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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Creative Space

Designed for a creative couple with little need for domestic amenities, the project’s brief emphasized removing walls and visual boundaries between areas and favouring materiality over colour in shaping the interior’s aesthetic.

The material palette employed to achieve this consisted of floor tiles in the kitchen and teak plans for the rest of the flooring, visually porous concrete ventilation blocks for a partition between areas and laminate, glass and mirrors. Painted surfaces throughout the apartment are white, with a grey stucco feature wall straddling the boundary between chromatic and textural effect.

Fixtures and furnishings sustain the pared back philosophy of the fit out, either accompanying colours and materials are adding modest flourishes of decorative detail. Dark, patterned wallpaper, eclectic lighting and mirror embellished with a flora cutout further interrupt the clean colours, shifting the feel of the apartment from Spartan to minimalist.


The resulting home speaks to the personalities that inhabit it – “Clients are very committed and interactive” comments Moh, Principal Designer at the firm, “Being in the creative industry, they both are sure of what they want.” And, whilst the simplicity of the aesthetic might be too extreme for many, it can also foster creative clarity, rendering it a serene and meditative sanctuary.


What's On

Giampaolo Babetto at Bini Gallery

Launched on November 22, to mark the second birthday of Collingwood’s Bini Gallery, Babetto’s four yellow and white gold rings – with more pieces to be added in 2013 - range from $6000 to $12,000 and are exclusively available in Australia through the gallery.

The rings weren’t originally created as part of a collection but individually over a period of time dating back to the 1980s although each piece is a showcase of simplistic form including hollow spheres and flattened cubes.

“I would like these objects to have a soul, and that they could communicate a tension. I use simple forms because I do not wish to emphasise or decorate excessively. I try to find a connection and harmony in my work,” Babetto says.

Gallery owner Lorenza Bini says clarity of form and classic geometric proportions are common features of all four rings, as is Babetto’s preference for using gold “for its warmth and malleability”.

“One of the more recent rings though, combines the pure and angular forms of classical origin with opaque colours reminiscent of medieval mural painting,” Bini says.

A “multi-talented gold and silversmith with leanings towards architecture, photography and design” Babetto creates jewellery espousing both beauty and precision through rigorous form, minimal decoration and an insightful use of light and colour; although his predominant inspiration has always been architecture.

“In an early phase, in fact, he dedicated himself to studying architecture, and only later took up metal working,” Bini says.


Babetto, she says, developed his “artistic vocabulary” from a profound affinity with geometric shapes based on constructivist traditions and quickly acquired an “extraordinary fame” on the European and international jewellery-making scene. 

Multi-award winning Babetto studied at Padua’s Pietro Selvatico Art Institute and later, the Academy of Belles Artes in Venice. He has exhibited in Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Japan, the United States of America and now Australia and his works are held in the permanent collection of Germany’s Pforzheim Museum.

Bini Gallery
62 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne.


Bamboo Chic

Located on the 4th level of the Le Meridien flagship hotel in Bangkok, the recently redecorated Bamboo Chic Bar (originally by Orbit Design Studios but reorganised by the hotel) is a fun experimentation on the core essence of art deco’s formal language of manmade materials, repetitive geometric patterns, and themes borrowed from lost cultures. The absence of the style’s common visual vernacular of Aztec and Egyptian themes is evident, and in this case has been supplanted with an interpretation of oriental bamboo groves.


Even before entering the bar via the glass elevators, the spatial tempo of the space has been set by an approach through a corridor of illuminated crushed glass flooring, matt-black metal finished fin-wall with embossed bamboo culms on one side, and a glass wall on the other side which isolates the bamboo groves on the outside. This double-height bamboo grove gimmick can also be seen from the ground level lobby. From the corridor onwards, the bamboo groves are then abstracted and expressed in an art deco application of man-made materials.

Image: Tanet Chantaket

The physical nature of the bamboo is the key interpretation to the finishing materials and colour schemes of the entire space. The abstraction and geometric application are easily seen in the repetitive elongated pendent lamps of dried bamboo culms at the bar counter and the full-height vertical fin-wall finished in dark wood on illuminated sanded-glass behind it. To neutralize the overwhelming repetition of vertical lines, the horizontal-running cool green illumination along the rectangular bar top and semi-round seating that appears as a play on cut bamboo stalks are positioned to counter-balance the verticals. The repetition of the bamboo motif is also surrogated to the framing pattern on the double-height glass, and also on the silver finished curve metal screen imitated with bamboo weave on the other side to the washrooms.

From a design perspective, the tendency to slide repetition when using a very simple theme is almost inevitable. However in this bar, the bamboo aesthetic has instead been abstracted and reincarnated with many manmade materials, lending variety and interest. 

Orbit Design Studio

Bamboo Chic

Design Hunters

Design Hunter Q+A with Kerrie Brown

Your name: Kerrie Brown

What you do: printed textile and furniture designer and set decorator

Your latest project: printed tables, cupboards, wardrobes

Who are three people that inspire/excite you:

1) Ang Lee all his films are so visually interesting, and completely different from each other, he seems to be always pushing boundaries, I love that.

2) Patricia Urquiola I just love everything she does, so clever and classy ,two of my favourite things!

3) Yves klein, I can never get enough of that blue, at the moment I’m obsessed by it so I have to include him. The list could go on for days though!

What is your favourite…Car/bike/plane/boat model: Not my thing, but I do like Pirate ships so I’ll say The Pirate ship from PJ Hogan’s Peter Pan… I had the best time decorating it… lots of gold leaf and dark moody treasure filled spaces... Yummmmm 

Chair model: The peacock chair, ever since Morticia Adams sat in one, I love them all, wicker, painted, covered in canvas, covered in gold leaf (like the peacock throne)! Patricia Urquiola even has a version.

Residential space: Thomas Fowler’s apartment in The Quiet American… I’ll always love it . It was one of the hardest sets I ever had to dress because the space was round… I remember seeing it when it was ready to dress and thinking... thanks a lot Roger (Ford the production designer)! However, eventually the puzzle fell into place and like magic Michael Caine stepped onto the set and became Thomas Fowler and the set came to life and worked so well! In real life the rooftop apartment I stayed in in Prague which was owned by a lion tamer… it had photos of baby lions laying around on the couches and beds in the apartment, fabulous views over the rooftops and Cathedral. It was filled with a lifetime collection of gorgeous linen, crockery and quirky keepsakes… nothing really worked properly but it had a wonderful mad humanness and none of it was mine… I got to love it and leave it, heaven!

Commercial space: The China Club in Hong Kong stunning 

Decorative product: makeup… especially bright red lipstick!

Functional product: spectacles… great for a visually impaired design hunter!

Handmade good: Antique Lace

Mass-produced good: flowers - I remember driving past fields of commercially grown sunflowers outside Prague… they were an extraordinary visual feast… simply amazing!

meal: Local tomatoes, cheese, bread and wine served on a plastic food storage container lid, cut with a plastic knife, eaten on the roof top of an apartment in the village of Monterossa Mare in Cinque Terre.

restaurant: Celeste Restaurant on top of the Dancing Building, Prague, simply a beautiful space to be in, and Cha Ca Thuy Hong restaurant, Hanoi - terrible space , amazing food .They only have one recipe that the same family have been cooking for 100 years.

drink: red wine

bar: The Temple Club Saigon 2002.  The Upper House Hong Kong 2012 

item in your studio: my new jungle bird printed cupboard and The Arts Table top 

piece of technology: 3d digital printers wowee can they be real!

historical figure: Leonardo Da Vinci for being wildly visionary and other obvious reasons, Mary Shelley because she got to hang out with Shelley and read all his poetry before anyone else (probably) and mostly because she wrote the first science fiction/horror story: Frankenstein, Marylin Monroe … she was the first actor to show real emotions on screen and I think she was completely mesmerizing.

fictional character: Scout and Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird

vice: red wine

virtue: pilates

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? A visual obsessive compulsive with Libra rising.

Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Best of 2012

Design Blogs


Created by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: As we are well aware, the term ‘design blog’ encompasses a wide array of witty, creative and inspiring online destinations. We're giving credit where it’s due and sharing our favourites from the web community.


Industrial Lighting


Created by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: Sturdy, striking, and handcrafted, these industrial lights combine powerful illumination with bold aesthetics.




Created by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: Ubiquitous and utilitarian, this most humble of materials holds surprising design and aesthetic potential.




Staying Dry


Created by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: Rain – it ruins hair, clothes, and shoes. Defend yourself with these clever, water-evading contraptions.


Online Boutiques


Created by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: As we are all aware, we are most in the mood to shop late at night, at home (maybe in bed), and after a large meal and a few wines. Here are our eight favourite online stores for design products.




Created by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: Uniting the pinnacles of design with the most natural of human behaviours, cutlery must represent our material tastes and complement our gastronomic experiences. This week Habitusliving shares eight of our favourite tableware collections.


Outdoor Furniture 


Created by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: From daybeds to dining tables, our selection of outdoor furniture is sure to provide the perfect accompaniment to your al fresco settings.




Designed by: Habitusliving

Why we love it: Habitusliving sets out to get the wind in her hair as she packs up a bag of useful sailing essentials and climbs aboard the Sailing yacht Sleighride, a sloop originally designed by Sparkman & Stephens.


Around The World

Overstay at Art Series Hotels

One of our favourites, Art Series, has launched Overstay Checkout. This idea takes on one of the biggest travelling gripes – tiresome early checkout times. Why are we forced to check out at 11am when the room isn’t needed until 6pm in some cases?

Well, if you stay at the The Olsen, The Cullen or The Blackman in Melbourne from now until 13 January, request an Overstay Checkout. You can stay in your room until the room is actually needed – instead of having to check out at some arbitrary mid-morning hour. Your extended stay could be until 1pm, 3pm, early evening or even the next day in some cases – it all depends on how full the hotel is and when the next guests are arriving.

“We don’t think an 11am check out is particularly cool,” says Art Series Hotel CEO Will Deague. “Our guests are always requesting a late checkout… if we have the rooms available then it’s logistically very easy for us to let them stay on. We will potentially give away hundreds of free room nights this summer.”

Good times.

The Overstay Checkout runs across all Art Series Hotels from 16 December – 13 January. Prices start from $165 a night.

Art Series Hotels



Design Products

WorldWeave Walkabout Collection

The product of a long friendship and professional relationship between architect and designer Piero Gesualdi and artist Sara Thom, WorldWeave was launched in 2009 with the aim of combining the pairs’ skills to create a unique and original collection of textile products.

The pieces have been strongly inspired by traditional weaving techniques and aesthetics from India, with the first collection created during a trip by Thom to the sub-continent.  This ethnic influence is then blended with a modern Australian style, rendering it more casual and versatile. As Gesualdi says, “WorldWeave takes it's inspiration from ancient sensibilities and techniques ... it exaggerates, collages and re-invents new ways of working with traditional and modern skills”.


The pair are emphatic about ensuring the longevity of the products, not only in the quality of the materials and the workmanship but also in their style: in Gesualdi’s words, “always be fashionable but never, ever trendy”.

A further defining feature is the brand’s focus on ethical production, ensuring that manufacturers are fair trade, do not use child labour and pay above average wages. “Do the right thing… be aware of the impact that you will make environmentally, socially and economically” says Gesualdi.


The resulting rugs are a treat for eyes and toes alike – ranging from wool/cotton blends through jute and camel hair, both tufted and woven, they are suitable for a variety of contexts. Luscious wool rugs are perfect for cozy situations where warmth and comfort are paramount, whereas the sturdy texture of natural un-dyed camel hair promises years of use, even under the heaviest foot traffic. Stylistically, the latest 'Walkabout' collection ranges from understated to bold, inspired, as Gesualdi says, by “color, weave, geometry and nature.”


Design Hunters

Design Hunter Q+A with Fiona Winzar

Your name: Fiona Winzar

What you do: Principal Fiona Winzar Architects 

Your latest project: Bromby Street House will finally be built after four years of red tape.  This super energy efficient urban villa will be the first of its kind in Victoria.

Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 

     1)  My mother is amazing

     2)  My husband’s music and my children’s mischief

     3)  Stephen Holl

What is your favourite... 

Car/bike/plane/boat model: My Taiwanese Vintage Bicycle and my legs for walking

Residential space:  A Queensland verandah in a thunder storm

Commercial space:  Hamer Hall Arts Centre Melbourne upgrade by ARM architects

Decorative product: Porter’s Paints 

Functional product: cast iron camping frypan (but I don’t camp)

Handmade good:  My ‘endless engagement’ ring by Karl Fritsch based in New Zealand

Mass-produced good: Bialetti stovetop coffee maker

meal:  South Australian Prawns on the Barby (bbq)

restaurant: Mirka continental bistro St Kilda 

drink: Pol Roger Champagne

bar: Siglo Melbourne

item in your studio: Old B & O Stereo

piece of technology:  iPhone

historical figure:  Antonio Gaudi

fictional character:  Kermit The Frog

vice: Annick Goutal perfume

virtue: listening

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? Being in the moment with your environment – always looking and staying hungry.  It’s not about chasing the latest things, but what you discover by chance and going back.

Design Hunters

Q+A With Ilse Crawford

What are the best kinds of interiors?

I love interiors that you go into and you walk into a world that is utterly convincing. That’s what’s so interesting about the inside of a building – it’s a world. I think in contemporary architecture, the interiors fall through the cracks. It’s not really addressed as conscious design.

Ett Hem, Stockholm, photographed by Magnus Marding


What is the biggest misconception about interior design?

Well! When I finished one project in New York, I remember one of the wives of one of the investors going, “It must have been such fun shopping!” I think furniture companies sort of fill buildings with furniture, but I think what goes missing is the idea of building interior life.


How do you then go about creating an “interior life”?

Our particular approach is to always start with the human being. We start with real life. So our fundamental point of view is to understand how space is really used and how they will feel physically, emotionally, sensorially, and how they operate socially. It’s a very interesting starting point because once you establish that, the design follows. We don’t start with the design. We start with the behavior and the life that will be living in that space.

Sergio Rossi Store, Rome, photographed by Ruy Teixeira


Tell us more about your recently completed Twotwosix residential project in Hong Kong.

We basically stripped [the originaly building]. We kept the floor plates and nothing else, but we wanted to make it feel more a part of the neighbourhood rather than sort of bashing it down and putting something that has no relevance to the scale or soul of the area.

We knocked through the apartments and you could say that’s a sort of Western way of doing it – this kind of lofty thing, but we made sure that you could also get those smaller spaces back. We knew that in Hong Kong, you need to have those smaller spaces sometimes.


TwoTwoSix, Hong Kong, photographed by Magnus Marding


Did you discover a kind of Asian design sensibility while working on this project?

I think in addition to the more obvious and well-known shiny things, there’s also this love of shadow and things gleaming out of shadow. I think they like very natural woods ­– they like warmth, funnily enough. We did a range of furniture which is based on “seating for eating”, [and there was] a table for people to eat together quite closely. And I based it on that notion of the group eating together, being together. People in Asia love it. So there’s a warmth and a connectivity. That’s very clear here and I don’t think it gets talked about enough because I think it’s really strong and I really love it.


What is most challenging about working in Asia – Hong Kong specifically?

The most challenging part of it was the speed. You barely got the job and the builders are on site – keeping up with the builders is quite interesting. The whole point is you have to go with the context. You have to understand the nature of the place and go with it. 

We had an interesting moment where we specificed a particular brick and [it was supposed to be a different colour]. And when we actually got the sample, we just thought, you know what, it’s a really nice colour, it’s what they can do, let’s work round it and design around it, and use serendipity as part of our design process. I’m not one of the “near-enough-is-good-enough” lot at all, but part of it is to understand that you’re dealing with a dynamic, living process and that you need to move with it as well.


Tell us about your recent collaboration with Georg Jensen

With product design, in a way, you have to imagine the user. And in this case, I’m often just thinking in terms of ourselves and the things that we lack. We have done so many interiors spaces and I know the things that are missing. And also from our own experiences. I’m always doing that thing: “Oh no, where did I put my keys”, and my cards are somewhere else. As banal as it sounds, you just need somewhere to put those things, where you find them every morning and you put them every night. And it becomes a sort of beautiful ritual as opposed to this shuffling of things around on a shelf.

We have a running list in the studio of things that don’t exist and funny enough, the things that we did for Georg Jensen fit exactly into that category. 

Mama Vase by Ilse Crawford for Georg Jensen



A Family Home

When owners design and build a house the process can be grueling and the results mixed. For Interior Architect Evelyne Abrahams (of PLOT works), however, the process was a liberating and rewarding one. “Being the client and the designer has its pros and cons but having complete design autonomy definitely outweighs the negatives” she comments. And the project’s success is all the sweeter because of the personal connection: “the clients were my husband and children and whilst they can be brutally honest it means so much more when you get it right.”


The brief Abrahams gave herself was for “a house that was light, open and comfortable whilst creating a refuge that did not feel closed in or suffocating. A house that blended the old and new with a sustainable approach.” To achieve this a palette of sturdy, native materials was employed, including spotted gum for bench tops, desks, flooring and decking, pressed tin wall cladding, western red cedar windows and doors and Colorbond roofing. A main living, dining and kitchen area opens onto a deck and internal courtyard, with abundant fenestration and glass doors inviting natural light throughout the house.

The project is a new build on an established garden that included a number of mature trees. The plot itself was a small bootleg with an old Chinese Elm at its centre, and despite Abrahams and her partner’s desire to keep all the trees, in the end this one proved too problematic for the construction. It did however leave a legacy in the layout of the home; shaped like an ‘L’, it was designed to wrap around the tree, and now this allows a visual connection between the two sides of the house.


Fine carpentry and joinery lends the interiors their aesthetic refinement, with the rich colour and grain of the spotted gum having a particularly decorative effect. The sunken lounge, while part of this room, retains a cozyness that sets it apart from the more communal area, allowing the space flexibility of mood and function.

Externally a low maintenance garden of hardscaping and hardy plants supplied with automatic irrigation provides the backdrop for mature trees and a fish pond.


PLOT works

Photography: Dan Inglis of House Guru