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.


Learn more

Design Hunters


Your name: Luis Gomez Siu What you do:  Architecture between Lima and Sydney + handmade cardboard furniture design Your latest project: Terrace House in Sydney's Surry Hills Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 1. Marcio Kogan 2.  Tom Ford 3.  Olafur Eliasson What is your favourite… Car/bike/plane/boat model: Any timber boat by Italians Riva or Wally Chair model: Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen Residential space: Wall-less House by Shigeru Ban  Commercial space: Arc De La Defense, Paris Decorative product: Donald Judd's Stacks [if I could just have one in my living room] Functional product: My pushbike by Tokyo Bikes  Handmade good: My timber sunglasses by Shwood  Mass-produced good: Timber disposable cutlery Meal: Ceviche in summer Restaurant: Fasano, Sao Paulo Drink: Hendricks + Tonic + Cucumber + Cracked Pepper Bar: Panorama Bar/Berghain, Berlin Item in your studio:  My Capas Chair  Piece of technology: iPhone Historical figure: Alfonso Ugarte Fictional character: Dr. Schultz played by Christoph Waltz [Django Unchained] Vice: Messina Virtue: Treat others the way I want to be treated What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? The art to identify processes and products that have a strong positive impact on your lifestyle Capas Furniture capasfurniture.comabc
What's On

The Petit + Sevitt Courtyard House Focus Tour

The Pettit + Sevitt Courtyard House was designed in 1965, when Sydney began to shift towards to medium-density living, as a compact house for a small site, or to be arranged with others in clusters, as a group of townhouses. It was designed in an ‘L’ shape around a courtyard, where either wing of the home could be extended or the courtyard made into a terrace. Home & Architecture Focus Tour Date Start:2014-05-10 Date End: 2014-05-10 Times: 10:00:00 - 10:45:00 11:00:00 - 11:45:00 13:00:00 - 13:45:00 Location: Museum of Sydney, Cnr. of Phillip and Bridge Streets.   abc
Design Hunters

In the Folds of Hills

Beginning in 2009 this unique project to document the lives and rituals of rural Victorians grew out of a collaboration between young photographer, Kristian Laemmle-Ruff and his mother, Charlotte Laemmle. For four years Kristian and Charlotte would head to the country to photograph and interview, where many conversations took place over cups of tea, countless biscuits and slices of cake, sitting in familial kitchens, public halls and even the old Swanpool Cinema. bushells Old tins on the mantelpiece at Graham Jensen’s house  What results is both inspired and inspiring: stories told with dignity, passion and respect, and photographs of personal histories that are both beautiful and engaging. "This project began with a curiosity to discover something that is quietly going unnoticed," says photographer Kristian Laemmle-Ruff. "I first intended to capture day-to-day life and work in these secluded rural valleys. But with a subject matter so steeped in romanticism, I felt a need to explore beyond the 'countryside' clichés and idealisation common in the attitudes of city people. After meeting the subjects and gaining their trust, I sensed personal stories that needed to be told." oldhome The old house of Lorna & Jim Essenhigh It is clear that these stories are not so much told in the words spoken, or written, but rather in the objects that surround them. Domestic interiors scattered with objects become allegories for human experience. And it is these environments that are full of memory. JimintheBedford Jim Renkin (Liz & Jim Renkin story) in the Bedford  An empty chair, a leaning barn, a clock ticking on the wall: these often mundane objects become potent symbols of their owner's past, their hopes and their reality. Some objects suggest loss, others embody pride and even humour. RalphPearce Photos from the series on Ralph Pearce; dried flowers in vase; Ralph’s oven.  "Kristian Laemmle-Ruff not only has great technical control of his craft, but translates this skill into truly artistic photographs," writes Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser in the book's forward. "His images of ordinary objects from everyday life invite the viewer to slow down and contemplate. These photos create a narrative that offers us insight into the way these people live." bathroom The bathroom at Graham Jensen’s house In the Folds of Hills is an exploration of the wisdom and rich humanity found in the people living and working on this rugged Australian land. In celebrating and acknowledging them and their stories, the book's photo-narratives capture a hidden, and forgotten poetic world. book1 Hero Image: Ralph Pearce. Ralph was born in the house he now lives in, some 90 years ago.  All images by Kristian Laemmle-Ruff In the Folds of Hills Photographs by Kristian Laemmle-Ruff Stories by Charlotte Laemmle Introduction by Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH Essay by Robert McFarlane, Photographer & Writer Published by Pearce Press, Australia Release Date: 1st May 2014 Available through Pearce Press, Perimeter Distribution and all good bookstores nationwide.abc

Respectfully Yours

Above:The elevated central courtyard with the protective Angophora. The house is designed around a tree – an 80-year-old Angophora, predicted to live for 200 years. In fact, no trees at all were cut down to build this house. Nor was there any excavation done which might have disturbed the site. Instead, the house sits on a galvanised steel frame, so that it ‘floats’ above the ground, sheltered by its protective Angophora. It wraps around the tree to form a continuous outdoor room with the house spilling out on all four sides to the elevated timber-decked courtyard. “The courtyard,” says Kausar, “was like a sanctuary, because we were both brought up in courtyard houses. So, the courtyard had to be a theme.” respectfully_yours_1The north-eastern elevation shows the hinged corner windows. Originally from Rajasthan in India, Kausar and Sarita have lived in Australia for 20 years and prior to that in Malaysia and Singapore. Kausar works from home as sole practitioner of Core Projects and also teaches in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales. Sarita is a Principal with the prominent practice, Bligh Voller Nield. respectfully_yours_2The living/dining area with views out to the guest pavilion. In many ways, the house is a subtle reinterpretation of traditional Indian architecture for a specific Australian context – for example, the central courtyard, the way in which every room in the house opens out onto the courtyard, even the projecting eaves which are reminiscent of the chhajja, typical of Mughal architecture in areas such as Rajasthan. These eaves provide solar protection, but also extend over the gutters so that rainwater spills into the ground to feed the Angophora. “There are,” Kausar suggests, “a number of cultural things which are built in – they’re subtle.” respectfully_yours_3 Left: Bric-a-brac in the studio gives added texture. Right: Kausar’s studio looking toward the entry and living room. But if we also take into account the interiors of the house, it is very much a marriage of cultures, with traditional Indian elements complementing not just the Australian bush, but indigenous Australian art and modernist European furnishings. Still, there is even more to the story of this house. It is not only a very sustainable house in the sense that it ‘touches the earth lightly’, it is also very sustainable in terms of construction, materials and cost. Kausar and Sarita projectmanaged the job as owner-builders and brought it in at AUD$800/m2 in just eight weeks. As far as size is concerned, the house is only as big as it needs to be, the size being “predicated on the trees”, according to Kausar. Actually, it is quite small, but because of its connection with the outside it gives the impression of ample space. Moreover, a range of creative solutions has, in many places, optimised the available space – for example, the angled dining room wall, which creates additional space for a larder on the other side, or the shared robe and bathroom. respectfully_yours_4 Left: The second bedroom doubles as a home office. Right: The living room looking back towards the studio. Ingenuity and creativity not only minimised cost and optimised space, but produced a house full of incident. It has been, says Kausar, “built from the inside out with windows, for example, designed to capture views”. A good example is the hinged corner window, designed like all the other windows in the house by Kausar himself. The fenestration in general is a constant source of delight precisely because each window is a one-off, each with its own purpose, but collectively creating a visual rhythm – the room-wide windows in the shared bathroom, the skylight over the shower which extends over the internal corridor, the ‘gunslot’ on the northern side drawing light into Kausar’s studio, the juxtaposition of another gunslot and a square window in the living room. respectfully_yours_5 The entry ramp looking back towards the guest pavilion. Like the windows, all eight “Aaltoinspired” doors in the house are custom-made and quite different from one another. Each is 1.2 metres wide and basically a standard door with a plywood addition, creating a positive/ negative image. Similarly, the desk in the study is custom-made from plywood. respectfully_yours_6 Exterior view of living room windows. Indeed, the house is effectively a case study demonstrating what can be achieved with a simple material like plywood. Plywood is used on the inside and Ecoply for the exterior cladding, with Cedar windows and doors. In plan, an informal internal corridor links all the spaces, although apart from the two bedrooms, the house is effectively open plan; its circulation defined by the wrap-around organisation of the house – and the downlights which act as a guide. respectfully_yours_7 Guest pavilion. The main house was built in 1997, but a year ago Kausar and Sarita built a guest pavilion to complement the house. The freestanding, steel-framed, timber-clad pavilion runs at a right-angle to the main house. It floats low over the ground, supported like the main building on a steel frame and approached up timber steps, past a pond (black to reflect the sky and protect the fish from marauding kookaburras) to a timber deck which runs the length of the pavilion. The interior is opened up along its entire length by massive glass doors that slide out to a cantilevered frame. respectfully_yours_8 Part of Kausar and Sarita’s extensive Aboriginal art collection. Similar in character to the main building, the guest pavilion also employs similar strategies – slot windows, a skylight in the ensuite, a custom-designed work bench with adjustable legs and a bed which folds up to become part of the joinery. Effectively, both buildings tend to ‘dematerialise’, with a marked ambiguity between inside and outside. They emerge quietly and respectfully from the site, where the vegetation is left to its own devices without any attempt to create definition through landscaping. Spatially liberated, the two buildings are neither big nor small – but just right for what they need to do. Photography: Anthony Browell Note: Anthony Browell’s black and white photographs were taken using a pin-hole camera Architects: Kausar Hukumchand, Sarita Chand Builder Owner builder Main Contractor Redgum Building Services (Mark Newman) Structural BHP ‘Quick-a-Floor’ Electrical Peter McBride Hydraulics Ian Birchill Air-conditioning Eagle Engineering Cedar Doors & Windows Windoor Walls & Ceilings Austral Linings Furniture Dining chairs are Thonet, thonet.com.au. In the Living Room Artek 41 and 406 armchairs, Stool 60 and Coffee table trolley 901 from Anibou, anibou.com.au. The Noguchi coffee table supplied by Euroform, euroform.net. au. Sofa from Resource (no longer available). Guest pavilion fold-up bed is designed for hospitals and is manufactured by Interfar, interfar.com.au. Italian adjustable legs for study desk and guest pavilion bench from ECC Lighting and Living, ecc.com.au. Finishes Exterior cladding is EcoPly ‘Plain’ and ‘Shadowclad’, supplied by Mr Plywood, misterplywood.com.au. Living Room rug is from India, designed by Shaym Ahujha. Roof is Colorbond Mini Orb, bluescopesteel.com.au Lighting Dining room pendant is the Louis Poulsen PH5 from Eagle Lighting, eaglelightingsydney. com.au. Akari hanging paper light in Living Room and Akari light sculptures elsewhere in the house are by Isamu Noguchi and not available in Australia. Art Work Aboriginal art work sourced from Hogarth Gallery, aboriginalartcentre. com.au, Palya Art, palya-art.com.au, Jinta Art, jintaart.com.au and Aboriginal Art Australia, aboriginal-artaustralia. com.  abc
What's On

Designing Iconic Australian Houses

In conversation with guest curator of the Iconic Australian Houses exhibition Karen McCartney, architects Peter Stutchbury and Neil Durbach and builder and joiner Jeffrey Broadfield, the trio will share their experiences of creating some of the most iconic homes in Australia. Home & Architecture Talk Series Date Start: 2014-07-27 14:30:00 Date End: 2014-07-27 16:30:00 Location: Museum of Sydney, Cnr. of Phillip and Bridge Streets. abc
What's On

Iconic Australian Houses Focus Tours

Meet the owners and architects whose visions shaped these houses and discover how living in these homes has enriched their lives. Among those opening their doors are building specialist Karen McCartney, owner of Bruce Rickard’s Marshall House (1967), and Annalisa Capurro, design educator and owner of the Jack House, which won the Sulman Award in 1957. Also open for tour are Rippon House (1969), Pettit + Sevitt Courtyard House by Ken Woolley (1965) and Sydney Living Museums' Rose Seidler House (1948). The tours explore the significance of these homes and their influence on contemporary Australian design. Home & Architecture Focus Tours   abc
What's On

Meet The Masters

Join students from the Glenn Murcutt International Master Class for a unique opportunity to meet four of Australia’s most revered and influential architects. In conversation with Lindsay Johnston, founder of the Architecture Foundation Australia, Glenn Murcutt, Professor Brit Andresen, Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury will share their experiences of working on some of Australia’s most significant buildings, including homes that feature in the Iconic Australian Houses exhibition. Meet the Masters Date Start: 2014-07-15 18:30:00 Date End: 2014-07-15 20:30:00 Location: Museum of Sydney, Cnr. of Phillip and Bridge Streets.   abc
Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus loves: Thailand International Furniture Fair 2014

Rocky Stool
Created by: Everyday Why we love it: Our inner-child has wish-listed this stool inspired by the youthful rocking horse. A wooden seat in oak or walnut, on steel tube can rekindle the playful spirit in any room to keep your smile childish. Where you can get it: Everyday Studio
Tree Top multi-purpose Stand
Created by: Skog Why we love it: The latest piece from Skog’s Naturally Collection is a reminder of the natural world around us. Its sleek design in organic solid ash wood is one to grow old with. Every tree tells a tale and this definitely one worth sharing. Where you can get it: Skog Studio & Café
Stride Mat
Created by: Sini Henttonen Why we love it: A combination of Scandinavian prints and techniques of Thai weaving speak a new design language. Made of recycled polypropylene, its properties deem the product water and dirt proof for practical use both indoor and outdoor. Its double-sided graphic is bold and contemporary as a statement piece that turns any picnic into an effortless display of art and culture. Where you can get it: PDM
Tofu Shoe Storage
Created by: Niyahm Why we love it: In world where shoes are an expression of one’s individuality, it seems rather uncomplimentary for them to be stored in anything other than style. Niyahm’s Tofu Shoe storage stages a spectacle in its white plywood body with ash wood trim framing your shoes into objet d’art. Where you can get it: Niyahm
Capsule Daybed
Created by: Mahasamut Why we love it: Maximising space is the key to good design as Mahasamut makes it easy for one to create their own individual space regardless of dwelling size. Its arched formation is made in solid teakwood acting as a roof to shade outdoor living and creates a cosy statement piece for designer interiors. Where you can get it: Mahasamut
Diamond Hanging Lamp
Created by: Korakot Aromdee Why we love it: After his art was exhibited in New York, we were drawn to its soft ambience embodied in masculine sculptural form. Each piece of bamboo is skillfully handcrafted with techniques of traditional kite making – a skill that is slowly disappearing in Thailand today. This product revives customary methods with modern day technology to create a total work of art. Where you can get it: Korakot International
Gagarin Gazebo
Created by: Plato Why we love it: Playfully inspired from the pandan leaf, a common edible leaf for wrap-around food, this similarly wrapped seat is enough of an excuse to snug up. For those that enjoy an outdoor moment under the sun or the night sky, an embrace under a giant leaf made from German synthetic rattan creates comfort that is definitely an experience in itself. Where you can get it: Plato
Foldo Desk Lamp
Created by: Thinnk Why we love it: Bauhaus has met Japanese minimalism. Each component is in complete harmony executed in clean-line simplicity. A bold utilitarian display of blood-red fabric-wrapped cord, onto the folded lampshade made from white powder-coated steel makes it a fitting choice for minimalistic design, while the ash wood base serves to enhance illumination. Where you can get it: Thinnk

Reflected Glory

Showcasing the fashion duo’s latest collection, this immersive, large-scale installation combines Baumann’s kaleidoscopic world of colour and light with the ethereal signature style of Anna Plunkett's and Luke Sales' Romance Was Born label. Coinciding with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, it is a collaboration at the nexus of fashion, sculpture and theatre. reflected2 Exploring our basic desire for happiness, 'Reflected Glory' examines the meanings hidden in our social customs and rituals, where each exhibition garment signifies a special moment in time - a house party, Mardi Gras, a wake, New Year’s Eve, or a sweet 16 party. And like all modern day relics, these garments immortalise stories, woven with iridescent thread and adorned with sequins and jewels. They signify contemporary rites of passage, the importance of honouring memory, and the cycle of life that binds us. reflected "Like the Madonna tee that Luke was wearing the first time we met," says Plunkett of one garment. "We embellished the garment in clear sequins and now this piece embodies the creative spirit between the both of us." Established in 2005, Romance Was Born is now a powerhouse of contemporary Australian fashion; this internationally renowned duo are known for their ability to transform anything into a glimmering, chimerical paradise full of wonderment. To them, these exhibition garments are more than simple clothes, of material sewn together. Instead, they are emblems of a creative partnership that goes beyond any aesthetic values of the industry. reflected1 Indeed Romance Was Born create clothes that are more than just a sum of their parts – they create immersive and unforgettable contemporary cultural experiences that provoke an emotional response. Collaboration has always been an integral part of design for Romance Was Born; Plunkett and Sales have previously collaborated with unique Australian artists who are passionate and dedicated to their own artistic fields. reflected4 Baumann, Plunkett and Sales have clearly found this creative common ground, building a harmonious relationship between art and fashion. The distinctive work of Baumann and the intricate details of Romance Was Born poignantly explore the expressions of form, scale and colour through a contemporary lens, giving shape to the intangible; an inspired and inspiring vision. Images: Zan Wembley Exhibition Dates: 9 April to 11 May 2014 Exhibition Address: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Redfern Exhibition Entry: Free Exhibition Times: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm Romance Was Born romancewasborn.com Rebecca Baumann rebeccabaumann.comabc

House in the Dunes

Located on the west coast 90kms north of Cape Town, sites like this don’t come much more spectacular. Taking full advantage of the ocean views was one thing, but more subtle is the way the architect has responded to the coastal dune context. pearl With the front dune sitting up a little higher than the rest of the site, the challenge was how to reconcile house, dune and view. “The result,” says the architect, “is an amazing connection with the dune when in the living area. It feels as if one can reach out and touch it.” pearl1 The client wanted a holiday house she would eventually retire to. The brief called for a ‘modern’ house with ocean views from every room and a strict observance of a limited budget. pearl3 The design strategy was for a minimalist house which was still comfortable and welcoming. Structure has been minimised. In the living areas the house seems to almost dematerialise. pearl2 There is a seamless flow between these spaces and a sense of uninterrupted connection between inside and outside. peark “I wanted the outside deck to be an internal space when required,” says the architect, “and the living/dining space needed to be feel like a covered terrace for flexibility.” Hence, full-height sliding doors disappear into the walls to create an ‘outdoor room’. pearl4 Colour, texture and scale were important in creating a sense of comfort. The sofa and the dining table, for example, were custom designed to complement the space as well as accommodate the family. pearl7 The same principle was applied to the outdoor furnishings. “Every item has a function,” says the architect, “not specifically a physical one. If it does not add value to the space or a feeling of calm or harmony in the space, it does not belong.” Gavin Maddock Design Studio gavinmaddock.com Images: Adam Letch Photography Structural Engineer: Hulme & Associates Geotechnical Engineer:  Kantey & Templer Land Surveyor: Neil Spencer & Associates Contractor: McNeil Construction Plumbing & Tiling: Rens Meyer Electrician: Pienaar Elektries Cabinetmaker & Doors: Prestige Cabinets Windows: Aluplan & First Fit Custom Shower:  Advanced Glass Steel work & Screens: M-Rail Timber floors: Overlay Flooring Stonemason:  WOMAG Painter:  Qualicote Wall Features:  Paul Basson Roofing:  Pro Truss Landscaper:  Basic Landscaping Balustrades:  Steel Studio Security:  CN Installations Water Feature:  Pleasure Pools pearl6 Art: Jana Maddock (in the Livingroom), Andre van Vuuren (Carmel Art in the Gallery), Nel Luyendyk (Ghuba Gallery in the Gallery), Lulli de Villiers-Hamman (Sembach Art in the Bedroom) Furniture:  GMDS designed pieces by Moorgas & Son, Limeline (Minotti & Knoll, Artemide, Martinelli Luce), Weylandts, Okha Tiles & Stone:  WOMAG Timber flooring:  Oggie Flooring Bathware:  Bella Bathrooms, On Tap, WOMAG, Chilli B, Bathroom and Plumbing Supplies Blinds & Curtains:  Up The Track (Silent Gliss) Fabrics:  Mavromac Appliances:  Smeg (Smeg SA) Audio & Visual:  Smart Spaces Bath Accessories:  Handles Inc. Heating:  Speedheat, Progress Group Lighting:  Lumen8, DM Agencies (Spazio), Eagle Vacuum system:  Centravacabc
What's On

Iconic Australian Houses

The exhibition explores the design and building of these houses, as well as the experiences of those who live in them, and illustrates the emergence of a distinctively Australian approach to home design. Vivid photography, rich illustrations, 3D models and filmed interviews look beyond the physical structures to tell the story of how good design can enrich lifestyle. The exhibition includes a sneak peek at one of the award-winning Australian houses featured in Karen McCartney’s forthcoming book, Superhouse: architecture & interiors beyond the everyday, which looks at stand-out contemporary architecture from across the world. Iconic Australian Houses abc