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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

Table and Chair Company revamp


Table & Chair Company is sexing up the Perth retail scene with a revamped showroom and Jardan furniture on floor.

The overhaul and brand acquisitions take this company to the next level and bring a more sophisticated approach to residential retail to Perth.



“Our showroom looked very residential before, but we also have a very commercial-focused family of brands. So we’ve aligned our showroom with our offering,” says managing director Joseph Merlino, who has been at the helm of this 15-year-old company for the past two years.

“It hasn’t increased in floor space, but it has allowed us to display more product. Rather than walking into a floor space of furniture, we have created furniture platforms and chair walls, which create heroes out of each product and allow you to look at each product individually.”



The revamp hasn’t lost the industrial feel of the Subiaco-based showroom, but adds warmth and an obvious environmental statement through eco ply on the chair displays and GECA-certified Bolon grey woven vinyl on the furniture platforms.

Warmth and a focus on environmental responsibility are two areas that represent where Joseph is taking the company and explain the acquisitions of Jardan.



“We have brought Jardan into our family because: I love their story; Jardan is a company that offers upholstery, which we didn’t have in our collection; and they have a commitment to environmentally friendly design – a lot of projects we have been working on lately are calling for GECA certification and Jardan is 100 per cent GECA rated,” says Joseph.

Table & Chair Company will also relaunch Vitra Commercial into the Perth market in September when the Melbourne-based Vitra team arrives into the city to conduct workshops on its products, particularly showcasing the id chair collection and Citizen Office concept.


Table & Chair Company

Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Repurposing



title   Designed by:Alessandro Garlandini for ilVespaio Why we love it: This quirky chess set is handmade from Whirlpool production scraps – the chessmen are flawed appliance knobs and the chessboard is printed on Whirlpool's old non-woven advertising banners. What's not to love! Where you can get it: ilvespaio.eu alt


title     Designed by: Ellie Mücke Why we love it: Melbourne fashion designer Ellie Mücke creates high fashion from re-purposed vintage items. Shirts become dresses, skirts become pants, and t-shirts become necklaces. It's a cyclical system that results in cutting edge fashion with minimal impact. Where you can get it: mucke.com.au alt


title     Designed by: Jo Meesters Why we love it: Crafted using a variety of weaving and upholstery techniques, this four-piece soft furniture set transforms 34 discarded timber beams and 16 old blankets. Where you can get it: jomeesters.nl alt


alt Designed by: Kill Spencer Why we love it: This casual weekender makes use of the performance and functionality of repurposed military truck tarp material, making the bags nearly indestructible. Manufactured in the 1990s, the tarps were used on vehicles in the Iraq War. Each bag includes waterproof zippers and an interior laptop pocket. Where you can get it: killspencer.com alt


title     Designed by: Leo Kempf Why we love it: Made of FSC-certified Birch and inlaid with repurposed tires, this wall mantle treads the floor lightly. Where you can get it: leokempf.com alt


title     Designed by: Lighting Options Australia Why we love it: Luminaires are sourced from Australia and around the globe for a unique look that will add personality to any room. Where you can get it: lightingoptionsaustralia.com.au   alt  


alt   Designed by: Cesar Cueva Why we love it: Cesar received a parking fine one day and so made this sweet collection of rings out of street signs to pay for it – what a great story! Where you can get it: metalab.com.au alt


title   Designed by: Volker Haug Why we love it:Well, Volker's obviously a favourite of ours, but Peggy Sue also highlights the sculptural capabilities and raw texture of the humble clothes peg. Where you can get it: volkerhaug.com alt abc
Design Hunters

Workshopped 11

From over 100 submissions received from young and upcoming designers across Australia, 58 prototypes were chosen to take part in this year's Workshopped Exhibition, co-presented by the Powerhouse Museum. The exhibition stretched from the Workshopped space in the Hill Street precinct through the foyer of the neighbouring Whitehouse Institute of Design. As always, Workshopped is all about providing a stepping stone to the industry for young designers, and a showcase for their talent. From furniture to lights, flatware to jewellery, the designs were all linked by their response to the question, 'how has chaos impacted on your design?' Workshopped workshopped.com.au [lg_folder folder="stories/2011/august-11/connect/workshopped/workshop"  display="slide"]abc
Design Hunters

Candana Website Launch

Guests joined the Candana family for canapés, drinks and a viewing of their gorgeous new website, as well as the new product ranges on show. It was definitely a reason to celebrate - the website looks beautiful, with water a recurring theme in the design. Candana candana.com.au     [lg_folder folder="stories/2011/august-11/connect/candana/candana" display="slide"]abc
Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Sound


title     Designed by:AIAIAI  Why we love it: These bold headphones were designed in collaboration with 25 professional DJs and have been tested in studios and on tours around the world – perfect for professionals and audiophiles alike. Where you can get it: aiaiai


title       Designed by:Alpine   Why we love it: Pump up the volume in the car with this speaker set from Alpine. The high-end system is flawlessly accurate and designed for clarity. Where you can get it: alpine.com.au


title       Designed by: Bang & Olufsen   Why we love it: This sleek black phone is the way to keep in touch at home. We love the innovative technology – including portable speaker phone and IP telephony – and the multiple colour options for the display. Where you can get it: bang-olufsen.com


Designed by: Nendo   Why we love it: We love pretty much everything that Nendo do, and these colourful, transparent in-ear headphones (whose name translates to ‘sound jellyfish’) are no exception! To keep with the image of jellyfish, the packaging is inspired by PET plastic bottles. Where you can get it: elecom.co.jp


title       Designed by:Philippe Starck   Why we love it: It’s all about the colours. With names like Sorbet Lime, Arctic White, Pearl Grey, Classic Black and Dragon Red and at a statuesque 750mm tall, they stand loud and proud. Just place your iPod or iPod Touch in the top and you’re set for solid sound. Where you can get it: zikmu.parrot.com


    Designed by: Vita Audio   Why we love it: It’s completely portable, with BackPack and CarryPack accessories. Complete with dual alarm function, fully adjustable tone settings and available in Rich Walnut veneer, Dream White and Midnight Black high gloss lacquers. Where you can get it: synergyaudio.com


title     Designed by: Sonos   Why we love it: Stream music wirelessly from your digital music library and over 100,00 radio stations with this sweet piece of technology. Rock wall-to-wall HiFi sound with Sonos Controller Apps for Android®, iPhone® and iPad®. Where you can get it: sonos.com


title       Designed by:Team Tokushima   Why we love it: What’s not to love? Tiny timber speakers with a unique sound, available in 6 pretty colours. Where you can get it: viaalley.com    



Japan, both old and new, is well represented at new Melbourne hotspot Little Red Pocket. 

Opening its doors on July 27 and designed by 3iii, the bar is decked out with sumptuous red fabrics, polished concrete and dark timber furniture that transports visitors to the calm serenity of traditional Japanese sake houses.



But sit down to order and instantly diners are reminded of the cities of new Japan – technologically dizzying and forever moving at quickened pace. 

This thanks to the new iPad2 ordering system that eliminates the need to wait in queues to place an order. 




Owner Andrew Hiew explains, “Japan is known for its creativity, uniqueness and also its technology. We are the very first Australian venue to incorporate iPad2’s as a system of ordering.”

Long gone are the days of incorrect drinks being delivered to misheard customers, or raspy voices the morning after a night of screaming orders over blaring music. 



Instead, customers simply browse the menu and specify orders on the iPad2 (able to make modifications as specific as preferred drink garnishes) and pay for meals by swiping their credit cards on the clever contraption. 

While both old and new Japan contain intrigue and beauty, it’s clear that the real fun lies in their meeting point. 



Little Red Pocket






Finalist for the Australian Design Award James Dyson Award, the ‘Ajiro’ is a personal mobility vehicle that can literally be grown by its user.

Based on the practice of arborsculpture, student designer Alexander Vittouris found that by utilizing bamboo to form Ajiro’s structure he was simultaneously unlocking the door to clean footprint transport that, within time, could be accessible to all. 

Intervening with bamboo at initial growth stage and moulding it over a reusable skeletal substructure, Vittouris learnt that the plant would maintain its shape and form a sound base for an urban vehicle.



“It was about rethinking current manufacturing processes, to approach construction as a natural growing process and let the plant itself achieve more of the fabrication,” he explains.

He chose bamboo for its rapid growth rate (incredibly, it bears the potential of growing as much as one metre every 24 hour period) and for its structural stability.

Added to this, the broad range of species available means that this concept can be adopted and utilized locally.




The very act of growing one’s own vehicle and being part of its development process, results in a level of bonding between vehicle and rider. 

In turn, Vittouris hopes that people will learn that “material worth is beyond that of ‘discardability,’ [and that] one’s own efforts, witnessing growth, creates a tangible link to the very history of the product.” 


See Vittouris’ Australian Design Award application at:

Australian Design Award James Dyson Award




Bastian Town House


When the Bastian family decided to downsize their city house, they looked to Troppo, who designed their previous home in Clare in South Australia. For the new home, they wanted a sharp, urban-style dwelling that could cater for their changing circumstances, as their children left home to pursue work and study opportunities elsewhere. 

John and Anne Bastian found a well-located property in the foothills that skirt Adelaide’s south-eastern edge. While the single-storey brick house boasted charming Art Deco-style features – such as porthole windows in external walls and internal doors – they didn’t see themselves living in it.

“This house was a very good buy. We liked the location and we planned to demolish and re-build on the site,” John Bastian says. “But when we talked to Phil [Harris, of Troppo]... they saw positive aspects in keeping the original house.”





Harris’ design solution was radical. He suggested they take the pitched roof off the brick house – which would be kept as a self-contained residence downstairs – and build a new lightweight ‘townhouse’ on top.

“In a way, this is about downsizing, but [John and Clare] also love having friends to stay, and kids would be coming back and forth, so there would always be a need for more space.

As well as being practical, Troppo’s design solution was more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than re-building from scratch. A new dwelling would have resulted in the loss of established trees and landscaping, and would also have reduced the building’s footprint.

 “We were able to provide a generous space at a relatively low cost because we didn’t demolish or require new earthworks, which can be expensive,” Harris says. “We were hundreds of thousands of dollars in front by not demolishing.”



Internally, they decided to undertake a complete overhaul. Walls were knocked down, the third bedroom was sacrificed for the new internal stair and a storeroom, the bathroom replaced, a new laundry installed, and two new outdoor entertaining terraces were created.

The upper level townhouse is made from lightweight materials – steel framing and cladding, extensive glazing and compressed fibre cement sheet and corrugated steel walls. With its floating canopy roof that twists upwards at its highest point, it’s certainly different from the neighbouring houses, which feature heavy masonry walls and steeply pitched and gabled roofs.



There are glimpses of the tree canopy through the master suite to the right, but it’s only once you enter the public part of the house – the open-plan living, dining and kitchen space – that “the building peels away to the north-west city view and the experience of being in the tree tops with the birds and animals”, Harris says.




For the Bastians, the new dwelling suits them perfectly now and into the future: they can lock up and leave when they want to spend time in Clare or elsewhere, there’s little maintenance required to keep both houses looking great, and their children and other guests can come and go as they please downstairs. John says, “We couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We love it here.”


Troppo Architects (SA)

(61 8) 8232 9696


Design Products

Lord Coconut

In Melbourne, 1891, the Argus Newspaper advertised the grand opening of 'Lord Coconut’s Emporium of Wonder' attracting those with an appetite for the intriguing, the mesmerizing and the unique.


In Melbourne, 2011, a store of the same name, Lord Coconut, opened its doors to the public and with it came the same charisma as its namesake. 

Lord Coconut, a retail store and gallery quietly tucked away on the fourth floor of Melbourne’s Carlow House, specializes in perfect gifts for the contemporary male.



Offering specialty handcrafted cufflinks, jewellery and artwork, the store grew out of owner Mark Boldiston’s awareness of a distinct lack of options when buying presents for males. 

Boldiston explains, “we all constantly complain how hard it is to purchase gifts for men and I knew if I could create a store which was known as ‘the place’ in Melbourne to purchase contemporary jewellery and gifts for men, I would be on a winner.”

‘The place’ definitely exists within male territory – complete with taxidermy, historical wall murals and rustic fitout, Lord Coconut ensures the male shopper is no longer overlooked. 

All of the pieces on sale have been handcrafted by local and interstate designers and personally selected by Boldiston.





“My preference has been to work with local Melbourne artisans whose work I would wear myself,” he admits.

One such artist, a.l.i Alexander, will appear in store handcrafting a unique lapel pin during Lord Coconut’s Open Studio event as part of the Craft Cubed Festival on August 20. 

Lord Coconut

Around The World


Melbourne’s South Wharf is located right on the Yarra River and a stone’s throw from the city centre and Southbank. Shopping, restaurants and the stadium are in walking distance, and you can enjoy it all from the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf.   The views are captured by floor-to-ceiling glass windows in each of the 396 rooms, which also feature luxurious bathrooms and the latest technology.   But even with all the entertainment just around the corner, you may just want to stay in. Nuevo37 restaurant offers seasonal Spanish-inspired Australian dishes and Sotano Wine + Tapas bar continues the theme with authentic Catalan dishes, including a premium selection of jamon and cheeses. Added to this is a suspended wine gantry housing a comprehensive cellar, as well as cool cocktails.       Hilton Melbourne South Wharf hiltonmelbourne.com.au/hiltonmelbournesouthwharfabc
Around The World

Hilton Melbourne South Wharf

Melbourne’s South Wharf is located right on the Yarra River and a stone’s throw from the city centre and Southbank. Shopping, restaurants and the stadium are in walking distance, and you can enjoy it all from the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf. 


The views are captured by floor-to-ceiling glass windows in each of the 396 rooms, which also feature luxurious bathrooms and the latest technology.


But even with all the entertainment just around the corner, you may just want to stay in. Nuevo37 restaurant offers seasonal Spanish-inspired Australian dishes and Sotano Wine + Tapas bar continues the theme with authentic Catalan dishes, including a premium selection of jamon and cheeses. Added to this is a suspended wine gantry housing a comprehensive cellar, as well as cool cocktails.




Hilton Melbourne South Wharf


Around The World

Diamant Hotel Brisbane

Brisbane is fast becoming Australia’s most dynamic city with a forceful movement dedicated to creativity, arts, design and commerce. The Diamant provides for a quintessential boutique hotel experience right in the Brisbane CBD.

Opened in 2010, the near-new 86-room contemporary boutique hotel has now joined the upper scale Diamant collection. Positioned on the tranquil Astor Terrace, it has been elegantly designed and is also home to Brisbane’s renowned O’ Bar and Restaurant. The lunch menu changes daily, using fresh produce sourced from Brisbane Markets, with Just a block away from Central Railway Station, Diamant Hotel Brisbane offers easy access to all of Brisbane’s cultural and sporting venues, and it’s hopping nightlife.

With the choice of standard,deluxe, premier and superior rooms, as well as a number of packages available,it’s an easy choice for a Brisbane getaway.

Diamant Hotel Brisbane

(61 7) 3009 3400