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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A Playful yet refined Coffee Shop in Melbourne

The latest instalment for Market Lane Coffee, a Melbourne-based specialty coffee company, the Faraday Street coffee shop sustains the brand’s refined yet playful aesthetic. With 18 square metres to work with, Design Consultant Sarah Trotter (of Hearth) was faced with the challenge of including all the necessary components without having the space feel cluttered. “We tried to keep things generous and open at Faraday St” she says, “so that baristas aren't crammed into the space nor is the customer, despite its small size”. Luckily the relatively generous ceiling height expands the volume, and the large window onto the street accesses abundant natural light. To complement these, Trotter focused on a bright, not overly ornamented colour and material palette. With off-white walls as a backdrop, the simple volumes of the American Oak joinery create refined, functional surfaces and display areas where the store’s retail items can stand out. The richer, darker paint applied to the threshold interrupts the blonde/white schemes, whilst being balanced by light admitted from the doorway. The deco-esque splashback tiling adds a welcome flourish to the interiors, and the somewhat imposing black marble-clad fireplace is softened by coffee-related decorative items. The majority of fittings were sourced second hand, reducing costs while resonating with the Victorian heritage of the building. A further consideration when designing for such small confines was how the space would function, as a casual, intimate interaction between staff and clients was desired. A major element in this was capitalising on using the window to allow people on the street to order, linger and chat in the public space. To this end the bottom sill of the frame was lowered and clad in steel, positioning it at perfect ‘elbow-resting’ height while avoiding the barista having to stoop too far. Internally, the low profile of the espresso machine and counter reduce the division between staff and clients and allow the barista to see and converse with customers. Between its attractive look and inviting feel, the coffee shop integrates seamlessly into the suburb’s fabric; as owners Fleur Studd and Jason Scheltus say, “Carlton has always had a very strong espresso bar culture … and we were very keenly focused on bringing back some of that culture, but in a new way. It's a really lovely community and we are so excited to be a part of it.” Photography: Armelle Habib Market Lane Coffee Joinery: Arteveneta (American Oak, Plywood, wax finish) Tiles: Academy Tiles (Cube) Paint: Porter's Paints ('White Rhino' Eggshell Acrylic)  abc

Room for Thought

The client, an early retiree in her forties, approached Architect Narong Othavorn (of Situation based Office) desiring, as he says, “a house with a gallery-like living space and a small empty bedroom, which should be isolated from the rest of the recreational space”. The resulting structure would occupy a corner of a 600 square metre plot of sloping land with abundant vegetation, with another six small dwellings arranged throughout the rest of the area.

The overarching concept of the situation was to foster communal recreation and creativity, whilst allowing for privacy and solitude. To this end the majority of the site was left as a natural lawn dotted with mature trees, acting as a large de facto courtyard, whilst a business centre and entertainment area provide the focus of the communal space. Open to the adjoining vegetation, these enjoy ventilation and natural light whilst being shaded from rain and direct sunlight.


A defining feature of the house is the tall, interrupted, brick wall that shears across the plot. Rising several meters in height and almost half a metre wide, the wall guides persons arriving at the property up from the entrance towards the main house, but then opens to the right to access communal spaces. “I  [used] the main wall to cut through the land and communicate with the landscape, interior space and users” comments Othavorn, “It also creates different scenes and sequences between indoor and outdoor”. The wall’s materiality locates the built environment firmly in its cultural context, as the texture and hue of the locally handmade bricks sets the aesthetic tone for the structure.

Internally the home is minimal in furnishings and decoration, leaving expansive, uncluttered volumes and preferring windows to wall art. The focus on leaving sheltered areas unenclosed or having large, opening windows and doors connects interiors and exteriors, acknowledging the comfortable northern Thai climate and capitalising on inviting the tranquillity of the natural surroundings into living spaces.


Considered restraint coupled with flourishes of attractive yet functional architecture have created a home and surrounds ripe with contemplative and creative potential.



Photography: Piyawut Srisakul

Fixed & Fitted
Design Products

Fersa Door Furniture from Mother of Pearl & Sons

Fersa's team of artisans draw on a great artistic heritage to create decorative hardware. They hold design patterns from the Italian Renaissance, Louis XIV and Regency through to Art Deco, Bauhaus and the modernists of the 1930s.

Working in authentic traditional styles, their pieces are entirely self-produced. Everything from pattern making to casting and finishes is performed on premises.

Fersa lever and decorative fittings

In Australia and NYC, Fersa is represented by Mother of Pearl & Sons. A recent client of theirs was inspired by the exquisite Fersa door furniture they'd spotted at the Ralph Lauren store in NYC. Mother & Sons scheduled the whole project with matched accessories - including escutcheons, privacies, door stops and flush handles.

The client had selected an aged pewter finish, and Mother of Pearl & Sons completed not only the aesthetic requirements, but managed all functional requirements as well, including locks and latches.

Louis XVI doorstop by Fersa

As Fersa handle all aspects of design and production themselves, in their workshop, they are able to create bespoke requests. Mother of Pearl & Sons can arrange your entire project to benefit from Fersa's Old World grandeur.

Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Stockholm Design Week

Small Black Vases

Created by: Nendo for David Design Why we love it: Nendo founder, Oki Sato, was Guest of Honour at this year’s Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. With five product launches and a stunning installation, the prolific Japanese studio was hard to miss. We love their Small Black Vases collection for Swedish brand David Design, which transforms ordinary glassware into sculptural vases based on archetypal forms. The project continues Nendo’s work into creating 3-dimensional forms using wire. Where you can get it: David Design  alt


Created by: Front for Stelton Why we love it: Influenced by the Scandinavian weather and its effect on glass windows, Frost is a collection of hand-blown glassware with a frosty finish designed by Swedish design studio Front for Danish brand Stelton. Comprising a softly curved carafe, glasses, and ice bucket, the collection is sleek Scandinavian design at its best. Where you can get it: Stelton  alt

The Woods

Created by: StokkeAustad and Andreas Engesvik Why we love it: Another object inspired by the climate of Northern Europe, The Woods is a sculptural reflection on the changing colours and transparencies of Norway’s forests. The glass sculptures are available in two sets of seven trees, with spring represented by various greens, and autumn by pinks and greys. The designers say the work is purely decorative, an attempt to reduce the gap between craft and design. Where you can get it: Andreas Engesvik alt    


Created by: Claesson Koivisto Rune for Wästberg Why we love it: Made from sand-cast recycled aluminium, this small pendant light comes from two Swedish design icons – Claesson Koivisto Rune (CKR) and Wästberg. In designing W131, CKR have taken a look at the softer side of industrial process – imperfections in the surface of the material are celebrated, and a textile cord brings added softness to the piece. We also love that this pendant is available in nine different colours. Where you can get it: Euroluce alt


Created by: o4i for Blå Station Why we love it:  The crumpled form of Dent has its origins in years of experimentation into moulding a double-curved 3D surface from regular veneer – a difficult process that results in irregularities and wrinkles in the material. When the designers realised that these irregularities could form the very foundation of the chair’s aesthetic, Dent was born. Where you can get it: Chairbiz  alt


Created by: Alexander Lervik for Johanson Design Why we love it:  Lucy is a graphic and ingenious antidote to unimaginative folding tables. Designer, Alexander Lervik, has created an attractive feature from the locking mechanism, and ingenious construction that ensures the legs lock into position when opened out or folded. The steel legs in combination with timber top and locking mechanism give Lucy a beautifully Scandinavian materiality. Where you can get it: Forest For The Trees  alt

In Between

Created by: Sami Kallio for &Tradition Why we love it: We love design that has a relationship to its surroundings, which is the premise behind this new chair by Swedish-Finnish designer Sami Kallio for &Tradition. In Between engages in a conversation with its environment by way of the negative spaces between the back and armrests. Its construction is also an interesting merging of traditional woodworking techniques and industrial processes. Where you can get it: Great Dane Furniture alt  


Designed by: Form Us With Love for One Nordic Why we love it: Winner of the Form +1 Award for the best design of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair this year, Levels is a clever little pendant lamp by Swedish studio Form Us With Love for online retailer One Nordic. The three-tiered lamp is created from interlocking spun metal forms, which collapse to create various configurations and for easy shipping. Where you can get it: One Nordic  alt
Design Hunters

Design Hunter™ Q+A with Such Great Heights

Your name: Ryan O’Connor & Jo Fahy     

What you do: We design and create products for Such Great Heights

Your latest project: We are currently collaborating with Swedish artist Camilla Engman on a modern version of a baby’s first book. It will be a beautifully tactile and rich keepsake piece for babies and adults alike.

Who are three people that inspire/excite you:

     1)  Lauren Bieber and Tom Crowe from Mixed Business and Fowlers Flowers, Clifton Hill. Seriously talented and hardworking duo! 

     2)  Beck

     3)  Our children. Amazing little folk. 

What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: Honda CT110 - aka Ryan’s trusty Postie Bike (bullet proof and $3 per week on petrol)

Chair model: Rocking Chair #1 by Thonet. This is a sentimental favourite as we have spent many nights rocking our children to sleep on ours.

Residential space: Home sweet home (1915 bluestone villa).

Commercial space: GOMA, Brisbane

Decorative product: Daisy chains

Functional product: Bandaids

Handmade good: ‘Wonder Tent’ by Such Great Heights, of course! 

Mass-produced good: Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil (Jo)

Meal: Jo does a mean lemon curd tart.

Restaurant: Auge Ristorante

Drink: Freshly squeezed juice with ginger. Great start to the day.

Item in your studio: The press stud machine is pretty sexy…

Piece of technology: Our ever expanding Apple collection.

Historical figure: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Fictional character: Tintin

Vice: Chocolate croissants

Virtue: Patience & compassion

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? Seek, love, share. 

Design Products

Hollywood Chairs by Go Home

The chair was formulated from the idea of melding two FSC certified American Oak solid wood and plywood timber varieties. The strength of American Oak is utilised for the legs with curved plywood the defining feature of the seat and back.

The form also incorporates a cut-out in the backrest that serves as both a functional lifting point as well as a striking design point.

The transition between the 2 timbers is as seamless as possible.

The name ‘Hollywood’ pays homage to the directors’ chair typology – a utilitarian object amongst glitz and glamour. 

Distributed nationally by Stylecraft www.stylecraft.com.au


What's On

Singapore Sling: An Asian Design Hit

The annual International Furniture Fair Singapore aims to be the Asian Salone Internazionle del Mobile – a high quality, design-driven furniture fair.

It also signals Singapore as an Asian design hub.

So, inevitably the Fair explores ways of celebrating design to provide a wider context for the purely trade side of the show. This began with the co-located D-Space and Platform, designed spaces within the Fair introducing new products from independent designers, showcasing emerging talent and a variety of seminars and lectures from international guests.

Then, in 2012, the Fair launched SingaPlural, an off-site satellite show in downtown Singapore – a mix of exhibitions, installations, and events. The idea was to complement the show at Singapore Expo, create a city-wide event and reveal a host of different dimensions to design.

This year SingaPlural, working in tandem with their network partners, DesignS, promises to be bigger and even more exciting.

At Expo, Platform will be complemented by FutureCraft featuring thirteen designers/design studios from Singapore, Sweden and Indonesia. This collaboration between the Singapore Furniture Industries Council and Himpunan Desainer Mebel Indonesia will explore contemporary uses for traditional materials like teak, bamboo, rattan, re-cycled wood and ceramic.

Then, downtown at the *Scape Warehouse there will be a series of Design Conversations on the theme ‘Unity in Diversity’ with guests speakers from the UK, the Netherlands and Singapore.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Furniture Design Award participating designers are asked to explore the theme, ‘Co-Exist’, while a special exhibition will turn the spotlight on previous FDA winners such as Nathan Yong, Gabriel Tan and Wendy Chua from Singapore, along with Apirat Boonruangthaworn from Thailand, Jarrod Lim from Australia and Kenneth Cobonpue from the Philippines. 

Other events include Design Larger Than Life, ten over-sized, interactive installations and the 48 Hours Challenge where five retailers collaborate with design students in a race against time to produce playful, interactive installations and objects.



What's On

Asian Artists at Town Hall

Internationally renowned artists Guan Wei, Song Ling, William Yang and Lindy Lee will join emerging artists for Snake Snake Snake, a collection of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, photography, sculpture and mixed-media installations. 

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the show celebrated the depth and range of creative links between Australia and Asia. 

“This extraordinary exhibition will feature diverse work from both emerging and established artists – those newly arrived in Australia and those with shared Asian and Aboriginal heritage,” the Lord Mayor said. “The big cultural shifts throughout Asia are being reflected in challenging and inspiring artwork from the region."

Cindy Chen - Eightfold - Dhammacakka Sutta Detail

Snake Snake Snake is the second major visual arts exhibition to feature in Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival program – following the premiere of Two Generations by Red Gate Gallery in 2012 – cementing its position as a growing arts festival. 

Curated by Catherine Croll, founding director of Cultural Partnerships Australia, many of this year’s artworks are inspired by the artists’ notions of personal space, spirituality, identity and the change brought about by globalisation. "We are delighted to be celebrating the Year of the Snake with this exhibition of work by artists from across Australia, representing communities with Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and Aboriginal heritage,” Ms Croll said. 

Song Ling - Adventurer 2

“Our selection panel had the difficult task of selecting just 45 artists from a field of more than 150 entries. The result is an extraordinary and eclectic mix of artists, including both multi-award-winning international artists and exciting young emerging artists. “This exhibition will provide audiences with a unique opportunity to explore a variety of issues which affect Asian-Australians, while at the same time building their knowledge and understanding of the enormous contribution these artists have made to the Australian cultural landscape. I encourage Sydneysiders and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the personal stories imparted in these artworks, as well as through the exciting program of floor talks and artist forums to be held throughout February.” 

The rise of contemporary Asian art dates back to the late 1980s, when western influences inspired Asian artists to break from tradition and experiment with new mediums – fusing traditional styles and western techniques. 


Snake Snake Snake contemporary art exhibition will be on display at Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall – 483 George Street, Sydney from 7 - 23 February.



Brooklyn, Brisbane

Applying a distinctly Australian slant to the industrial-chic formula, the Teneriffe warehouse was one of Brisbane’s original wool stores, complete with cement slab flooring, brown brick walls and stainless steel beams supporting a six-metre high ceiling.

The project arose through a casual encounter between the client, a busy executive who had bought the property but was unsure how to proceed with the renovation, and Interior Designer Ian Wrightson (of Wrightson Stewart Interior Design). “The client brief was fairly open”, comments Wrightson, “but it was important for the client to showcase the building’s original heritage.”

The practise carried out a comprehensive fit out, creating a beautifully finished modern interior that both highlights the building’s historic features and plays on them with retro flourishes.

The coherent materiality of luxurious finishes including Carrara marble, American walnut, glazed brick and large black and white tiles creates a refined aesthetic and a simple but effective textural and chromatic contrast, and pleasantly counterbalances the grittier flavour of the pre-existing elements. As Wrightson says, “the original architectural detailing provided the opportunity to play with paint and bold colour – picking out beams and industrial elements.”

An abundance of white surfaces maintains the serenity of the space, which might otherwise risk becoming overpowered by the richness of the finishes and furniture. This also allows indirect lighting to infuse the volume with luminescence, and illumination is also admitted by a clerestory window running under the apex of the pitched roof.

Black and white tiles and glazed bricks are used to excellent effect in the bathroom and kitchen splash-back, where they create a crisp, deco feel, and long, dark curtains at the oversized windows accentuate the structure’s dramatic proportions.

These proportions were a significant challenge for the architects; as Wrightson explains,“we had considerable access issues and of course the ceiling height posed numerous problems”. However the ensuing home is comfortable with its size, providing both the luxury of expansive spaces and the coziness of more intimate ones.


Overall the project is a highly successful application of the New York staple of warehouse-cum-modern-home, satisfying the client and demonstrating the ability and confidence of the interior designers.


Wrightson Stewart Interior Design

Photography: Kylie Hood


Feature floor tiles in the bathroom are from Popham Design, available through Onsite Supply and Design
Industrial-style door sliders are from Specialty Doors Inc in California USA
Academy ‘Nobel’ glazed bricks are from PGH Bricks & Pavers

What's On

‘Transformation’ at Customs House

Following the surreal movement of a sometimes powerful, sometimes delicate floating form gracefully dancing through the landscape, Goldie assigns the imagery to that of the brief journey of a life energy morphing from one form to another.

The photographer loves contemplating on the moments when, while everybody is tucked up in bed, the incredible machinations of the universe continue to happen all around – unnoticed, unwitnessed, unseen, uninterrupted.

Exhibition curator Arthur Chan states “Andrew takes the viewer into a perplexing circumstance where they are witness to a beautiful yet bizarre metamorphosis and are forced to create their own narrative”. Recent fatherhood and the profound experience of witnessing the birth of a tiny human being - his son - have largely influenced Andrew Goldie’s series, Transformation. At work is a creative expression of the “wonderment about where we come from and where the human spirit goes when it leaves this place”. “I was inspired by the transmission of our energies in and out of this world and the many unanswered questions surrounding such phenomena”, states Goldie. Visually creating these pure and almost supernatural moments, the photographer often uses a recurring motif of a white floating sheet. 

 “Andrew Goldie has brought together his many years of experience in both visual art and commercial photography to create perfect imagery with amazing thought and intent. Pushing the boundaries of photography through his use of light and ability to create and then capture a surreal moment, his images are a reflection of his minds eye. This exhibition interprets the ebb and flow of life and energy in the universe”. Arthur Chan, Curator.

“I didn’t want to be limited about the production so we prepared well and took the most powerful lighting and gear possible into the chosen environment to create these beautiful moments… No location was unattainable and I was prepared to experiment… Now I think about it, I was lucky none of us was seriously injured as I love to work on the edge of cliffs and other risky places for some reason. Even my assistants sometimes think I’m a bit crazy as they look on. Once I did shed blood slipping on rocks carrying flash packs and a generator weighing that of another person”


Transformation will be on display at the Red Room on the ground floor of Customs House from 13 february - 31 March, 2013. 



Fixed & Fitted
Design Products

Sapphire Rangehoods by Qasair

The Sapphire steel is imported from Italy and there are six different steel types to choose from. Although beautiful and stylish in design, functionality is still the priority. Like all Qasair Rangehoods, the Sapphire rangehoods use the same efficient motors with a high extraction rate.  A twin motor Sapphire rangehood will extract 1800 cubic metres of air per hour. 

This is the latest development from a company that has been well known to architects and designers for their high powered rangehoods and ability to custom design to their requirements. 

Chemically etched stainless steel rangehoods are available in:

-       Java Black
-       Persian Blu
-       Silver Massai
-       Dama Chequer
-       Fusion Gold
-       Blu Satinato

Qasair can also make other models in the Sapphire steel as a custom order.