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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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Around The World

Boxy Manipulation

Hansar Hotel is a locally-owned, 94 room boutique hotel in the midst of other larger scale hotels on the Rajdamri area of Bangkok. The name is an adjective derived from a Thai-Sanskrit that literally means of ‘the moment in joy and happiness’. An expression that requires sincerity and attention. The hotel was designed by the Singapore-based, WOHA, with the hotel operation under the management of Suzanne Vetillart Chayavichitsilp and Etienne Vetillart. The seamless alignment of design appreciation between WOHA and the in-house hotel team is achieved through the architectural and interior design background of this design-driven duo. The result is a constant spatial refreshment with the full understanding of the initial design intention. “We are doing operation and design at the same time, as we are being in the owner’s shoes and having a foot in every situations. This gives us more in depth in the whole process, which is more intense, with direct feedback from customers that use the spaces,” they explain. Hotel-Exterior The exterior envelope is a segmented canon to a humanised scale, and five storeys of green creepers cover the façade to reflect the tropical context. The softening effect from this plant-covered façade gives a refreshing contrast to the surrounding solid lines of the concrete jungle, while further horizontal segmentations of the building mass come from the two levels of large cantilever areas over the main structure; an infinity edge swimming pool above the plants façade, and the rooftop terrace. Upon arrival guests are greeted by the concierge station before the over-sized entrance, and then the boutique “home away from home” ambience is felt by the absence of the check-in counter from the double-height lobby area. This administration space is instead located on the mezzanine floor along with the business area for guests. The result is a spatial articulation of a genuine residential feel from entrance to living room, one that proudly celebrates the local artists with displays of an 8x4 metres hand-stitched and embroidered fabric (cotton and silk) installation, and a series of photography work. The connection between the easy-to-settle colour scheme of wood and grey tone interior, with the presence outside is keeping intact by the full height glass façade on the ground level and the open-air corridor on every guest floor. 19th-floor-private-function-room The overall spatial articulation is an approach of boxes-within-a-box journey, from the scale of public zones into the private spaces of the guestroom, with the “conscious about the customer’s experience and to enrich at every single level”. Etienne sees the hotel “as a big house that you always have something to do”, and this allows every spatial boxes to have their own expression; with a linear circulation from the Thai minimalist lobby, to the metropolitan ambience of Rouge lounge, and through to the romantic tone of Eve restaurant, that plays with the masculinity and feminine vocabulary in the space. For the spatial articulation of the guest room, the vertical garden, the cantilever daybed, and other private spaces are clearly distinct in their territory, by the traditional and luxury material palettes of Jim Thompson silk fabric, hand woven carpets, imported silk wall covering, teak wood treatment, and black granite. The completeness of this hotel is seen as a joint effort that compares to “metal plates of bicycle chain that makes everything work, not by one entity. We try to do something to correspond with the identity of ourselves, and to not pay attention to what is around”. Hansar Hotel Bangkok hansarhotels.com WOHA woha.net Photos courtesy of the Hansar Hotel Lobby_Hansar-BKK Eve-Interior 08 Loft-Suite-master-bathroom Loft-Suite-living-area-2 Greenwall_entrance-Urban-suite Edge-Suite-living-space 19th-floor-private-function-room 19th-floor-13-(1)abc

How Nest Architects looked at mid-century modern from a new perspective

The process of renovating a house is all about looking at a space from a new perspective. And that is certainly what Emilio Fuscaldo and Imogen Pullar of Nest Architects did for the alteration and addition of this mid-century modern house. “It retains the essence and intent of the original house while bringing the benefits of twenty-first century amenity and living,” say homeowners Rebecca and Scott. Rebecca and Scott moved to Rosanna, Melbourne, with their heart set on living in a 1950s/60s modern house. “Well-considered modernist houses are a joy to live in,” says Scott. “They’re open, airy and considerate of contemporary living.” Attracted to this house for its natural light (floor to ceiling glazing), well-established garden and cultural provenance (built by Alistair Knox in 1956), the couple approached Nest with the brief to keep as much of the existing house and it’s redeeming features as possible, but enlarge it for a growing family. 06 Taking inspiration from the Case Study House program, Emilio and Imogen incorporated characteristic features of the prototype homes. Subtle divisions in the open living space offer discrete views in and out of different areas; the material palette – cork floors, timber lining boards and veneered joinery – is simple, understated and indicative of the era; the original breezeblock wall, exposed roof beams and glazing have been retained; the interior framework is highlighted in black to emphasise the horizontal and vertical lines of the house. In contrast, two angled columns at one corner of the kitchen functionally support the second storey, and visually “offer countless new perspectives and views into and out of the kitchen,” Emilio explains. The façade has also been designed to offer an ever-changing aspect. It’s painted deep sea-green and clad with undulating aluminium screens “to offer new perspectives of the building when viewed at different times of the day under different lighting conditions and from different angles,” Emilio says. “It heightens the feeling that there is more to this simple building than first thought.” 05 Colour-wise, Rebecca and Scott “were determined to have a bit of fun,” they say. “We added bright and vibrant splashes of colour that are inspired (but not enslaved) by mid-century design.” The luminescent yellow door recalls its original stripped-back colour. “It’s bright and uplifting and a clue that something more than meets the eye is going on.” The bathrooms feature green Pikralada tiles with a geometric pattern that harks back to a mid-century style. While attention to detail has certainly not been lost on this mid-century modern update, Emilio describes the atmosphere of the home as a direct reflection of the residents: “casual, open, friendly, not fussy.” And as Rebecca said to Scott once they’d moved back in, “Everything is better. Life is better.” Nest Architects nestarchitects.com.au Photos by Lauren Bamford 13.-Nest-Rosanna-1333 11 10 09 08 07 04 03 02abc

The Abstract Serenity of the May Grove House

Answering a brief that called for a low maintenance home, the May Grove house embodies a contemporary sense of aesthetics through its modern, open plan design and use of understated material palette. Based on a 250sq m plot, the recycled red brick, raw cement sheet panel and timber driven space is minimal from the outside, masking a warm interior. The upper level windows of May Grove are articulated with operable perforated shutters, which function as integrated façade as well as animating the building when light shines through these holes, creating a playful entry forecourt. Inside, muted interiors function as a comfortable home where skylights and windows celebrate a playful and moving space as the sun passes. Across both levels of the split-level house, the facade pulls away to reveal a stream timber running the length of the north–south side. This is interrupted only by the front door and external entry gate. Through simple yet distinct, recognisable form, the house’s architectural design serves as a precursor to the minimalist and inviting interior within. Jackson Clements Burrows Architects jcba.com.au c422f7dc550f6ff1e424aa240d9682be may grove may grove 0cb77997677d65c958b14cf3c4c75ff8 93969679a4761c7ad9baaed1ddc9357b  abc

How this house by Nest Architects forms a backdrop to family life

When David and Nicole Neal purchased their house in Glen Iris, Melbourne, they knew they wanted to create an interesting family home spacious enough to comfortably accommodate their family of five, while also feeling intimate and cosy. And because the family love to spend time outdoors, connecting the living spaces and back garden were paramount to the renovation. They engaged Emilio Fuscaldo and Imogen Pullar of Nest Architects and have great praise for their architects’ collaborative spirit. “We took inspiration from our clients so that the finished product is a reflection of them and a backdrop to their lives,” says Emilio. 02 The original late-1960s house had a large footprint, but a “rabbit warren of small bedrooms and out-dated living spaces,” Nicole says. However, unlike the neighbouring heritage-listed Edwardian villas, it had a flat roof, low-slung design and strong horizontality worth preserving and celebrating. Thus, Nest did only subtle modifications to the front façade, including bagging the original burgundy bricks and applying perforated metal screens across window openings and into sections of the front wall, obscuring and revealing views respectively. 04 Inside, a large open-plan space upstairs with living, dining and kitchen spreads east to west and flows directly onto a slate-paved balcony. Upstairs also accommodates the master bedroom, which has a new internal courtyard for “northern light and a private outdoor space,” Emilio says. The bedrooms and playroom are downstairs and have protruding steel boxes that function as study areas within the rooms. To fit the Neal’s lifestyle and way of living, an external staircase allows for easy access between the upstairs living areas and large landscaped garden (courtesy of Fiona Brockhoff Design) and pool below. 06 Timber-lined walls enhance the sense of flow and connection between the interior and exterior and also influence the colour palette. “We’re always trying to push our clients to use colour and Nicole and David were really up for it,” Emilio says. “We wanted to build in joinery to punch off the white walls and become strong features of the house;” and dark green and dusty blues against light ash and oak timber “helps tone down the joinery by making it playful and fun,” he says. In this spirit, blue-green Pirelli rubber trickles down the stairs like water; dark-green joinery has custom scalloped door panels that mimic the folds of soft fabric; and Martinique Wallpaper in the ensuite brings the lush outdoors inside. “The colours make the house feel fresh and light,” Nicole says. “You can’t help feeling happy and relaxed in the house.” 12 The end result is a wonderful family environment. “The mix of colours and materials make our house feel warm, inviting and homely, and the living spaces contribute to the great ease in which we, as a family, can live in this house together,” Nicole says. Nest Architects nestarchitects.com.au Photos by Lauren Bamford 01 03 07 05.-Nest_GlenIris_2023 09 11 10 13 14abc
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

Handling the Pressure, Bonnemazou-Cambus

Made in three separate interlocking parts, the Bonnemazou-Cambus range is designed by Agnes Cambus and Manuel Bonnemazou and built using precision machinery designed specifically to handle brass production. These solid brass parts are machined, assembled and later adjusted to reach the pair's high standard. While exposed and honed brass is the classic option for finishes, a range of paint finishes, polishes and plating are also available, all handmade by craftsmen in Parisian workshops. The brass finish is intentionally left natural, without any varnish, allowing it to age naturally with use and develop it will take a natural colouring as it ages, where as coloured finishes receive a powdered coat of black or white to give and unchanging and pure look. The Bonnemazou-Cambus craftsmen offer various brass options for the handles, so as to suit any residential or commercial project, though it's undeniable that these handles would most elegantly suit a modern home with a throwback sense of old-world European class. Through honest design and quality parts, the range serves as a reinvention of the door handle, standing as a minimal collection of pin, handle, and finish. Their entire range pops with vitality, yet never forgets its roots. Bonnemazou-Cambus bonnemazou-cambus.fr 00_bonnemazou-cambus_poignee-de-porte_Eclate 00_bonnemazou-cambus_poignee-de-porte_Gamme-poignee 00_bonnemazou-cambus_poignee-de-porte_Gamme-Finition-2abc

A new lease on life for a Newtown House

This 1860’s heritage listed Victorian timber cottage is one of the last of its kind, located in Sydney’s trendy inner west suburb of Newtown. This Newtown house was originally four rooms and a hallway with outbuildings and full of character, yet was lacking in a good living area, and had disproportionate space allocated to one large bathroom. The new owners of the house sought to create a more suitable home for modern living, yet wanted to retain the original character of the house. Through relocating the bathroom, the lounge room was able to largely occupy the rear extension and expand into the area once occupied by the lounge. A new glazed façade addresses the once underutilised courtyard space, which along with the skylights increases a sense of space and openness. The carefully designed first floor addition preserves the original hipped roof form, while thermal comfort is addressed through passive solar design principles. Heritage experts from TKD Architects worked closely with City of Sydney Council on the project. Essential to the planning for this Newtown house was how to maintain the original cottage façade while designing a new, discreet attic extension. Indoors, a use of minimalist plywood panelling gives a striking contrast to the external textured ground floor. TKD Architects tkda.com.au 7777c7f06aeeb54e903df32e1f11d6ee bfd75b593aa25da2e7efeb8cf6642a52abc
Design Hunters

Groupwork: Rethinking the small things

Interior architect Sarah Trotter wears many hats. She leads design practice Hearth Studio focusing on residential and hospitality projects. She’s also one half of food blogging duo Trotski & Ash, teaming up with writer pal Romy Ash to create seasonal recipes for The Guardian online. Then, she heads up Groupwork, where she engages various architects, artists and makers on a project-by-project basis to design and develop objects, fittings and surfaces, bringing an element of beauty and materiality to often overlooked or uncelebrated fixtures. Trotter began work on Groupwork’s third project in September 2013 when she answered a submissions call out for The Other Hemisphere exhibition, showcasing Australian design at Milan Design Week 2014. “The brief I set for us was to create a bathroom storage system that could be used in wet areas and that was modular and flexible,” Trotter says. Simplify is the result – a collaboration with Melbourne-based architect Murray Barker and artist Esther Stewart. Groupwork_104 “We looked at old fixtures and fittings from the 1920s, rail systems and soap holders. It was also important to the exhibition brief that our objects were sustainably focussed – creating minimal waste and using materials with longevity,” Trotter says. The design begins with a brass towel rail, which stands alone in function and acts as a frame to add or subtract multi-purpose building blocks. Through altering orientation and combination, the pieces can fit together to make a small shelf or remain as individual blocks or storage vessels. Requiring only two wall penetrations, the rail is easy to install and designed to be versatile across various pockets within the home, like a kitchen or bedroom. “This product was designed with small spaces in mind, giving a small bathroom a place for a bottle of soap, somewhere to hold your jewellery and bobby pins, without really needing a bench or cupboard.” Groupwork_042 Trotter signals keeping manufacturing within Australia and working with progressive suppliers as central to Groupwork’s production. “We had assistance for the prototype by friends Wingnut & Co., who helped us with the beautiful oak vessel and block. We had a hard time finding someone to make our bluestone block, and we ended up begging a gravestone mason to make it for us! We're now working closely with Maddie from Studio Twocan on our new block offering based on our bluestone block. It’s very important to me that Groupwork supports young makers in Melbourne where we can.” Project 004 entitled For School: Personal Desk was showcased at Tokyo Design Week last year in an exhibition curated by Sarah K and Bree Claffey. For this collaboration, Trotter engaged Kyneton-based metalsmiths Rowsaan to make the brass clips and basket by hand (which molds to the user’s knees), while Alex Rains crafted the wooden top. “We are very conscious of making objects that will last, that are very good quality. We want these items to be something that will patina over time and show the years of use,” Trotter says. Groupwork groupworkstudio.com Groupwork_003    abc

A country home with a contemporary twist

Set on a piece of land in Trentham East an hour's drive northwest of Melbourne, the house catches views of Mount Macedon, rolling paddocks and patches of bushland. These elements were imbedded in Glow Design Group's brief; to build an energy-efficient home that would make the most of its views across open farmland in the small town of Trentham.

"The clients requested a farmhouse style house constructed of low maintenance materials with optimal thermal efficiency and off the grid. The site allows an impressive view to all aspects, and these views were to be admired whilst also keeping in mind the Northern aspect and thermal efficiency," explain the architects.

A humble country barn and shed made of corrugated steel was also a source of inspiration, which has cleverly been reinterpreted to create a contemporary home that blends into the landscape.


Due to Trentham's cold winter climate, double and triple glazing has been combined with bulk and high tech insulation in double stud walls, resulting in an extra toasty warm home with good thermal efficiency. A polished concrete slab was also chosen for its ability to absorb heat.

The decking and facade has been clad in re honed fire resistant locally-sourced blackbutt timber, which helps to soften the low maintenance corrugated galvanised steel and assists in reflecting the sun's rays.

Glow Design Group glowbuildingdesign.com












Bringing Japanese tea to Industrial Sydney

The Rabbit Hole pairs the original building's industrial features with a Japanese design aesthetic and numerous whimsical elements. Matt Woods took advantage of the present architecture in the design of the space, employing existing timber ceilings and brick walls, which have been since been painted white to reflect the natural light flooding in the space. "The softening of this masculine architecture is achieved through the white washing of these newly exposed elements," said Woods. "The addition of enlarged north east facing windows allows light to flood in to the interior.” The Rabbit Hole is influenced by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which is based on the celebration of the imperfections in ceramic objects. Matt Woods has created a counter from shards of crushed tiles and a display made of balancing bowls to channel this feeling "The Japanese art of Kintsugi forms the foundation of the new design elements," he says "This is most apparent in the specialty tea display where, like spinning plates on top of a circus performers pole, custom designed Kintsugi bowls sit delicately above turned oak timbers." A glazed wall separates the smaller area of the space from the wider café, while oak timber was used to create seating throughout the café. "Other tables are less ostentatious, and are constructed in timber and fibre cement," says Woods "This contrasting materiality is peppered through out the space, along with a $100 warehouse shelving stand and bespoke joinery items." Matt Woods Design killingmattwoods.com The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_13 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_10 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_8 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_7 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_4 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_3 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_2 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_1 The-Rabbit-Hole_Organic-Tea-Bar_Matt-Woods_interiors_dezeen_936_0  abc
Design Products

A Stage fit for a Chef

The K3 kitchen system explores is a modern yet timelessly designed kitchen, built with gastronomy in mind, and with the home chef at the fore. Distinctively Australian is aesthetics, the design references to classic mid-20th century design, yet serves up modern convenience, designed to stand as the epitome of a gastronomic kitchen; relished by those who are passionate about the art of cooking. A picture of ideal composure, K3’s smart planning considers who will cook in the kitchen and how – with storage, workspaces and appliances positioned to suit the individual culinary, lifestyle and entertaining preferences of the modern foodie. A visually attractive toolboard option, channeling traditional backyard shed design, features adjustable magnetic timber shelving components and flexible utensil storage. Cantilever_Kitchen-3_009 The K3 incorporates a range of modern systems that maximise available space and create a unified sense of aesthetic design. Most exemplary of this is the under-the-bench bin system, and the internal organisation options that use otherwise wasted space in sink cabinets and corner cupboards respectively. Streamlined handle free doors allow for an ease of opening cupboards and drawers, without encroaching on space. The kitchen is often the hardworking hub of any home, so it makes no sense to have the space be a place of beauty. A sense of tranquility and calm can offset the traditional busy nature of the space. It is with this in mind that the K3 benchtop and cabinetry fronts are styled in a subdued birch plywood style. This not only relaxes the chef in the space, but serves as a statement if sustainability. Proudly Australian made, K3 is thoughtfully considered in design by Cantilever Interiors, a boutique Melbourne kitchen design company. The system can be designed to accommodate configurations ranging from galley, L-shape, U–shape or straight run, with and without island. Cantilever Interiors cantileverinteriors.com   Cantilever_Kitchen-3_008 Cantilever_Kitchen-3_007 Cantilever_Kitchen-3_006 Cantilever_Kitchen-3_005 Cantilever_Kitchen-3_003 Cantilever_Kitchen-3_002 Cantilever_Kitchen-3_010 Cantilever_Kitchen-3_001    abc

Why two courtyards are better than one

A handsome cottage overlooking the Hamilton reach of the Brisbane River, is the Australian home of Singapore-based couple, Ken and Jade Yuktasevi and their two young Children. Their “family sanctuary” connects Jade to her Australian roots and unites three generations of her family in a peaceful, garden setting. The property was acquired with the vision “to build something beautiful, sustainable, respectful and giving to its surroundings.” Architects, Vokes and Peters, were engaged for their proven expertise in translating local vernacular and culture through architecture. The original cottage, constructed some sixty years previous, was retained so as to preserve an historic streetscape and neighbourhood. Its neat conversion to a dormitory accommodates two family units within the one “sleeping house”. The “garden/verandah house” constitutes the two storey extension which employs garden courtyards on each side of the building as a means to connect its inhabitants with nature. The double courtyards are the lungs to the home’s heart; the brick-floored interior of the combined kitchen, dining and living room. The day to day goings on of the house happen here, grounded by earth and bound by garden. Read the full story in Habitus #30. Subscribe to Habitus magazine here. ©CFJ_DCH-28 ©CFJ_DCH-18 ©CFJ_DCH-03  abc

Introducing Reissi Mall

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Carefully developed over six years with Reissi Mall's network of expert Italian craftsmen, the proprietary Reissi Home brand offers an extensive range of high-quality products that exude a sense of elegance and luxury. The brand showcases items that fuse together elements of creativity, innovation and function, at an affordable price point for the discerning Australian consumer.


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Reissi Mall promote authentic, high-quality, beautiful Italian design. They believe we should express ourselves through our surroundings, and surround ourselves with products that make us happy. Most importantly, Reissi Mall believe that everyone has the right to do so, and that beautifully designed products should also be affordable.


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