped a number of awards including a win for his striking preternatural polycarbonate ‘Orchid Light’.     In choosing the orchid as his muse, and paying homage to its evocative sensuality, the designer reached a pinnacle in the sophistication of technique he had developed through previous lighting creations – ‘Eyoi Yoi’, ‘Xploff’ and ‘Acacia’. “The Orchid took a year to develop and opened up new ways of doing things but most exciting is the never-ending, always changing colour and pattern effects dyed onto the multi-coloured orchid flowers that surround each light,” he says. “(These) are made up of approximately 80% opal and translucent polycarbonate shapes that are forme cut, curled and sprung onto stainless steel wires and arranged in a manner inspired by Ikebana – dynamic composition sitting quietly.”   Fluidity of form is prevalent in all of Pascal’s works - his Acacia light draws on the “hallucinatory” qualities of the Medicine Plant with the designer attributing the twisting, tumbling characteristics to its seed pod shapes. Another design, the Eyoi Yoi light, is fashioned on falling autumnal leaves and hovering butterflies, while his 1996 Worvo creation exudes feminine form and horizontal weaves. In Pascal’s eyes options and freedom of choice are paramount – an idea painstakingly followed in his ceramic collection.     Vases of porcelainous stoneware are given multiple cavities for colour and scent manipulations imbued with elegance and surrealism while showcasing egg-shell surfaces, tubular vessels and the symmetrical curves of deep sea corals. The designer is currently in the process of creating two new products to be unveiled in 2011.   M2 Products 73 Newman Street, Thornbury, Melbourne info@marcpascal.com marcpascal.com abc
Design Hunters

The r.e.a.l Store

Last week we took a walk down Woolloomooloo’s Bourke Street to check out the latest design offering – the r.e.a.l store. The store’s owner and visionary, Virginia Bruce has worked with some of the biggest names in international business – this work showed her the power of big brands to create social change and development. Virginia has been using ‘r.e.a.l’ as her brand for the past 10 years as a name that describes her core philosophy – Reality, Energy, Altruism and Love. The store is the retail culmination of a lifetime of work in using business to help humanity.     “We’re looking for designers or brands that all have some sort of social conscience, in the areas of sustainability and ethical and social design,” Virginia explains. The store stocks a range of products, an eclectic mix of the modern and the classical, from ornate Chinese furniture to clothing made in a prison in Portland Oregon and locally-designed t-shirts exposing the sad reality for children behind Conflict Minerals.       “For us, humanity is our platform, we’re interested in developing social enterprise businesses that pay it forward, that have a positive impact. We’re looking to promote and create a platform for designers and brands that will do the same.” The store will hold its grand opening this week, but it is currently open for trade. “The r.e.a.l store seeks to add value to our world without depleting it, but just as important, if not more, we seek to add value to humanity.” The r.e.a.l store is really worth a visit.   The r.e.a.l Store therealstore.com.au (full website coming soon) abc
Design Accessories

Vanguard Designs: Q+A

Just one of the offerings from design and communication studio, Angelus Novus, Vanguard bikes reflects the shared passion of partners (in business and life) Jacinta Sonja Neoh and Shaun Quah. We take a few minutes to find out more about their custom-bike business and biking in Singapore…

Habitusliving: Can you tell us a bit about Vanguard?

Jacinta: Vanguard specialises in the design of unique one-off bicycles, as well as in the customisation and restoration of classic rides and collectors’ pieces. We put a lot of ourselves, our beliefs and philosophy into the design. We incorporate our own experiences, the urban surroundings, and meld them with the context of the city and its people in the design.

It’s a rather craft-based, hands-on approach to building unique, personalised bicycles. We work with experienced metallurgists, industrial sculptors and mechanics.


Each bike is treated as unique kinetic sculpture/architecture with a distinct character and personality. Each one is serialised and named, and captures an essence or soul of the city. Often the designs stem from a feeling, an emotion, or an encounter in the city. Every bike goes through a rigorous design, fabrication, and assembly process to ensure the best quality and finest work possible.




We hope by making it simple (and stylish), more people would get on a bike and ride again. It’s a great way to reconnect with nature, feel the wind in your hair, as well as discovering and experiencing the city in new ways.


How did Vanguard come to be?

Shaun and I started Vanguard as a project in June 2006, as we thought it’d be great to put our passion for bikes and our backgrounds in architecture, art, design, music and philosophy into the creation of our own bicycles as well as revive steel-frame bicycles from the 40s to the 80s.


The faces behind the bikes - Shaun and Jacinta

We didn’t know if there was a market for such bicycles back then, as it was a pretty new thing here in Singapore. We experimented with ideas, materials and the techniques that were available here. The prototypes we made were raw, and a lot simpler in form and technique than the more recent bicycles. Over time, we grew, learnt and evolved.


Do you make to order?

Yes, we do. We specialise in custom-built bicycles that are tailored to the individual’s requirements – his/her preferred riding style and aesthetics. All our bikes are one-offs and unique – we try not to repeat our designs. They’re objects that will evolve and grow together with the rider. (We ship internationally too.)



What is the cycle culture like in Singapore?

There is definitely a growing cycling scene here in Singapore. We notice that there are different ways that cycling is seen in Singapore. While most see cycling as a performance-based sport, there are others who see cycling as a form of commuting, a form of leisure/weekend activity, or a social sport (a growing number of fixie-riders here too).


Where do people ride in Singapore? Is it a bike-friendly city?

Singapore is not known to be a bike-friendly city, but steps are being taken to change that. More park connectors and [traffic-free] cycling tracks are being built around the city right now, which are great for cyclists.

East Coast Park is a popular family destination. On weekends, you’d see heaps of families cycling, roller-blading, picnicking along the beach.

More recently, the stretch along the Singapore River from Robertson Quay through to Marina bay is fast becoming a popular cycling route. A number of cyclists ride around the island, along long stretches of roads further out from the city or across the causeway along the coasts of Malaysia.


Who are your customers?

Anyone who appreciates quality, beauty, nature – we’d say anyone who enjoys life. Our customers come from all walks of life.

They range from designers, artists, bike collectors, enthusiasts, professionals, housewives, retirees, students. Most of the bikes are pretty androgynous and not age-specific, so both male/female, young or old are able to ride them.


Tell us about your favourite bike...

We did a fun bike ‘ZETH Stretched Cruiser’ as part of the Singapore’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2008). It happened as one of those late-night ideas after we watched the movie ‘Dark Knight’, and decided to craft a machine that we’d imagine Batman riding on.



Where to next for Vanguard and AN?

We set up our very first retail space at a really nice spot at Robertson Quay by the Singapore River at the end of 2009. We have a great community and wonderful neighbours here. It’s such a divine space, we’re enjoying our afternoons by the river here.



We designed 4 one-off bikes in collaboration with Underscore magazine, we had an exhibition/launch over 4 locations over the weekend (and just ended yesterday). The 4 bikes will be exhibited at Design Tide, Tokyo along with Underscore magazine this coming weekend.

Our first book “Cardboard Book” was just launched worldwide yesterday. It is also distributed in Europe and the US under Gingko Press. Two other titles will be released at the end of this year, and a couple more next year. It’s all very exciting and we’re looking forward to that too!




Vanguard Designs

Around The World

Alila Luang Prabang

Reminders of the city’s colourful past are everywhere you look. The crumbling (but obviously once impressive) 19th Century European architecture in between traditional wooden houses, hints at Laos’ history as a former French colony. Turn around and the golden-clad temples, the daily procession of the monks and the vibrant mosaics dedicated to Buddha trace a much more distant history and ever-present culture. Luang Prabang, once the royal capital of Laos and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits on the peninsula overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. With the Buddhist temples, the traditional craft boutiques and the spectacular mountainous scenery playing a tug-of-war with your attention, you’ll find it hard to keep to that tightly planned itinerary you were so adamant about! And that’s before you’ve even checked into the hotel… Alila Luang Prabang is the perfect retreat for a quick escape to Laos. Intimate and peaceful, it’s a tropical haven complete with swimming pools, lush landscaped gardens, a library and spa.       And did we mention the hotel has its own cooking school? Bound to fix those cravings for spicy and organic local flavour. The hotel is a mix of pre-existing colonial buildings and a traditional Laotian-style extension, something which architect Duangrit Bunnag has continued inside - Asian accents blend with a more modern aesthetic throughout all of the 23 hotel suites.     Wander around the gardens, sit by the pool or indulge in a spa treatment and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were miles from civilisation.     But with just one step outside the resort you’ll relish the convenience of it all, needing only ten minutes to the airport and only five minutes to the centre of town.   Design Hotels designhotels.com/alila_luang_prabang   abc

Catherine O'Donnell: Recent Drawings

Walk past the graffiti-covered roller doors of Chinese Food Gourmet, Indo Australian Caterers and Dutchey and Son Tattoo Studio and you wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

But artist Catherine O’Donnell has a way with pencil and paper, transforming these mundane, slightly depressing urban landscapes into something extraordinary and even alluring.


The latest exhibition by O’Donnell draws inspiration from the outlying residential areas of Sydney.

Her ‘Recent Drawings’ capture the after-dark, uninhabited side of the urban landscape, with the abandoned-looking buildings more often than not the victim of aspiring graffiti artists.


O’Donnell examines how culture, history and architecture all intermingle to inform our everyday lives.

In doing so her drawings extract beauty from the monotony of urban life. In one particular image, she captures the pattern of the bricks and windowsills of a building’s façade, giving life to an otherwise lacklustre, depressing apartment block.



The opening night for ‘Recent Drawings’ is this Thursday 28 October, 6-8pm – habitusliving.com readers are welcome to attend.

The exhibition runs from 28 October - 20 November 2010


Boutwell Draper Gallery, Redfern

82 - 84 George Street
Redfern, Sydney


The Butler House

Connection to the outdoors is something we understand intimately in our Region, but for inner-city living this isn’t always practical or easy.

Sitting in the undulating roofline of a Melbourne warehouse, The Butler House – home to a young family of 4 – has experienced a vertical transformation by Andrew Maynard Architects, giving the home a much-needed outdoor living space.




“The bulk of the house was already there,” Maynard explains. “We simply overlaid new elements to make the house function better and to introduce and connect it with the new ‘backyard’ on its roof.”

This rooftop ‘garden’ (Astroturf serving as a low-maintenance alternative to grass) includes a Butynol-clad pod with glass walls on two sides, providing shelter from the elements – meaning the rooftop can be used at all times.

“With doors wide open, the continuity of turf well and truly blurs the line between inside and out,” Maynard says.

In addition to the rooftop terrace a central louvred ‘spine’ has been added alongside the stairwell tying the levels together.




“Along with the carpeted wall and the bookshelves, the louvered wall was introduced to control sound transmission between levels without disconnecting them.”

“When the kids are going nuts in the rumpus on the ground floor the louvres are closed to drastically reduce the sound intruding on the living space above, or alternatively they are open so that conversations can take place between levels.”

An existing mezzanine level was also updated to create a flexible bedroom space. Joinery has been used to maintain light to the lower level, also creating a raised bed platform, while large sliding doors allow the space to be both connected to and private from the living areas below.




“I love the new bedroom,” Maynard says. “If I was an 8-year-old boy I'd love to have that bedroom. Actually that's not true, I'd love to have that bedroom now, regardless of my age.” 

The Butler House is an example of a home that makes the most of what its got, opening up spaces while adapting and transforming to suit the family’s way of life.


Maynard Architects


Photography: Kevin Hui



The Italian Way of Seating

The Italians are known for many things, from amazing fashion to some of the world’s best food and of course, design.

Perhaps some of the most iconic designs take the form of chairs and so as part of the Sydney Italian Festival The Italian Way of Seating celebrates 50 years of Italian chair design.



Curated by Alessandro Mendini, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through half a century of visionary designers and companies.


The exhibition is on show at the Euroluce Light Studio in Sydney now until 29 October 2010. See the pics from the opening night below.





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Design Hunters

A Conversation with NOBODY

Habitus readers gathered to hear Nobody denim speak at Melbourne's first Habitus Conversation Series, held last Wednesday at the Jardan pop-up showroom in Richmond. It was a unique event with brothers John and Nick Condilis, and Nobody's Creative Director, Wes Hartwell, joining in a four-way conversation with Habitus Editorial Director, Paul McGillick.

Set against the peeling walls of the warehouse-style showroom, and surrounded by stylish Jardan furniture pieces and racks of Nobody clothes, the talks kicked off with an introduction from Paul, and then an awe-inspiring story from John, Nick and Wes.

The attentive audience sat wrapt, absorbing the story of Nobody's organic rise to success, their humble beginnings, and their globally-recognised brand.

"It was so inspiring, especially for people thinking about starting their own business," said one audience-member.

Following the creatively engaging presentation, guests milled late into the evening, enjoying one-on-one conversations with the Nobody team.

Special thanks to Asahi beer for keeping the conversation flowing.




Rodel Cachuela


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The Hülsta Now! 14

About me:

The new Now! range from Hülsta is the incredible Now! 14; launched in Milan this year it features new designs and high gloss finishes.

Incredible furniture with the warmth of wood and cool gloss finishes, all designed and manufactured in Germany to the highest quality standards. A twist of high technology has entertainment and display units featuring LED-lit shelving, without a bulb or globe in sight, with stained glass cabinets and glass sections providing an exciting visual impact.

Now! 14 offers single units for the living and dining room that are both stylish and functional and can be stacked to suit individual requirements. 



Now! 14 is available in a range of finishes including white lacquer, brown-black lacquer, light brown ash, and walnut, it offers a variety of different surface designs


Hülsta is available at:

Adelaide: Transforma (08) 8272 4133
Melbourne: Image Interiors (03) 9421 6655
Perth: Ultimo Interiors (08) 9201 2479
Sydney: Covemore Designs (02) 9624 1011










Gotham, Sydney

It’s been a while since Sydney has launched a real bar. Not a pop up bar, not in some back laneway, but a proper grown up venue. So it’s refreshing to experience Gotham, which brings a bit of old-school glamour to the Darlinghurst end of Oxford Street.


The downstairs area opens on to the street, making it the perfect place for people watching while enjoying a shared plate. The duck pancakes are nice but the Yakitori skewers (a carnivore’s delight in marinated lamb, chicken and wagyu beef) are excellent. The 6-strong cocktail menu is carefully constructed, with the Caramelised Nashi Pear and Sage Margarita cocktail an apparent favourite.

The upstairs area is relaxed and luxurious (and available for functions), featuring Chesterfield lounges and pressed metal walls. Intimate booths and a crimson leather bar complete the experience, with a giant Art Deco clock silhouette behind the bar providing a touch of New York glamour, or perhaps an ironic link to Batman’s fabled Gotham City.




Designed by Squillace Nicholas – responsible for Manly Pavilion and Hugos Manly – the aesthetic is vintage and modern at the same time. It’s an environment in which to be a little bit dressed up – whether it’s your status quo or you’re just playing at it for the night.






Design Accessories

Bags by Designers Guild

Radford furnishings introduce the brand new Designers Guild ‘Weekender’ Bag - the perfect size and shape for a night away or a stylishly larger size bag for everyday use. The perfect accessory for the modern woman, this fabulous stylish ‘Overnight’ bag is available in 2 great designs:


Boqueria Noir ‘Weekender’ Bag and Palmieri Chartreuse ‘Weekender’ Bag


A Designers Guild Tote Bag is this seasons ‘must-have’ accessory. Perfect for a trip to the shops or with kids to the park, to carry a laptop and other essentials to work or for stylish students to carry their books to lectures. Radford's super-practical ‘Tote’ bags are available in 2 great designs:


Boqueria Black and White Tote Bag and Palmieri Chartreuse Tote Bag


To complete the look Radford introduce both a Designers Guild Washbag and Make-up Bag, both in their signature ‘Franchini’ Black and White Stripe design to coordinate with both ‘Weekender’ Bags:


Franchini Noir Washbag Franchini Noir Make-up bag

Radford Furnishings
(03) 9818 7799