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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Habitus Loves
Design Accessories

Habitus Loves… The Floor


The Pavement Collection





Designed by: Designer Rugs

Why we love it: These beautiful 100% New Zealand Wool rugs are inspired by the world we see from the pavement, from gardens to textured walls and the ground we walk on.

Where you can get it:

Designer Rugs






Designed by: Dyson

Why we love it: We couldn’t talk about the floor without mentioning cleaning… with its patented ‘Ball’ technology, this Dyson upright is manoeuvrable and sucks with the best of them.

Where you can get it:







Designed by: Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Why we love it: Made by craftsmen in Northern Pakistan, this beautiful rug features 13 different colours throughout the compilation of various-sized rhombuses. There’s something very un-modern about it that we just love.

Where you can get it:




Designed by: Big River

Why we love it: There aren’t many timber floors we get excited about, but this is one of them! Armourfloor is made from 5 layers of Aussie hardwood and can be cut to any shape you choose. The beauty of hardwood with the strength of engineered timber.

Where you can get it:

Big River

Land Carpet






Designed by: Florian Pucher

Why we love it: These beautiful rugs are like a birds-eye-view of farmland. Great for big and little kids alike.

Where you can get it:

Florian Pucher is the man to ask

Ceramic Parquet


Designed by: Earp Bros

Why we love it: These ceramic tiles do honestly look like timber floorboards. It’s all the visual warmth and beauty of solid timber with the benefits of a ceramic tile.

Where you can get it:

Earp Bros





Designed by: Estudio Campana

Why we love it: There’s something incredibly playful, yet ever-so slightly morbid about this rug with little worry-doll-like people stitched in.

Where you can get it:







Designed by: Dalsouple

Why we love it: We saw this product used in the current issue of Habitus magazine in the cover story – The Strelein Warehouse by Ian Moore. The rubber tiles created a flawless, glossy finish perfect for the black and white aesthetic.

Where you can get it:



Design Accessories

DIA Parrot by nodesign

Digital photography killed the printed photograph. And then came a whole host of digital photo frames – poorly considered, gimmicky devices – and let’s face it, does anyone actually own one?

So, I know what you’re thinking: not another digital photo frame! But DIA is so much more than that.



DIA is designed by Jean-Louis Frechin and Uro Petrevski of French design consultancy nodesign who specialise in digital services and products focusing on the human aspects. They took Parrot’s simple brief for a digital photo frame to a whole new level, creating a photo sharing device unlike any other.




Photos are projected onto the high resolution LCD screen from the bottom and backlit like a light box, giving it the crisp, sharp quality of a digital Ektachrome® picture (for those of you who don’t know what that is, think the gorgeous photos you adore in National Geographic).

DIA is equipped with a range of applications, including Holidays, which allows you to create photographic journeys with the help of geotagging and Google Maps. There’s also an onboard browser, DIA uses Google Android operating system, and plug in a keyboard and mouse via USB ports and you can even use it as a screen. 



Connectivity with this frame is pretty awesome too. As well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you can flick photos from an iPhone straight onto the screen, it also hosts 12 email addresses, allow you (or anyone else for that matter) to send photos from anywhere in the world.




Venn: Perth’s new hotspot

Art gallery, shop, studio and bar in one – Perth’s newest art and design concept space is a beautiful way to while away the hours.

Venn sits on Queen Street in Perth’s CBD and is the labour of love of co-founders and creative directors Desi Litis and Jade Rubino.



Desi and Jade wanted to create a distinctive hub where emerging artists and innovative contemporary design could be nurtured and supported.



An old flourmill factory dating back to 1906 provided the perfect location to realise their vision.

The glass-panelled shopfront belies a huge 3-level interior, incorporating a design shop and bar/café on the ground floor with 4 artist studios below ground level.


Up the polished timber stairs is a large gallery space for exhibiting cutting edge Australian art and design.

The interior, a collaboration between Matthews Architecture and Geyer, retains the building’s original features – a pressed tin ceiling, polished floorboards, wooden staircase and steel beams – but adds modern materials and finishes for a contemporary touch.


Venn promises to be a place that both inspires and showcases creativity – a destination for designers and design lovers alike.

Photography: Joel Barbitta


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The Singapore Apartment

What we love most about this home: The amazing transformation into a spacious, light-filled home. The details: Architect: Desmond Ong Photographer: Jeremy San Location: Singapore When this beautiful apartment landed in our inbox, we knew it was something we had to share. It’s the Singapore home of Architect Desmond Ong and shows that space and light can be injected into almost any home, and that apartment living doesn’t have to mean unimaginative. We caught up with Desmond to learn more about the home he designed for himself and his family…   Could you tell us a little about the history of the apartment? It's an old 3-bedroom government-built flat that's around 34 years old. The structure's still good though. We're probably the third or fourth owners that have put up residence here, but that's not clear. However, what we do know is that we fell in love with the green that surrounded it on both sides, which it opens out to.   What have you done to increase the sense of space and what elements have you changed from the original layout? Oh, a lot! Hopefully you can probably make out from the original photos that it was completely gutted sparing a few walls. I took out an entire bedroom which opened up the living area, and it brought about a very open sense of space.   Even though we have 2 young children, I still went ahead because I feel that it's healthier to be lounging in the living than cooped up in a typical air-conditioned bedroom, which is often the case in hot humid Singapore. All the windows were changed, the "balcony" area, which originally had normal sliding doors, was replaced with bi-fold doors which then allows the full expanse of the green outside to be brought in.   The daybed area had the original windows ripped out and left like that to allow maximum cross ventilation and gentle breezes to waft through the flat. Rain is screened off easily with traditional bamboo blinds that rustle with fierce winds during the tropical monsoons, yet without a drop entering. In other words the place is never ever closed off to the outside. This was an experiment in the making and the result was fully obtainable with a little bit of thought.   What’s it like to live here? It’s great to be able to come home to truly relaxing space after a stressful day at work. Hearing the sounds of crickets or frogs (when wet) is another rare experience in an urbanised jungle. All the creature comforts are there, all the visual comforts are there too.   Was it an expensive refurbishment? Believe it or not it was done on the cheap. The focus of the cost was in the furniture - mostly original or custom pieces, because resting in quality stuff provided a certain strong, confident feel to tactility.   I believe a design-centred home should include at least some items designed thoughtfully and carefully by designers who had put great effort in creating marvelous and beautiful products. For example the Branca chairs that we ordered directly from Mattiazzi were designed by UK based Industrial Facility, computerized CNC'd into parts, assembled and hand finished by local artisans in Italy, a remarkable and efficient process that still stays competitive in this tight economic climate.   What specific things do you like most about the apartment? We love the location, since then, we've spotted little creatures that city slickered Singaporeans rarely have a glimpse of - a little bird's nest here, a tiny squirrel there, an owl swooping past, a bat at dusk - all while enjoying a cappuccino from the comfort of our dining.   Can you tell us a little about the materials used? We have painted floors in place of oft expensively imported marble from Greece, economical engineered timber flooring (greener as less hardwood is used), raw concrete elements (labour is not as high as the Westernised nations), low cost tiles from nearby Malaysia, (but set to look like luxurious stone by pulling the tiles apart), and simple walnut flavoured laminates for joinery.   All the doors were left in their original raw plywood state coming straight off the back of the truck, unvarnished, unpainted.   There was regulatory requirement that wiring couldn't be buried within walls of the place, hence there's the floating box that acts both as the lighting and the running of the wires without having to lower the entire ceiling.   Desmond Ong dezzo.com [lg_folder folder="stories/2011/march-11/live/singapore/singapore" display="slide"] abc
Design Hunters

Thailand’s Ango

If you have a keen eye you may have spotted lights from Ango in our recent story on Hannah Tribe. We were so impressed that we knew we had to (design) hunt them down for a chat.

Here we talk to Angus Hutcheson, Chief Designer of Ango.


How did Ango begin and what's the story behind the company?

Originally I’m from London, and came to live in Thailand around 8 years ago, having already decided to move direction from architecture into furniture and lighting design, which I’d always been really interested in.

Early lighting designs were developed in 2003, and shown at our friends’ store Panta in Bangkok, but we soon found it was almost impossible to find any established entity who could carry out fabrication for us, leading us into creating and training our own teams of skilled craftspeople to realise our pieces.



So instead of designers, we became designers and producers also, and then a little later began also to focus increasingly on materials development.

Our design team’s made up of Aon Benjamapa, Pui Chutitanawong, and myself working together in quite a loose experimental way from our base in Bangkok, and our pieces usually come about through quite a push/pull process between the concept, the design process, and the technique and materials being put into play.


What sort of things do you design?

Well the intention originally was to design and develop furniture and lighting, but there just seems to be such magic and potential in lighting, and the furniture’s taken rather a back seat with just a few pieces of indoor/outdoor developed so far.


What inspires you as designers?

A formative inspiration was a creative/destructive one – the bashing out of areas of brick walls in a mysterious old stables building that had no windows at all, at the age of around seven years old, and discovering the magic of shafts of light cutting the darkness from the penetrations I’d made.

Then came the paranoia that all the brickwork above the ragged openings could collapse any moment and the realization that something called a lintel was required to prevent this! 

I do also look a great deal at the richness and sometimes-apparent chaos in the urban landscape, with the often-extraordinary juxtapositions we’ve created, but also at the elegance of different forms of nature (one reference that’s been with me for many years is “Patterns in Nature” by Peter S. Stevens, which is a beautiful concise study).


Does your locality affect how you design?

Sometimes I’m asked are our designs Thai, which is an interesting question. I’m obviously not Thai, but I think that there is a very rich array of materials and techniques available in Thailand, and this means that our designs have certainly been influenced by our being developed there.


Then also it would be very hard to carry out the kind of fabrication that we’re engaged in anywhere else apart from Thailand, as there’s a high level of concentration, almost Zen-like, that our artisans employ in our production, involving repetitive, meditative, systemic even obsessive processes… so overall certainly yes, a strong part of our identity is that of Thainess.


Your lighting ranges are receiving a lot of international attention, why do you think people are so captivated by them?

I think there is clearly a movement in the last few years for consumers to move towards objects that are the opposite of mass production, but rather where the intention, the method of production, as well as the design are all on a wavelength that they can feel emotional attachment to, and where ownership becomes a kind of relationship as well as a personal statement.


Then I guess we’re creating unique pieces that encapsulate inventiveness and luxuriousness and much of this is achieved via the depth of our own production techniques, with the perception being that we have an enlightened environmentally responsible world view of how 21st century design and production can be, with each individual product an emblem of this vision.


Can you tell us a bit about the materials you use in your work - the lighting particularly?

The materials we work with are generally either “found” natural materials, or composite/natural ones developed by experimentation, which are then used to create a lighting piece or installation, and the decision to go ahead and use each material is made after testing and observing how they diffuse light in different ways.



For instance, much of the magic of using silk cocoon as a light diffuser stems from light being refracted by the material at different angles, so producing subtly different colors, and levels of luminosity. But without carrying out a great deal of experimentation in the first place, we couldn’t have known about this.


Where to next for Ango?

Overall, I feel we’ve hardly started, but right now is an exciting time for us, and we have many new designs and experiments underway - its just quite unpredictable when any particular project will come to finalisation.

It’s also of course an exciting time in lighting generally with a great surge forward particularly in LED technology.


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Vivid Sydney 2011

The Vivid Sydney festival has been running in the harbour city since 2009 and each year it gets better. This year will see 40 light installations – including the lighting of the Opera House sails – and music and theatre performances, as well as other ideas-based events.

This year’s program will see massive 3D light projections of the Opera House and buildings around Circular Quay and The Rocks. The Opera House is the focal point of the event, featuring a huge line-up of local and international musicians and performers as well as the amazing projections on the sails by French digital projection artists Superbien.





Stephen Pavlovic of Modular Records will curate Vivid 2011’s music program. The line-up includes names such as Bat for Lashes, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, The Avalanches, Cut Copy, Horse Meat Disco and The Crystal Ark.

Of course, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to meet up with friends too with activities going on throughout the event, including the official Sony Lounge – where radio station tripleJ will be broadcasting a daily show.

As Vivid Sydney Executive Producer Ignatius Jones explains: “We are working with our best and brightest talents in the creative industries, and inviting international creative minds to Sydney to show off what they can do, to swap ideas and most importantly reach out to the public and electrify us with their creations.”

Touted as the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere, we love the fact that there’s such a push to engage Sydneysiders in winter activities. With such comfortable winter temperatures, it’s surely one of the best cities in the world to enjoy.

The festival will run from 27 May – 13 June 2011.


Vivid Sydney



Miniatures and Multiples at SGAR

A collection of 18 designers and artists have collaborated on this latest project from the Spiro Grace Art Rooms, borrowing from the previous full-scale works to create limited edition and one-off miniatures for exhibition and sale.

The collection reflects a move away from the mass-produced product to locally produced limited-run pieces.

“Simply put, the sought-out, ‘village driven’, handmade object has thankfully re-emerged as a commissioned luxury of old, only with a more conscious contemporary spin,” says Renai Grace – SGAR Director and co-curator for this Miniatures and Multiples.



Twig miniature by Alexander Lotersztain

“18 of our top creatives were invited to respond to our curatorial rationale to produce intimate scale artefacts and limited edition keepsakes.”

The focus of the show is very much on local designers from Australia and the Asia Pacific and includes designs from such names as Alexander Lotersztain, Jeweller Matt Dwyer, Architect Chris Bosse and Artist Donna Marcus.


Miniatures by Donna Marcus - Small Extracts


Facet-nate by Alister Yiap


Tea for One by Matt Dwyer

“We are passionate about supporting our burgeoning region; we want to see creatives recognized for their contribution to our cultural identity, we want to see collectors breed collectors, and we want to see people rediscover longevity and make heirlooms of our Australian talent,” said Grace.

Miniatures and Multiples marks the first of SGAR’s collectable exhibitions for 2011, with the items available to purchase at the gallery.

The exhibition runs for a month from Friday 1 April – Sunday 1 May 2011.

Artists and Designers on show:

Chris Bosse, Alexander Lotersztain, Korban Flaubert, Kaori Kato, Simone LeAmon, Grace Tan, Tegan Empson, Katrina Tyler, Matt Dwyer, Kent Gration, Fukutoshi Ueno, Charles Robb, Donna Marcus, Reko Rennie, Stuart Williams, Alister Yiap, Giles Alexander and Christina Waterson


Exhibition curated by Jenni Baxter and Renai Grace




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Design Accessories

Scoop Egg Cup + Spoon for Alessi

Helen Kontouris is one of a select few Australian designers who have been invited to design for iconic homewares brand Alessi. The release of the Scoop Egg Cup + Spoon is the first of her designs for the brand and marks a hugely successful 10 years for her eponymous design company.

“I feel as though I’ve progressed from creating product that was inspired by what just pleased me to deriving satisfaction from the creation of product that a client is not only excited about but it’s something that will improve their business growth as well,” Kontouris says reflecting on the past 10 years.

This is certainly the case with a number of her collaborations with European brands such as Manufacturas Celda, Kundalini and now Alessi.



The elegance and fluidity of the Scoop Egg Cup + Spoon reflects Kontouris’ love of curves, while the 18/10 stainless steel represents her passion for employing a wide range of materials across her designs.

You can buy the egg cup and spoon from Alessi and they should be hitting retail shelves in Australia very soon.


Helen Kontouris

Around The World

Win a stay at Wanderlust

You may remember our recent story on the amazing Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore. The hotel is the latest from renowned hotelier Loh Lik Peng and is a major collaboration between several Singaporean designers including Phunk Studio, Asylum, DP Architects and fFurious. Well… we’ve partnered with Wanderlust and the Saturday in Design Singapore event to bring you the chance to win a night for 2, including breakfast, at this amazing hotel in an exclusive Whimsical Loft room. Each floor features a different style of rooms, from the bright colour-themed Pantone rooms on the first floor to the black and white ‘origami’ and Pop-art Mono rooms where guests can choose how to ‘colour’ their room (with lights), to the magical themed Whimsical lofts (the typewriter room, the outer space room etc.).       All you need to do to be in the running is fill in the form below and tell us in 25 words or less ‘what excites you most about a stay in Singapore’. The winner will be the person with the most creative response. You’ll need to be able to redeem your stay within 12 months of the competition closing and unfortunately it does not include flights or transfers. Happy entering and good luck! To learn more about Saturday in Design Singapore, visit their website here.   Wanderlust 
wanderlusthotel.com     abc
Design Accessories

The Phoenix

Appearing like a sleek bird poised for flight, Phoenix is an experiment in automobile design that is drawing curious attention in the design world.

This is Kenneth Cobonpue's first such attempt at designing a car which, unsurprisingly, sees the award-winning designer's trademark use of natural, native materials, craft techniques and clean, streamlined forms.

Made of rattan, bamboo, steel and carbon fibre, the eco-friendly concept car is a creative exercise that underscores the increasing push towards craft, artisanship and sustainability. It might not get you to your destination in super quick time – and perhaps that's not the point – but it certainly explores the possibility of sustainable alternatives to our current means of commute.



Phoenix was presented at the “Imagination and Innovation” exhibition in Via Tortona, Milan earlier this year, which had designers and artists from around the world showcasing their work in a museum-like setting.

Cobonpue took months to design the Phoenix, with the help of a design apprentice from Germany, but only a mere 10 days for the build. A spine curves across the body to the rear where it forms a splay of rattan with LED rods that emit light. Space is also allocated here for the engine.

The Phoenix brings new meaning to Cobonpue's unique products and, although we may not all be driving around in one in the future, is an exciting glimpse of using materials in new ways.


Kenneth Cobonpue

Kenneth Cobonpue's furniture collection is available at Proof Living in Singapore and KE-ZU in Australia.

Design Hunters

Easton Pearson’s Sydney Conversation

Following the success of the first Easton Pearson Conversation in Brisbane last year, we thought it was only fair to share these beautiful fashion luminaries with Sydney. So it was that Lydia Pearson and Pamela Easton travelled south for the 5th Habitus Conversation Series event.

The evening was a lot dryer than the Brisbane affair and the Design Hunter™ turnout was impressive. Held in the beautiful Designer Rugs showroom surrounded by Easton Pearson’s boldly colourful rug designs.

Deputy Editor of Habitus, Nicky Lobo, led the conversation with the creative duo, which centred on their work with their textile producers in India and their sources of inspiration. 

The night was a huge success and all the guests had an opportunity to mingle and continue the conversation with Pamela and Lydia – helped out by a little MISSCHU food, Asahi beer and Katnook Founders Block Wines.

Stay tuned for the video from our latest conversation.


Easton Pearson


Photography by Fiona Susanto

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Design Accessories

Tretford Cord Carpet Rugs

I am: 80% Goat Hair Carpet in Rug Format



Tretford Cord Carpet, known in Australia as 'the goat hair carpet’, has a unique structural look with an exciting palette of 48 colours. Tretford’s colour palette enables you to match accent colours throughout the home whilst creating areas of warmth over hard-flooring.



Being a linear product, Tretford rugs have often been designed in exciting stripes or plain colours but its design potential is not limited. With the ability to be cut in any direction without fraying, Tretford can be hand-cut or water-jet cut to suit any design. The finished product does not require any binding which cleverly eliminates the visual distraction of a bound edge and the construction and finish comes with the Tretford warranty.



Tretford Rugs are a custom made-to-order product. Contact Gibbon Group for a quote.



  • 80% Goat Hair
  • 15% Nylon
  • 5% Viscose
  • Secondary Jute Backing


  • Up to 2m in width by any length
  • Custom sizes available (4m+ width will be joined on site)

Gibbon Group
+61 7 3881 1777