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Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.


From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.


Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.


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Design Stories
Design Hunters

A Bright Future for Australian Colour

Our work presents us with a wide variety of new and exciting challenges and recently we’ve had the pleasure of working with Taubmans to create a space where people could experience the immense colour offering of the iconic brand, and this inspired us to consider how the Australian experience of colour is evolving. To us, colour is about expressing personality and creating moods. It can talk to the environment of a building’s location in order to frame, celebrate and complement it. It can distinguish and define space in a way that is transformative. In our work, wall paint is the canvas that sets up the whole scheme. It is key. The ‘neutral base’ we often talk about is often the wall colour so it absolutely needs to be right. The selection of a solid neutral base should always take into account how light falls in and is reflected around the space, how much sun the space receives and this needs to be explored throughout different times of day. arent_pyke_2 Australian colours are about lightness, brightness and freshness. The climate and the intense quality of our light and sun are a major influence on colour, creating a freshness of palette that is uniquely Australian. Colours including mustardy yellows, orchid pinks, burnt lilacs and the softest steel blues, deep navy and shades of greys are just a handful of our favourites to work with. Australians have become noticeably braver in relation to their colour choices, and are also now more confident in articulating their thoughts and feelings about colour. Australian fashion, art and interiors have been dominated recently by clashing prints, ‘the colour pop’ movement, tropical fruits, tribal motifs and strong patterns - all with an exceptionally bold use of colour. Softer palettes have also recently been reinvigorated with a hit of colour. Even neutral palettes are enjoying moments of bravery with soft mossy greens, burnt pinks and pale blues. When being brave with colour it pays to remember that you don’t have to be bright to be bold. arent_pyke_3 For us, colour is a key part of overall building design and the interior design process. The two are always linked, and exterior and interior colour should always be a holistic vision. The colour scheme of the architecture of a building should always talk to the interior design colour strategy or vice versa. A really good measure of a well-resolved scheme is if colour feels compatible with everything about the space and its environment. When we experience colour, we are understanding and experiencing the pure joy that colour can bring to our lives and our spaces. It is about its transformative powers. It is about celebrating the mood it creates, its unique personality and its power to appeal differently to each and every one of us. We hope that you continue to embrace colour as much as we do in your future projects. Arent & Pyke arentpyke.comabc

Weatherboard Cottage Extension

Above: Original weatherboards and timber detailing lead to the modern extension. Some houses stand out – and not in a good way – their design an affront to the neighbourhood character. There are also examples of the opposite – houses that mindlessly replicate a style and simply melt into obscurity. In the case of a home extension in a suburb with a strong historical context, how do you retain an architectural tradition whilst also expressing personality? The Knights’ Lilyfield home achieves this with flair, overlaying a contemporary extension to an original 1830s weatherboard cottage, resulting in a surprising and charming combination of old and new. 3 Above: (Left) A lightwell at the bottom of the stairs to the mezzanine is also enjoyed from the kitchen. (Right) The superman comic-inspired graphic wallpaper reveals the family’s creative personality. Originally a rural settlement, Lilyfield became an industrial working-class suburb in the early 20th Century, with rows of quaint weatherboard cottages defining the suburb’s character. This unique character and convenient location – a mere six kilometres from Sydney’s central business district – has resulted in a largely affluent and creative community with the means and motivation to address the challenge of expressing personality through architectural experimentation. Meet the Knights – graphic artist, Richard, high school music administrator, Gretel, and their three teenage children, Coco, Perrin and Hero – who moved into their Lilyfield house after outgrowing their previous one nearly five years ago. Although it accommodated the four bedrooms they wanted, living areas were in short supply. With five busy family members and lots of visiting friends, the Knights were desperate for some contemporary, bright spaces. As it was, some areas of the site were unusable – “There was a big, rubbishy backyard with a long lean-to shed that used a lot of space really inefficiently, getting lower and smaller and mouldier as it went along,” says Richard. There were problems inside too, he recalls – “You’d be in the shower and the tiles would fall off.” 5(Top) The 1830s cottage façade remains. (Bottom) Second floor plan.  Desperate as they were, the Knights knew the importance of working with a good architect. “We spent a lot of time talking to people, asking friends who are interior designers... we asked and looked and hunted, and it probably took about 18 months,” they remember. It paid off. Once they found Sydney duo, Nobbs Radford Architects (Alison Nobbs and Sean Radford), Richard and Gretel were comfortable with giving them free rein, saying “We knew they would do something modern so we said ‘here’s what we need, but then you go and do it from there.’” For their part, the architects were keen to “create an architectural form that spoke to the broader environment,” as Radford describes it. The fact that the Knights were open to new ideas and ways of living was also attractive. 4(Left) A modern kitchen was an important part of the brief. (Right) 1950s chairs designed by Steven Kalmar and custom wallpaper combine to create character. So began the renovation. The process included demolishing the obsolete shed at the rear of the house and inserting a new, modern addition comprising kitchen, living area, mezzanine and study nook. As well, two bathroom renovations were carefully designed into the original weatherboard section. Externally, the form of the addition is initially a surprise. That is, until you realise that the vertical lines of the steel cladding are a subtle reference to the original weatherboards. “We wanted the new work to read as a strong, single form that could be enjoyed by both the occupiers and the passers-by,” Radford recalls. As you enter the house, a glimpse of light beckons from the end of the old timber-panelled hallway. When you reach the end of the original structure, the new extension opens up in an abundance of volume and light. It is hard to believe these two very different characters belong to the same house, but Nobbs Radford Architects has taken great care to sensitively incorporate elements that both mirror and contrast the original. 6The contrasting forms of the original structure and new extension are seen from the adjacent laneway.  Upstairs, the high-gloss door of the new bathroom is juxtaposed beautifully with 200 year-old timber wall panels. On the ground floor, Kauri floorboards provide a link between the original house and the new dining and kitchen before turning into cool unpolished concrete in the living area. It is these elements that bring together the opposing characters of this unique home. Inside, the personality of the family is revealed. On the clean canvas provided by Nobbs Radford Architects, the Knights have expressed their colourful, creative and quirky character through elements like the graphic wall in the living room. Taken from an original 1938 Superman comic that Richard and Gretel secretly had scanned, enlarged and printed onto wallpaper, it was hung one day while the children were at school. “We didn’t tell the kids, so they came home and kind of freaked right out,” laughs Richard. 2A collection of objects, lighting and art make this house a home. Walking through the spaces, various pop art objects – such as a vintage painted Popeye doll that sits on a bookshelf, or the Thunderbirds wall clock – provide bursts of fun amid the serious architecture. These spontaneous elements catch the eye and make this house a home. There are also the personal touches – a music stand and case in the corner of the dining room, original 1950s Modernstyle chairs given to them by a friend, and a crayon family portrait framed and hung alongside purchased art. Built on a corner site, the addition is visible from the bordering laneway. Together, Nobbs Radford Architects and the Knights have created something special for themselves and the greater neighbourhood. “We got lots of comments,” says Richard. “Throughout the process as the structure went up, passers-by would give the builder comments – it was fun.” And whether you agree or disagree with the bold design, it promotes discussion. “Everyone was polarised. Some people thought it was really great; some people were like, ‘What is that?’” Richard admits. “But we thought that was great. If you’re building something, it’s an environment for all the community. So you should at least do something that they’ll talk about, make a statement.” PROJECT ARCHITECT Sean Radford PROJECT TEAM Alison Nobbs, Claudia Hutchison CONTRACTOR Dorahy Constructions STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Partridge Partners Nobbs Radford Architects Nobbs Radford Architects nobbsradford.com.au abc
Design Products
Habitus Loves

Habitus Loves… Ripple + Roll

Created by: Benjamin Hubert Why we love it: It’s exceptionally lightweight. The table’s impressive strength to weight ratio is the result of corrugating plywood through pressure lamination, an innovative process developed by Benjamin Hubert in collaboration with Canadian manufacturer Corelam. The underside of the table’s surface - which gently curves across its length and width - adds tensile strength to the structure. The legs - which features a hollow triangular profile - offers increased strength and rigidity in two directions. In addition, Ripple uses 80% less material (Sitka Spruce 0.8mm aircraft plywood) than a standard timber table. Where you can get it: Great Dane Furniture
Cutting Edge
Created by: Martijn Rigters Why we love it: Rigters has used an exceptionally complex hot wire, foam-cutting technique, to create a highly textured and unique sofa. Typically, this technique is focussed on creating very regulated forms by strictly controlling parameters, - like temperature, movement and cutting - along a linear path. However, Rigters has pushed the three dimensional potential of the process by combining a range of silhouettes and human movement to directly shape a rectangular block of EPS into an individualised object. Where you can get it: Spazio Rossana Orlandi (Milan) and to order.
Hexi Wall
Hexi Wall
Created by: Thibaut SLD Why we love it: The HEXI is a responsive wall made from 60 PVC and aluminium modules that fluctuate and move as people walk past. The animated elements are tracked and analysed by depth-sensing cameras. Discrete instructions are then sent to each of the motor-controlled modules, providing provide real-time feedback on the movement. Where you can get it: Thibault
Created by: Helene Steiner Why we love it: Pepe is made - rather surprisingly - from paper-thin veneer. The veneer is only 0.5 mm thick and moistened on one side with glue which is then rolled into a tight pipe and pressed. The flexible process cleverly uses different pressing angles to make shaping in any direction possible. The result is a very lightweight, stable and elegant chair. Where you can get it: Prototype. (In sampling phase)
Ripple Cabinet
Created by: Edward Johnson Why we love it: Johnson has pushed the art of laminating in a new direction to create an elegant, clean and fluid form which lets the material add the details. His design was inspired by the action of dropping an object into water, the result of which sends concentric ripples outwards. In this case he was produced the effect on wood - a challenge in itself. The piece includes 12 hand cut dovetailed drawers which open with ease, releasing an aromatic aroma of Cedar. Where you can get it: Edward Johnson Bespoke Furniture & Art
Ripple Effect Table
Created by: Jeonghwa Seo & Hanna Chung Why we love it: Inspired by Eastern tea culture and “the Oriental mindset that small individual changes can impact the whole”, South Koreans Jeonghwa Seo and Hanna Chung have created a water-topped tea table that ripples in response to small movements. Where you can get it: To order
Ripple Screen
Created by: Alvar Aalto Why we love it: It’s a classic. The 2 metre, lacquered pine screen designed by Alvar Aalto makes for a perfectly discreet room divider or privacy partition. Where you can get it: Artek
Steam 12 Bench
Steam 12 Bench
Created by: Bae Sehwa Why we love it: The Steam Series features a range of products that represent Korean designer Bae Se Hwa’s unique vision to transform materials into geometrical forms through a steam bending technique. The Steam 12, composed of bent walnut, features curvaceous elements that organically support each other, mimicking the elegant flow and dynamic quality of a stream or silhouette of the mountains. Where you can get it: Gallery Seomi
Design Products


Touchwood Chair “From the core belief that humans benefit from daily interaction with natural materials, comes Touchwood. A versatile and welcoming all-wooden stacking chair that adds a touch of nature into everyday life. "The chair arises from the pursuit of creating the ultimate affordable wooden stacking chair, with a harmonious and earthy colour palette of dyed ash wood.By strategically stripping the chair of any unnecessary components, each remaining part has been given exactly as much love and attention as deserved. Subtle yet distinct, the chair adds value, beauty and comfort to its surroundings.” -Lars Beller Fjetland Touchwood_Chair Stand_Shot_3 Sila Collection “In times of uncertainty, Discipline brings as always, freshness .... and this time does it with Sila collection, a family of chairs that perfectly interprets the identity of the brand: simplicity as the centerpiece of the project. Wood, leather, natural fabrics and metal transmit pleasant sensations, gestures, proportions and clarity of construction. "The collection consists of chairs, stools and tables. The version of the chair with three legs is a product with a strong iconic power, suitable especially for small spaces with tables of small surface: its formal synthesis makes it lovable and highly recognizable. The table with central base is provided with a top whose special shape suggests both the single use and pulled alongside with other tables. Sila is a collection that brings a freshness and natural optimist in all environments in which it is inserted, by offering also an extremely wide range of finishes.” - Alberto Lievore Sila_Collection Stand_Shot_1   Maya Table “Its name, Maya, evokes the ancient Guatemalan civilisation and its technical and executive skills through its austere beauty. It combines two of the most natural elements Earth offers: stone and wood, adding a further interpretation of sustainable contemporary requirements, such as the frame, separated from the top, that easily disassembles and assembles to travel with a flat-pack.”   Lars Beller Fjetland Maya_Table Stand_Shot_4 Discipline is available in Australia and Singapore from Stylecraft stylecraft.com.auabc

Tearing Up the Dance Floor with Mini

At each event’s centre, the innovative, interactive and wildly illuminated NEW ORIGINAL MINI DANCE FLOOR came to life (and light) with peoples’ dance steps and movement—created in collaboration with acclaimed Melbourne artist Darren Sylvester and award winning design practice Eness. [gallery ids="31204,31205,31206,31207,31208,31209,31210,31211,31212,31213,31214,31215,31216,31217,31218,31219,31220,31221,31222,31223,31224,31225,31226,31227,31228,31229,31230,31231,31232,31233,31234,31235,31236,31237,31238,31239,31240,31241,31242,31243,31244,31245,31246,31247,31248,31249,31250,31251,31252,31253,31254,31255,31256,31257,31258,31259,31260,31261,31262,31263,31265,31266,31267,31268,31269,31270,31271,31272,31273,31274"] MINI mini.com.auabc
Design Products

Space Furniture Mirror Collection

Philippe Starck's Caadre mirror for Fiam Italia features a distinctive frame. The mirror comes free-standing or as a hanging mirror in 6mm thick curved glass. 4 Made of 4 separate elements, the mirror features a metal grey-stained frame that is available with engravings, in corrugated curved glass or semi-reflective glass titanium finishing. Untitled-1 The Glas Italia Brillante Mirror Collection design by Alessandro Mendini is a series of mirrors in shaped crystal with engraved decorations. 2 Space Furniture  spacefurniture.com.auabc

Treetop Studio

When architect Max Pritchard began building Treetop Studio ten years ago he intended to use it as his office. The Adelaide-based sole practitioner’s practice expanded unexpectedly, however, and after employing three people he needed to find a bigger workspace. So Treetop Studio would remain half-built on his Kingston Park property until the beginning of this year. treetop_studio_2 “Eventually I just thought it’s a lovely little structure and I’m going to have to finish it,” says Pritchard. “And it will function as my own private home office.” The two-level timber tower is a mere four metres in diameter, but it serves its purpose well. Nestled in amongst the treetops it is accessible from the house by a timber walkway and is striking for its rationalised simplicity and bold sculptural form. treetop_studio_3 It stands in direct visual opposition to Pritchard’s house, which is an elevated glass pavilion with an expressed steel structure that he designed 30 years ago. This contrast is deliberate on the part of the architect, contributing to Treetop Studio’s successful, and thoroughly delightful, design outcome. treetop_studio_4 “I wanted it to read as a separate structure built at a different time,” says Pritchard. “But most importantly I wanted to use timber and plywood because I wanted to build it myself and I feel confident with carpentry.” The level of detail and finish is exquisite, especially considering the economical material palette. treetop_studio_5 Treetop Studio’s most resounding design expression, however, is its radiating baton motif. As Pritchard explains: “The roof structure is constructed from these radiating timber beams that are visible under the eaves and the radiating batons can be read from both inside and outside. I built that first and thought, ‘That looks pretty good on the ceiling, why don’t I do that on the floor’.” treetop_studio_6 Pritchard also built the table that sits in the upper level by utilising the project’s timber offcuts, which creates a sense of cohesion within the space. The tower’s chamfered top offers an unexpected design flourish and adds to Treetop Studio’s overall sculptural quality. Its leafy garden location simply heightens the effect and one can only imagine Pritchard must enjoy every (rare) spare moment he gets to spend in this lovingly crafted home studio. Photography: Sam Noonan samnoonan.com.au Max Pritchard Architect maxpritchardarchitect.com.auabc
Design Hunters

Design Hunter Q+A: Coco Reynolds

Your name: Coco Reynolds What you do: Owner of Marz Designs, Sydney based design studio. Your latest project: I’m currently working on two new lighting designs for Anomaly using some of their revolutionary surface finishes! Who are three people that inspire/excite you: 1) Oki Sato, Designer, Nendo 2) Dieter Rams, Industrial Designer, Braun 3) Lukas Peet, Furniture and lighting designer, clever young thing What is your favourite… Car/bike/plane/boat model: 1952 Porsche 356… dark navy blue with beige leather would be lovely (sigh) Chair model: The ‘Butterfly Stool’ by Sori Yanagi, such beautiful symmetry and silhouettes. mantis_lamp Mantis Lamp by Marz Designs Residential space: Albert Frey, Frey House II. Commercial space: Stockholm's metro, the whole project took 60 years to complete but each stop is presented like a magical underworld. Decorative product: My terrarium Functional product: Fort Standard bottle opener Handmade good: Jewellery by Tiro Tiro Mass-produced good: The lightbulb Meal: Mum’s home cooked lasagne Restaurant: Tetsuya’s. I haven’t eaten there yet but it’s on my bucket list. Drink: A fine glass of red wine. coco_reynolds_1 Twirl table lamp by Marz Designs Bar: Eau Die Vie, the bartenders there make a mean espresso martini. Item in your studio: Vice. Piece of technology: Power drill. Historical figure: Thomas Edison Fictional character: Daenerys Targaryen, who wouldn't want a couple of pet dragons? Vice: Carrot cake, its all about the cream cheese icing. Virtue: Determined What does the term design hunter mean to you? Collecting treasures that you love. Whether it be a high end designer piece, something you’ve picked up on your travels or even an item you’ve found and brought in off the street. Coco Reynolds won the Temple & Webster People's Choice Award for 2014. templeandwebster.com.au/edaabc