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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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The Darlie Laundromatic

Retaining it's original street sign and some internal elements, co-owner Quinton Lloyd tells Habitusliving that the interior of this bar was designed to 'preserve and expose' the original building.

What inspired your design concept for the restaurant fit out?                                                                                                                         It was important to us as a collective to preserve and expose some of the history of the place being an old laundromat, which had a particular colourful resonance with the people who reside in the area.

What kind of ‘mood’ did you set out to create?
The space should reflect the service, which for us is essentially good eats and drinks ‘in your friends living room'. The space is quite tight, so inherently intimate. I would like to think people feel at home yet invariably activated by the proximity of the bar and kitchen which reside in the heart of the space.

What kind of challenges did you face from initial concept design to opening the doors?
There were some basic compliance issues that council insist on that are quite time consuming to meet when you’re trying to get things off the ground.

Which ‘experts’ did you enlist to get the job done?
Our experts were friends and family, some of whom pretend to be professionals by day.

What kind of upkeep and maintenance is required to maintain the look you have created on a daily basis?
We leave it up to the girls, being our great manager (Lauren Thorpe) and chef (Charlotte Weight) who are the talent behind the menu and service. Someone recently stole our Chuck Norris prints which may be difficult to replace.

Many bars go for a basic design approach and attract customers purely due to their food and wine.  Why did you choose to go the extra mile with the look and theme of the place?
I would suggest that there isn’t any highly engineered theme or concept. When working with a very particular site, it is important to exercise restraint to allow the curious folds and scars (which speak about the history of the place) to carry through.

What did your original design budget look like and what kind of proportion did it bear of your overall setup costs?
We budgeted a little over $10k for specialist consultants, approvals and licensing. This was really tight considering the rules and regulations you need to satisfy these days. This of course excludes any fees for design which have since resigned to 'good will'.

Did you exceed your design budget or stay within it?
We struggled to stay within it.

How willing were you to go beyond your budget in order to achieve the result you desired?                                                            It was important to us to stay on budget so it was just all hands on deck until we got it done. 

What sort of compromises did you make? Or how did you get around certain budget limitations?
Good planning can make a big difference on your spend in commercial construction. Also, try to work with existing conditions, especially in an old building.

How does your space complement the food you serve?
It is vital there is a connection through design, the menu, presentation and service. The space is small so if you are anywhere near the kitchen you can't help but catch the aromas or a glimpse of what is on the grill, which is all part of it. It is essentially a bar menu built around a few key recurring spices, complimented by wine and home-made cordials. The service works in with the layout which is simply a seated bar up front and a more intimate seating near the kitchen.  They are all informal and fairly fluid spaces. If you can’t grab a seat you can find a bench nearby and chat to the chef or the girl with the bright red apron.

Darlie Laundromatic


Habitus Loves
Design Products
Design Accessories

Habitus loves …watercolours

Jet-set acquarelle 


Designed by: Hermés 

Why we love it: This is compact watercolour set that comes in a Natural Barenia leather case andcan be taken anywhere. It contains 8 watercolours, 1 brush and 1 water bottle. Ingenious art luxury.

Where you can get it:  Hermés



Red sable brushes


Why we love it: An artist needs the right tools for the job and there is no mistaking the a red sable brush when it comes to applying paint to paper.


Where you can get it: Oxford Art Store



Windsor and Newton


Designed by: Hunter

Why we love it: The best thing about watercolour pigments is that you only need the smallest amount and just add water.

Where you can get it: Winsor Newton



Blunt Umbrella


Designed by: Blunt


Why we love it: Poked anyone in the eye with an umbrella recently? Been poked? The Blunt umbrella removes this ubiquitous safety hazard while incorporating fluid lines and solid construction.


Where you can get it: Tim Olsen 



Jelle Van Der Berg


Designed by:  Jelle Van den Berg


Why we love it:The playful twists of Jelle Van den Berg’s work is so entertaining and quirky. His awareness of colour and the loose watery application of the paint adds to the character of his subject.

Where you can get it: Gallery 9



Noel McKenna


Designed by: NOel McKenna 


Why we love it: Subtle, naïve representations of Australian suburbia. 


Where you can get it: Darren Knight Gallery





Designed by: Arches


Why we love it: The weight, texture and consistency provides optimum painting surface.


Where you can get it: Eckersleys



The Rip


Why we love it: The rustic edge to the paper is an art in itself, be warned…NEVER cut your watercolour paper with scissors. Blasphemy of the watercolour world.


Where you can get it: Your hands



El Coctel, Shanghai

Building on the success of his restaurant el Willy, Barcelona-born Willy Trullas Moreno has meticulously crafted a fine addition to the prodigious Shanghai bar/lounge landscape. From the unmarked entrance to the dividing wall made of columns of cocktail shakers (which sounds tacky but looks terrific) to the floral ceiling motif by Veronica Ballart Lilja and exposed raw brick walls, there is a playful spontaneity to the feel of el coctel that belies the care taken to balance each element of the design.

Once shown to one of the gloriously plush, Shanghai deco couches the attention to detail becomes fully apparent - in a land where extravagance is frequently marred by flaking paint and faux-marble the immaculate execution of el coctel's menus, the stainless steel olive picks and cocktail-specific glassware speak volumes.

However as tasteful and inviting as el coctel's aesthetic is, the drinks are the main attraction. Bedecked in starched white shirt, black tie, vest and cufflinks Munenori Harada brings the precision and refinement of the Japanese mixology school across the East China Sea. His team elegantly (and quickly, waiting times are very reasonable considering the complexity of drinks' preparation) serve up an eclectic but selective range of beverages. Enormous attention is given to the quality of the raw ingredients - not only are premium spirits the staple but three varieties of ice, soda and tonic are made in-house and a variety of obscure, delicious syrups and concentrates are flown-in. The result is that one drink turns into three and 10pm into 1am, and even so a last glance is longingly thrown towards the menu as one stands to leave. Thankfully Willy has been kind enough to include a selection of light-ish dishes ranging from jamon iberico, cheese and olives to fabulously buttery hot-pressed sandwiches to accompany the seductive liquids.

El Coctel isn't about Shanghai's loud, brash high-end hospitality, it offers a genuinely relaxed and sophisticated setting for murmured conversation and lovingly-prepared libations.

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Design Accessories

Kerrie Brown Design

Kerrie Brown is an Academy-Award nominated set decorator. Throughout her illustrious career she has worked with famous filmmakers from George Miller to Gilliam Armstrong. Yet recently, she found herself growing tired of the Australian film industry. Bored of being assigned to re-create teenage bedrooms, she turned her creative powers to designigng the kind of objects she'd like to live with. At the end of 2010 she set herself to work on a whimsical range that combines her love of art history with her love of dramatic settings. Fashioning everything from oriental lampshades to ornate screenprinted blinds, her first collection includes overblown toiles, French inspired tableware, bright;y printed cushions, gigantic wallpaper and even concepts for printing on glass and blinds. Brown has let herself go wild. Her little converted terrace at the end of Edgcliff Road Woollahra is now her film set. Ablaze with colour, her eclectic and eccentric textiles, are dished up in vivid hues that mix contemporary colour ways with traditional prints, maps and drawings. It’s a pleasurable bombardment of things to look at. Hycianths grow up the side of recoloured 19th century print totes, little Indian princess dance on lampshades, and a muted 18thcentury map of Paris covers the ground as a large mat in the second room. The materials that Kerrie prints on include: polyester linen blend fabrics , wallpaper, glass, artist canvas, carpet , light filter and full block out polyester roller blind fabric. Her individual sense of style is now firmly expressed, and far from being schizophrenic, it’s joyfully contagious and liveable. Kerrie’s passion for the art and design of centuries past may not be uniquely her own but she certainly gives it a fresh contemporary twist. Cultivated over years of experience her current style has been honed from researching different centuries and cultures to decorate some of the most memorable film sets. Her work with industry greats such as George Miller (on Babe), Phillip Noyce (on The Quiet American), John Woo (on Mission Impossible) Gillian Armstrong, Andrew Adamson (on The Chronicles of Narnia) and recently Guillerno Del Toro (on the soon to be released Don’t be Afraid of the Dark) and James McTeigue (on The Raven) has been Brown’s far ranging themic playground to experiment upon. Currently located in Sydney, Kerrie Brown will be offering her products to the local and global market via online retailing and from her design studio in Sydney. Visit KERRIE BROWN on line www.kerriebrown.comabc


An unusually long project, Ilana Kister’s residential project in Richmond took her and her team 6 years to complete. Held up for two years in planning, Kister Architects designed the exterior and interiors of the home on a heritage corner site in Barkley Gardens. “The owners were a big part of the design and building process,” Kister says. "It was a real team effort and there were many ups and downs along the way. But now, that it’s complete, that's almost all forgotten. The owners love the space, they love the light and particularly they like sitting on their deck overlooking the city view whilst being shaded by their Jacaranda,” reflects Kister. The project that commenced in 2005 asked that Kister Architects create a new home on a corner heritage site. The brief was to design within heritage guidelines and still maximize city views and space.  The client wanted to locate all living areas on the upper level, and give an apartment feel to the upstairs.  The upper and lower levels were to be distinctly separate but connected by a void/stair and lift. Given the proximity to neighbours the structure had to be solid enough to maximize soundproofing and insulation. The scale of the house needed to respect the streetscape but in order for Kister to include a second storey they needed to conceal the bulk of the rear. This was task Kister describes as difficult on a corner site. “The building is designed to take advantage of the city views wherever possible whilst creating interesting vignettes framing aspects of the garden, courtyard and sky,” she says. “The house breaks the site into three private gardens – the front, the rear and the side courtyard, with each responding the character of that part of the house,” “The ground level focuses on the internal aspects of the site and the upper level opens itself out onto the city view. The rear wall cutting the end of the house separating itself from the surrounding houses with its solidity. “The house integrates the two levels using a vertical circulation zone as a visual and spatial connection. The staircase and void visually integrate the two levels through the use of a double height ‘art wall’  - a tapestry of art, books and vignette views to the garden.” To create the home a range of robust materials were used including precast concrete with exposed aggregate, concrete blocks, smooth render, timber cladding and anodised aluminium windows and louvres. The house uses cross ventilation, sun shades, canopies and grey water recycling from a concrete underground water tank as well solar hot water. Learn more about Kister's projects below. Kister Architectsabc
Design Products

Great Dane gets SuperCool

The roller doors at the back of Great Dane's Johnston Street showroom go up this week to unveil The SuperCool's eclectic collection of objects from around the world. The space is a delivery bay next to the showroom, and despite Great Dane's not intending to use it it was an attractive feature; as company director Anton Assaad comments "when expanding Great Dane into the Fitzroy neighbourhood, we wanted a space that not only fulfilled our needs, but also one which had several flexible spaces that we could share with and invite others into”. The SuperCool are set to be the first in a series of temporary tenants, and their reputation for skipping from one unusual spot to the next (Pope Joan Cafe in East Brunswick, the SO:ME space and St Ali Cafe in South Melbourne) makes them the perfect choice to launch the collaborations. SuperCool's Kate says  “It's in a great location within the heart of Fitzroy and on a street where the best vintage, interior and furniture designers merge together. We love the idea of having a semi-permanent space set up in Fitzroy for SuperCool fans to check out in their lunch break and on the weekends whilst they indulge in gastronomy, music, fashion and culture.” The SuperCool will occupy the space, accessible from Napier Street, for six weeks starting Thursday March 29.  abc
Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q&A with Marc Newson

Your name: Marc Newson

What you do: Industrial designer

Your latest project: Tachen Monograph, Caroma full range, Aircraft interiors and airport lounges for Qantas, K-01 Camera for Pentax, Children's bunk beds and rocking horse for Magis, Champagne Cooler for Dom Perignon

What is your favorite…

travel destination Ithaca, Greece and Japan

place to stay Hotel Amanpuri, Phuket Thailand

hotel Danieli, Venice

airline Qantas

magazine Classic Car , Country Life, Vogue Living

watchmaker Jaeger LeCoultre

luxury goods company Hermés

2 people that inspire/excite you

1)  Jonathon Ive

2)  Azzedine Alaïa

design classic Lamborghini Muira

new design Pentax K-01

favorite type of chair Superleggera - Gio Ponti 

meal Soba

restaurant Scotts, London.

drink Dom Perignon Champagne

bar Orchid Bar, Hotel Okura, Tokyo

gallery/museum Gagosian

book  The Loved One, by Evelyn Waugh 

item in your studio  My sketchbooks

artwork Alighiero E Boetti 

artist Lucio Fontana

piece of technology  i-Phone

creative philosophy   Problem solving.


Marc Newson Ltd.

Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q&A Belinda Aucott

This week on Habitusliving.com she shares with us some of her personal design favourites and gives us a peek into her key influences.

Your name:  Belinda Aucott

What you do: Freelance writer and Director of Yarn PR

Your latest projects: Editing Habitus Living for Indesign and Managing PR for Imagination

What is your favourite…

travel destination Paris

hotel/place to stay  Soho House Berlin

airline Singapore Airlines

magazine HabitusMonocle, Fantastic Man,  How to Spend It,  Zoo

watchmaker Omega

luxury goods company Chanel

three people that inspire/excite you

1)  Anish Kapoor

2)  Jean Rhys

3)  Marc Newson

design classic 1956 Porsche

new design  Bassamfellows

favourite type of chair  Alvar Aalto armchair 406

meal Steak frites with Café de Paris butter

restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthall

drink Vintage Champagne or Whiskey sour

bar La Belle Hortense

gallery/museum Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

book L’immoraliste by André Gide

item in your studio  Lots of blank paper

artwork The Night Watchman by Rembrandt

artist Matisse

piece of technology Curling tongs

creative philosophy  The personal is political

Design Products

Cabaret by Kenneth Cobonpue

Cobonpue's latest range of sofa, armchairs and coffee/end tables once again showcases his flair for fusing traditional craft trechniques with elegant modern aesthetics.

Most striking about the sofa and chairs is the detailed fabric webbing that forms the support for the cushions - stretched over a steel frame this lattice almost evokes a modern hammock and contributes an effortless lightness to the pieces.

Like the sofa the high-backed arm chair revels in it's generous back and sides, and it's low-backed sibling offers a more subdued and versatile option.

The coffee and side tables, composed of fibre-glass frames stitched with fabric, are refined and simple, maintaining the range's sartorial theme.

Available in a range of colours and in both indoor and outdoor fabrics the Cabaret range is a customizable and sophisticated range of furniture ideal for both living-room and sun-deck.

The Cabaret range of furniture is available in Sydney from Ke-Zu.


Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q&A with Henry Wilson

A graduate with first class honours from the Australian National University, he also holds a Masters in Man and Humanity from the Design Academy Eindhoven in The Netherlands. Here on Habitusliving.come he gives us a brief snapshot of his design favourites.

Your name:

Henry Wilson

What you do:


Your latest project:

‘A-joint’ a joinery system for pre-dimensioned timber.

What is your favourite…

travel destination

The ocean - sailing.

hotel/place to stay

Damp, narrow bunk bed on said sailing boat.







luxury goods company


three people that inspire/excite you

1) E. Barber & J. Osgerby

2) Dr Rodney Hayward

3) Irma Boom

design classic

Zeroll ice-cream scoop & Gio Ponti Superleggra.

new design

Light house lamp, Bouroullec Brothers

favourite type of chair

Gio Ponti supperleggra


Oysters, brown bread, cold butter.


Berta, Sydney


Cold whiskey


Chichu Art Museum, Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan.


A place of my own, Michael Pollan

item in your studio

Very old heat lamp used for infant jaundice. Made in Sydney.


Open Sky , 2004 by James Turrell.


China De La Vega

piece of technology

wireless speakers.

creative philosophy

material and functional honesty.

Learn more about this designer by visiting Henry Wilson's website or Trent & Henry

What's On

Icarus at the Centre Pompidou

Trubridge's ingenious use of sheet material to create complex, fluid forms that act as mediums for his design aesthetic and social commentary has proved to be an winning combination for the Paris museum. The Pompidou has selected three large pieces from the ‘Icarus’ installation, first shown at the Milan Salone del Mobile in 2010. The pieces represent wings suspended near a spherical sun, and allude to the ancient Greek myth cautioning against man’s hubris. Aside from expressing Trubridge’s own views on the dangers of being seduced by technology and progress the installation demonstrates his ethos that design can – and should – move beyond aesthetics and be used to engage with and comment on social issues. The pieces also exemplify the constant thread of sustainability present in Trubridge’s work, with each of them being assembled on site after being transported as airline luggage. Indeed many of the complex, three-dimensional forms David creates are shipped as flat-packs or kitsets that the purchaser must then assemble for themselves. While this has resulted in galleries and showrooms feeling tentative about ordering his works, his French representative, MOA, states that “Trubridge is viewed in France as being one of world’s leading ‘eco-conscious’ designers”. The Centre Pompidou aims to exhibit the pieces early 2013. David Trubridgeabc
Design Hunters

National Policy for Design

The Australian Design Alliance (AdA), is a not-for-profit advocacy group with members from many of Australia's leading design firms. It is currently raising funding and support for a National Policy for Design, aiming to receive $15,000 through its Pozible website. The Ada's goal is to promote the use of of design to solve problems in Australia and the funds will help to the campaign activities to continue to Canberra and lobby politicians. It hopes introducing a National Policy for Design will boost productivity, sustainability and innovation through design, and believes government endorsement is crucial for the Australian design industry's future prosperity. In particular it says a design policy  that is linked to Australia's Innovation Agenda and cultural and urban policies would help to unify the nation's design vision. At the heart of the project is Lisa Cahill, Executive Director of The Ada. She is calling upon all types of designers from artists and landscape designers, to interior designers, urban planners and architects to unite for a better organised and funded approach to design policy in Australia. As AdA member industrial designer Marc Newson comments, "Australians are unfettered by any deeply rooted design heritage, while at the same time possessing vast natural and historical riches this could foreseeably nurture the next generation of world class designers and help shape the future. It is for this reason that I am supporting a National Policy for Design in Australia." Film designer, Catherine Martin Other supporters for a National Design Policy include designer Liane Rossler, film designer Catherine Martin, and Kerryn Coker from Arup. Rossler says that national design policy would help to give designers recognition and respect and enable them to reach new heights, while Coker says innovative, creative and design led solutions can help to surmount our ever increasingly complex social problems. Designer, Liane Rossler The AdA has launched it's campaign on Australian crowd-funding platform Pozible, gathering funding from passionate members of the public. If you are believe in the future of design then put your money where your mouth is this month and donate $20-$50 to this cause. You will be helping your industry and placing value on the power of design. Watch the video here explaining the movement.  abc