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 Hunters

The year that was, 2010

As the Christmas tree is dragged to the kerb and we count the cost of over-indulgence at the dinner table, we Design Hunters™ are readying ourselves for the year ahead and looking back on the year that was 2010.

For habitusliving.com it has been an exciting year, full of amazing homes from across the region, from Singapore to Sydney, Indonesia to New Zealand. Not to mention the world’s most creative people and innovative, beautiful products and travel destinations from Bali to Bhutan.





We launched the habitusliving.com Shop this year and welcomed our first foray into the Apple iPad and iPhone with the Habitus magazine app.

We also celebrated our first 4 instalments of the Habitus Conversation Series – inviting Design Hunters™ to engage with personalities featured in the magazine – welcoming Stephen Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs, the trio behind SixHands, the brothers from NOBODY and fashion designers Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson.



Habitus Loves also made its debut this year, bringing you our favourite designs each week from a range of categories including desks, sofas, clocks and dining chairs.

In 2010 we’ll be brining you even more exciting features to help you get involved in the design hunt, as well as exclusive prizes and offers from our friends in design.

To celebrate the year that was, we’re offering one lucky reader the chance to win 1 of 2 two-year subscriptions to Habitus magazine worth AUD$90 each. Simply fill in the form below and tell us why you love Habitus magazine.


Design Hunters

New Zealand's PaperHands

When Ben and Helen Masters were looking to wallpaper their Martinborough house in 2009, they quickly discovered there was nobody in New Zealand producing handcrafted papers. So they decided to put their own hands to work.

“Our small range of papers are eclectic, modern and a bit different,” says Ben of the 2010 range, which features four handmade papers. “The designs are quite varied, and depending on the colours used they can work in contemporary or traditional homes, but also corporate offices and restaurants.”

One paper of the series, Native, is traditionally New Zealand, inspired by local flora and fauna. “We hope it has a wider appeal as well,” Ben comments.



Utilising the same botanical aesthetic with a more indistinct core theme, the paper Vices features imagery of coffee, juniper, hops, tobacco and even cocaine. “Vices is a fun take on a traditional idea; a series of botanical sketches of some of life’s more interesting substances,” Ben explains.


Each paper is hand screened onto a 10-metre base made of 100% wood, sourced internationally to the highest environmental standards. Premium water-based solvent-free inks are also used.

Interesting things beckon for PaperHands in 2011, including expansion outside of New Zealand. “We have some new designs we are releasing in February, and also a small range of fabrics,” says Ben. “It’s exciting (and exhausting). There are so many things to be done… and we would like to test the waters in Australia.”



Photos by Simon Burt and Mike Heydon   

Design Accessories

I Need Nice Things

Everyone needs something nice. That’s why global art destination I Need Nice Things (INNT) is fast becoming a favoured service that distributes quality art works at an affordable price. And what’s nicer than artistic democracy?

Each week, this Australian company creates or commissions art that is inspired by the latest global design trends.


Customers can peruse an ever-growing online gallery of over 150 works, without the fear of confronting a five-letter price tag.

“We believe that art is fashion, that you should be able to change it as often as your wardrobe. We offer a huge range, along with interior art & framing advice. We also show you how our to use our art to refresh your space at home or in your commercial space,” says founder Melissa Walker.


The innovation of INNT is that it is one of the first art brands to challenge the exclusivity of art. Customers are able to select the design, size and material that best suit their living or work space with prices starting from $49. 



INNT also produce bespoke artworks, from one-off pieces to installation artwork collections. These works can be used in a variety of spaces, from the living room to the kitchen, and can be used to complement existing collections.


I Need Nice Things

Design Hunters

Jeni Oye

We know a lot of you are always on the hunt for unique jewellery pieces, so we thought we'd get to know a little about someone who's done the hunting for you, Jeni Oye from Oye Modern.


How did Oye Modern come to be? What's your story?

I am a bit of a jewellery fanatic. Both my grandmother and Mum loved art and design, especially big, bold beautiful jewellery, and had a taste for interesting and off-beat fashion, so I grew up surrounded by unique design.

My background is in web design and strategy, and each year I would go hunting on the web for great jewellery to buy and could never find it, hence the idea for Oye Modern was born.

There is no other store in the world selling the unique kind of jewellery we have at Oye Modern, we have become a global brand and stock designers from all over the world. Now I can indulge my passion for jewellery and design every day. I love it.


How do you go about finding pieces for the website? It must be amazing hunting down these fantastically talented jewellers, where do you find them?

This is most definitely the fun part, but also the most challenging. In the beginning I would wander my favourite galleries and stores, and note down names of designers I was interested in, and then contact them.

Now I get submissions from designers all over the world wanting to be represented on Oye Modern. There seems to be a bit of prestige now to be selected for Oye Modern, which is very flattering!



More recently I do a lot of my jewellery hunting online, I have a number of blogs and design sites where I look out for interesting work, and I've taken a few trips to Rome, NY and NZ, and Australian cities looking for the emerging designers represented at design markets like designboom, FindersKeepers and local galleries.


Jewellery is so much about the way it feels, how do you work with this in the online context?

After we first launched Oye Modern we struggled to help customers understand scale and how the jewellery looked when worn.

At that time we only had photos of the products on their own, but now each new design we launch is accompanied by one or two photos of the piece being worn, so customers can understand scale, length, how it hangs etc.

Next year I'm planning to extend that to video, so that we can show how a piece swings or glistens when you move.

I think part of the attraction of buying online is the actual delivery, opening up the box and seeing the product in real life, and then holding it and putting it on.

That's where good packaging design comes into play, and I think our boxes are quite unique and different, and that adds to the wow factor when people receive their order or give a gift.



What makes you a Design Hunter™?

I've always been a Design Hunter™. I'm a bit of a minimalist in that I only buy things I really love, so my wardrobe is quite succinct, my house is sparsely decorated, but only with really awesome things.

In high school I could never find clothes I liked, so I would make my own. I studied Industrial Design at Uni and then made a career from web design, so I've chosen to be surrounded by design all my life. Even my kids’ rooms have Warhol and Lichtenstein prints, no pink flowers and pastel blue cars, just Marilyn and some rockets blazing through the sky!


Do you have a favourite piece/pieces from the Oye collections? Could you tell us about them?

Mmm, that's tricky, I love them all so much. I do have two pieces that I save for special occasions and just adore, both of them are by NYC designer and sculptor Andrea Corson.

The Cocktail Caviar ring doesn't need any words to explain how cool it is, but the Secret Garden I have to say I would never consider something like this for myself (too flowery and girly), until I tried it on, and then I could not stop thinking about it and wore it all. the. time. It is phenomenal.



In my daily rotation I have earrings from in-sync, a recycled camera lens cuff, and the Prism necklace by Melbourne designer Eli.






What's next for Oye Modern? Anything big in the works?

Oh yes, always big plans! In addition to some incredible new designers we've lined up, we are considering commissioning our own line of jewellery that we would design and sell on Oye Modern.

We'll be doing a lot more interviews with our designers so you can meet them and see how and where they work. We'll be using video a lot more to really bring these to life.

And in addition to that we'll be broadening our global reach to ensure we are the destination of choice for awesome jewellery design worldwide.


Oye Modern


Design Accessories

The Dyson Digital Slim

When it comes to vacuum cleaners one name has cornered the market. Dyson's unique cyclone technology has boosted the brand into household stardom, and more recently lead to the launch of the world’s first bladeless fan – the Dyson Air Multiplier. But staying true to their roots Dyson now introduce an exciting new option for the space-strapped Design Hunter™ – the compact Dyson Digital Slim™ DC35. Touted as the most powerful lightweight (2.25kg) cordless vacuum cleaner, this little devil has a raft of features delivering better suction and cleaner surfaces. A new carbon fibre brush picks up fine dust that other vacs miss while reducing the build up of static charges. The digitial motor makes the DC35 “light, small and powerful”. The Lithium-ion battery gives 15 minutes of continuous suction, before you dock it on the provided charging dock. The DC35 retails for $469RRP.   Dyson dyson.com Dyson and habitusliving.com are giving one sucky… sorry, lucky reader the chance to win a Dyson Digital Slim™ vacuum. Simply fill in the form below and tell us in 25 words less why you need the lightweight Digital Slim™ from Dyson. The most creative response will win.     abc

The Cerise House

A renovation of an existing 6-metre-wide terrace, the Cerise House is the result of adventurous clients, limited space and a tight budget. “Retaining the existing building footprint was a key consideration for both economical and philosophical reasons,” Fiona Dunin of FMD explains. “Building expansion wasn’t an essential requirement, and outdoor areas were already limited. When the space available in the existing roof space was discovered, we were able to achieve all [the owners’] spatial needs without expanding into the existing outdoor space.”     Throughout the home dynamic profiled shapes have been used to tie new design elements to the existing. “Each curve is a way of navigating from an existing alignment to the new required alignments,” Fiona says. “For instance, a joinery element that may be aligning with an existing column at ceiling level then folds over and curves around to centre itself over the new dining table location.”     Further to the creative use of shapes and curves, colour was integral to the design. While the owners wanted clean white walls as a canvas for their artwork, carpets and unique elements – such as the green cabinetry in the bathroom – inject dramatic colour into the home.     “A tapestry of colour was developed, weaving interconnecting and adjacent spaces,” Fiona explains. “Intersecting joinery and walls were also affected and saturated in the floor colour, extending the tapestry into 3 dimensions.” Exciting angles and colour play have also been brought into the staircase design. The juxtaposition of the traditional balustrade with the “kaleidoscopic” mirrored stairwell makes you feel a little like you’ve stepped into an Escher painting.     “The sense of light and space in the kitchen dining is incredible compared to what is was, but the kaleidoscopic effect of the mirrored staircase is the antitheses of this, playing on the dark nature of the terrace hallways and stairs, orientating you inward and upward.” It’s refreshing to see a home that’s a little out of the ordinary, but which captures the owners’ personalities and meets their needs. Fiona’s advice to people looking to do the same: “Be involved and open to the design process. Trust your architect!”   FMD Architects fmdarchitects.com.au abc

Café Hanoi

Britomart’s urban renewal has picked up pace recently with the imminent completion of two substantial new buildings, and refurbishment of several 19th Century merchant warehouses.

Café Hanoi inhabits the ground floor of Excelsior House, a historic commercial building which Cheshire Architects have fully refurbished and linked with its neighbour Stanbeth House.

Ground floors of the two buildings have been extended northward in the form of steel and glass conservatories. This connects the restaurant to the street and adjacent public open space. Around the corner, a discreet sign and entry door off Commerce Street leads visitors into its surreal interior.


Designer Nat Cheshire conceived the layout of Hanoi as a theatre: “The kitchen pass is the stage ablaze with action. A long chef’s table is front row, the ubiquitous fours form the stalls, flanked either side by the more intimate gallery and conservatory.”

He has provided diverse experiences within the volume, and made it as comfortable and stimulating for a single diner as it might be for a party of ten.


What I love most about Hanoi is its raw concrete structure - the building and her tormented past are laid bare. On the sticky Auckland night I visited, the scent of lemongrass, swaying paper lanterns, flickering candlelight, and the rich patina of old plaster, evoked a different time and place.


“We did not consider a didactic reconstruction of Hanoi’s diners,” says Cheshire. “Instead, colours, textures, proportions, orientations and atmospheres were abstracted and re-expressed in a collection of new materials and systems.”

Cheshire encapsulates and summarises his design direction for the project in two words - ‘humble special’. These words imply balance and contrast and their story is told in brick against paint, concrete against paper, timber against steel. But it’s not all natural patinas and earthiness; he applied a shocking blood red on chairs and table bases.


“We have tried to strike a fine balance between the elegance necessary for great dining, and the comfort and exhilaration of decay.”


Café Hanoi

Photography kindly supplied by Jeremy Toth


The Iko Table

With a certain understated simplicity not expected from marble furnishings, the Iko table is a flexible option for those who like to redecorate.

The Iko table features a smooth, handcrafted marble tabletop in a light hue, giving the surface a weightless appearance.

The base is crafted using eco-friendly kiln-drying methods from American oak and is constructed using traditional joinery techniques.

Many sizes are available, with standard bullnose edge detail, Carra and Calcatta marble options and even a solid timber top option. The timber is available in 7 different finishes and a range of speed stain tones.

Jardan was awarded the Good Environmental Choice Australia Label in 2006 for their relentless dedication to sustainability and ethical design. Every aspect of the design, manufacture and product life is environmentally friendly.






Around The World

Amankora, Bhutan

Situated in the central and western Himalayan Mountains, Amankora has built a series of lodges, in a circular arrangement, allowing for spiritual pilgrimages between them.

The resort has 5 luxurious lodges, each with its own picturesque backdrop, varying from expansive blue pine forests and snow-capped peaks to pristine streams. Bhutan’s rich history has survived not only in the region’s Buddhist traditions, but also in its architecture. 




Aside from the modern design features one expects from a luxury resort, Amankora’s rammed-earth lodges are furnished with eye-catching wood-panelled rooves, chocolate brown walls, and a traditional bukhari (wood-burning stove).




The accommodation blocks are built with a combined living and bedroom plan and a bathroom that opens up from the bedroom. A key design feature in these suites is the traditional terrazzo-covered bath and vertical window view of the surrounding landscape.



The lodges are accessible via a set of stone steps leading to a large stone terrace. This, in turn, leads onto the lodge’s living room, which is furnished with banquettes and lounge chairs.

At the lodge’s entry, Dzong-like architecture is featured, combined with more modern high stone, whitewashed walls and high ceilings.
Nestled snugly in the green Bhutanese fields, Amankora is almost an extension of its natural surroundings. The perfect experience for those with a hunger for an aesthetic, historical and natural feast.




Design Accessories

ILVE’s Ambient Rangehood

With a history of over 50 years of technological innovation, it’s no wonder ILVE Italy’s promise to unveil its new stylish Ambient Rangehood has caused a stir.

The Ambient Rangehood will be released in January 2011 to complete ILVE’s new rangehood series. The Ambient range features a light indicator for grease filter maintenance and a charcoal filter regeneration and substitution, adjustable and delayed self-switching off and perimeter extraction. It is equipped with a programmable fan system that pulls and removes cooking fumes through an understated slit that runs across the rangehood.

The design also features an electric touch control system that allows for variable speeds a well as an auto fire shutdown function. This design is also ideal for those who want to reduce the noise that is made from other rangehoods. The Ambient rangehood is finished with a gloss stainless steel black.

With each oven hand-assembled from superior materials, ILVE’s Ambient Rangehood will be a celebrated culinary innovation.

RRP $5,678.00


(+61 2) 8569 4600


Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

The Puro Bath

German design company KALDEWEI has reduced elements of architecture and interior design to bring us the PURO bath.

This design illustrates a reduction of the elements of architecture and interior design, with a generous interior length.

The PURO bath is constructed from 100% recyclable steel enamel, providing durability and solidity. The thick enamel layers of the bath are guaranteed to resist the highest of impacts, so confidently in fact that the PURO bath has been given a 30-year guarantee. Available with a side or end overflow.

Founded in 1918, Kaldewei remains at the forefront of German bathroom design, with innovative, environmentally friendly technologies and cutting edge manufacturing methods. The company is known for being the first in Germany to introduce a freestanding bath and as a “seamless” bath sculpted from a single sheet.



1300 133 320




Habitus Loves
Design Products
Design Accessories

Habitus Loves… Chandeliers



  Designed by: Volker Haug Why we love it: Like all of Volker’s lights, this is really great fun. Toying with the idea of antlers, it's got an industrial feel and is far from traditional! Where you can get it: Volker Haug  


title    Designed by: MADLAB Why we love it: This chandelier would be a pretty big commitment above your dining table, but it sure does have impact. Each light is actually a petri dish, in which you can grow bacteria (a little creepy no?), connected with rods and fibre optic cables. Where you can get it: MADLAB

Taraxacum 88 Suspension

title    Designed by: Achille Castiglioni for Flos Why we love it: Looking like a big ball of bubble wrap, this chandelier almost seems inverted, with the fragile glass on the outside and 20-sided polished aluminium core. Where you can get it: Euroluce


title  Designed by: Francisco Gomez Paz and Paolo Rizzatto for Luceplan Why we love it: This Chandelier is made up of thin polycarbonate Fresnel lenses. There's some serious science behind this light, with the material "imprinted with microprisims" to create a "dioptric effect" that mimics glass. A modern take on the traditional chandelier. Where you can get it: Light2


title    Designed by: Stuart Haygarth Why we love it: This collection of colourful objects creates a playful, yet elegant expression of ‘man-made debris’ that’s at the core of Haygarth’s work. Love the re-use. Where you can get it: Stuart Haygarth

Branching Bubble

title  Designed by: Lindsey Adelman Studio Why we love it: Like a big stick insect, the frame of this chandelier (in oil-rubbed bronze) is very organic, with clear blown ‘bubbles’ – two with gold foil. They can be made to order and customised. Where you can get it: Lindsey Adelman Studio


title    Designed by: Winnie Liu Why we love it: Another chandelier using found objects, this light by jeweller Winnie Liu features quite a macabre collection of toys and other objects all in white. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a mention. Where you can get it: Innermost

85 Lamps

Designed by: Rody Graumans Why we love it: The excitement of this chandelier comes from the simplicity of its identical components. The 85 hanging bulbs would, alone, seem so common and everyday, yet they’re extravagant and almost absurd when bunched together. Where you can get it: Droog