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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 Hunters

Design Hunter Profile: George Harper

It’s a dream for so many of us; to throw in the office job and follow our creative dreams. Well, George Harper took that leap, going from working behind desks, to designing and making them. “Design to me is a means to an end – not the end itself,” he says. “Design is all around us, it’s all pervading, and its ends can vary so much – from purely function to purely aesthetic to everything in between.”   George set up Tide Design in 2007 to market the furniture he had been making, also finishing his 2-year designer/maker course in the same year.  “I had spent many years in various office roles and was at a point where a change was needed – so why not turn the part time hobby into a full time career?” Function is of the highest importance to George: “I wouldn’t want to produce an uncomfortable chair for example”. From there it’s all about elegance, lightness, detail and quality for the designer, “and producing something fresh – but not necessarily ‘of the minute’.  I’m striving to produce furniture that is timeless”.     Influenced heavily by Scandinavian design of the 1950s – “I love the simplicity but also the character and warmth that they both embody” – George finds an endless stream of ideas coming from his own experiences as a designer/maker.       “Sometimes inspiration comes from things that happen by accident – an irregular-shaped off-cut for example. Sometimes it’s found in my direct environment. But most often it comes down to cold hard persistence with pencil on paper trying to find an appealing form or line.”       There are a few Tide Designs that George is particularly proud of, including the Yo chair and round Lyssna dining table. “Both of these have evolved from earlier designs and although they were developed independently it was great to see how well they sat together.”       When it comes to sustainability George has a straight forward view: “The more sustainable our environment the better – surely there can be no argument. And I think the responsibility falls on everyone’s shoulders – from designer to consumer… The cornerstone of my philosophy is that I’m making furniture that is designed and built to last for generations.” We hear you on that George, our thoughts exactly.   Tide Design tidedesign.com.au abc

Guan Wei’s Bird Island

It was in the midst of China's political unrest that Beijing-born Guan Wei first arrived in Australia in 1989. The graduate from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University came as an artist-in-residence at the Tasmanian School of Art; he returned to Australia again in 1990 only to make it his home for the next 20 years.   From his base in Sydney, Guan Wei has built for himself an impressive portfolio that includes 40 solo exhibitions worldwide. The award-winning artist has also participated in many notable contemporary exhibitions both in Australia and abroad, and one would easily find his work in major public collections and numerous university and corporate collections both in Australia and around the world.   In his latest solo exhibition Bird Island, currently held in Singapore at Chan Hampe Galleries, Guan Wei combines a visual record of Australia's colonial history with contemporary issues such as the socio-economic conflicts in immigration and racism – which he illustrates on a Chinese landscape with Chinese imagery and motifs. In the spacious mythological canvases, the simple yet mystifying silhouettes and coastline scenes of intrigue follows Guan Wei's distinctive style.   “Since globalisation, the colonial culture has faded. But there is still a poignant sense  remaining in our memory. Bird Island is talk about this feeling,” says Guan Wei. “The memory of the desolate beauty has been expressed through distance. The flowing, wavering clouds, blocking and enhancing the sense of moving distance. The birds through time and space here shows a sense of beauty. The hands in the painting represent a mysterious force.”     “My work has always wanted to show a novelty, a sense of humor, honesty and kind-heartedness. At the same time it is intoxicating.” Guan Wei reflects that from his early days in Australia being called a “Chinese artist' to being described as an 'Australian-Chinese artist' and finally an 'Australian artist', the transformation has taken all of 20 years. In the last few years however, Guan Wei has also started spending more time in China, exploring his roots and making new connections with the Chinese arts community. He now flies between Sydney and Beijing, where he has set up a studio. Bird Island is being held at Chan Hampe Galleries in Singapore from now till 6 August.   Chan Hampe Galleries chanhampegalleries.com     abc

The Mercer House

Designers: Vibe Design Group Location: Newtown, Geelong Photography: Robert Hamer   When Vibe Design Group was approached by the residents of a, somewhat dated, home on a corner block in Victoria's Geelong, they saw it as a wonderful opportunity.   “The residents had an appreciation for design and this gave us inspiration to create something quite unusual in appearance yet contain all they required,” says Vibe Design’s Michael O’Sullivan.   “To the north there was loss of privacy issues from a double storey residence across the street, outside of that we saw the corner block as a bonus in that the shape and dynamic of the design could have a greater impact.” The resulting structure is a bold, tapering form, which is highly visible from the street on the North side. With 3 storeys at the front, this tapering has the additional benefit of ‘softening’ in a way the progression from single-storey at the rear.       As a renovation, this home barely resembles the home that came before. This was in fact at the core of the direction for Vibe and the residents. “Given this was a renovation, and we have designed many, I guess it’s fair to say we set out to really alter the perception of what the house should look like.”   The internal timber panelling allowed the designers to achieve the modernist aesthetic they and the owners love so much. A timber-battened wall runs the full length of the home, delineating the shared and private zones.   “We look for possibilities beyond the conventional street frontage, one that creates great interest to the passer by and perhaps seeks to redefine perceptions of the traditional home. The interior takes a break from the complexities of the outside world with the disguise of doorways and the link between living spaces.” The home once again goes to show that limitations and a challenging site can produce stunning results.   Vibe Design Group 
vibedesigngroup.com.au   [lg_folder folder="stories/2011/july-11/live/mercer/mercer" display="slide"] abc

Graze and Provisions in Singapore

Back in 2006, restaurateur and head of Epicure, Yenn Wong opened Graze in Rochester Park. The response was so great that it was a no-brainer they should open another. So, with the design expertise of Hecker Guthrie, Yenn has opened the new Graze restaurant and Provisions retail store at Martin No. 38 in Singapore.   Graze features the culinary stylings of Australian chef, Chris Donellan, serving a menu of Modern Australian dishes to Singapore diners. Donellan’s food continually pushes the boundaries of creativity, so the interiors had to match.     This uniqueness can be seen in design elements such as the “quirky chair wall display”, the giant vintage coffee pot and the creative wall displays of custom hand-painted plates in the Plate Room.   “We are passionate about creating an exceptional dining experience beyond good food. This is exactly what we did with Graze at Rochester Park, and now Graze at Martin No. 38,” says Yenn Wong. “Interior design has always played an extremely important role in all of our projects as we feel very strongly about creating the right ambience to deliver a multi-sensory experience for our diners – one of the reasons we are constantly on the lookout for unique designers like Hecker Guthrie, who think out of the box.”     The close relationship with Hamish Guthrie and Paul Hecker has resulted in a casual, yet elegant restaurant environment at Graze, translating well to the design of the Provisions retail store – which provides the best, freshest ingredients for locals to create their own delicious food. Both establishments, along with Kha at Martin No. 38, join the trendy residential enclave of Roberston Quay, which is popular for its book cafés, art galleries and “bistros of hip bohemian vibes”.   “Both Hamish and myself thoroughly enjoyed the entire design process of Graze and Provisions,” says Paul Hecker. “The process with Epicure was one of collaboration and enthusiasm. We particularly appreciated the opportunity to deliver a refreshing dining concept that allowed us to be creative with the use of humour, palette and special planning and not being restrained by seating capacities or a briefing requirement.” Graze is already popular with the locals as well as the expatriates in the neighborhood and is especially liked for its weekend. If you’re in the area, this one’s definitely worth dropping in to.   Graze at Martin no. 38 graze-martin38.sg abc
Around The World

Handpresso Travel Pack

You might be used to us presenting some pretty extravagant holiday destinations in our travel section – and don’t get us wrong, we love to scroll through the lovely images of tropical beaches – but it’s nice to have some other travel ideas that we can use a little closer to home. That’s where the Handpresso travel pack comes in. This neat little invention is a hand-operated espresso extractor. It’s very simple to us: you pump it until the desired pressure is achieved (indicated on the dial); you then place hot water from a thermos into the glass cup; add in a coffee pod; tip upside-down and release and you have an espresso.   While we’re told it may not quite produce a café-quality drop, there’s nothing quite like hiking to the top of a mountain and enjoying a hot espresso in the cooler months.     There’s something really nice about the design of the device itself, somewhere between a compass and bike pump. We also love the design of the travel pack; the way the thermos, Handpresso and “unbreakable” cups all sit nicely in the bag.     Why not tell us about your favourite Design Hunter travel accessory in the comments below. If we feature your suggestion we’ll send you out the next issue of Habitus magazine free!   Handpresso
 handpresso.com abc
Habitus Loves
Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

Habitus Loves… The Bathroom


Carpenter Stool

title Designed by: Jethro Macey for ex.tWhy we love it:We love the idea of a stool made for the bathroom. Ex.t have some extraordinary bathroom furniture and accessories, and this one – looking like it’s been carved from stone – is no exception.Where you can get it: ex.t Studio Bagno  
Porcelain Slabs
Designed by:SkhemeWhy we love them: These slabs are a fantastic alternative to traditional tiles. The huge slabs (up to 1 x 3m) are made using clay and other raw materials under very high pressure. The result is a stronger, thinner, more resistant floor surface. Opulence in the room you need it most.Where you can get it: Skheme


title Designed by: Victoria & Albert BathsWhy we love it: This beautifuk bath, made from QUARRYCAST – a one-piece casting of rare volcanic limestone and resin – is the perfect mix of old and new. The traditional shape, with squared rim makes it perfect for a modern update of a traditional residence. Comes with feet or cradle.Where you can get it: Victoria & Albert Baths  

Pillow basin

title Designed by: Fulvio De Nito for Studio BagnoWhy we love it: The unusual form of this bench or wall-mounted basin gives a very organic feel. The irregular, flowing surface and white fireclay finish add to its natural aesthetic.Where you can get it: Mico

Pinch Tapware

title Designed by:RogersellerWhy we love it: This tapware collection features taps that encourage a pinching action (but are easy to turn). The elongated spout matches the knobs of the taps, all in lovely chrome.Where you can get it: Rogerseller

Brillante Mirror

Designed by:Alessandro MendiniWhy we love it:Each petal of this mirror displays the ability of glass to be both rounded and angular. The shaped crystal is engraved with an amazing geometric pattern. Perfect to take the place of a traditional bathroom mirror.Where you can get it: Space Furniture

Link Bath Mat

title Designed by:Kain Lucas of UteWhy we love it: This bath mat uses a cork and rubber composite to keep you safe and dry. An Aussie creation, it’s a good alternative to a fabric mat because there’s no need to hang it up to dry, and it’s also got a much lower profile than a timber-style mat. It’s interlinking circles are also very attractive!Where you can get it: Top3

Starck 1 Toilet + Bidet

title Designed by: Philippe StarckWhy we love it:This toilet and bidet are presented – in true Starck fashion – as an “evolution of the bucket”. We love the simple shape and it’s visual reference to a simpler time. Though, with the latest internals, these wall-mounted or floor-standing toilets are much more sophisticated!Where you can get it: Duravit
Design Accessories

Levi’s Commuter Range

We often bring you the latest bike designs, or various cool ways to get out and about in the Region on two wheels, but it’s easy to find yourself donning less-than-fashionable bike gear when it actually comes to hitting the cycle path. So we thought these great additions to the Levi’s collection of denim would be worth a mention for those of you who might need to hop straight off a bike and into a café without blinding everyone with your highlighter lycra.   The Commuter Range has been specifically designed with the cyclist commuter in mind, with a number of features aimed at adding functionality, while maintaining that classic jeans look. There’s the Trucker Jacket, which features extra pockets for your iPod and other bits and pieces, with angled side pockets for easy access while cycling. It also has side button tabs, which have reflective material underneath for increased visibility at night. There’s also extra fabric around the arms for air flow and movement.     The skinny leg commuter jeans feature a “utility waistband” allowing you to keep your U-lock on you at all times, while the same reflective material has been used on the inside seams – meaning you can just role them up (as you would ordinarily to avoid the chain) for extra visibility.     There’s also a hidden phone pocket and reinforced belt loops, double-layer back pockets and seat. These jeans come in a couple of different colours and styles. All the new items come with stretch fabric and use NanoSphere® nanotechnology, which makes them super water resistant.   So commuting to work or riding to meet friends doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your style.   Levi’s levi.com

Shortstop Child’s Stool

Designed by: Keryn Hughes of In Your Room


I am: A stool – designed predominantly as a first independent seat for a child (18 months – school age) but doubles as a stepstool, footstool and mini table for kids and adults alike.


About me:

Designer Keryn Hughes has a passion for creating simple, well-designed children’s furniture. It’s a passion that sparked the creation of her business – In Your Room – which now makes furniture from moulded plywood for every room of the house for kids and adults alike.

The perfect example of her love for kids furniture is the Shortstop Stool, with its organic, clean line making it as desireable a piece for the living room as for the kids’ bedrooms or play area.



Part of the full In Your Room Shortstop range – all designed and made in Australia – the Shortstop Stool is a versatile piece in its own right but also the perfect accompaniment to the Shortstop Child’s Table, Tablebox and Longrain Stool.




This month actually sees the release of new colours to the range – orange and purple – joining the kaleidoscope of colour choices. The stool also comes in natural beech.

Because young Design Hunters shouldn’t go without either!



  • 12mm thick moulded plywood, European beech faces
  • high-pressure laminate (6 colours – white, red, yellow, blue, orange, purple)
  • 2-pack polish


260mm W x 250mm D x 260mm H

In Your Room
+61 2 9386 9513


The Star Launch Party

It was a night of glitz, glamour and great food at Star City last week as the Casino announced the 5 new restaurants that will make up their culinary offerings when the development of ‘The Star’ is complete later this year.

6 of Australia’s top chefs have now announced their involvement, as well as Japanese chef, Chase Kojima and New York’s David Chang. The Star will soon be home to Chang’s Momofuku Seiōbo, Teage Ezard’s BLACK by ezard, Kojima’s Sokyo and Manfredi’s Balla. Completing this culinary picture is iconic Chinese restaurateurs Eric and Linda Wong, with Sydney institution Golden Century, Adriano Zumbo’s new patisserie and eatery Flying Fish and Chips.

Each chef will be opening an exciting offering behind the glass-louvred façade of the $860 upgrade to the Sydney landmark, joining Luke Nguyen’s Fat Noodle – opened last year.

The chefs treated guests to a taste of what’s to come, with amazing canapés, including foie gras tartlets topped with ox tail and Tasmanian black truffles, duck pancakes and Zumbo’s renowned macarons.

The Star is due to open in September 2011.


The Star

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Design Accessories


Designed by: Absolute Zero Degrees

I am: A new wallpaper collection

About me:

The Selvedge Group will be launching the newest papers from MINI MODERNS, offering a fabulous mix of contemporary and vintage-inspired designs including Festival, Whitby, Alice and Pet Sounds.



Mini Moderns is a creative duo of Graphic Designers, Absolute Zero Degrees, based in the UK and is reflected in their clever retro inspired graphics and directional colour palette.

Their production is also based predominantly in the UK, and come from “sweatshop free environments”.



This new collection features the English sea-inspired ‘Whitby’, with its fishing boats, seagulls and rolling waves, as well as the beautiful ‘Festival’, celebrating the enduring influence of the 1951 Festival of Britain. Along with the amazing papers from ‘Folk Rock’, including the cassette-inspired C60 and Pets Sounds, featuring instruments and animals (always a winning combination).


You can find out more and purchase MINI MODERNS from The Selvedge Group in Australia.


The Selvedge Group

Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

Bontempi Cucine Wave

Designed by:   

Bontempi Cucine


I am:

Kitchen Cabinetry


About me:

The Wave range marks a new way of enjoying the kitchen as an ‘all-round’ space, breaking away from the traditional patterns with its unique use of the curved line.


The sinuous, flowing shapes make every centimetre of the Wave kitchen usable. With curves, the possibilities of creating unexpected and unusual storage compartments are endless.



The Wave kitchen shows its personality in varied compositions, from linear symmetrical tall units to a central island; the latter’s dynamic shape – like an actual island – is ergonomically efficient.


It provides plenty of workspace while making room for snacks and breakfasts. The counter unit with a curved end has an appealing and convenient wing opening.

Thanks to the innovative use of curves, with a focus on the ergonomic aspects, movements around a Wave kitchen are smoother and safer.



Bontempi kitchens are custom designed.

Available exclusively at Rogerseller’s Sydney & Melbourne showrooms.

+61 3 9429 8888 (Melbourne)
+61 2 8396 8700 (Sydney)

Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

The Como Bathroom Collection

Designed by: Rodolfo Dordoni for Flamini


I am: Bathroom basin, pans and bidets


About me:

Designer Rodolfo Dordoni brings to life the new Como collection, the pureness of ceramic revealed with clean geometry and solid clean lines.



The full collection consists of washbasins, WC’s and bidets. Basins are available as a wall basin or can be integrated with a pedestal for a more conventional look.


Three different basin widths are also available, 54cm, 62cm and 70cm, to suit your bathroom dimensions. The WC’s and bidet’s come in wall faced and wall hung versions.






Available basin widths: 54cm, 62cm, 70cm.

+61 2 9559 3666