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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 Accessories

The Sound of Buildings for iPhone and iPad

Walking around a city, whether it’s one you call home or a whirlwind visit, can be quite an alienating experience – yet almost always an exciting one. But imagine having a personal tour from architects and the locals.

Well, the Sound of Buildings project is the newest initiative from the Victorian State Government to promote Melbourne’s architecture and culture, with an iPhone and iPad-based application to help turn a walk around the city into a guided tour.





So far the program introduces 10 of the city’s major buildings, each with at least 3 interviews; with the architects/designers, a user of the building and a child. The application brings all these interviews, as well as galleries of images, into your hands to walk around the city and listen as you go.





Developed for the current State of Design Festival, the application downloads are already proving that the Sound of Buildings project is grabbing the attention of locals and tourists alike.

“Sound of Buildings will be a fantastic addition to the State of Design Festival and will complement the Melbourne Open House which takes place at the end of the month,” explains Major Projects Minister, Denis Napthine.

The great thing about this app is that you can download before you get to Melbourne, then listen to it on the plane before you hit the ground. It’s also a wonderful public record of the buildings and the people who use them.

“Not only do the creators and end users of the buildings speak about their experience in the Sound of Buildings tour, but in some ways, so too do the buildings themselves,” says State of Design Creative Director Kate Rhodes.



“As many of the architects note, there is carefully considered dialogue between a building, where it is located and the buildings that surround it. In addition to the individual stories behind each design and its development, there exists a 'conversation' between each of the buildings in this tour, across time and space.”

The application is available to download for free now from the App Store.


The Sound of Buildings


Danish classics in Perth: Squarepeg Home

Hans Wegner. Ole Wanscher. Arne Vodder. Kai Kristiansen. Squarepeg Home reads like a who’s who of Danish icons. However, owners Ben and Kate Savage have interspersed this line-up with unnamed Danish vintage pieces, and furniture and accessories by local and imported designer-makers. Ben headed to Denmark for a month for his launch product and will return in August for his next container, which will be on floor in November. He has established strong sourcing networks thanks to his wife Kate, who lived in Denmark for a year and sought advice from friends and contacts.   “I mix period Danish furniture with unnamed pieces to get a broader price range. So, the store isn’t all high-level collectable pieces – we have a price range of unnamed through to the fathers of the Danish modern furniture movement,” says Ben. Ben is a designer-maker himself and his pieces are also found on the floor. He studied at the Dwellingup-based Australian School of Fine Wood and has been making furniture seriously for the past eight years, so launched Squarepeg as a store and workshop.   “So, from a service point of view, the workshop means we offer flexibility for people who can’t find what they are looking for. It can be custom made. And having the workshop next door reinforces to people that furniture is ‘made’. It is reconnecting people with where it all comes from,” says Ben. His passion for reminding people where furniture comes from is coupled with a desire to teach people that furniture can be a life-long investment. And that’s where his focus on Danish design comes in.   “We live in such a disposable society – people usually think in terms of a 5- to 10-year lifespan for these products. But it doesn’t have to be like that. And Danish furniture is a good example of the long life you can get out of a product if it is done properly,” says Ben. “It will still be relevant in another 50 years time from a design perspective and structurally it will still be around because it is well made.” Squarepeg Home is tucked into an industrial warehouse in Fremantle’s emerging Blinco Street precinct, which is also home to one of Australia’s leading antiques dealers – Lauder & Howard Antiques and Fine Art – Ottoman Empire and an artist and cafe next door.     Ben collaborated with Officer Woods architects on the shop design, retaining its concrete floor, painting original bricks white, then installing a floor-to-ceiling structural ply stepped wall to separate the shop from the workshop. A sliding door with a huge round glass insert gives views between the two spaces. Sitting alongside the Danish design and Ben’s own work (which shares the clean lines of the Danish pieces that share floor space), are Adam Cruickshank furniture, Amber Ward (Kietsu Studios) cushions and rugs, Muuto lighting and accessories, Magno radios and accessories and Down to the Woods rugs and ottomans.   Squarepeg Home squarepeghome.com.au Officer Woods officerwoods.com.au abc

Joanna Lamb, Interiors

There’s something quite ominoius and unsettling about Joanna Lamb’s latest collection of paintings. Moving away from her usual works of suburban and urban exteriors, the artist opens the door to focus on interiors.



The scenes are taken from the pages of real estate brochures, recreated in blocks of colour, somehow creating an all-too-familiar, yet eerily 2-dimensional interior landscape. Each scene is captured in 2 mirrored works, with changes in colour evoking different emotional responses.



“These paintings acknowledge the power of mechanical reproduction which is reinterred in everything from Lamb’s systematic mediated process to her carefully constructed compositions.”



The mirrored pairs can be interpreted by the eye as completely different scenes, but each seems devoid of life; a sad, cold, inanimate space, too perfect to be inhabited.

Although the exhibition may not provide too many tips for developing your own interior scheme, it's bound to stir some interesting emotions.





You can get along to see Lamb’s works at the Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art gallery – 799 Elizabeth St Zetland Sydney.


Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art


The Point Lonsdale House

What we love most: That modern architecture can still feel like a home.

Architects: Baenziger Coles
Location: Point Lonsdale, Victoria
Photography: Ross Bird (Ross Bird Photography)
Builder: Nick Heyward – Heyward Constructions (Barwon Heads)


The owners of this home in Victoria’s Point Lonsdale may not have known it at the time, but when they decided to upsize their current home, it was the beginning of a 10-year journey.

“The [home grew] out of a need for the owners to expand the sleeping accommodation, living, and kitchen facilities of their existing coastal holiday retreat as it became clear the children and parents both needed more space,” explains Principal Baenziger Coles, Tony Baenziger.


The first idea was to alter and extend the existing structure, but the owners soon realised this wouldn’t give them the result they were after.

Next they decided to find another larger house in the same area, but with a lack of properties on the market to meet their budget, they eventually decided to knock down the house and build on the plot.

The result is a beautiful home, in a location that brings with it memories of the time the family has spent there together.




“The way the house is arranged suits the lifestyle and the way the owners go about their activities perfectly,” Tony says, “from the custom board racks within the garage, to the outdoor shower, to the equipment wash down area, the ‘back door entry’ to the internal shower with integrated timber seat and wetsuit drying rail to the kitchen layout – with generous galley and food preparation area – and the large internal dining area that connects seamlessly to the external barbeque and meals area.”



A simple colour and materials palette allows the home to act as a blank canvass for the owners’ belonging, collectables and artwork, while maintaining a clear architectural and interior direction.



“The spotted gum shiplap timber cladding used on the outside has been brought into the interiors for the ceiling lining in the living room, for the stair blade wall, the construction of the large internal sliding doors and to surround the bath enclosure providing a sense of warmth and a connection to the external architectural treatment.


“The building has been carefully crafted and meticulously detailed in a somewhat controlled fashion, there is still plenty of opportunity for the owners to personalise the spaces which gives the home its soul.”


We love that, despite a quite modern aesthetic, this home gathers together the history of a family, helping them to curate their environment.

“The whole design is about the wide-ranging coastal activities that Point Lonsdale is so blessed with and the continual socialising with family and friends that brings the owners to the home weekend after weekend.”


Baenziger Coles


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Around The World

Cambodia's Song Saa

Cambodia's Koh Rong Archipelago has so far not appeared on most tourist maps, but that is all going to change, and quickly.

Amidst a magnificent seascape, a private island destination – the first in the country – is being developed. Set to open its doors later this year, the new resort covers not one but two islands, known locally as Song Saa (Khmer for 'The Sweethearts').


Paying heed to the beauty of its unspoiled location, the owners Rory and Melita Hunter are putting forth some of the best examples of how luxury and sustainability can make good partners.

When completed, Song Saa Private Island will feature 27 luxury overwater, rainforest and beach villas built with sustainable materials and with sensitivity to its natural environment.



“The design concept is one of rustic, adventurous luxury. We want our guests to always know where they are, and be as close to the natural surroundings as possible,” says Melita, who was responsible for the master planning, architecture and interior design.


“Important considerations were giving guests privacy, whilst maximising views. We also wanted to create a sense of place, therefore working with a lot of recycled boat timbers for old doors, and sculptural pieces of driftwood for columns.”

The 2 islands are connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve that Roy and Melita have established to safeguard the islands’ reefs and marine life.


Guests can also choose to frolic on the resort's pristine white beaches, explore the virgin rainforests or venture out for a little 'offshore adventure' to one or more of the 20 deserted islands close by.

The resort itself features a large infinity edge swimming pool, which straddles both the east and west sides of the island. There is a yoga and meditation centre on the eastern shore, and a spa and wellness centre suspended among the rainforest. The resort also invites guests to explore the islands' flora and fauna through its ecological program.


What may perhaps come as a surprise is that this precious slice of paradise is just 30 minutes by boat from the international airport of Sihanoukville.


Song Saa Private Island


Habitus Loves
Design Accessories

Habitus Loves… Reading


Bookmark II

title    Designed by: Ankul Assavaviboonpan Why we love it: This flexible rubber bookmark wraps around a whole section of your book. Just move the indicator to mark the exact line you’re up to. Where you can get it: Propaganda  


Designed by: Gaetano Pesce Why we love it: This great chair from B&B Italia is perfect for squishing in with your feet up to read a good book. We love the cat-like playfulness of the ball and string (putting aside its political commentary on the role of women). Where you can get it: Space Furniture

AJ Floor Lamp

title    Designed by: Louis Poulsen Why we love it: This adjustable floor lamp, in spun steel and die cast zinc, is perfect for illuminating your favourite book or magazine as you read on into the evening. Where you can get it: Cult.

Bedside Abode

title    Designed by: Chrisjob Why we love it: Okay, so you can’t actually buy this one, but there are some great instructions on DIY for the tool-savvy Design Hunter. We just couldn’t go past it though. The solid timber block lets you change the roof as often as you change your book. Where you can get it: Instructions from Curbly

Branch Bookshelf

title    Designed by: Olivier Dollé Why we love it: This beautiful design is a real statement for the design-savvy booklover. Available in walnut and oak finishes, its tree-like structure ‘grow’ out of the well and displays your books like autumn leaves, resting in its limbs. Where you can get it: Olivier Dollé

Husky Throw

  Design by: MissoniHome Why we love it: This is the perfect throw for curling up with a big cup of tea and getting lost in your favourite novel. A throw feels like less of a commitment than a whole blanket, so you can get a few chapters in before you nod off! Where you can get it: Top3

Drift Reading Glasses

title  Design by: Drift Eyewear Why we love it: These glasses use thin wood for the arms of the glasses. Reading things made of trees with help from things made of trees somehow just feels right. Where you can get it: Drift Eyewear via CoolHunting

Bulky Tea Set

title    Design by: Jonas Wagell Why we love it: This oversized tea set has a cartoonish quality and is perfect for getting through a few cups as you delve other worlds with a great work of fiction. Where you can get it: Muuto  
Around The World

Made by Originals Website

When it comes to design hunters, they don’t come much bigger than the people behind the world’s best hotels. Design Hotels pays tribute to more than 30 of these creators, exploring their creative spirits through image galleries, films and stories.



From Sir Terrance Conran, who transformed an East London neighbourhood with the Boundary hotel, to Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha of Mexico opening Hotel Americano in New York later this year, these stories are bound to captivate.

The website offers a simple way to explore the hotels and how they came about, but there are also a number of videos featuring these creative individuals talking about their inspirations, as well as travel guides of some of the world’s most iconic cities.



The website is a further extension of the Made by Originals brand, which previously included the Made by Originals book (which can still be purchased through the site).

Head over to check out all the destinations and these seriously creative entrepreneurs. A little taste of what’s on offer below:

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Made by Originals



Orto Trading Co.

If you’re a regular to Sydney’s Surry Hills, then you may have noticed a small cluster of restaurants sprouting from the underside of the award-winning apartment development 38 – 52 Waterloo St.

The building, designed by Cadalepas Associates, has created a perfect understated dining and retail precinct on ground level, featuring 3 very different food offerings: (in reverse order of opening) Kenji Maenaka’s ‘Japanese tapas’, El Capo Latin American fare and Orto Trading Co.’s amazing fusion of cuisines made to share.



Louise Hunt and Anne Cooper – the pair behind the hugely successful Baffi & Mo – have taken a quite-modern space and given it an English garden feel, with herbs (also used in the kitchen), and flowers about the place in pots and jars, garden tools and a wall of recycled bricks. While the menu by Chef Chris Low is a melange of food cultures from English to French, South American to Italian.


“We wanted to make a local place where people could come a couple of times a week if they wanted to,” Anne says. “We take a traditional dish and then we apply a lot of French cooking techniques; so, it might be a roast, but not how you remember it.



“That’s what we aim to do, take those dishes and present them in a way that looks like it’s been really simply cooked, but there is quite a lot of technique behind it.”

Dishes are very much made to share, which comes a lot from Anne Cooper’s Italian heritage. “If you sit down for a meal in my family home it’s always in the middle of the table for sharing and there’s always 50 people around it,” she laughs.


Whether it’s sitting outside on the long yellow trestle tables – made from the old SCG scoreboards – or sitting at the bar inside having a few cocktails, this latest Surry Hills offering, along with it’s new neighbours, is bound to find some loyal regulars.


Orto Trading Co.


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Design Accessories

Treadlie Handmade Bicycle Show

Exhibited as part of the State of Design Festival in Melbourne and Sydney Design in Sydney, Treadlie magazine Editor Faith Hunter says that it was both the themes for each of the events, and a growing revival in two-wheeled transportation, that saw her fledgling bikes-only publication become involved.



“Since we have started ‘Treadlie’, we have focussed on the people and their stories, and we just kept coming across people who were making their own bikes,” she says.

“There seems to be a whole renaissance that instead of just going and buying something new, you go and make it yourself. It just then seemed that the handmade bicycles would sort of capture the theme of ‘Design that Moves’ [for the State of Design] and ‘Everything Old is New Again’ [for Sydney Design] really well.”


Sending an online call-out to their friends and followers, Faith says they were overwhelmed with submissions, which had to be culled to a select group of 18, due to space constraints at each of the venues.

“We just tried to select a really wide variety of every type of bike,” she says.


“They are all beautifully finished, ranging from professionals who sell bikes already to people who have had a dream about a bike that doesn’t exist yet.”

And with a collection that contains hot rods, road bikes, cruisers, mountain bikes, polo bikes, and some super-classy ladies uprights, there is definitely going to be something for the bike lover in all of us.


See them on show at:

State of Design Festival – Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton July 21 – 24th

Sydney Design – Kind Of Gallery, 72 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst July 28th – 31st


The Rossignol Warehouse

Architects: Liquid Blu (Yuri Dillon - Director & Gianna Bruschi - Project Architect)
Interiors: Liquid Blu (Furniture by Dan Moderne)
Builder: JC Build
Location: Spring Hill, Brisbane QLD
Photographer: Scott Burrows

This warehouse conversion in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley recently received an Australian Institute of Architects award, and it’s clear to see why the sensitive restoration and re-invigoration has been so successful. We speak with Yuri Dillion, director of Liquid Blu.


What's the story of the home?

Our client was born and raised in Sydney, New South Wales. She’s maintained a strong interest in music, education, and gardening, and been lucky enough to travel the globe through her professional career. 

In her words; "When I saw the warehouse property in Fortitude Valley in late 2004 an irresistible urge moved me to purchase the property and now, 6 years later, an unbelievable dream has turned to reality.”



We started our journey of re-crafting the spaces with anticipation, allowing the process to unfold in a very natural way.

The project involved converting a commercial warehouse space into a residence complete with attached relatives’ apartment. The design creates a range of flexible, dynamic, internal and external spaces complete with internal courtyards, plunge pool and rooftop balconies.


Time constraints were never imposed, so we were able to engage with the design process in a very unique way; kind of like a relationship, a holistic approach to design. 



What is the history of the building?

The Rossignol Warehouse was originally constructed in the early 1920's by FT Groves and Henry Roberts, a local valuer. The earliest records show David Elder's blacksmith shop at the address from 1926 to 1933.

For the next 40 years the Warehouse had been home to Malley's Whitegoods. Malley's is most remembered for manufacturing the first cooler under the trademark "esky" in 1952.

During the 1990’s the warehouse was home to agents for Lloyd's of London and other advertising and marketing companies.


What sort of challenges does a warehouse conversion such as this throw up?

The challenges in working with any existing building are great, particularly a building 90 years old and already subject to 4 or 5 other conversions.


The site is on a busy intersection and heavily constrained by all external walls built to boundary. The street facades, roof and timber supports were all subject to local heritage controls. The site is also prone to flooding and possessed poor soil conditions rendering the structure unstable. 

Construction was difficult with the building challenging all of the assumptions we had initially made. By the end, we had found two horseshoes from the 1920's under the concrete floor, and managed to keep the local nuns happy by refurbishing the two antique clocks on the facade. 



How have you integrated/respected the division between new and old?

When we first visited the warehouse, we found all of the original features had been covered up following so many refurbishments. Our philosophy was to strip back the spaces to allow the user to re-engage with the existing materials and original character.




How does the home relate to its environment/surroundings?

Being built to boundary on all 4 sides we had to carefully control the internal spaces’ connection to outside. The design premise we used was creating new courtyards behind the old facades. This acted as a buffer to new internal spaces and allows complete privacy and security. Views are maintained up and out of the open-air courtyards. Balconies in the roof space allow views over the rooftops of adjoining buildings.  



What do you love most?

I love the feeling of balance in the home - a sense of connectedness to outside yet private, a stimulating space yet content, it’s this balance that captivates you.  


Liquid Blu


Around The World

Clarion Hotel Soho

It may not be London, but it’s got to be one of the most stylish new hotels in Adelaide. The Clarion Hotel Soho is the perfect place to embark on a holiday in South Australia’s capital.



The striking architecture – utilising concrete steel and timber – is matched by an equally vibrant colour palette; with a fluorescent orange shaft in the middle of the building.


Each room is lushly appointed with designer furniture, the finest linen and Missoni cushions. The usual luxuries including LCD TVs, satellite, spa products and iPod docs are features of every room.

There’s also a number of artworks from South Australian artists on show, many available to purchase at the end of your stay.




Downstairs, the Decant Restaurant features a sumptuous modern Australian menu, with all-organic produce sourced from within 100km of the hotel. The restaurant interiors include design pieces including lights from Tom Dixon, chairs from Kartell as well as an imported Italian Aribiscato marble bar.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a nice night in the rooftop deck has a heated ‘jet pool’ with views across Adelaide, or a treatment in the Soho Spa.

Soho is at the heart of the popular East End with a number of fantastic restaurants and bars on the doorstep. Whether it’s work or play, this is definitely one for the Design Hunter™.


The Clarion Hotel Soho

Design Hunters

Collec+ors by Khai Liew

The opportunities for collaboration are rare. And when acclaimed South Australian furniture designer Khai Liew and collaborated with six other talented Australian artists to create Collec+ors, the results are quite magical.

Kirsten Coelho, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Bruce Nuske, Prue Venable, Julie Blyfield and Jessica Loughlin are a few of Australia’s most revered contemporary artists, and for Collec+ors, Khai Liew has integrated each artist’s work into a one-off furniture piece designed in his signature highly refined aesthetic.




The designs for each piece of furniture draw on and reinterpret elements of earlier works of the artists, all of whom have previously exhibited at Co[]ect, an annual decorative arts fair held in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and now at Saatchi Gallery. At Co[]ect 2006, Khai Liew along with Julie Blyfield, Bruce Nuske and Prue Venables exhibited their works together, curated by Wendy Walker from Adelaide’s JamFactory. Collec+ors is a direct result of the friendships formed during the 2006 exhibition.







Collec+ors was originally exhibited 2010, as part of the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA). Earlier this year, it was selected to be part of the exclusive British Insurance Design of the Year Awards, which is affectionately known as ‘the Oscars of the design world’ on show at London Design Museum, until 7 August.


Khai Liew

London Design Museum


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