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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MINI Thailand Design Celebration

Late last year 20 of Thailand’s best-known and most prolific designers, artists and other creatives joined forces with MINI to re-interpret the classic car’s design.

Celebrating half a Century of MINI, the event saw 20 fibreglass 1:3 scale models of the car handed over to everyone from architects to fashion designers and university students, inviting them to “express their individual creativity”.

There were some amazing designs, including a great bed-topped MINI by fashion label Sretsis and Living etc’s white sketched MINI.



We also love The Eight’s chocolate MINI and Amarin’s silver studded interpretation of the classic design.



The MINIs were all on display in Thailand at the end of last year and will this month be auctioned to raise money for The Reading Room; a non-profit organisation operated by The Foundation for the Promotion and Preservation of Thai Art.

Check out all 20 designs below.



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The Dorothy Lamp

Okay, so we’ve told you all about these guys before, but we thought another product from DesignByThem was worth a mention.

We love their playful, very Australian approach to design and the Dorothy Lamp was one of their first designs to get noticed.

This very simple concept takes an ordinary witch’s hat (the kind from the roadside, not fairytales), puts a light inside and voila, uni student chic!

In fact, this is actually the story behind the Dorothy Lamp; after a rather big night out, Nick and Sarah (AKA DesignByThem) found that a fellow student had recklessly absconded with a witch’s hat from nearby roadworks. This object sitting in the university corridor was enough to spark the idea.


These make great lights for a party or just something to give your living room or kids’ playroom that much needed orange glow – perhaps the modern equivalent of the Lava Lamp?

Well, thanks to DesignByThem we’ve got another giveaway to send your way. They’re offering one lucky reader the chance to win a large Dorothy Lamp. Just click 'enter now' below and tell us in 50 words or less where you’d put your new Dorothy Lamp.





Design Hunters


Jeremy Toth photographs people and place. His work spans raw photojournalism, fashion, portraits (such as the image above of Andy Morton) and architecture. He finds inspiration in the city: often at night and empty, apart from a solitary figure.   Untitled - "I just wanted to see what a gymnast would look like in an urban environment." “I’ve always had a fascination with the city and urban landscape,” muses Toth. “It’s such a cool setting if you’re photographing people. I keep going back to the whole film noir, cinematic feel.”   His private work regularly informs his commercial work, particularly in its mood and lighting. He prefers keying off ambient light – using natural daylight or diffuse and surreal street lights, with extra light if needed. Like a director, he captures his models raw, apparently unaware of the camera. His dark tones and subjects evoke emotions more than place. The place is often nowhere in particular: a lonely back street, under a motorway bridge or on the docks.   Close Encounters - personal - James Russell/Red 11     Part of a look book shoot for Little Brother – "The chair broke"   “It’s nice to have the freedom to experiment and execute images that are in my head,” he says. “I have a fascination with the city at night and the city being a character in that, in and of itself.”   Metro – Local actor Dean O'Gorman   Toth’s images for Café Hanoi in Auckland, designed by Nat Cheshire, recently featured on habitusliving.com. Its location in an old brick merchant warehouse suited Toth’s style and tone. He used multiple and contrasting light sources in the shoot, including natural, candle and street light. His gritty realism, and surreal, slightly unexpected effects, carries through into his portraiture and landscape studies.   Jeremy Toth jeremytoth.co.nz abc

The Botany House

When Ashley Dunn and Lee Hillam bought an early 1900s weatherboard cottage on a deep north-facing corner block in Botany, they had a long-term plan.  They wanted to renovate the house, then add a two storey studio for their practice, Workshop 1 Dunn + Hillam Architects, at the rear.


The Workshop 1 Studio at the rear of the home

“The idea of this house is that it is a laboratory for our ideas,” Hillam explains, standing on their new rear deck facing the studio, which now bookends a private and secure garden for themselves and their two young children.

In renovating the house the couple were on a tight budget of $50,000. Dunn did a lot of the work and two builders were hired on a fixed fee basis. “We told them how much money we had and said, ‘Stop when it runs out!’” Hillam recalls.


They painted the house in non-toxic war era colours; insulated it extensively and designed a new kitchen dining area and bathroom opening onto a covered rear deck. Materials were affordable and pre-finished to save on labour, such as the black form ply cladding both kitchen and bathroom.

The form ply was chosen too, because it allowed the kitchen to act as a kind of back wall to the outdoor living space, subtly framing the space between the main body of the house and the studio.

“We wanted to create a compound effect. We love the tradition of courtyard houses, being inward looking rather than having a view,” Dunn says.


The renovation is playful as well. The couple installed a bath reclaimed from one of their jobs on the back deck and cut out a space for a sand pit.

“It is fantastic, the children are either in the sandpit or the bath,” Hillam says. “And it it is nice when friends come to dinner, we put all the kids in the bath.”

Locating the bathroom at the rear- and the laundry which acts as a buffer to the street on the opposite side of the deck - was also done deliberately to recycle the water into the garden and vegetable garden, which are duly thriving as a result.


Workshop 1 Dunn + Hillam Architects



Photography generously supplied by Kilian O'Sulllivan


Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Rocking Horses


Rocking Squares


Designed by:
Frederick Roijé

Why we love it: We love that this uses abstract forms to represent a common and unmistakable iconic child’s play thing – but like so many modern rocking horses, it’s adult-sized.

Where you can get it:





  Designed by: Oiva Toikka for Magis

Why we love it: This is a fun take on the traditional rocking horse; turning it into a caricature of the extinct dodo and in heaps of great colours.

Where you can get it:

Corporate Culture




  Designed by: Doshi Levien for Richard Lampert

Why we love it: Although we can only show you the rendered drawings, this rocker by Doshi Levien is a perfect example of form meets function. Perfectly formed, beautiful materials, elegant fun.

Where you can get it:

Richard Lampert

Harry Rocking Stool


Designed by:
Kenneth Cobonpue

Why we love it: This shaggy little creature offers a playful aesthetic. Its fabric strips are sewn to a removable cover – practical and fun.

Where you can get it:


Hut Hut



  Designed by: Kalon

Why we love it: Apart from being a beautiful piece of sculpture, this little rocker comes in a range of materials and colours, from bamboo to cork and red and blue resin. Something for every home and every child.

Where you can get it:

Kalon Studios



  Designed by: Jarrod Lim

Why we love it: You may not be able to tell from the picture, but these rocking horses (or is it a sheep?) are adult-sized and so much fun! Gorgeously fluffy.

Where you can get it:





  Designed by:Pininfarina

Why we love it: This children’s rocking horse is made from a single solid piece of wood, crafted with comfortable curves and featuring a leather-covered handle bar. Love its simplicity and its raw beauty.

Where you can get it:


Reggie the Ecorocker

  Designed by:Ecorocker

Why we love it: This one has an obvious environmental appeal, made from 100% recycled cardboard, but it’s also an elegant take on a classic design.

Where you can get it:

Eco Rocker