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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FIine Print

Located in the heritage-listed Newspaper House – which housed and produced the state’s West Australian Newspaper until the 1980s – Print Hall is the city’s first multi-level dining and bar precinct.

Stretching across four levels, and taking in more than 3,500 square metres, the project was spearheaded by the Colonial Leisure Group, who also own and operate several other notable hospitality sites in Perth and Australia, including the Raffles Hotel and Colonial Brewing Company in Margaret River.

Lyndon Waples, CEO of the Group, says he first saw the site in late 2009 and immediately wanted to do something with it and its proud history.

Having worked recently with Melbourne-based design studio Projects of Imagination on Half Moon Bay in Brighton, he says they were keen to use the studio’s intimate knowledge of hospitality design to draw on the strengths of the site.

“Dion from Projects of Imagination describes it as an unfolding book as you move up,” he says. “There is a definite consistency of design, but each of the spaces are visibly different.”

Starting with Small Print – a cafe, bakery and on-site roastery - on the lower ground, the original grand foyer then welcomes Print Hall’s namesake bar and dining room, with a soaring vertical garden that provides the perfect backdrop for Executive and Head Chef duo – David Coomer and Shane Watson.

The first floor plays home to modern Asian fusion restaurant Apple Daily – named after the Hong Kong-run tabloid newspaper – collaboratively set up by Cheong Liew, and Head Chef Sunny de Ocampo.

But it is the rooftop terrace bar that Dion Hall, from Projects of Imagination, says will probably be the ultimate crowd-pleaser.

Named after Australian PM Bob Hawke, who was raised and university-educated in Perth before claiming title to the fastest beer drinker in the world, it is haloed by the neon light of the iconic West Australian newspaper sign, and is sure to be a beacon for small and large talk anytime of the day.

Print Hall

Design Products

Abode Living

Cotton isn’t just cotton. Giza45, the best quality cotton in the world is the latest addition to Abode’s sheeting range. Produced from extremely rare cotton grown on the bank of the Nile Delta in Egypt and hand-harvested, Giza45 is luxury, beyond thread count. With the longest fibres in the world, the Giza45 must be experienced to be believed. Abode offer everything from 300 thread count to 1000 thread count Italian Egyptian cottons and the Giza45 sits above them all. 

Like all Abode Living products the Classic 600  towel and bathrobe range has been developed with quality and function in mind. Made with superfine combed Egyptian cotton to produce a 600gsm, the new towel offering doesn’t require artificial softeners to make it appear soft. Ultra absorbent and lush, the Classic 600 won’t disappoint. Presented in an earthen colour palette, these towels will suit a range of bathroom settings.


European Feather and Down, Abode’s flagship product range is bolstered this summer with the addition of the Cashmere quilt and pillow range. With attention to detail, Abode has selected the very best materials to produce Australia’s finest quilt. It starts with an 800 fill power Hungarian white goose down (which is hand-picked from the nest), then it’s combined with a German crafted, down proof shell made with Cashmere and Egyptian cotton. The Cashmere quilt is available in 5 warmth levels to suit any climate from tropical to arctic, and the pillows are available in 3 different densities, gentle, medium or firm.  Abode also offers free adjustments for up to 6 months after your purchase, so you get just what you’re after.



What's On

HabitusLiving at the Venice Biennale of Architecture

A number of works at the Central Pavilion of the Giardini focus on looking backwards at the origins of architecture, occasionally accompanying this with modern interpretations or elaborations. Facecity, by Pino Musi and Francesca Molteni, explores the ‘absolutely modern’ work in post-war Milan by artists including Caccia Dominioni, Ponti, Gardella and Magistretti, while The Piranesi Variations elaborate 18th Century artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s landmark drawings of an imagined Rome with four new interpretations by contemporary design firms. Despite dealing with relatively familiar territory, rich subject matter and creative displays give these more didactic works a classic and stimulating appeal.

Among the more issues-driven works are Process of Change by The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which examines how the fabric of cities can be protected and rehabilitated from poverty and conflict, and The Banality of Good, an ironic and acidic criticism of the trajectory of 20th and 21st century urban planning, which laments the replacement of socially positive ideals such as emancipation, equality and progress with efficiency, expediency and individualism.

This more energetic dialogue is sustained in some of the national pavilions, with Israel and Greece both presenting politically charged environments. Exploring sensitive issues like the construction of settlements in the West Bank and the impact of economic collapse on Athens’ built environment, architecture is used as a lens through which to view dramatic social conflicts.

Contrasting to this is the minimalist and hyper-digital Russian pavilion, which gives visitors a tablet and invites them into an eerie interior were every surface is covered in illuminated QR codes. Visitors can use the tablets to scan the codes and discover various aspects of the ‘I-city Skolkovo’ project, whereby the city, located near Moscow, will attract more than 500 international companies working in IT, biomedical research, nuclear research, energy and space technology.

The Arsenale exhibition, despite at times feeling only tenuously related to architecture, is still substantially rewarding, with a number of striking installations. Of particular aesthetic merit is Arum, by Zaha Hadid Architects. Placing the magnificent thin shell and tensile forms of the firm on a line of continuity spanning masters such as Felix Candela and Heinz Isler, this installation explores the history of the vernacular as well as extending into its future with the work of stone compression researcher Philip Block and students of Applied Arts at the University of Vienna.

In all the 13th Biennale of Architecture is perhaps not as stirring as previous editions; however it remains uniquely important occasion for architects worldwide to showcase not just their work but their ideas regarding architecture, and is thus a crucial place of exchange. In this sense at least, Director David Chipperfield’s theme of ‘Common Ground’ is perfectly well suited. 

Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q+A with Minna Kenell-Kutvonen

Your nameMinna Kemell-Kutvonen

What you do: I am Creative Director of Marimekko

Your latest project: I am working with our next autumn collection 2013.

Who are three people that inspire/excite you:   

1) Designer Vuokko Nurmesniemi    

2) Rei Kawakubo 

3) My three children, they are so clever!

What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: My brown Crescent bike.

Chair model: Jakkara by Alvar Aalto

Residential space: Our summer house in the Finnish archipelago.

Commercial space: Merci in Paris.

Decorative product: Candle.

Functional product: Canvas bag.

Handmade good: Wool socks.

Mass-produced good: Water bottle.

meal: Fish.

restaurant: Morimoto in New York.

drink: Water.

bar: I don’t spent time at bars

item in your studio: The red Domus chair design by Ilmari Tapiovaara.

piece of technology: iPhone

historical figure: Armi Ratia

vice: Candy

virtue: Gardening.

What does the term ‘Design Hunter mean to you? It sounds like you’re hunting design…

What's On

‘Stickwork’ at Federation Square

Most adults have fond memories of roaming woods or bushland, imagination running wild, building shelters from sticks and leaves, the land around them becoming far more than the sum of its parts. For award-winning US artist, Patrick Dougherty, these childhood games have developed into a serious art career.

“My whole effort to become a sculptor as an adult dovetailed with a secret childhood dream to become an artist,” says Dougherty. “I believe that one’s childhood shapes a sculptor’s choice of materials. For me, it was growing up in the woodlands of North Carolina, which are overgrown with small trees and where forests are a tangle of intersecting natural lines.”

Dougherty’s sculptures are organic forms, intricately woven from saplings and other organic matter. The forms are not pre-determined, but rather are guided by variables such as weather and material pliability.

The dynamic sculptures also hint at life cycles and impermanence. Over a three-week build period, they seemingly grow, and as the organic matter decomposes, the sculptural forms gradually decay, once again becoming a part of the landscape.

Federation Square will soon be transformed into Doughtery’s open-air studio, as he completes a three-week build ofStickworks. The new sculpture is the first of Dougherty’s works to be completed in Australia, and was commissioned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Melbourne icon.

Over the course of the build, Doughtery will weave and bend over five tonnes of willow and eucalypt into one of his expressive sculptural forms. The project will also assist Melbourne Water in the clearing of willow, which is classed as a weed in Victoria, from key water catchment areas around Melbourne.

Visitors to Federation Square will be witness to the art making process, and each will read a different meaning into the work. “My viewers see stick castles, lairs, nests, architectural follies,” says Dougherty. “They remember moments in the woods with their favourite trees. I hear stories about the Garden of Eden, and secrets about first dates. Some viewers touch the surfaces and talk about the momentum of wind or other forces of the natural world. Those that pass by are often compelled to explore the sculpture’s strange shapes and hidden passages.”

For the artist, however, his work represents a connection with humanity’s primitive past. “Picking up a stick and bending it seems to give me big ideas,” says Dougherty. “I think this ‘know how’ is one that every human carries as a legacy from our hunting and gathering past.”



Open Flow

Designed for a couple and their young child, the project comprises three bedrooms, two bathrooms and two separate living spaces connecting to the rear and side courtyards. The site was previously occupied by a standard two-storey structure, of which the only noteworthy element was the sandstone enclosing walls on the ground floor. As such the build consisted of a re-configuration of internal spaces – as Project Architect Christopher Polly comments, this “enabled a significantly expanded series of connected interior volumes that harnessed access to sunlight, ventilation and views of tree canopies and sky beyond, while enabling extension of key existing materials and finishes to retain some memory of its previous incarnation.”

This is particularly evident on the ground floor, where the open space of the original house flows into the upper storey through the void above the stairs. Continuity between the levels is sustained by having the materiality of the timber flooring maintained in the floating stairway, and the single expanse of the inside wall drawing the volume upwards.

A strong sense of connectivity between indoor and outdoor spaces is fostered through the finely crafted doors and windows, which allow the house to open onto the yard at the ground floor and into an established tree canopy at the first floor, while a step up to the yard allows the threshold to be used as a shelf or seat. This also has the effect of inviting abundant penetration of natural light, with illumination further encouraged through us of opalescent polycarbonate cladding, which reflects & transmits light by day while enabling a lantern-like quality of spaces by night.

Clean, modern furnishings reinforce the airy and uncluttered aesthetic of the structure, accommodating functional family living without feeling overly minimalist, while the prevalence of timber ensures visual and tactile warmth throughout the surfaces.


Ultimately the house is a highly successful example of how the use of light and space can create a serene, inviting atmosphere, nuanced by refined design details and softened with natural materials. 

Christopher Polly Architect

Photography: Brett Boardman


Movement and Displacement

Claude’s fine dining restaurant in Woollahra is something of an institution, having occupied the same  Oxford street since 1976.  This year, a new culinary direction, under celebrated chef Chui Lee Luk, has resulted in a creative collaboration with  Melbourne-based interior architect Pascale Gomes-McNabb, the visionary behind establishments like Cutler and Co and Cumulus.

Gomes-McNabb’s brief  was to create two distinct dining places that visually portrayed the new Claude’s dining experiences on offer.  The design incorporates a two tier approach – a “relaxed but edgy” downstairs bar and a “more traditional and luxurious” upper level dining room.  “Without changing the integrity of the existing built context, the idea was to add elements to visually alter the overall perception,” explains Gomes-McNabb.  “The key design elements are paint as a visual effect, well orchestrated lighting and simple joinery pieces in interesting materials and shapes.” 

The new design includes custom tables made from American oak veneer and metal, Thonet, Moooi and Arne Jacobson Series 7 chairs and leather-upholstered banquettes.  The wall pattern references WW1 dazzle ships which were designed to appear “invisible”.   However Gomes-McNabb has subverted the idea, using the patterns to createmovement within the small space. 

“The lower level lighting levels and fittings are slightly haphazard, adding to the overall idea of object displacement,” adds Gomes-McNabb.  “In contrast, the upstairs area is a subdued and plush environment, featuring dark carpet, glittery curtains, jewel-coloured, sparkling brass fittings and warm neutral tones.”   The lighting here is focused and precise, with the single whimsical addition of a feathered chandelier.  “The contiguous mirrors that wrap around the walls, are common threads that tie both levels together,”  she adds.

There are also a number of bespoke joinery elements, in particular the new bar, featuring an acid-treated, black mild steel fascia and a brass benchtop.  The upper level waiters’ station is clad in brass sheet and the screens are made from brass flat bars, brass tubing and thin timber posts.





Kraus House

The brief for the renovation of a 55sqm Fitzroy flat evolved over the course of Chris Wright (of Honn Projects) and the client’s travels through Europe; as Wright states, “we spent a lot of time think-tanking ideas on the beaches in Italy, exploring markets in Berlin and walking around Helsinki.” However this wealth of inspiration faced fairly strict parameters, needing to fit the available dimensions, and as such the focus of the concept was distilled to increasing natural light and maximizing usable floor space by minimizing cupboards, doors and open shelving. Economic and environmental sensibility also encouraged the use of reused and re-claimed materials where possible.

Having gutted the space, a new floor plan was adopted that creates a continuous but subtly divided communal area comprising kitchen, living and dining. These are separated from the bedroom by the enclosed bathroom, thus allowing for privacy while removing unnecessary barriers. Efficient timber built-ins provide accessible storage without encroaching on floor space, and the intelligent raising of the bedroom area takes advantage of the high ceilings and creates a large long-term storage area under the floor (accessed by moving the staircase), useful for rarely used items such as seasonal clothing and bulky sports equipment.

Extensive use of timber in the interiors, either left natural or painted white, sustains a warm, luminous mood, whilst variation between the lighter joinery and darker reclaimed flooring ensures variation in tone and texture. A strip of copper as the splash back gives the kitchen a note of utilitarian robustness, with the metal’s muted lustre tying its paler neighbours together.

The project is all the more impressive considering Wright, at the age of twenty-four, is currently completing his masters of architecture. His aesthetic sensibility and design ingenuity suggest we shall be seeing more from him.

Honn Projects

Photography: Chris Wright

Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q+A with Kylie Legge

Your name: Kylie Legge

What you do: I am a place maker – which means that me and my team help communities, government and developers make better and more human urban environments that people want to spend time in. 

Your latest project:

Publishing the first in the Urban Trends book series ‘Doing it Differently’ about all the inspiring community led projects around the world.

Who are three people that inspire/excite you:

     1)  Anyone out there trying to make a positive difference in their community

     2)  Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney – she’s committed to the big picture as well as all the little steps that need to happen to get us there – even if some are uncomfortable

     3)  The people I didn’t mention in #1

What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: Dream car- 280sl Mercedes, Bike - share, Plane – anything with in seat entertainment, Boat - ferry

Chair model: While there is some pretty sophisticated contemporary designs I adore anything preloved, mid 20th century Nordic furniture particularly

Residential space: It’s not a permanent home but for my short time there The Ace Hotel in Portland really aims to make you feel that way

Commercial space: Does the garden courtyard inside the Museum of Modern Art in New York count?

Decorative product: I am loving all the fabulous street art that is decorating our cities. It’s so often really clever and thought provoking

Functional product: My bed

Handmade good: My sheets – from a women’s enterprise group in India Pure and General

Mass-produced good: Ikea basics

meal: Anything my sister makes – amazing! Hampshire & Legge Catering

restaurant: Buffalo Dining Room – ricotta gnocchi to die for 

drink: Lychee mojito with lots of lychees

bar: With so many great choices its hard to settle on one in Sydney, but at the moment I am liking the Corner House and 10 William St, and any place with outside seating as it gets warmer

item in your studio: ‘Ratty’ the stuffed kangaroo – Place Partners’ unofficial mascot

piece of technology: I do like a tweet in the morning

historical figure: William Whyte and Jane Jacobs – they both had much to do with making Manhattan one of the most desired places in the world to visit, live and work in.

fictional character: Jo March, Little Women – I can remember reading it and thinking ‘cool, can girls do that?’

vice: Gelato Messina – lemon, pistachio and hazelnut, the same 3 flavours I have had since I was a child (and conveniently located across the road from the Buffalo Dining Room)

virtue: Early morning walks around my neighbourhood 

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you?

I am more of an ‘Ideas Hunter’. If that manifests itself as an object then that is great but sometimes its more about creative thinking than being ‘artistic’. Maybe  ‘Design Hunter’ is about finding clever solutions to the world’s challenges whether that’s peeling a potato or the revitalisation of a city?


Design Hunters

Iindigenous Housing and Nordic Sensibilities

As National President of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2008-2009, Howard Tanner was a lead player in starting Australia’s committed participation to the Biennale. On his third visit, he speaks of how Australia’s presence has evolved, and of the exhibits that left an impression.

“We have become much more confident” states Tanner, praising the work of the AIA, various curators, and in particular ex-Lord Mayor of Sydney Lucy Turnbull and Janet Holmes a Court in their roles as Commissioners for the Australian delegation. As “women of stature who would place calls and facilitate, they made a big difference” to funding and participation from the private sector and across various levels of government in support of the event. 

In relation to the Australian contribution this year, Tanner comments “The Australian show sought to present a different slice of design and design conversation in Australia”. Particularly noteworthy are sculptor/architect Richard Goodwin’s flying-fox over the canal and into the Australian Pavilion, and Paul Pholeros’ exhibit ‘Healthhabitat’ on housing for indigenous people in Australia, displaying how their quality of life can be improved through better design. 

Richard Goodwin’s zipline. Photography by John Gollings.

Paul Pholeros at Healthhabitat. Photography by John Gollings.

As far as other countries are concerned, Tanner was impressed by Sverre Fehn’s Nordic pavilion, which he describes as “a most beautiful open plan space, spanned by large connected beams and lit by a translucent ceiling: giant trees grow up through the structure. It is absolutely contemporary and timeless, and now 50 years old!”.

He also admired the display in the Danish Pavilion, where the effects of Greenland’s ice melting were explored (including increased agriculture, mineral exploration and its development as a potential transport hub), and Jan Ghel’s exhibit on the island of S. Giorgio explaining how to humanize cities and “give them back to the people”.

With a new, more permanent structure set to replace the current Australian Pavilion in 2014-2015, we can expect Australia’s involvement in the Architecture Biennale to continue expanding, bringing greater interaction and opportunities for architects and designers. 

Venice Architecture Biennale

Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Cersaie



Designed by: Antrax

Why we love it: We’re all about exploring colour, form and flexibility and these creative radiators do just that. HITI can be installed vertically or horizontally – there’s even a corner version for maximum space efficiency.




Designed by: Porcelanosa

Why we love it: They’re the masters of Spanish ceramics and Porcelanosa’s range this year featured highly textured materials with plenty of depth, such as this Jersey design.




Designed by: Artceram

Why we love it: It’s a new idea combining a bathroom cabinet, washbasin, shelves, towel rail, and lighting fixture (designed by Antonio Citterio with Toan Nguyen and co-branded with Flos). All elements are cleverly aligned on a beam, enabling flexibility of placement.


SensoWash® Starck C


Designed by: Duravit 

Why we love it: This shower-toilet seat takes the toilet/bidet style popular in Asia and takes it one step further, concealing the cable and water connections. A discreet solution by the ubiquitous Philippe Starck.





Designed by: Devon & Devon

Why we love it: Presidential in name and nature, this mono-block bathtub in a new White Tec material – a mixture of resin and quartz – is characterised by neo-classical details, fit for the White House.




Designed by: Atlas Concorde

Why we love it: Inspired by marble, this new collection offers prestige aesthetics and superior technical qualities, in a range of sizes, colours and applications.




Designed by: Gedy

Why we love it: It’s something for the kiddies – this range features soft shapes and bulbous forms to make toilet training that little bit easier. Gedy’s early childhood program includes a trainer toilet, potty/step, bath and bath support.


Horizontal Shower


Designed by: J. Herbin

Why we love it: The ultimate in lazy, lie down while the shower showers you. Six water bars, controlled by a central eTool panel allows you to select various flow types from the Ambiance Tuning Technique system.



Design Products

New Products Launching at SiD Singapore!

At APS Lifestyle Marketing

See the launch of the new Whirlpool built-in cooking appliances and Smeg Chocolate Retro Fridge.

At Besglas Singapore

View the latest Ximula Black Series, featuring stylish, all-black shelving systems.

 At Bode & Vantage


Get up close with Tsar Carpets from Australia, Timorous Beasties from Glasgow and Kinnasand from Germany.

At Contrac-Image/Interface

Interface’s first global collection – Urban Retreat – is launched to the market.


At Create Stone

The Australian brand arrives in Singapore with two new products – the Terazzo Range of six marble-based terrazzo tiles, and the R Ten Plus anti-slip tile treatment.

At Deco Expression / Vorwerk

The designer range of Vorwerk carpets comes to Singapore. Check out the designs by Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Hadi Teherani and more.

At Dream Interiors

Dream Interiors launches the Kvadrat range of fabric.

At Foundry

A host of new products can be found at the Foundry store from the following brands: SCP, Hanna Korvela and the Foundry collection.

At Grafunkt
Check out the new Blackhole lighting concept.


Experience a slew of new bathroom products including Allure Brilliant, GROHE Red and Blue, Power and Soul and F-digital. 

At Kokuyo

The Airgrace chair makes its debut in Singapore at Saturday in Design.

At Korla

Korla will launch several new colourways and their signature Korla print.

At Novamobili

See the new, fully customisable REEF Sofa. 

At Romanez

Check out the new Designers Guild Autumn and Winter Collection.

At Space Furniture

See the latest Milan Furniture Fair 2012 collection from Moooi.

At Stylecraft

Stylecraft introduces Ritzwell and Designer Rugs, and new ranges from Arper, Derlot Editions and Tacchini.

At Thinking Ergonomix

Get up close with EONA™ Chilli, FLUID™, okidoki™, SHAPED™ and C.ME™.


TOTO presents the LE MUSE Suite – its latest collaboration with architect and designer Francesco Lucchese.

Also visit the new bulthaup showroom at Armenian Street to see concepts such as mobile and ‘floating’ kitchens, as well as the newly refurbished Million Lighting showroom at Park Mall for the latest lighting products.