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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Some houses are born famous and some houses become famous. This iconic Sydney home that sits teetering over the cliffs at Dover Heights is one that was born famous. As controversial in its planning stages as it is now universally admired, the Durbach Block house has become a favourite and a classic in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Durbach Block say of the project: "The plan of Holman House refers to Picasso's painting The Bather. It contains a complex series of fluid living spaces set within a meandering perimeter that arcs, folds and stretches in response to sun, landscape and views." "Living and dining areas cantilever out over the ocean, allowing dramatic views up and down the coast." "The lower floor forms a base that is built from rough stone walls like an extension of the cliff below.These walls continue along the cliff edge to form a series of eccentric terraced gardens and a vase-shaped rock pool."

Photography by: Peter Bennetts, Brett Boardman, Anthony Browell, Chris Cole, John Gollings, Reiner Blunck

Durbach Block Jaggers abc

Water-Cooled House

“It was the client's wish to live in a home that felt cool once you were inside,” says Lead Architect of Wallflower Architecture + Design Cecil Chee, speaking from his office located in bustling Beach Road Singapore.


Chee says the development of Old Holland Road was a complex and rewarding two-year project.

A trickling monsoon drain discovered on the narrow inner-city block quickly became the sensual motif around which the Water-Cooled House was designed. “Water and the idea of being cool became a firm link between the owner’s needs and the local character of the site,” he says. The smart design was orchestrated to minimise the load on the home’s air conditioning and decrease water bills for gardening the grounds.

“There was a large but unseen, monsoon drain going right through one edge of the property and it sounded very much like a small trickling brook, you could always hear sound of running water,” says Chee. Wallflower decided to install a rooftop pond that figuratively splits the living spaces in two.


“The long koi pond stretch over 30-metres and provides a public/private separation for the bedrooms and the family space. The length of the pond exposes enough of large surface area of water to the air well, so as to actually cool the local environment. The pond also draws in new air as part of the convectional process setting up and encouraging breezes. The pond also serves other functions. It’s a deliberate architectural device to separate the service block from the main house and it acts as a light, and rain well too. The shape of the building – two rectangles layered one on top of each other - means that bedrooms are all only 'one space' deep and breezes can flow through the space unhindered,” says Chee. Wallflower, who have become known as progressive players in the Singapore design scene, are well known amongst peers for their ability to push boundaries. 


The main structure is reinforced concrete and brick that’s been plastered and painted to appear flat. Grey slate from China was used in the pools and some of the external wall finishes, while local timber panelling was chosen for the extensive interior spaces. “For some bling for the guests we installed white marble floors in the dining and second storey living pavilion,” says Chee.


The project, which took two years to complete is a stunning example of beauty and cleverness combined. The Water-Cooled home is now inhabited by a local family and the ponds are filled with bright and colourful koi.

“Seeing the koi enjoying the pond is the best part of this project for me. Because of the length of the pond, you see long golden orange streamers of koi swimming up and down the in the water and occasionally they swim really fast! So you get this tremendous flash of fluid colour going to the opposite end. It’s very beautiful,” says Chee.

To view other projects by Wallflower Architecture + Design please visit their website.


Around The World

Penang Heritage Hotel

As one of Malaysia’s most prominent architects, Hijjas Kasturi is known for his distinctive commercial, civic and government buildings. One reason they are distinctive is that he rejected the fashion for vernacular pastiche. Instead, his buildings are dynamically contemporary, yet still very much of their place


He and his wife, Angela, are also known as highly generous art benefactors and for their work preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Malaysia.



The Hotel Penaga in Penang, which they designed and own, is their latest venture. Located on the edge of George Town’s World Heritage precinct and within walking distance of all the historical sites, restaurants and hawker food stalls, the hotel has emerged from the restoration and development of 15 pre-War terraces and shophouses.


The result is a wonderful evocation of Penang’s amazing cultural and ethnic mix while providing all the amenity of a modern hotel. Once again, Hijjas avoids pastiche. This is an integrated project with Hijjas designing and specifying everything (the rooms include reproductions of traditional Chinese furniture mixed in with modern European classics). Hence, while this is a very modern hotel, it also has a strongly traditional feel.

This feel is complemented by the original contemporary art work throughout, some bought specifically for the hotel, some coming from Hijjas and Angela’s own extensive collection.

While the hotel reflects its cultural context, it is also beautifully planned to connect with its physical context with landscaped public laneways and lush gardens linking it to the surrounding streets. 

The accommodation also has a fascinating variety. A row of six, two-storey terrace houses is an opportunity to stay in the modern equivalent of a traditional terrace house. Otherwise, in the main building, there is a range of suites and rooms with all mod cons including jacuzzis. Among the other hotel amenities is a wellness centre offering gratifylngly extended traditional massage.

Hotel Penaga
(60 4) 261 1891, hotelpenaga.com

Design Accessories

Yumi Floor Lamp

Designed by: Shigeru Ban Made by: Fontana Arte I am: floor lamp About me: This floor lamp enhances the lightness and extension resistance of carbon fibre. The inside of the stem is solid and comprises a sequence of different materials (fibre glass, aluminium and carbon fibre), which are layered in order to obtain a single element with high structural properties. Shigeru Ban has designed these layers to be visible. It is just 50mm thick. The cables are sunk into the structure and become part of it. The outcome is an ultra-light lighting fixture. Its arched shape is a challenge intended to show how carbon fibre combined with other materials produces remarkably light objects with high mechanical resistance. Materials: fibre glass, aluminium and carbon fibre Dimensions: 50mm x 2100 x 2300mm abc
Design Accessories

Sallée. Luxury Custom Carpets

Using Sallée’s resources, the possibilities are endless – choose a custom colour using your favourite piece of furniture, curtains or even a paint colour. Sallée will translate your colour inspiration into a stunning custom rug or wall-to-wall carpet.

Create your point of difference using texture, colour (or both) and with Sallée’s Custom program, your individuality is beautifully expressed. Sallée will custom-make to any colour and to the highest of quality & pile weight. .alt  


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Gibbon Group gibbongroup.com.au

Around The World


Confirming the hottest travel trend of 2011, Poronui Luxury Sport Lodge now offers an increasing number of guests the chance to go ‘glamping’.

The Safari Camp, built well-away from the main facility, offers guests an experience reminiscent of the ‘Poronui pioneers’. Groups of visitors who tire of soaking up the pleasures and refinement of the English hunting style lodge can now opt to flit away for a night or two and enjoy such earthy pleasures as a meal eaten with friends around a campfire. 

The safari themed tents all feature hot gas showers, crisp cotton sheets and ample space to have meals outdoors while listening to the wild Mohaka River. Guests can cook the food they have caught that day or soothe their bones next to the fire after a strenuous day of riding. Glamping Poronui style includes a visit to sweetly the appointed cabins featuring canvas roofs, with timber walls and floors.


The 16,000 acre property representing an untamed slice of New Zealand’s North Island, provides the ‘wild at heart’ a chance to escape. There are vast opportunities to trek, hunt, fly-fish and horse ride within the expansive grounds. Poronui is also equipped with all the modern-cons including; an olympic standard sporting clays course, sauna, gymnasium and underground wine cellar. Purchased by the Westervelt Company in 2007, the property has been developed by American, Mark Blake since 1998 and continues to be an ethically and sustainably maintained property.

Poronui Lodge built in 1998, added its original the Safari Camp in 1999 and made the addition of the glamorous Blake House facility during the year 2000. During the ‘return to nature’ trend in tourism Poronui managers says they have recently enjoyed an increase in the number of guests requesting time away from the hotel style facility and guest wishing to customise their experience and try all parts of the estate. 

Poronui is 4½ hours drive from Auckland, or a 25 minute flight from Auckland and a 40 minute drive from Taupo Airport. A flight from Christchurch to Taupo takes one hour, plus the 40 minute drive from the airport to the property. Poronui is 5 hours drive from Wellington.

Poronui Lodge



What do you get when you give two of Sydney’s leading cocktail barmen free reign to open their own bar? The answer is Hinky Dinks, a lighthearted cocktail bar with an emphasis on delicious food and great service.


The 50-person bar located in Darlinghurst is a single fronted room featuring a tiny carpeted lounge and compact diner-style seating along one wall. Designed by Luchetti Krelle, the retro-feeling space (think Peach Pit or Happy Days) invites patrons to gather in small groups or hover around the bar in the back left-hand corner. Taking its inspiration from 1950’s middle-America, Hinky Dinks is amusing but it’s certainly not kitsch. The combination of sincerity and tongue-in-cheek groove keeps it safely out of the realm of ‘gimmick bar’ or ‘theme restaurant’. 


Located dangerously close to the William Street and the seedier side of King’s Cross, Hinky Dinks will offer city dwellers some welcome respite from the pick up joints and goldfish bowls of Bayswater Road. Indeed Hinky Dinks seems destined to be spoken about in the same breath as Bootleg and Love, Tilly Divine.

Dan Knight runs the floor assuring attention to detail is high, while veteran staff man the bar and oversee the kitchen. Staff at the venue come with hardcore restaurant credentials with several familiar faces moonlighting from close-by Longrain and Bistro Moncur. 

With a great bar menu designed by Laif Etournaud of local restaurant ONDE, Hinky Dinks combines the true grit of award-winning barman and author Jeremy Shipley (Chicane, Guillaume at Bennelong and MG Garage) with the aplomb and sincerity of ex-actor and accomplished sommelier Dan Knight (Longrain Restaurant and Bar).

Another new Sydney bar brimming with personality; Habitus loves the quirky 50’s wall prints, genuine professional piano stoolz to sit on and the fact they’re serving Gosset Champagne by the glass.

Hinky Dinks

Luchetti Krelle

(612) 8084 6379 

Habitus Loves
Design Products
Design Accessories

Habitus Loves… Taking Notes



  Designed by:Draplin Design Company

Why we love it: Flexible, portable and compact Filed Notes are inspired by the vanishing sub-genre of agricultural memo books and ornate pocket ledgers. The Draplin Design Company, in conjunction with Coudal Partners of Chicago teamed up to create a series of delightful Field Notes, now a cult American Notebook.

Where you can get it:





  Designed by: Ki.Ki.K

Why we love it: This journal's hard cover; compact size and and bright red hue, means you can easily let it remind you to log your thoughts every day for a whole year

Where you can get it:

Ki Ki K Stationery & Gifts



  Designed by: Aeon

Why we love it: If you want a little razzle dazzle in your life then these metallic address books are the way to go. Soft and plaint these well protected notebooks tuck easily inside a laptop bag or handbag for capturing appointments or all important address details.


Where you can get it:

Papier D'Amour




  Designed by:Phoebe Gazal

Why we love it: These cayman python leather pencil cases mimick the python  with a large embossed print. Extremely durable and extremely chic these cases work as a unisex option that's suited to pens and pencil, make-up products or for storing technology leads

Where you can get it:

Papier D'Amour




  Designed by:Christian Lacroix

Why we love it: Reminiscent of Arles, France, these beautiful 128-page flocked sketchbooks are full of velvety cream pages created especially designed for your creative musings. Lined in green floral motif paper and featuring candy striped marker ribbon these journals are among the the most beautiful creations in the of Christian Lacroix Papier range.

Where you can get it:




  Designed by:Kajui Studios for Herman Miller

Why we love it: This Airia Desk and Storage unit supports technology beautifully, with simple, integrated cord management and an elevated second surface to keep the primary work area clutter free. Take notes here so you can remember now!

Where you can get it:

Living Edge



  Designed by:Pineider

Why we love it: Nothing impresses like a personal note. So why not indulge in passing some seriously elegant Spring notes with Pineider's plain, watermarked, straight cut and mint-bordered cards. They come with plain Pineider embossed mint-bordered envelopes and come in aclassical Pineider box.

Where you can get it:




  Designed by:Kate Spade

Why we love it: These tiny greeting cards embossed with a gold typewriter icon allow you to set the tone of your particular misslve. Matching envelopes with different coloured interiors inject a welcome touch of personality, without going over board.

Where you can get it:

Kate Spade





The Eco House

For its boundary-pushing commitment to passive design, 36 Boon Teck Road or Eco House by DP Architects is the first completed private residence to receive the Green Mark Platinum rating – a certification given out by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to the best examples of environment-friendly buildings in the country.

Designed by Jaye Tan, this three-storey inter-terrace offers a new sustainable residential typology for landed houses acclimatised to the tropical climate of Singapore.

“The intention was to develop a house that was self-sufficient in energy and responsible in construction material use without sacrificing comfort,” says Tan.

“Using minimal natural material resources, harvesting as much energy from the sun for energy generation, capturing the wind to optimise natural ventilation and rain to irrigate the plants, the owners challenged themselves to develop a typology for a zero-to-low energy house in a tropical context.”


Examples of passive design abound. Self-shading in many areas of the house mitigate interior heat gain; a central stairwell with an enhanced stack effect of a traditional air well enables warm air to escape through the solar-paneled skylight roof and more cool air to enter the house; and internal walls consisting predominantly of sliding panels optimise natural air flow.

Natural light is also uniformly distributed throughout the elongated terrace typology with central skylighting.


To push the limits of a self-sustaining residence, photovoltaic panels are used to help power the Hybrid DC air-conditioner, while solar thermal collectors do the same for a DC hot water heater.

As to other unique features, Tan points to the BIPB ventilated roof and ceiling system. “The PV panel module system with ceiling panels form an integrated system to replace the conventional roof and, at the same time, provide insulation for thermal, sound and water penetration,” says Tan

Not to be constrained by the modest outdoor area, trees and vertical climbers have been strategically planted to shade the building envelope, while a vertical green wall at the back porch lowers the ambient temperature. In addition, the roof has been designed to channel rainwater to landscape planter areas.

Biodiversity has also inadvertently been brought into the house. According to Tan, butterflies are “frequent house guests” and even a bat has been spotted!

DP Architects 


Fixed & Fitted
Design Accessories

Rush Range



RU770 Rush Basin Mixer




RU780 Rush Shower / Wall Mixer

The full Rush range comes with a 15 year manufacturers warranty (refer to Phoenix’s website for full warranty, terms and conditions), which allows renovators and home builders to buy with confidence.



RU730 Rush Sink Mixer




RU726 Rush Twin Shower

If you would like to capture an artistic look that is sure to make a statement, then look no further than the Rush range from Phoenix, “You don’t need to be an artist to produce great art.”



RU790 Rush Vessel Mixer




RU774 - RU776 Rush Wall Basin / Bath Outlet

RU785 – RU783 Rush Wall Basin / Bath Set


Chrome Finish


Phoenix Tapware


Design Accessories

Stoneground Wallpaper

Designed by:



Wallpaper: Wall Finishes

About me:

Each new pattern features Trove’s signature scale, unconventional color palette and a distinct poetry and grace. The Spring 2011 Collection launches in conjunction with STONEGROUND, Trove’s ground-breaking new wall”paper”;  made from stone powder and natural resin.



Nyx depicts the towering, substantial, and forceful strength of a tree as captured in the last still moment of night. Nyx portrays the quiet fleeting hour before dawn, when the world begins again with a new day.  In fact, Nyx is a tribute to the poet laureate, W.S. Merwin who, like Trove, is known for his study of the natural world. To quote the poet laureate, “Naturally it is night.”



Each design is available in five colorways. All Trove patterns may be applied to a full range of substrates, which include the silky STONEGROUND wall”paper”; Type 1 commercial grade wallpapers; REDEUX (PVC-free) and Marquee (glass bead emboss) Type II wallcoverings; wood veneers; window films; and dyed carpets. 


Made to order


The Selvedge Group
1300 721 157


Design Accessories


Inspired by the classic racing attire of the 1960's, this cool unisex design features transpiring velvet, removable and washable lining; anti-scratch face shield, thermoplastic exterior shell and washable/removable ear muffs for winter. Also available in chocolate and black, the summer version is available from Hanker.com

Luxury mobility goods don’t come any finer than at Ateliers Ruby. Here scooter helmets are transformed into high-end accessories in the hands of French designer Jérôme Coste. His uber-hip label Ateliers Ruby, guarantees safety and style that's well-suited to upwardly mobile professionals looking to accessorise their daily commute.




Ruby Molitor Belvedere Helmet

Retailed through the multi-concept store Colette in Paris, RUBY helmets pay homage to 60's screen hunk Steve McQueen and bare all the hallmarks of a French luxury house. Based on the PAVILLON - with the same typical features such as carbon fibre shell, burgundy padded interior with genuine Nappa Lambskin borders, the Moliltor Belvedere helmet features a screen shield for covering the whole face and comes with three tinted visors that can be adjusted to suit driving conditions.

Italian label Trussardi 1911, in collaboration with MomoDesign, have also created their own street-chic helmet. This time in a design that works for both serious both motor bikers and more playful city scooterists. This understated helmet in matt-black features the iconic Trussardi 1911 greyhound logo and is half covered in premium black calf skin leather.

Pavillion Helmets by Ateliers RUBY