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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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Furniture

The Funhouse

I have a dirty little secret: I love chintzy tchotchkes. It’s quite a bold statement for someone who, admittedly, spends most of his day sitting at a pure white, absolutely clutter-less desk, wearing only the most inoffensively monochrome basics. And yet, although I tend to predictably eschew ornamentation of any kind (not to mention colour), there’s still a small part of me that is inexorably drawn to the off-kilter excesses of hardcore décor.

We’ve kissed goodbye the days of mid-century furniture ruling the design world, and the reign of minimalism on our catwalks has yielded to a new age of maximalist overload. Less is bore, and eccentricity is the new black.

Although this visual about-face certainly has its cynics, few are willing to discredit that whacky design’s arrival is exceedingly welcome. After all, everything was starting to feel a bit same-same. For the past ten years we’ve been the Apple aesthetic’s tireless evangelists; we’ve genuflected ourselves at the altar of Scandi simplicity; and we’ve followed a design bible typeset exclusively in Helvetica’s sober logic. In some ways, this decade’s habitually streamlined puritanism operated as a correctional antidote to the excesses of the 1980s-90s – coming to climax with the (appropriately) excessive swansong of the Global Financial Crisis in recent years.

There’s little wonder that asceticism becomes voguish when austerity becomes necessary. But while the economic landscape continues daily to recuperate the strong footing global markets once enjoyed, a greater appreciation of the weird and wonderful has increased accordingly. The market only brings what we can bear – and what we’re choosing to bear is becoming more odd, more fun and more-is-more every day.

Perhaps, then, it comes at little surprise that one of the most recognisable (and highly controversial) furniture design studios of yesteryear is undergoing a renaissance. While we continue to crave eclecticism, humour, luxurious materials and ambitious silhouettes, Gufram – an Italian design studio that defined much of the pop art aesthetic of the 1960s-70s – is still proving that irreverent furniture, witty objects and boldly optimistic design plays an important role in our decorative schemes and collective imaginations, alike.

Now a permanent part of Vitra Design Museum’s ‘100 Masterpieces of Design’, pieces from Gufram’s playful portfolio have also recently arrived on Australian shores thanks to Living Edge, representing the first time in Gufram’s sixty-five year history that Australians can directly access their extremely collectible designs.

Nowhere has this become more patently obvious than in the flourishing popularity of the brand’s iconic Pratone Green chair (above). So extremely outlandish and whimsical does it appear that Gufram’s Pratone stands almost as a symbol of today’s ‘anti-design’ mentality, absolutely hiding its functionality under a bushel of ultra-confident individualism.

Even more striking, yet just as supremely functional as a coat stand, is the Gufram Metacactus (cover). Embodying the grit, the imagination and humour of Gufram’s influence in the 1970s, Metacactus joins other equally gob-smackingly oddball designs such as The End (some rather glamorously morbid tombstone ottomans – opposite) to present a shocking version of the facts: design gives us the power to escape to anywhere we’d like to go.

No more bourgeois boredom.

No more teetotalish tedium.

...Let’s get weird.

Gufram gufram.it/it

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Enclosed Living, Open Design

For the award winning design of the appropriately dubbed Enclosed Open House, the designers at Wallflower Architecture + Design were faced with the unique challenge of owners wanting a spacious, contemporary house that would be as open as possible in all aspects, but without compromising either security or privacy, all in an eastern Singaporean location. With neighbours on four sides of the property, the solution was to create a fully fenced-in, grand compound style property, with a spatial design that internalises spaces such the pool and gardens – normally regarded as external to the house proper. By creating a space that sees areas like bedrooms and guest quarters on alternating levels, the ground space was able to be a freer, more open area with an arresting lack of major walls that would have been required if public and private programmes were interlaced on the same plane. With see-through wooden barriers, the house allows an impressive continuous, uninterrupted 40-metre view from the entrance foyer and pool, through the formal living area to the internal garden courtyard and dining area. This impressive feat of design manages to keep individual sections separate from one another, yet to the eye, be perceived as being within the same built enclosure of the house. These transparencies on the ground level are not simply privacy enable or eye-catching; their design is important in the passive cooling of the house – with all the courtyards have differing material finishes and differing heat gain and latency. In a playful and inspired design that defies traditional thinking, so long as there are temperature differences between courtyards- the living, dining, and pool house become conduits for breezes that move in between the yards, very much like how land and sea breezes are generated. With such inspired and unique properties, it’s little surprise the design helped secure the 2010 SIA Architectural Design Awards ‘Individual House’ award for Wallflower Architecture + Design. The house is more than just a beautiful experiential serenity amidst a cityscape; its design serves as a reminder of the connection to nature that architecture and design can, and often should, have. Through opening a space and channeling the natural rhythms of temperature control, the Enclosed Open House feels as comfortable and cool as it looks. Wallflower Architecture + Design wallflower.com.sg   We think you might also like House of Scenes by FORM Architecture    abc
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Peter Stutchbury Is An Indesign Luminary

Stuchbury was stunned, he says, when he received the call about the Gold Medal, but perhaps he shouldn’t have been. His work has come in for swathes of awards over the years, including 47 AIA awards alone. In 2003 he scooped up the top national awards for both housing and public buildings, an industry first, then repeated the feat two years later. Through wide publication, his involvement in competitions and his local and international lecturing and speaking engagements, Stutchbury’s reputation only grows, and he continues to delivers a dynamic vision of Australia and Australianness through this work, his teaching and his persona. Closely associated with renowned architects Richard Leplastrier and Pritzker-Prize winning Glenn Murcutt ­­– Stutchbury has always been ‘the young fella’ among them even though he is now sixty – ‘Stutch’, as he’s known, is a radical, a campaigner, a romantic, a maverick and a story-teller as well as a particularly prolific architect. For years now he’s been consistently producing innovative, environmentally attuned buildings that are structurally striking and poetically expressive across a wide range of building types: -One of his first buildings was a church in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea built in 1982. Invited by his uncle (a builder who had been a missionary) to design a traditional ‘longhouse,’ Stutchbury created a beautifully simple and economical solution. -His award-winning design for the Sydney International Archery Park, created for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games captured the character of the sport acutely. Friend and associate Neilsen Warren, describes the magic in the scheme as ‘intuitive architecture of the highest order.’ -Not too many city architects get to design a woolshed. Stutchbury’s design for Deepwater Woolshed, built near Wagga Wagga in 2005, was hailed by architectural theorist Kenneth Frampton as ‘an ultra-modern work’ that’s ‘surely one of the world’s improbable architectural masterpieces.’ -Stutchbury has also produced numerous highly-acclaimed public buildings including half a dozen at the University of Newcastle: the Design Faculty building (with EJE Architecture), the Nurses Faculty Building, the Life Sciences Building and Birabahn Indigenous Centre (with Sue Harper and Richard Leplastrier). In recognition he was awarded the University of Newcastle’s Convocation Medal in 2005. -In 2008, PSA designed and built the winning entry in the International Living Steel Competition for extreme climate housing in Cherpovets, Russia. -In 2009, it was an aircraft hangar in Cessnock, NSW, also award-winning. -Being selected to design a house on the coast of Japan for the legendary Issey Miyake was a remarkable compliment to the architect and an experience Stutchbury describes as “the most romantic, amazing process working with this brilliant person.” The diversity in these projects says a lot about Stutchbury’s talents. But at the same time, the practice – in which he is responsible for conceptual design work and around a dozen creative young architects “take it from there” – is best known for its houses. To generalise, these are daring structures with strong profiles often set in magnificent landscapes – the iconic ‘Invisible House,’ which was nominated House of the Year in 2014, is a good example. They’re highly considered houses, meticulously detailed and immaculately crafted. In making the most of the landscape and the nuances of each site, Stutchbury aims to deepen the connections his clients feel for the places they’re living in, to intensify their lived experience. What’s also notable, is how different his houses can be from each other. An explanation for this, he suggests, is that there are two basic attitudes to design - refinement and exploration - and “I’m much more an explorer than I am a refiner.” In recent years these explorations have taken him a long way from the dramatic contemporary residences he creates for clients. The house he’s designed for himself near the beachfront in Avalon, Sydney is a tent. It’s a pretty posh tent it has to be said, with a practical kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and toilet set on a timber platform. But sitting beneath the canvas, nursing cups of tea and talking about Stutchbury’s life and ideas, it’s a perfectly natural place to be. The highlights of Stutchbury’s early years were instrumental to his thinking. Growing up as a surfer, and going on camping trips up and down the east coast “chasing cyclone waves,” gave him an intense experience of nature and different environments. He also spent a lot of time on the family’s sheep property in Cobar, developing a love of the land, and establishing a connection with Aboriginal Australia. A daydreamer at school, Stutchbury would have become a farmer, or followed his father into engineering had his grades allowed, but when the idea of architecture suddenly struck him – it followed Accounting in the careers advice handbook – he was galvanized. (His uncles were builders and he’d been working with them in school holidays.) He gained entry to the University of Newcastle in 1973 and threw himself into architecture with fervour. For his final year thesis Stutchbury investigated Aboriginal housing on the NSW north coast. When in Papua New Guinea, he studied traditional ‘longhouses’, drawing up plans of 42 examples from different villages. He backpacked through Asia, stayed in Japan, and, in 1990, with the aid of a Cann National Scholarship, spent 12 months studying indigenous housing in Africa, living in villages in Kenya, Swaziland, Zambia and South Africa. His abiding interest in these traditional building forms underpins his appreciation of housing. Other influences were closer to home. Stutchbury says he learnt about respect from his mother and about hands-on building from his father who ran a large steel construction business. “My father was a brilliant [and] very well known engineer,” says Stutchbury. “Dad taught me about technology, in terms of construction and its values, so you can always trace the mathematical and structural integrity of our buildings.” While still at university, he met and became close life-long friends with Richard Leplastrier, who has been a mentor and a colleague for many years. Stutchbury says, “I embraced Rick’s [thinking] because I was heading in that direction. In a way he re-emphasised what my father taught me about quality, but he took it into a world of romanticism and art. I have been blessed in that relationship,” he adds. In 2001, with a shared commitment to environmentally-responsive architecture, Murcutt, Leplastrier, Stutchbury and former Dean of Architecture at the University of Newcastle, Lindsay Johnston, founded the Architecture Federation Australia. They also established the Glenn Murcutt International Master Class program, a two-week residential school that has since been held annually, and hosted over 1500 professionals from 80 countries. Through this and other AFA initiatives such as the annual Student Architect Master Classes, his commitments (one day a week) as Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle, and the more than 180 lectures and talks he has given worldwide, Stutchbury spends around half of his time teaching. He sees it as “a wonderful way of remaining connected,” and feels a sense of responsibility to pass on the benefits afforded him. The biggest influence on Stutchbury’s work, though, has been his life experience itself. “Without my life my buildings wouldn’t exist,” he says. The first house he designed and built for himself, West Head House in Clareville, in 1991, where his then-wife, landscape architect Phoebe Pape, and their three children lived for 23 years, was a cluster of lightweight of pavilions set against a spotted gum forest in which all of nature was part of life. Stutchbury’s philosophy for sustainable living was consolidated by the everyday experiences of working, bringing up a family and entertaining friends and the house became a testing ground for ideas that then found their way to other projects. “Environmental considerations and romantic considerations,” says Stutchbury – these two things, connected and highly considered – are at the crux of his architecture. “A house is not an object, it’s an artistic, beautiful, inspirational means of being in a place,” he says, and adds, “If a building is not going to be uplifting it’s not going to do you any good.” He says all his houses have been “designed with an intent to be poetry, or to communicate, or to shift people’s thinking.” Over and above that, he talks about using basic tools like connectivity, rawness, and honesty to create a spiritual quality that comes from a genuine connection to the land. Sustainability is a word commonly used to describe Stutchbury’s work, but he slams its usual usage as a checklist of boxes to tick. “Sure, there’s a whole energy rating for a building that can be tabulated, but we should be much broader in our understanding of it,” he says. “Sustainability is how the Aborigines used to look after the land ... the respect that was nurtured socially between them, their respect for the greater world and all its relationships, that’s what sustainability is.” He calls for a sustainable architecture that operates at all levels, embracing physical, social and spiritual sustainability. He is equally passionate about the need to value the wider environment much more highly, to raise its status to a respected place in day-to-day life and in architecture. “The landscape is a gift, it’s not something to be taken for granted. It’s got a huge capacity to teach us lots of things about calm and energy and about materials, about light and shade and peace of mind.” Bringing these ideas closer to home, Stutchbury describes a fundamental shift in his thinking, from ‘the house in the landscape,’ to the ‘house as garden.’ While he’s been living in his tent for several years it is only a temporary measure, and a new house of concrete, copper and canvas – half cave/half tower – is on the drawing board. “It’s no longer, for me, the transition between inside and outside, that’s incidental,” he says. Instead, he’s on a mission to find out where the line can be drawn between security and comfort and openness and connection to what he sees as our natural habitat, which in an urban context is not so much the bush but the garden. “There’s all this questioning going on about where the real beauty comes from,” he says, and he predicts that, even when the house is complete, he’ll still be living largely in the garden, where the fire-pit, the open kitchen, the veggie patch and the chooks are. “It’ll be like living on a farm,” he says, but at sunset, he’ll be up on the rooftop terrace “having a cup of tea, looking at the sky.” Peter Stutchbury peterstutchbury.com.au

Portrait by Anthony Browell

Photography courtesy Peter Stutchbury Architecture

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5 Products, Collaborations And Launches That Marked 2017

The Boyd Collection A collaboration between KFive and Boyd Foundation, The Boyd Collection includes a generous single seat, which comes in a lounge form, as well as a dining and coffee table, both inlaid with tactile cork tile. The range is made from Australian hardwoods and Australian wool fabrics, lending a truly local appeal. Robyn Boyd KFive   StylecraftHOME The latest venture from Stylecraft, StylecraftHOME, caters to the residential and commercial sector, and answers to Australian design as well as international brands. The pastel-infused Sydney showroom, designed by Matt Sheargold of international design practice, HASSEL, displays a carefully curated selection of lounging, dining, home office and outdoor furniture from the Australian designers and international brands Stylecraft represents   The Growroom Inching their way into the designer realm in recent years, this year saw Ikea take their signature flat pack approach and apply to gardening. The Growroom was conceived as a new sustainable alternative to the current global food model, and the open source nature of the design, and being produced from only one material, reflects this. The overlapping levels of the sphere have been designed to make sure that water and light flowing in can reach the vegetation on every level, fmor top to bottom.   The NikolaTesla Induction Cooktop Fusing hood and cooking surface into a single domestic appliance, the NikolaTesla induction cooktop acts as a fully integrated cooking and suction system. With the fan and cooker hood perfectly integrated into the cooktop itself, the appliance guarantees high performance in terms of fume capture, silence and energy efficiency, all while being housed within an aesthetically uniform design.   IKEA x HAY Collection As mentioned above, in recent years Ikea has made a decided, and decent, effort to realign itself within the furniture and design object market to a designer audience. They've been able to achieve this through a number of designer collaborations, Kit Neale and Studio Truly Truly to name a couple. But their latest, perhaps most impressive collaboration came this year with Danish design company HAY. Ypperlig is the resulting collection. YPPERLIG IKEA HAY lounge We think you might also like Habitus Living Loves to Loungeabc
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A Hotel Inspired By The Modern Nomad

Nomada means ‘nomad’ in Spanish, so it’s a fair bet the inspiration for this new Spanish tapas restaurant in Fitzroy has something to do with travel and eclecticism. Ding ding. You’re right. But what elevates this space above the ubiquitous hospo all over town is the very personal way it connects to its customers and creates an experience, which links back to its owners – who reckon they’ve finally found their home in Nomada. It’s headed up by Jesse Gerner (Green Park, Anada, Bomba Bar) and Jesse McTavish (Kettle Black, Top Paddock), with a design that reflects these two in a nutshell, brought to life by Sam Eades from Samantha Eades Design. “The inspiration for the space came from the idea of nomad, and wanting to create that feeling of home and space by actually bringing in things from home,” Eades says. If you look beyond the white walls and timber joinery, you’ll see exactly what she’s talking about. An old chopping board and ceramics from around the world are on display behind the kitchen; a brass mortar and pestle sits near the bar, while images of hooks and various weavings sit beside framed photographs of ocean seascapes and travels. They’re the very personal objects and family photographs of the owners, as McTavish explains. “We wanted a direct connection between the fit out, the food and the feel,” he says. The space was formerly Hammer & Tong restaurant, so the main bones were already in place. High, raw concrete ceilings and floors provided the utilitarian platform upon which to add in colour, layering and texture. Nomada Photography by Nicole England dining Table This is where Eades excels. From the sheepskin throws casually draped across the long leather banquette, to the cushions and diverse chairs sourced from Weylandts; there are layers everywhere. “You keep looking at a little detail or object,” she says. “We wanted to have these simple details that provide the sense of discovery,” she says. Functionally, the space offers two key areas for dining split over two levels. A slender area with a full-length leather banquette faces an open kitchen and bar, and includes a communal table and area at one end featuring Terrazzo tiles. The kitchen is open to the restaurant with a suspended black steel carriageway from one end to the other, and a concrete bar beneath it. There are five different tiles on the face of the bar; with one hand carved and personally developed with a tilemaker in Melbourne. Even the underside of the carriageway shelving offers sisal carpeting, providing an extra layer of softness. The second area incorporates a relaxed ‘garden room’ at the rear, with a retractable roof, matching terrazzo tiles splashed on the floor to evoke the outdoors, and a warm, green palette highlighted by plants. Connecting each space is a collection of pendants from Spence & Lyda, along with cane lights from Ikea connected by plants casually draped from the ceilings throughout. “The eclectic lights and plants create a nice canopy in the space,” Eades says. There are plans to create a rooftop bar, while from the outside a local artist was engaged to paint the façade. For now, McTavish is happy cooking and finding time to escape to the coast to surf, as well as stuffing his Esky with foraged flowers and herbs fresh from his travels. “It’s beautiful. This space now feels like a part of me,” he says. Samantha Eades samanthaeades.com Photography by Nicole England Nomada Photography by Nicole England table Nomada Photography by Nicole England Nomad interiors details We think you might also like Aloft Hotel by Design Theoryabc
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Who Added To The Design Conversation This Year?

John Wardle For the most part, architect John Wardle is a forward thinker, a designer whose practices’ buildings – including the under-construction Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the Melbourne School of Design – are shaped and crafted using the latest computer-aided design technologies and innovative construction techniques. John Wardle Habitus photography by Marnie Hawson dining room   Ana Ros, The World’s Best Female Chef In 2000 former national ski champion, Ana Ros and her sommelier husband Valter took over from Valter’s father at the family restaurant, Hisa Franko, in Korbarid. Although not conventionally trained, Ana was heavily influenced by her own countries native dishes as much as the cultural food of countries such as Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia, with which Slovenia (her home country) neighboured. In 2017, she was named the world's best female chef.   Marc Newson A bit of an essay from a close personal friend of Marc Newson's; Stephen Todd shares the life and life's works of the Australian-born, London-based designer who has captivated the global industry since the 1980s. What compels him, what repels him, and what's to come.   GOLDEN When Alicia McKimm and Kylie Dorotic first joined forces in 2013, it was under the guise of We Are Huntly. The interior design studio head up by the two women quickly became known for their projects across the hospitality, commercial and residential sectors. In 2016 they were named Emerging Interior Design Practice at the Australian Interior Design Awards. Last year, Alicia and Kylie hinted something big was in the works. And indeed it was. The duo has renamed and rebranded themselves: what was once We Are Huntly, is now GOLDEN. Alicia McKimm Kylie Dorotic portrait   Maurice Terzini The maestro of modern Australian dining, Maurice Terzini’s Bondi Icebergs set the bar high when it opened 15 years ago. With the launch of Da Maria in Bali, Terzini has become an export brand. We think you might also like Your Top 5 Retail Fit-Outs Of 2017abc
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It’s Bold … And Beautiful!

It was just after 4am when I first met her – and I still cannot apologise enough. It seems, at 4am, as a source of warmth and cheeriness, I rank exactly between a water cracker and a single roller-skate. The same, however, could not be the said of her. With broad grins, chummy hugs, “darlings!” and “hoo–roo”, she acquitted herself with the kind of charming bonhomie I’d expect from the sweetest granny at a CWA cake stall. Her appearance at the time, however, suggested anything but. 

At 4am, on location for a fashion shoot, she was dressed as a prima donna of Hollywood’s golden age – a headliner on holiday – oozing a kind of innate glamour that would make Liz Taylor quake in her minks and alimony. In a yolk-yellow gown, hair set and curled à la Baccall, a raffishly pitched hat and hosiery with stays and that hypnotic little black line up the back of her calves, she stretched out a hand with Merlot-coloured, almond-shaped nails for me to shake. “It’s so lovely to meet you. I’m Stavroula.

“Of course! Wow, it’s great to finally meet you as well”, I replied, blinking stiltedly. “I feel a little underdressed.” She threw her head back and indulged in the kind of soft pharyngeal laugh that is appropriate for such ungodly morning hours. Little did I know at the time – all those years ago – that our lives would continue to intersect. Four years following that first encounter I found myself standing in the middle of a technicolour blowout, her first solo exhibition, hosted in Paddington’s Disorder Gallery.

Under the alter-ego Frida Las Vegas, Stavroula Adameitis (or Stav, as she seems to be more commonly known), is something of a somersaulting artiste-savant. She’s the brains behind several collections of jewellery that have recently contributed to perspex’s watershed moment (pieces of which caught the eye of Patricia Field, the costume designer of Sex And The City, and any number of international tastemakers). Over recent years she’s turned her hand to film, animation, styling and journalism. And yet, despite a constantly growing curriculum vitae of diverse expertise, she will not be wearied.

Her first solo exhibition – ‘The Bold And The Beautiful’ by Frida Las Vegas – stands as an important milestone in her creative practice. As the latest iteration of her much-vaunted Pop Art visual language perfected across so many of her practiced mediums, the exhibition brings to a crowning point the muses, colours, aesthetic gestures and cultural influences that have always informed her unique orientation to the world.

Frida Las Vegas Passion Pop

“Growing up in suburban Australia during the late 1980s”, she tells me one night over her signature cocktail (‘The Flaming Stav’: equal parts Midori and Champagne … not recommended for the unseasoned lush), “I idolised larger-than-life women whose hair was only eclipsed in height by the cloud of perfume they left behind. Creating wearable art in jewellery form was the first step in the Frida Las Vegas journey. And it was the natural progression to upscale my kitschy and colourful vision to the walls of Disorder Gallery for my first solo exhibition, ‘The Bold And The Beautiful’.”

As a collection of artworks and limited-edition prints celebrating the off-kilter friskiness of the 1980s, the exhibition references everything from ‘Double Bay glamazons’, beachside motel décor of yore, and the title sequence of history’s most-watched soap opera, The Bold And The Beautiful. I walk past framed images of the Forrester lineage, a composition of those plastic palm fronds that graced every suburban shopping centre under the Hawke, Keating and Howard administrations; and sling-back mules not seen since the era of Kerri-Anne Kennerley.

Wave after wave of gorblimey nostalgia washes over me, bringing to the surface tiny memories I thought I’d forgotten: my grandmother’s perfumes all lined up on her dresser; the smell of spray-on Fabulon as my mother ironed laundry in front of Brooke and Stephanie’s latest tiff; a time of large clip-on earrings and Mitsubishi Sigmas in the exact shade of brown as general knowledge questions in Trivial Pursuit. I glance around the room looking at everyone’s face. We’re all agog. The corners of our mouths stuck in a glazed-faced smile as the showreel of our mind replays scenes from our younger years – nothing especially specific, just a feeling of yesterday’s rituals – just a sense of things we forgot to memorialise.

“I’m super stoked to share this next step of my creative journey and move upwards and onwards into an infinitely more fabulous future of electronic deluxe pop”, Stavroula says. And though she may consider herself a designer-slash-animator-slash-illustrator-slash-slashie-supreme, Frida Las Vegas (aka Stavroula Adameitis) is each and is not any of these things. 

After all, anyone who can warm the cockles of my heart with an image of Razzamatazz average-tall stockings possesses a curious, indescribable talent. She’s a re-creator of once-forgotten ambience. She’s a charm-huntress documenting snapshots of those things which may not be grand, but are nonetheless special in their odd nobility ... residing, for us all, somewhere between soul and memory.

Stavroula Adameitis fridalasvegas.com

Frida Las Vegas Sally Spectra

Frida Las Vegas Orchid beach

Frida Las Vegas Razzamatazz

Frida Las Vegas Ridge Forrester

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Design In Profile: VELA

We love showcasing the new and genuine in design on Habitus Living, and VELA represents just that. VELA is driven by the credo of Honourable Design, Sensibly Produced, which means pushing the brilliance of Australian design, and harnessing the privilege of the world’s best international designers. VELA’s store has local design and craft positioned alongside the best of European design – showing that Australian design is worthy of position alongside the elite. Honourable design also means a sincere passion for genuine and honest design – VELA is a champion of anti-knock off culture, and joins the many design lovers across the country standing up against the theft of design and intellectual property. The VELA range is visible online or showcased in person in a modern, contemporary space in Sydney’s Woollahra. The space draws parallels with similar design concept stores with VELA displaying bespoke, handcrafted and original items ranging in size and nature, all of which inspire a design-led lifestyle. No design is ever truly accomplished alone, and collaboration has always been at the heart of the bets design. This is seen in VELA’s recent collaboration with LG, who approach the brand to create a series of unique, stylish TV stands. The launch of this range the design loving duo of brands bringing out Justin Ridler’s latest ballet-inspired exhibition Soma IV to Sydney. This new instalment showcases dancers from The Australian Ballet including Natasha Kusen, Alice Topp, Lania Atkins and is a choreo-photographic exploration of the relationship between memory and cosmology – and is now on display alongside the VELA suite of products in their Sydney store. VELA vela.life  abc
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Top Tips For Timber Flooring In The Living Space

Like few other building materials, the damage timber sustains throughout its lifetime tells a story and adds to, rather than detracts from, its value. Antique furniture for example, can lose value dramatically if refinished. Perhaps this is due to the loss of the patina unique to that item, or the fact that every dent and scuff tells a story. Like a second hand book or a dusty, aged wine, it’s the wonderment that these items of furniture or heavy floorboards inspire in us as we consider what they may have seen in their time that draws us to them. And it’s not just it’s history that makes it covetable, timber is in high demand in design due to its versatility, visual appeal, durability and sustainability. There is no denying that, all other positive qualities aside, timber would be a coveted building material based purely on its aesthetic. With over 5000 varieties of wood in existence, timber offers a palette of thousands of colours and textures which can be used to achieve almost any design aspirations, easily bring a strong design element into our living and entertaining areas. From the grandeur of oak’s rich depth of colour and delicate veining bringing a bit of “wow factor” to a high impact area, to light woods like light maple, used in modern, minimalist kitchens. Timber is also incredibly tactile, with the polished grain of many a floorboard and table just screaming out to be stroked. In the age of peak environmental awareness, sustainability is a key consideration now during any type of construction. In this regard, timber is an excellent choice of building material. Not only does it retain heat and insulate from the cold when used in cladding and flooring, but it is also a completely renewable resource. Pine, for example, is fast growing, meaning it can be renewed in a matter of years and in the meantime, the wood sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. Recycled timber is also an affordable option for new builds as well as adding character and charm, and due to that fact that timber can be cut and shaped in situ it is a much cheaper material to work with than metals or plastics. While beauty and sustainability are important considerations when using a material in your living space, it needs to be relatively durable, experiencing millions of footsteps, scrapes, dropped items, pets and children buffeting it throughout its lifetime. And this is one area in which timber truly shines. With some varieties of wood exhibiting more tensile strength than steel, timber can be a fantastic option for high traffic areas such as hallways and living rooms. The harder a wood is too, the better it will withstand scratching and staining as well as being easy to clean and maintain. Widely considered the strongest of flooring, oak is a great option to achieve both beauty and ease of maintenance in your living space with the added bonus of being hypoallergenic. With a timber for every design need, the capacity for it to be utilised in both interior living spaces and exteriors, its ability to breathe with the weather (be it scorchingly hot or snowing) and the ease of maintenance it offers, its hard to go past timber as a material in anything from furniture to cladding, panelling and even floorboards. Precision Flooring Precisionflooring.com.au  abc
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In Conversation With… Carl Pickering

ST: You seem to be in Sydney a lot lately. CP: There has been quite a bit of on interest in our work here of late, and to be honest we don’t know why. We’d thought that we would get more interest after the opening of Icebergs back in 2002. We had thought at least somebody would have approached us for a house in Palm Beach, but that never happened. But right now, there is a demand. What are you working on? We are designing two new volumes in a wonderful historical garden in Kurrajong Heights as well as restructuring the house from 1880. We are also designing a Beach Club in Bali for Maurice Terzini as well as a new restaurant for him on an iconic site in Sydney. An iconic Sydney site? Yes, but I can’t tell you anymore yet. We’ve signed an NDA and it’s seriously under wraps. Hmmmm. So what are you working on elsewhere? We are working on five new houses in different parts of Tuscany, we’re near completion on a villa resort in Umbria where we are restoring a group of buildings and constructing five new villas as well as an art foundation. We are restructuring four hotels – in Positano, Courmayeur and San Domino in the Tremiti islands. You seem to do a lot of work for the same clients and their families. Yes. Because we rarely have time to have our work published I guess it’s mostly word-of-mouth. In Europe we have clients for whom we’ve done their houses and their offices and their boats and then their children’s houses and so on. I’m curious about why you don’t get more work in Australia. I think Sydney and Melbourne have really sophisticated design communities so I guess why call upon overseas architects when you have so much talent available here? However, I think we offer a different service, each project is quite timeless and unique. When you look at our work you can’t distinguish what was designed twenty-five years ago or yesterday. Perhaps we have a different attitude to creating houses. Houses by LPA are less like furniture showrooms than a lot of contemporary Australian houses, we like to create places that are reflections or portraits of their owners. We like to incorporate their family furniture or object collections but we also advise them on buying contemporary art, for instance. All of our projects are very site specific. We call our work site specific portraits of clients because we believe building in New York or London or Melbourne is different to building in Florida, Panama City or South Africa. You design a lot of the furniture that goes into your houses, in fact many of your pieces now edited by Marta Sala Editions are named after the original LPA client. The offer is, let’s say, a bit more gestural than the typical Italian seat… We generally we don’t agree with the contemporary Italian sofa where you’ve got to lay almost flat on it or need a crane to get up from it. Our sofas are quite different. We’ve based our designs on the curved and the rectilinear. The idea that everyone can find a seat cushion of the correct depth is critical to us. We like our furniture the way we like our houses, individual. Having grown up here, is there an Australian-ness to your work? There’s no doubt that there’s a greater interest in the natural elements and the natural environment than an Italian designer would normally have. Our works entail a lot more respect for light, how it refracts and reflects. We strive to bring it in, to make it precious. Light is vital to us, perhaps more than it is to a typical Italian architectural practice. The other manifestation of Australian-ness is our optimism. I was lucky to be born and brought up in a fantastic middle class Randwick family, my father was a Bondi surfer, so I know that relaxed, confident approach to life. Claudio has been coming to Australia for 35 years now. It’s probably fair to say that he’s become a bit more rat-bagish, like me. Portrait by Paul Fermanabc
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Here Are The Hotels We Stayed At In 2017

The Warehouse Hotel Old world charm and modern day industrial design cues characterise The Warehouse Hotel. The Heritage Listed building along the old Straits of Malacca trade route in Singapore is situated in an area with a rich history: secret societies, underground activity and liquor distilleries. Upon completed of the meticulous restoration and the end result is a 37-room hotel that marries the old with the new.   The Bulgari Hotel Debuting earlier this year at Genesis Beijing, The Bulgari Hotel is situated in a mixed-use complex heralded by its sustainable drive, community focus and hopes of bringing together the work of some of the best international design minds: Tadao Ando, Enzo Enea, and Kohn Pedersen Fox. The hotel weaves together the art and nature that is to be an integral part of the Genesis Beijing proposition. Bulgari Hotel Beijing pool   Jackalope Since opening its doors mid-2017, Carr Design has picked up a slew of design awards for their work on Jackalope. Located on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula, the new boutique design hotel is redefining what luxury means for the modern traveller; business, tourism, or other. Monolithic, almost brutal, the metal-clad structure resets the template of the boutique hotel experience at the same time as revolutionising the cellar door.   Blossom Dreams Hotel The Blossom Dreams Hotel is positioned against the absolutely serene mountains of Xiatang, in Yangshuo, China. Deciding on the location for the hotel’s first incarnation was easy, yet the design had to be scrupulously considered, to augment and not compete with the exterior setting. Chinese firm, Co-Direction Interior Design, took reigns over the architecture, landscape and interior design to ensure a holistic artistic vision guided all aspects of the project. Blossom Dreams Hotel Co Direction Interior Design rooftop terrace   Piermont Retreat Leveraging off the cult-status cool of Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art, and with world-class local produce to tempt the most discerning travelling gourmand, Tassie is now attracting a contemporary breed of style-savvy tourists. And where do they stay when they’re in town? On Tasmania’s picturesque eastern coast, with interiors by Hecker Guthrie, one option may be at the Piermont Retreat. abc
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Here’s Why You Need Engineered Timber For Your Home

When you’re laying new flooring in your home, you want to make sure you get it right first time. It’s not like a rug or wallpaper, which you can quickly replace if and when you start to tire of it. That’s why the team at Tongue n Groove, provide flooring that is well and truly future-proof – not just in terms of visual appearance (with timeless finishes and colours that won’t date) but most importantly in terms of quality too. Unlike most engineered timbers, which simply comprise a timber façade on top of layers of ply, Tongue n Groove’s entire range is uniquely engineered from three firm layers of solid European oak. Plus, using state-of-the-art engineering methods to ensure these layers are bonded together, Tongue n Groove’s comprehensive collections celebrate exceptionally strong, durable boards that are resistant to warping and cupping. So no matter how many pets, children, guests or family members you have running riot over your floor on a daily basis, Tongue n Groove’s designs will weather the wear and tear significantly better than most timber flooring solutions. However it’s not just the quality and strength of Tongue n Groove’s products that we think you will find superior. Over recent years, the brand (backed by a nationwide team of timber and design experts) has consistently proven that their ranges are unrivalled in terms of flexibility-of-use and size. That’s because their floorboards feature an unequalled 6mm top layer as well as an alternative 4mm solid top layer where height is restricted. Tongue n Groove’s larger sized boards are now available in widths of up to 350mm and lengths of up to five metres (truly an industry-first for Australia’s A+D community). Tongue n Groove’s solid timber boards can be applied over many different surfaces including concrete, timber and acoustically-treated floors and are suitable for a range of applications including flooring, stairs, walls and ceilings. What’s more, all of their boards are treated with natural oil to allow for easy maintenance. If that’s not enough to convince you though, just look at how beautiful their timber flooring is and imagine the sense of luxury it would lend to your home! There’s just something about the character, patina and warmth of natural, solid oak that can’t be replicated by other materials or lesser products that compromise on performance and quality. Tongue n Groove’s service is truly exhaustive, offering in addition to the oaken boards a wide range of architecturally designed finishes and colours – from a classic, oversized parquet to a more rustic looking, pre-distressed, hand-scraped board. And to top it all off, secret nailing and precision end-matching, ensures a beautifully clean, seamless finish. So whatever room (or indeed rooms!) you choose to adorn with Tongue n Groove’s stylish products, we’re very confident you won’t be looking to rip it up anytime soon!  

Tongue n Groove has worked with some of Australia’s leading architects and designers to create an inspired palette of colours and finishes, all treated with natural oil to allow for easy maintenance.

To bring a new lease on life for your home, make sure you get in touch with your local Tongue n Groove expert in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne. Click here.

To read more about Tongue n Groove's engineered flooring solutions, click here for their top seven essentials for flooring your kitchen.

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