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 Eco Project

The Eco Project rugs, by Rug Star, use the 5% of materials – Chinese silk and Tibetan highland wool – left over from the production of hand-knotted Tibetan rugs to create new one-of-a-kind rugs.


These materials were previously bleached (to return them to a unified colour) and sold off for lower-grade products.

Designer, Jürgen Dalhmanns, now collects these remnants and creates rugs featuring the myriad colours that represent the rugs from which they have been borrowed.

“As a designer and producer in Nepal,” Jürgen explains, “I am responsible, not only for working conditions and welfare of my weavers but also for the value of the raw materials that we are using.”

No rug is the same as another, but there’s the possibility of having a rug made that reflects colours you desire (such as purples, or light or dark).



In Sydney and Melbourne, you can check out some of the rugs at Cadrys.




Rug Star


The Bondi Penthouse

What we love most about this home: The living room ceiling (check it out below) The details: Architect: Brian Meyerson Architects (Kevin Ng) Photography: Brett Boardman Location: Bondi Beach, Sydney The owner of this home on Bondi’s Campbell Parade owned 2 of the 8 apartments in the block. When looking for a place to dry his clothes one day, he popped his head through a hatch in the roof and saw something that got him very excited – a perfectly flat rooftop without a thing on it. This small discovery was just the first piece of a puzzle, which has seen an old building rejuvenated, with the addition of a modern rooftop penthouse. Architect Kevin Ng of Brian Myerson Architects (BMA) explains that a number of things fell into place.   “We wanted this project to have a clear distinction between new and old. When we met with the council’s heritage officer he said, ‘We don’t want to see this building. Do whatever you have to do, we just don’t want to see it.’ That led to our decision to make it white, in a metallic finish.”       The owner being a builder and developer who has worked on commercial and civic buildings, decided to use the white metal sheet cladding common in these buildings, but in a new way. On the living area ceiling, the sheeting was literally slotted together like a jigsaw, with the aim of reducing waste, pulling the external cladding and aesthetic indoors and creating interest through dynamic angles.     Within the ceiling joints the architects used strip lighting – another commercial element brought into the residential. “There’s a lot of angles in the building,” Kevin says. “It was our idea to distinguish the new building from the existing; the sliding doors were angled, there were angled lines within the elevations and there’s angled patterns within the façade.”   The single column in the living area has been clad in the same metal sheeting, while also housing the fireplace – essentially concealing its structural purpose.     The spiral staircase was lowered into place with a crane through the hole for the skylight (a tight fit with only a few centimetres to spare).   The sale of the rooftop space provided the funds to improve the existing building – much to the relief of long-term occupants. This beautiful, modern home sits quietly atop its older counterpart, without being overbearing. Barely visible from the street, the home still takes advantage of one of the most treasured Sydney views – Bondi Beach.   Brian Meyerson Architects bmarchitecture.com.au       abc
Around The World

The Prince Hotel St Kilda

We cover a lot of getaways on habitusliving.com that are remote; on beaches, in the mountains or secluded bushland, but many of us travel for the vibrancy of the cities. So we thought we’d talk about one of our favourite hotels in one of our favourite cities – The Prince in Melbourne.   The Art Deco façade of this St Kilda hotel belies a “moody and sophisticated” modern interior, with all the comforts and relaxing facilities you’d expect from a beachside escape.     The hotel has its own spa and an amazing rooftop, complete with big daybeds. Its own on-site restaurant – Circa – which we covered a little while ago, is one of the hottest restaurants Melbourne has to offer, headed up by Chef, Jake Nicolson.         The rooms are spacious and offer a mix of raw-industrial and natural materials, for an urban escape. Of course, the wonderful St Kilda cafes, promenade and shopping are right on your doorstep, so you may not spend much time in your room!     We can definitely recommend checking this one out when you’re next in Melbourne. Mr & Mrs Smith tell us that their members also get a free bottle of bubbles and free parking when staying at the hotel.   The Prince mrandmrssmith.com/au/luxury-hotels/the-prince abc
Design Accessories

The Firmship 42

There have been some pretty ridiculous yachts around lately, things so far removed from the joy of the sea that they enter a realm of science fiction, rather than anything attainable.


So it’s nice to see a boat that echoes traditional seafaring designs. This 42-footer – a collaboration between Belgium-based designers Studio Job and boat designer Willem Nieland – features a palette of grey and timber.








Despite presenting quite a simple aesthetic, there are touches throughout the boat which give personality and reveal the playful nature associated with Studio Job. From the upholstery of the seating inside – with iconic symbols of boating such as skulls and crossbones, anchors and Moby Dick – to a beautiful stained glass window. Their craftsmanship is also evident in the beautiful door handles and bronze bell.




The Firmship 42 can be yours for € 329,000 – finally, a boat that costs less than an average house.



Design Hunters

Artists in Residence at Central Park

Brook Andrew’s ‘Local Memory’ is the first installation at the Frasers Property's Central Park, featuring 18 individual photographic portraits of people who have, in some way, been associated with the site – previously Carton United Brewery – from 1908 – 1998.

The photographs are lit and bordered with neon lights, creating a punchy new façade for the gritty industrial building.



“Brook’s work depicts not only the workers but the brewery’s broader community,” explains Artists In Residence curator Anne Loxley.

“In researching this work he was interested not just in the workers, but also local residents, people who visited and drank at the pubs, kids who played in the area and even people who may have delivered or made other calls for various reasons at the brewery.”

Over the next 12 months 3 more artworks will be added to the Irving Street Brewery Building as part of the program – staying in place for up to 3 years.


Central Park Sydney


[lg_folder folder="stories/2011/april-11/connect/central/central" display="slide"]



Design Hunters

Rosita Missoni in Milan

Could you tell us about your collections this year?

This year, for Milan, we really did very much on these floral patterns – it’s orchids and protea.

I take a lot of inspiration also from the Missoni fashion collection. I’m free to pick whatever I think and be added or emphasised or worked out into the home collection. Then, there are patterns like the protea pattern, that I do expressly for the home collection.



Missoni is a family affair, how does this work for you?

My daughter; she runs the fashion side of Missoni. Her daughter just joined too, working on the creative side – bags, shoes, jewellery, eyewear. She’s very positive and very determined.

The factory was always [my children’s] playground when they were children; so it is for their children. The children come in, and since they were very little they draw and they play with colour, play with fabrics – it’s a fascinating world for children. They dig into the cuttings and waste baskets – for a child it’s amazing.


Could you tell us about your outdoor furniture ranges?

We have recently launched more outdoor furniture because I need them for the hotels. Now we are opening the second Missoni Hotel.




Ah, yes, the hotels – they are very beautiful…

The first one is in Edinburgh; the second one is in Kuwait city. It’s a very colourful hotel as it is facing the ocean; it gives a totally different inspiration. Now, we are working on a hotel in Brazil, these fabrics will be for Brazil. The vegetation in Brazil is breathtaking – like in Australia too.


Hotel Missoni – Edinburgh

I want comfort, I want lovely shapes. If we have them, okay. If not, we choose other designers. It’s like my home – I like variety, I like change. The chairs we use in the hotels are the ‘Wishbone’ chairs by Hans Wegner – he designed the best chairs in the world.



How do you keep your approach fresh and interesting?

There is so much inspiration around, so we do what we like. I can say, from what I see, that we are trendsetters still. It’s very rewarding when you see, for example in Maison Objet in Paris, how much we are copied!

This is quite enjoyable, as it keeps you going forward. It is part of being a designer. You want to step forward, you want to find other ways of using colours and textures – it’s endless.



Design Accessories

The Electrolux Compact Espresso Machine

Designed by: Electrolux


I am: an Espresso Machine


About me:

One of the latest additions to the Electrolux compact range of appliances, the Electrolux Compact Espresso Machine combines mark-resistant stainless steel finishes with fully automatic easy-to-use touch controls, allowing you to explore your inner barista in the comfort of your own home.


With an effortless touch of a button and an intuitive display, you can create a café-style latte, cappuccino or hot chocolate tailored to any taste.

You can adjust the size, strength and temperature to suit even the most critical of coffee connoisseurs.


Materials: stainless steel and pewter tone glass

Dimensions: H368xW594xL398

For stockists call Elextrolux on 1300 363 640





Bunky by Marc Newson

World-renowned, award-winning Australian designer, Marc Newson, unveiled his latest design for ever-funky brand Magis at Milan design week 2011.

The rotation-moulded polyethylene ‘Bunky’ is a children’s bunk bed, designed for sleep and play. It has no sharp edges and a smooth finish to make for a very safe sleeping solution for the kids.

It’s great to see Newson turning his hand to such varied and interesting projects – a Qantas plane seat one day, a stovetop the next and now this.



The Bunky features a cool ladder for reaching the top bunk and also comes in a single bed version.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing it in the Region soon!

Images courtesy Magis via designboom


Magis Design



Sithowati House

Words/Production: Kerstin Rose

Photography: Christian Schaulin

Adi Purnomo is a pioneer. He wants to contribute to the world in which he lives by doing good and creating meaningful things. His aim is to improve the quality of people’s lives via architecture. He believes in the power of individual action and counters deficits in the field of architecture with his own designs.

“A small business is like a midge on the surface of a pond: it can touch the water without drowning in it,” he explains in a quiet voice.

For several years now, Purnomo has been interested in botany, although – as he readily admits – he doesn’t know a great deal about it. “The amount of green space in Jakarta has shrunk from 30% twenty years ago to 9%,” he laments, a trace of anger audible in his voice as he slowly and deliberately recites these figures.

[lg_folder folder="stories/2011/april-11/crossover/sith/sithowati" display="slide"]

The thing he misses most in this megacity are the foliage plants. But he now employs these as his most effective weapon, using them to create symbols whenever the opportunity arises – in gateways, on free-standing walls, on the walls of houses (both inside and outside) and on rooves.

Over the years, his work has attracted a wide circle of admirers, and many wealthy Indonesians now commission him to design their houses for them – not only on account of his ‘green’ ideas, but because he is simply regarded as the best architect in the country.


Read the full story on page 110 of Habitus issue 11, available on the iPhone and iPad here, or contact us to subscribe or buy back issues



Rajo Laurel

Words: Aya Maceda
Photography: Kurt Arnold

Tucked discreetly in the back streets of Makati City is the House of Laurel, Filipino fashion designer, Rajo Laurel’s atelier. A minimal 3-level grey contemporary building, it is home to his showroom, studio, library, salon, production, and seamstress workrooms. Here, he discusses current projects, his home, design hunts and inspiration, as he and his team put together the final touches to his new collection.

Rajo Laurel is one of Philippine’s noted fashion designers currently gaining international attention. New York Fashion Institute of Technology-trained Laurel made his mark dressing the country’s most sophisticated women in his avant-garde creations. 

Fifteen years into his career, the Rajo Laurel name has become a brand exuding luxury and elegance. In response to a growing fast-paced international clientele, he has recently ventured into a new jewellery line, a streamlined ready-to-wear line for men and women and an online store

Stretching his creative reach, he also now has a linen line and designs brilliantly tailored uniforms for the hospitality and airline industries.

Read the full story on page 75 of Habitus issue 11, available on the iPhone and iPad here, or contact us to subscribe or buy back issues

[lg_folder folder="stories/2011/april-11/crossover/rajo/rajo" display="slide"]



Marilyn Sainty – Auckland, New Zealand

Text: Stephen Crafti
Photography: Simon Devitt

Marilyn Sainty needs no introduction to New Zealanders or for many people in the design community in Australia. One of the country’s most revered fashion designers her designs have been the subject of exhibitions as well as books.

From humble beginnings running her own boutique Starkers, in Sydney, 1968, Sainty now operates the renowned Scotties boutiques in New Zealand, with her business partner Sonja Batt.

While officially retiring as a designer in 2005, Sainty and Batt continue to remain at the forefront of fashion, stocking the likes of Comme des Garcons, Issey Miyake, Ann Demuelemeesteer and Dries Van Noten. Scotties also sells Beth Ellery and Camille Howie, two protégées from New Zealand, who Sainty has nurtured.

Read the full story on page 48 of Habitus issue 11, available on the iPhone and iPad here, or contact us to subscribe or buy back issues

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 


Jervois Hill House

Words: Chu Lik Ren
Photography: Jeremy San

It is sometimes convenient of think of houses as falling into two categories: those that are cerebral and architecturally self-conscious, conforming to some abstract theories, and those that are visceral, which speak to the senses and convey comfort and calmness above all else.

Ever since starting K2LD with David Lee and Ben Teng in 2000, Ko Shiou Hee has made it almost a mission to position "sense and sensibility" as the keystone of his design philosophy. He is interested in the emotional response his works will evoke, and less in accommodating them to a theoretical framework or in adopting a consistent style.

[lg_folder folder="stories/2011/april-11/crossover/jervois/jervois" display="slide"]

Instead, when one talks to Shiou Hee, the words "experience" and "materials" are frequently used. And when one walks through a house he has designed, one experiences a heightened sense of spaces and textures artfully put together and bathed in modulated light.

They are like walk-through sculptures, without a boundary dividing interior design from the exterior architecture. Indeed, the total environment, including the landscape, has been conceived holistically. They are the epitome of what Peter Zumthor meant when he wrote of "the magic of the real".

The sensual aspects of Shiou Hee's works are once again in full evidence in a house designed for a Korean couple on a hilly site in south-central Singapore.


Read the full story on page 141 of Habitus issue 11, available on the iPhone and iPad here, or contact us to subscribe or buy back issues.