About Habitusliving

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Learn more

Design Hunters
People

The Emergent Voices Who Are Changing The Pace In Australian Design

In the past decade, the Australian design market has seen revolutionary feats of trailblazing innovation, craftsmanship and artistry step into the scene. Emerging design thinkers and creators are redefining the country’s design story, transforming it into an exciting chapter for the next generation of collaborative creativity. Gone are the days where aesthetics were the sole driver in making design impactful – the intent, how it speaks to the greater company and its influence on the future defines the uniqueness of a design. Great change is difficult to achieve, big or small – but the Australian scene is rapidly discovering the movers and shakers who are ready to challenge the status quo. With voices of empowerment, passion and discovery, these minds are ready to see Australian design move into spaces out of its comfort zone and towards a new age of people who are doing things differently. In collaboration with pioneering brand, Caroma, local Australian companies of Port Stephens Joinery and Evostyle have joined forces to disrupt the traditional views of our everyday wet space in a new, timeless collection. With an inspiring heritage of nearly 80 years, Caroma marks a milestone and takes a step into a bold new chapter with the new Elvire Collection: a celebration of the Artisan and the masters of the design chain. Designer Luke Di Michiel explored concepts of biophilia and sustainability inspired by the Australian landscape, natural materials and the knowledge from local designers and manufacturers for this one-of-a-kind collection. The story of Elvire is one about rediscovering the beauty of Australian nature through honest materiality and uncovering the artful process of skilled craftsmanship. In this two-part series, we had the pleasure of speaking to head designer, Phillip Gray at Port Stephens Joinery on the process from start to finish; the eureka moments with Caroma; and the path towards a more sustainable, brighter future. Habitusliving: I understand that Port Stephens Joinery has gone through exciting changes since its inception. Can you give us a background on your role and a brief history of the company? Phillip Gray: When we started 40 years ago, we were purely a kitchen company doing local kitchen installations. About 10 years after, we started making bathroom vanities as a side project to feed our interest in that area of design. It just kept growing throughout the next 30 years and became the primary business of Port Stephens Joinery. Now here we are, decades later and we don’t touch kitchens anymore – we’re the proud makers of genuine bathroom products. What inspired the change into the bathroom space? Over those years in the beginning, it originally had a lot to do with people like Caroma being involved in and out. Caroma is adamant about keeping things locally and celebrating boutique, handcrafted businesses that showcase the best of Australian design and we were thankful to be on their radar. We’ve had associations with Caroma for a good 30 years where we explored so many different aspects of design and that relationship kept us at the front of their minds. It’s amazing that Port Stephens Joinery and Caroma get to go on this great, new adventure together to redefine how we see the bathroom environment once again. We are so thrilled to be a part of it all. When they first came to us to speak about the collection, they were talking about taking control back of their brand and reintroducing the greatness of Caroma. They were so determined to show the best of what they can do, but taking that extra step further and doing something out of their comfort zone. Their idea of designing one whole big collection all at once was something new to all of us. It took two years from there but we worked very hard throughout and got it up and running. It sounds like the long process really allowed you to have the perfect amount of time to refine it to the beautiful collection that it is today.  Definitely taking the slow and steady approach was what a collection like this needed. It wouldn’t be the success that it is if we rushed it all. Luke and the rest of Caroma just simply made a decision that this whole thing will work no matter what ­– so we had to respect that and do everything thoughtfully and carefully. What would you say is the company’s design philosophy? And how do you embody this across all your creations? Often, we honestly just kick around ideas together and when we think we find something that looks good to us and something that we genuinely wholeheartedly believe in, we’ll go ahead and just make it to see how it is. We’re a family company, with my parents starting it back in 1979. Now, my brother and I are running it and we get to make things that we love everyday. We don’t follow any philosophy per se, but a lot of it is based on what we think is good, what we believe in and what we want to show the world. That’s a very refreshing way to look at design; designing something that has meaning to you. Where do you usually get your inspirations from? We used to get a lot of our initial inspirations from Europe, but over the last 5 years, we’ve been really inspired by the Australian design scheme happening right now. We have slowly moved on from following trends overseas – and don’t get me wrong, everything happening overseas is so incredibly exciting and innovative. But when it finally came to us hearing about what was going on in other countries, we realised that it wasn’t new anymore and the rest of the world has already moved on to the next trend, making it hard for us to showcase innovation on our side of the world. Do you think Australia is in the motion of creating its own design narrative? Australia has definitely started to branch off into its own thing in the last half-decade. It’s operating a bit differently than the rest of the world and we get to be in the middle of this evolution. We moved through the all-timber phase pretty quickly into design schemes heavily centred on pastel, matte and stone. What Elvire ended up with is right on-trend at the moment – it’s very much about the highlights and intricate details as oppose to the whole item being in a piece of wood. Nothing’s uniform anymore, everything’s a bit more broken up and individual. This collection highlights the beauty of a cohesive design language when all those little bits work together. The market here is still growing and it’s not a set scene yet. It’s definitely setting the tone for the next decade in the future of Australian design. What was your initial response to the Elvire Collection? How did the collaboration with Luke come into fruition? All I can remember from that first meeting was having this thought of, ‘Okay. They’re really serious about this and we need to get serious about it too.’ We saw the first design and concept drawings and it dawned on us how serious they were about doing something very high-end – something very different and not out in the market right now – by just using Australian-made products and a material narrative that is beautifully complex and forward-thinking. This idea ran home with us. We’ve had people float ideas over us before and it never went anywhere. But Caroma came to us with a complete concept of the whole collection and from the start, we were all in. It’s a collection that celebrates the best of Australian materiality and its local context. What do you think Elvire represents about Australian design and where we are as industry in the present day? It shows that we’re starting to move into our own lane and not following the trends of another country or continent. The fact that we’re not just looking at what someone else is doing and wait for that style to arrive is indicative of the growth that’s happening within our design industry. Caroma’s confidence in saying this whole collection was inspired by Australia must have been so exhilarating to hear.   It showed how Australia has developed its own style and confidence to do our own thing and not wait for anyone else to decide that something is fashionable and we’re just following along. During the company’s younger years, we were a bit more afraid to try things that were out of the box – we thought that we needed to make it what was ‘cool’ at the time and not be too adventurous. But once we became more adventurous with colour, timber and stone and materiality in general, it started a whole new chapter for us. Being in Port Stephens and working with a big name like Caroma push the boundaries for your company in your design philosophies? It took us awhile to get the confidence that we needed in Port Stephens. It’s a small town and we felt as though that these big companies had more experience than we did and that made us feel like we needed to stay within our familiar perimeters. As we got more experience, the industry got de-mystified for us and everyone is just trying to do the same thing – we’re all just creative people trying to deliver products that make a difference. Caroma had a big role in doing this, especially Luke who was there from start to finish. He was incredibly humbled and open to any ideas that we had and he remained positive throughout the whole process, even when things had to be changed and products couldn’t be made for one reason or another. We just hit it off right from the start. Take us through the process. What steps did you take in creating these pieces for Elvire? From the beginning, it was a very honest and open conversation about what Caroma wanted. They had all these drawings envisioning what the product range was going to look and feel like and we started to understand our role amongst it all. We went back and created our own vision of what we think about the collection and highlighted what we can bring to the table – it was this organic journey of creative minds coming together and how our differences can work together on something great. The role of timber was prominent throughout. We stepped back and thought, well, how could we make it work and what can we do? We went to all these different timber suppliers and looked at about 50 different species of timber. We finally found the perfect material of Tasmanian Oak and Blackwood species that encapsulated everything that we would want ingrained into the collection. Was it extremely important to you that the materiality spoke to and came from the Australian landscape? We were all very passionate about the sustainability aspect of this collection so we needed to have something that embodied that. We knew that this was an exceptional, sustainably sourced timber that you can trace back to the forests that are being managed correctly. It made the story of the collection so much more meaningful, because this is an Australian collection designed by Australians showcasing the best of what we have from our earth. From there, the vanity was created. What they asked for was something we’ve never done – something very long, flat and wide and to do it in the size that they wanted to achieve, we had to go pick the perfect material. I know that there were a lot of other exciting materials that supported the timber. How did they become a part of the story? There wasn’t enough strength and durability in the typical materials that Caroma was asking for. We had to go back to phase 1, which lead us to the enamel steel frame that we have specially made in a steel plant on the Central Coast to build the vanity. This is the only time we’ve done it and we haven’t seen anyone else do it either. When we got those first prototypes back – wow, it was definitely a eureka moment for us. The steel frame put everything together and we had the opportunity to see the whole thing actually become one and it worked! Did you have any challenges along the way? There were prototypes just clearly weren’t working. We had to go through a lot of trial-and-error’s to get to where we wanted to be and when we finally got the one that worked, it was a feat of structural elegance that we didn’t think was possible until this project with Caroma. That’s when we knew we were on the right path to something great and headed for the home run. There’s something so inspiringly unique about the combination of materials working together for this collection and I’m sure it would have felt like a trailblazing moment. The combination of this steel and Tasmanian timber was a pivotal moment in what we achieved here at Port Stephens Joinery. Working on such a momentous project with Caroma opened our eyes to the charm of timber. Not all the grains are the same and with that, everyone who experiences Elvire is experiencing their own unique piece of Tasmanian timber. Giving it it’s own personal charm for every individual. It’s a fine line to walk between a unique aesthetic with an interesting character, and the consistency of colour and grain that Tasmanian timber does. And we achieved that. We’re in a time where designers are trying to push material boundaries and the topic of sustainability is at the forefront of everything. Sustainability is such a huge part of the soul of Elvire and everything at Caroma. What does the term ‘sustainability’ mean to you? Before, sustainability was centred on the importance of recycling, less waste and putting solar panels on the roof. That’s what sustainability was in the early 2000s and it was very forward-thinking for that time. Now, it’s more about understanding where the products we use come from, where they go and genuinely knowing their impact on the world. We’re trying to source everything we can in Australia through local companies and European companies as well, as their sustainability standards are very high. We’re extremely dedicated to keeping this at the forefront of the design process. Design longevity is also a big part of the sustainable practice and with trends constantly changing, how do you combat this? We aren’t really in the game of showing products that have a short light span, simple as that. We work very hard to combat the idea of going and buying something that was pre-made elsewhere for the sake of the price – the quality just isn’t there and in two years, you just end up replacing it. We go the opposite. Everything we make, we put a lifetime warranty on it and stand by for what it stands for – it’ll last as long as you want it to. There’s no built-in obsolescence. I feel as though people nowadays are more aware of sustainability and would happily spend more if it were ethically made. That to us is the most important thing – it’s not just buying for the cheapest or simplest make, but thinking about how you can use that product in a more efficient and long-lasting way. Even though it’s a bit more pricey, you get so much more for the value of what you’re spending. You know who made it, where it’s from and the whole process is a transparent, sustainable journey that you’re buying into. It’s more worth it knowing the background and the product’s story, rather than cutting corners. Where do you see sustainability in the present and future state of the design industry in Australia and beyond?  Partly, I want to say that we’re extremely forward thinking and at the higher end, that is easily said because most products at that end have the opportunity to be sustainably sourced and made. But on the day to day, once price becomes the determining factor, all those considerations start to go out the window. With that being said – everyone is in the process of changing if they’re not there yet and we’re all just trying to be better every single day and that’s what matters. Once we compromise on price and quality, there’s a tendency of sustainability being hindered. It’s something that designers would come up against everyday. Precisely. And it’s our role to deliver products that essentially support and improve people’s lives and their future. Everything we do here is looking towards the future and where we’re headed together. With Caroma, they’re playing with products that represent a space and a time of where we need to be. They stuck with what they wanted and believed in the idea all the way through. Every roadblock that we hit, Luke didn’t let it stop us and I don’t know anyone else who has the same drive and determination as Luke and Caroma do. Elvire is a representation of where Australian design is going and what the future holds.
Photography courtesy of Port Stephens Joinery and Caroma.
Caroma caroma.com.au We think you might also like to see this spotlight on the bathroomware of the Caroma Elvire Collection.abc
Architecture
Homes
Interiors
Primary Slider

Two Houses Become One

Austin Maynard Architects was commissioned to transform two houses into one family home, for a couple with young children. Two sizeable plots next to each other are extremely rare to find, particularly in an inner-city area such as North Fitzroy, where Rae House by Austin Maynard is located. Now, the two plots are one. One of the original homes was a modest Victorian cottage requiring a considerable amount of work. The other dwelling was much larger but in dire need of a floor plan reconfiguration for contemporary living. The dilapidated cottage is now a shell of its former life with just the one room retained and now used for an office. The rear was demolished to make way for a garden, a sizeable one at that – also rare for this neighbourhood. The main house, which now opens to this garden, was completely reworked. “We only retained the front façade and a side wall of the larger house,” says Mark Austin, a director of the practice. The 1930s steel-framed windows were also retained. “We’ve kept some of the former detailing, even though this would have been added to what was once a Victorian home,” says Mark. As well as removing walls, a second level was added with a main bedroom, dressing area, and an ensuite bathroom. The children have their own wing, their bedrooms located above a rumpus room to the rear of the property. Unlike many inner-city homes, restricted by space, the new format allows for two separate living areas, a large open plan kitchen/dining area and a garage accessed from a rear lane. New glass windows to the north in the larger of the two houses were installed adjacent to the garden to ensure even light throughout the day. Austin Maynard Architects also loosely delineated each space with strongly defined pitched-shaped slate roofs, many of which, such as the parent’s bathroom and walk-in dressing room feature skylights. “The pitched roof forms (six in total) were also seen as a way of ensuring the neighbour to the south didn’t receive diminishing light with this project,” adds Mark. And although the two homes have different profiles, the front door/glazed link, with its reeded glass, now clearly defines these two homes as one. Austin Maynard Architects maynardarchitects.com Photography by Peter Bennetts We think you might also like Paddington Courtyard House by Aileen Sage Architectsabc
ADVERTORIALS
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

The Final Flourish On A Melbourne Townhouse Project

The Chestnut Townhouses, in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Cremorne, is the site of this unique redevelopment project. The image of the Melbourne townhouse is an icon of the city, and NTF Architecture carried out a terrific modernisation of this iconic piece of the city’s built environment. “Contemporary urban townhouses, developed within a sensitive heritage context without compromising resident amenity,” this was the philosophy for the design of the Chestnut Townhouses, say the team at NTF Architecture, “Cremorne’s evolving character provided possibilities for exploring new forms of interaction between urban dwellings and heritage surroundings. “The built form is unembellished so as not to visually compete with the surrounding decorative heritage dwellings.  Materials are deliberately simple, unrefined, unadorned and visually robust to complement the grittiness of the surrounds.” The Melbourne townhouse is a considered a classic of the southern capital for a reason, and for the amenities within these homes, style and functionality were required to match the design – inside and out – of the Chestnut residences. When it comes to design that matches a contemporary design, Phoenix Tapware was an obvious choice. Phoenix amenities were selected to fit out the kitchen and bathroom of the townhouses. Phoenix were excited to be part of this inner Melbourne project, whose palette of white, light timbers and black accents were an easy palette for their award-winning fixtures to be fitted into. The Vivid Slimline mixer, Vivid shower and Radii bathroom accessories were featured in the kitchens and bathrooms, whose bold matte black finish gives the space character and an urban, industrial edge. Phoenix Tapware’s exquisite range of amenities and bathroom accessories are backed by a 15 year warranty, and have been designed with a sense of minimalism within the parameters of contemporary design. The wide, flat surfaces of the Radii basin mixers, and the slimline design of the Vivid shower and mixer ensure a classy, timeless look in any kitchen or bathroom. Photography by Shannon McGrath Phoenix Tapware phoenixtapware.com.auabc
Primary Slider
Habitus Loves
Habitus Favourites - Slider
Furniture
Finishes
Design Products
Accessories

6 Interior Design Trends That Will Flourish In 2020

On the one hand, there is a blatant yearning to get back to basics permeating throughout almost every facet of design. Far and wide, design is embracing imperfection. In 2020 interior design trends taking on the Japanese aesthetic principles of Wabi Sabi. Likewise, our search for simplicity is being reflected in our spaces through material palettes – which are increasingly mono in nature. Meanwhile, interior design remains a critical vehicle for self-expression, at a time in which opportunities for individuality and personalisation are more valued – and expected – than ever. As we enter 2020, interior design trends are boasting playful palettes and indulgent inclinations, expressed in sumptuous forms and fabrics. Without further ado, here are six 2020 interior design trends destined to flourish in the year ahead.  

Wabi Sabi

Left: Kinuta N-CT01 coffee table by Karimoku Case Study With its construction being based on the many facades and doors that you find in shrines, temples and traditional architecture all over Japan, the various wooden parts of the sofa table are intentionally spaced and levelled with high precision, making the furniture piece light in its appearance. Above right: Cairo Rug from Armadillo & Co. Handcrafted from natural and sustainable fibers, the Cairo Rug from the Armadillo & Co Classic Collection offers rich texture, inviting warmth and a timeless neutral palette to celebrate the weave itself. Below right: Chi Bath from apaiser Designed with balance and symmetry, the Chi bath is perfectly proportioned to complement any bathroom style. Presenting the pinnacle of tranquility with a contemporary touch.  

Mono-Materiality

Left: Coloured Terrazzo Tiles from Signorino Signorino’s Coloured Collection of Terrazzo tiles includes styles ranging from soft pastels to bold aquas and pinks. Unmatched for quality and durability, each tile is crafted in Italy by true artisans of the product using the latest technology. Above right: Integrated appliances from Fisher & Paykel Designed to seamlessly integrate into the kitchen with minimal gaps and no visible hinges, the Fisher & Paykel Integrated French Door Fridge, as pictured in Hahei House designed by Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects, allows for a cohesive, uncluttered aesthetic and is a delight to the eyes. Below right: Pelle Grigio from Smartstone With a beautiful mottled texture and fine vein on a soft grey background, sophisticated Pelle Grigio fits perfectly into the Paris Collection that draws inspiration from the perennially chic palette of the City of Light.  

Tinted Glass

Left: Crystal Series console table by Saerom Yoon from 1stdibs Inspired by the beauty and hues of sunrise and sunset, Saerom Yoon's Crystal Series is an articulation of the human experience of the sky as a concept of space and time. Above right: Shimmer Table by Patricia Urquiola from Space Furniture Characterised by a special iridescent multicoloured finish; the Shimmer Table's nuance varies according to the incidence angle of the light and to the vantage point. Below right: WonderGlass Alcova Collection from Living Edge Designed by the internationally renowned French duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, the Alcova collection is comprised of handcrafted geometric objects made of cast glass that when grouped create intimate landscapes.  

Indulgent Inclinations

Left: Santiago 6 Box Stand from Sagitine Comprising a range of voguish boxes and stands, the forms of Sagitine is nostalgic of the Art-Deco flavour. Curves not only reference the charm of the elegant Louis Vuitton travel trunk, but the choice of materials ensures that it is accessible for contemporary interiors. Above right: Wave by Chiara Provasi from Artemest Wave by Chiara Provasi is an evocatively curvaceous modular system that invites you to play with space in innovative ways. Elegant and freeform, this sectional piece can be configured to shape each unique environment, creating a sculptural centrepiece. Below right: Plumy Sofa by Ligne Roset from DOMO Inspired by the 1980s, the iconic Ligne Roset Plumy Collection was first designed by Annie Hiéronimus. Plumy’s enveloping design is the epitome of comfort, relaxation and indulgence. All seat and backrest cushions are filled with goose feathers and can be folded into a chaise lounge position to create a customised experience.  

Playful Palettes

Left: Interior paint in Crush from Tint Add a pop of playful colour to dull interiors and exteriors with Tint’s range of eye-catching paint shades. Tint’s Season One collection comprises of 70 coveted colours, including Bubble Bath and Crush. Tint takes the stress out of buying paint - simply browse, sample and purchase the paint online and have it conveniently delivered to your door. Center: Iris Chair from Merve Kahraman This minimal and elegant geometrical shaped chair can fit to any environment thanks to its contemporary attitude. Iris resembles a cartoon character with it's joyful colors and round shape. Right: INAX Tiles from Artedomus INAX has a long, rich history based in Japanese craftsmanship and expertise. INAX produces a vast range of handmade, extruded, sheeted mosaics and tiles, exclusive to Artedomus.  

Slabs of Stone

Left: Elba Stone tiles from Artedomus Coveted for its cool grey tones with soft brown marking, Elba is ideal for kitchen benchtops, splash backs, bathroom wall and floors. Elba stone is exclusive to Artedomus. Above right: Airslate stone surface from Earp Bros Featuring a lightweight fibreglass backing it is highly flexible and can be installed on curved surfaces of 250mm in radius or more. Air Slate has the rough surface finish of real natural stone. Below right: Eccentric Stone from Rogerseller A celebration of the beauty in balance when two become one, Eccentric Stone is a new collection sculpted from natural stone and highlighted by hints of metal. In perfect harmony, these signature elements explore the power of duality; the raw and refined, subtle and strong, timeless and modern.abc
Design Hunters
Design Stories
DH - Feature
Habitus Favourites - Slider

Register To Give Help Or Receive It: What You Can Expect From Architects Assist

Architects Assist was established on January 4th, 2020 by architect Jiri Lev to provide design assistance to the victims of the 2019/2020 Australian Bushfires – the worst season with the largest devastation nation-wide on record. Despite its infancy, the register counts more than 400 architects and 800 students ready to offer design advice and services free of charge when the time comes. At present, Jiri and his wife Alexandra run the organisation. They will be matching client inquiries with the most suitable professionals taking into consideration availability, location, and expertise. A greater or more complex project can be matched to a firm or organisation as opposed to an individual architect. As people begin to register for help, for each confirmed case Architects Assist will communicate to the architect or organisation they deem appropriate, the prospect work location and client’s situation summary. From there, the architect or organisation will have the choice to accept the commission. If they do so, Architects Assist will connect the client and architect to move forward together. “The basic idea is that the architect or building designer will get in touch with the client, to hear them out and collect all necessary details. They will then visit the site to make an assessment of the damage and discuss recovery options. Subsequently, depending on the client’s specific circumstances, they will agree upon an appropriate degree of pro bono assistance. Further, some architects may choose to include some of our architecture student and graduate volunteers in their process,” says Jiri. The organization was created as a referral service connecting those in need with those who are able and willing to help. They don’t receive funding nor do they request donations. Those requiring assistance can expect each situation to be assessed individually. Architects Assist will explain the options available and the degree of help they can offer pro bono. The exact criterion to deem a client able to receive services pro bono is still to be determined. “My own view is that we should offer free design and planning service to people who have no or very little budget to rebuild and will largely rely on recycling materials left of their homes (if any) and donations,” says Jiri, before adding that no one will be refused help point-blank. “At the very least, we provide free initial advice and guidance, which seems to also be what many clients come for: To gain some basic understanding of the steps that lie ahead towards recovery.” It’s been suggested that Architects Assist could continue to exist beyond the current bushfire season to support those affected by future natural disasters. “We’d like to create an easy-to-navigate, geographically organised, map-based directory of local practitioners willing to do pro bono, coupled with an extensive and ever-growing, publicly available knowledge base on sustainable and resilient design,” says Jiri, adding that they are currently working on this with the Australian Institute of Architects. It’s early days yet and as the bushfires are very much still raging, it’s unlikely these services will be called upon until a full damage assessment can be made both individually and from the government. As such the above outlines the intended process, however it’s early days and Jiri notes they’ll be constantly fine-tuning the process for efficiency and efficacy. The takeaway is overwhelming – the architecture and design industry won’t hesitate to pledge their ongoing support of the victims of the bushfires and imminent recovery effort. Architects Assist architectsassist.com.au *If you're a brand or supplier, register your brand’s interest in donating and supplying products/services here Read more about how you can help here  abc
Furniture
Design Products
Accessories

Formae Puts Form First And Foremost

Born to Gennaro Tramonti, founder of Car-Met, Simone and Laura Tramonti’s childhood memories are seeped in the smell of cut iron and an awareness of the infinite possibilities of industrial design. Decades on, these memories have become one with the metalworking skill of their father, culminating in the conception of Formae – a furniture brand that breathes fresh life, playfulness and soul into the industrial material of metal. Presented at Maison et Objet 2019, Formae’s collections express themselves through clean geometries and material simplicity, for a return to aesthetic purity. In a world that worships the limited edition and luxury dimension, Formae stands to offer a proudly distinct vision: home furniture and accessories composed of industrial materials reinterpreted through an artisan process, available at scale. Neither democratic nor mass-produced, Formae is a brand simply aimed at everyday people, designed to transcend the dynamics of ‘luxury’ goods. Roommate, the second collection to be conceived by Formae, is composed of pieces able to interact with one another, as well as meld energetically with existing furniture. The result is a collection of stylish, functional pieces characterised by a spirited and modular design language that seeks to continuously suggest new compositions. [gallery size="medium" ids="97820,97824,97823"]   Inspired by the round arch, the Archetto valet stand is designed by Formae’s art director, Leonardo Fortino. Its profile is described by a metal tube, bent perfectly into a semicircular arch in a nod to ancient Roman ideals. Protruding from the anchoring structure, a pair of quaint platforms provide flat surfaces upon which the likes of plants, candles, keys, and nic nics may be stored. Designed by Studio Zero, the Pura magazine rack boasts an unyielding character and refined nature. In reference to the mystery and magic of the Golden Ratio, circle, line, and square intersect to form a palpably elegant and delicately transparent whole. Adding further to the Roommate collection, designer Chiara Ricci has conceived the versatile piece known as Elle. The physical rendition of a play on words, this end table / magazine rack draws its inspiration from its very name. Like the letter “L” in Italian, or the pronoun “she” in French, Elle translates into two distinct functions: an end table with a semi-circular top, or an original magazine rack. Elegantly balanced between solids and voids, Elle is a design reduced to its simplest terms – without being reduced to commonplace. Formae formaecollection.com We think you might also like these affordable Australian furniture brands.abc
Happenings
Primary Slider
What's On

How Can We Help?

The devastation of the Australian Bushfires is not lost on anyone. Certainly not the Habitus news desk and evidently not on you either. As a collective, the Australian Bushfires ravishing the entire country has burnt at least 13 million hectares of land at the time of writing. And that number is growing rapidly. While the largest affected areas so far have been down the east coast from Queensland to New South Wales, ACT and Victoria, around through South Australia and up Western Australia, no state or territory is left unaffected as the country bands together in fear, grief, empathy, and the desire to support those affected and the heroic firefighters in any and every way possible. Day in day out Habitus is sharing stories about the homes people are creating with the help of architects that serve and respond to their unique way of life. Each party putting on average three years of time, energy and dedication to a structure that in it’s most basic form provides residents: shelter, safety, comfort. The connection and sense of pride one often has with their house is immeasurable. The tragedy of losing one’s home cuts deeply. As we see the confronting devastation unfold before us: blackened bushland, collapsed or skeletal structures, injured and destroyed wildlife, people evacuated or seeking safety on the beach front; blankets of smoke across the country; and unforgettable images of our heroic fire-fighters battling furious blazes flood our news feeds it is easy to feel helpless. But there are so many ways people are finding to help each other. If you’re an architect, Jiri Lev on the 4 January established Architects Assist as a register for architects and builders to register their interest in providing pro bono design or building advice to victims of the fires when the time comes. There are already more than 300 architects registered and a flood of support from students or international architects who have likewise indicated their interest to offer their services. architectsassist.com.au If you’re a brand or supplier you can register your brand’s commitment to donating and supplying products/services when the time comes. This register will be made available to the architects during the recovery effort. indesign.com.au/fire-response People are donating funds to the following groups: NSW Rural Fire Service Country Fire Authority Victoria Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities The Australian Red Cross The Salvation Army Wires WWF Australia People are opening up their homes: Airbnb and Find A Bed have set up registers through which you can sign up to offer a spare room to those who need one. findabed.info airbnb.com.au/openhomes/disaster-relief Those who are craft-inclined can knit or sew pouches, mittens, blankets, etc. for homeless koalas, joeys and other injured wildlife. facebook.com/groups/arfsncrafts/   Read more about Architects Assist hereabc
Architecture
Homes
Primary Slider

Dan Gayfer Design Reimagines A Dairy

In this day and age it’s all too easy to knock down a dilapidated building that’s not heritage listed rather than spend the time and money restoring it. Problem is, no amount of hours or dollars could ever recapture the character of the original – or begin to evoke a similar sense of connection with the past, no matter how hard anyone tries. So when building and interior designer Dan Gayfer Design’s clients approached the studio with a brief to extend their single fronted terrace, which included a ramshackle 125-year-old non-operational dairy at the rear of the property, director Dan Gayfer couldn’t have agreed with their directive more. “They wanted the dairy to be the hero,” says Dan, of the ambitious project in Melbourne’s inner-west suburb of Footscray. “And not only did they want the structure retained, but they also wanted it to be clearly and strongly integrated into the scheme.” His response involved linking the existing front three rooms of the house with the dairy by introducing a series of new living spaces. A resulting stair void functions as the core, opening the plan up by providing visual access through the living areas and vertically into the first floor addition, which accommodates the main bedroom, en-suite and informal lounge. As Lewis Marash, who worked alongside Dan as the project designer, explains, “In terms of spatial layout, the sequencing was really important because it allows for easy movement between the rooms, which are all somehow connected yet still quite self-contained.” The dairy now serves as a music studio for one of the clients, a classical musician who needed a dedicated space at home from where he could compose and teach. Its original doors and windows have been restored and the structure’s northern façade abuts the kitchen, dining room, and casual meals area. Even though the dairy’s brick walls have been finished in a crisp white like all other wall surfaces, the juxtaposition between old and new is striking. Both Dan and Lewis wanted the dairy’s brickwork to be experienced internally as well as externally and they’ve accomplished this. Its character has been retained, although the overall outcome is thoroughly modern. Strategically placed windows let in plenty of light and ventilation, flooring is a combination of Victorian ash and burnished concrete and a neutral colour palette peppered by royal blue joinery and deep purple upholstery feels sophisticated, without taking itself too seriously. Ultimately, this is a highly functional home made all the more welcoming due to an unwillingness to compromise the property’s history. Dan Gayfer Design dangayfer.com Photography by Dean Bradley Dissection Information Victorian Ash floorboards Barestone cladding from Cemintel Engineered stone benchtop in Beton by Stone Ambassador Piombo tile splashback by Academy Tiles Mystere custom upholstery in Slate and Lavender by Warwick Lumil no 10 pendant light in custom colour

“The sequencing was really important because it allows for easy movement between the rooms.”

  We think you might also like these five heritage houses made newabc
Architecture
Around The World
Places
Primary Slider

Ministry Of Design Conquers Colonial Revival

In places like UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Georgetown in Penang, it is expected that the narratives of hospitality projects would draw deeply from the history and heritage of place. But how can new and original experiences be offered in such already storied places? Can culture and heritage not merely be co-opted, but suitably reimagined and augmented in fresh, new ways? With The Prestige Hotel, a new build set among Georgetown’s nineteenth-century English colonial buildings, Ministry of Design (MOD) explored the idea of “transposing heritage”. MOD’s Founder and Director Colin Seah explains: “Penang has an increasing number of design-oriented hotels, and there have been two common approaches taken by other hotels – either to mimic heritage or to contrast it. We sought to transpose heritage – not to be ruled by it, but to run with it in order to create something fresh yet familiar.” For MOD, who has worked on several projects in Penang, including Macalister Mansion, Loke Thye Kee Residences and the Majestic Theatre, the primary objective for this new 162-room establishment was to differentiate and repackage the typical colonial-esque hotel. Old English elements such as Victorian wainscoting, the shopping arcade, and the sunroom therefore became starting points (to be transposed). Through a scheme encompassing brand strategy, interior design, landscape design, signage design, installation art and graphic design, MOD explored the meshing of Victorian England with a verdant, tropical Malaysia. This resulted in spaces and concepts such as The Glasshouse restaurant (taking after a garden conservatory), gazebo lounges and graphic treatment in the lift cars that abstracts graphics of local botany and landmarks in a Victorian aesthetic. The studio also had to address a particularly difficult condition of the site – its long and narrow proportions – which potentially made navigating the hotel’s long guest room corridors and retail arcade a monotonous experience. To overcome this, MOD planned the ground floor such that the lobby, the restaurant and the retail and F&B spaces became standalone units. “This typology breaks down the linear scale of the 143-metre-long building, and recalls a ‘shop-in-shop’ concept reminiscent of the historical English shopping arcade,” Seah shares. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="97284,97283,97282,97281,97280,97279,97278,97277,97276"]   Alternating colour schemes and rotating light features are used to animate the long guest room corridors. A layer of visual animation and illusion was therefore introduced to the design narrative. This was further developed into a playful scheme of magic and visual illusions, where elements including levitation (floating beds), disappearing acts (an illusion in floor patterns), and Houdini’s escape boxes (showers and wardrobes) come together to create what MOD describes as a “magical quasi-colonial universe” – an augmented experience that stands out, no doubt, from Penang’s less imaginative offerings. The Prestige Hotel is part of the Design Hotels portfolio. Ministry of Design modonline.com The Prestige Hotel theprestige.my Photography by Edward Hendricks (CI&A Photography) We think you might also like Sala Samui by Onionabc
Architecture
Homes
Primary Slider

Ricci Bloch Balances Sentimentality, Strategy, And Sustainability

There is a sense of romanticism to the story behind this quintessential alterations and additions project. Set in a leafy street in Sydney’s inner-east, it begins with a charming Californian Bungalow; a couple who work from home; their teenage son; a pet dog; and a yearning to age in place. Having purchased the standalone house with development approval to knock down the original c1930s structure and build a new two-storey dwelling, the couple enlisted architect Ricci Bloch to bring their dreams of a forever home to life. Their vision was for a humble abode; a house that would also serve the function of a home office, while catering toward their love of entertaining, and comfortably accommodating the needs of their small family – now, and into the future. The brief’s Catch 22 presented in the form of flood zone constraints dictating that footprint additions could not exceed 30 square metres, contradicting with the desire for a single storey dwelling that would fit the bill for ageing in place. In response, Ricci took a holistic approach – sensitive of site, landscape, and materiality – to deliver extra space, light and amenity, while retaining the original charm and character of the house. Through a meticulous reconfiguration of the original volume, Ricci turned the front half of Rose Bay House into a series of well-proportioned private rooms for sleeping and working. Meanwhile, a single storey brick extension at the rear serves the purpose of unifying living and dining rooms, complete with an entertainer’s kitchen and scullery. A central, streamlined corridor forms the spine of the house, offering views from the double fronted façade through to the back garden. Throughout Rose Bay House’s interior, built-in furniture and lighting elements are strategically implemented to create spaces that can adapt according to changing moods and modes of use. Custom joinery allows for amenities such as a scullery, laundry, appliance nook, and cocktail bar to be easily accessible, yet seamlessly concealed. In the living room, a wall-mounted console channels a mid-century aesthetic while providing a home for decorative objects and concealing or revealing the TV, as desired. The sliding glass doors that demarcate the indoor living spaces from those out can be opened up entirely and stacked neatly behind the central fireplace for a seamless transition between indoors and out.  

Architect Ricci Bloch took a holistic approach – sensitive to site, landscape, and materiality.

  Hints of Palm Springs modernism shine through in the accentuated horizontal lines, white painted brick walls and informal landscaped perimeters of Rose Bay House’s extension. Likewise, the corner location and separate entry of the kitchen references the flowing (as opposed to open plan) spaces favoured by modernist floorplans. The central fireplace in the rear wall similarly anchors the living space and helps dissect the outdoor view into discreet frames. Modernist touches have also been added to the exterior, giving the house a new face to the street. The slim front portico and carport’s breeze block wall bring a crisp lightness and playful energy to Rose Bay House’s façade. From its preservation of a period bungalow to its material palette and long-term intentions, Ricci’s reconfiguration of Rose Bay House is an exemplary piece of residential architecture that strikes a balance between sentimentality, strategy, and sustainability. “In many instances, the most rewarding part of this project is the commitment to working with existing fabric; rather than designing it out of the spaces, making the existing spaces better and more beautiful,” says Ricci. “Working at the very human scale of this project, with a soft conservationist approach, we believe has resulted in setting a new benchmark for rejuvenating old houses while keeping their history alive.” Ricci Bloch riccibloch.com.au Photography by Tom Ferguson Dissection Information Solid Ironbark floorboards in grey with oiled finish from Nash Timbers New Paradise encaustic cement hexagon tiles from Di Lorenzo Rugs from Perryman Carpets Eames chair and stool from Living Edge Mabel side table in black from Project 82 Dining chairs from Cult Various ceramics from Natalie Rosin, Mud, Bev Silbermann Ceramics and Living Edge Hallway wall lights from Anchor Ceramics Kitchen pendant from Masson For Light Dining Room pendants from Est Lighting Fireplace wall light from Est Lighting  

Built-in furniture is strategically implemented to create spaces that can adapt according to changing moods and modes of use.

  We think you might also like Yeronga House by Tim Bennetton Architectsabc
Homes
Habitus Favourites - Slider
Architecture
ARC - Feature

In Perpetuity: Balmain Rock By Benn+Penna

It is often deceptive as to what lies behind the historic façade of a worker’s cottage or Victorian terrace as they are enlarged, opened up and modernised for contemporary living. Behind the façade of this 1860s sandstone cottage – one of the oldest in Balmain, Sydney – is a two-storey concrete pavilion with spaces and openings as if they have been carved out from a solid block. The clients engaged Benn+Penna for the alteration and addition, wanting a new kitchen, living and dining area, two bedrooms and new bathrooms. “The couple were downsizing and wanted more compact, but well-designed spaces,” says Andrew Benn, director of Benn+Penna. The original cottage has been transformed into the living room, where the sandstone walls provide warmth, texture and a golden glow. A double-height ceiling with skylight enhances the volume of the space and brings in natural light. “The weight and sturdiness of the sandstone walls make the space feel intimate, and the truncated skylight funnels natural light into the space, amplifying the existing grandeur,” Andrew describes. A courtyard separates the cottage from the two-storey concrete pavilion addition. “Conceptually the concrete pavilion is conceived as a shadow of the cottage in scale and hipped-roof geometries, and concrete is selected for its weight and rock-like qualities alluding to the existing sandstone cottage,” says Andrew. Basalt flag stone paving the floor also has rock-like qualities, and continues from the front gate, through the courtyard and into the ground-floor and wet areas of the pavilion. The kitchen and dining area look out to the courtyard and sandstone cottage. It is lit from above through a sculpted void in the concrete ceiling, its angular form mimicking the kitchen island and basalt pavers. Light also enters down the rear garden stairs and washes along the subtly skewed brick walls, enhancing its effect. Concrete, brick and white joinery continues upstairs, where there are two bedrooms separated by the void. The master bedroom has a balcony carved into the rear façade of the concrete pavilion, where it enjoys a view overlooking the garden. “The rear façade is a ruins-like element in a lush garden, framing outdoor spaces for contemplation and relaxing,” says Andrew. The materiality and monumentality of the concrete pavilion connects it with the sandstone cottage, and evokes the sense of perpetuity that the longstanding cottage presents. Benn+Penna bennandpenna.com Photography by Tom Ferguson Dissection Information Kota Black Natural Split stone floor by Pacifico Stone Recycled bricks supplied by The Brick Pit, painted in Murobond Woodwash Exterior White Kitchen joinery and bench by Corian Matte ceramic bathroom tiles by Tile Living Elinea Freestanding bath from Decina  

“The truncated skylight funnels natural light into the space, amplifying the existing grandeur.”

   

Concrete, brick and white joinery continues upstairs, where there are two bedrooms separated by the void.

  We think you might also like these creative modernisations of Australian heritage housesabc
Design Hunters
Design Products
Design Stories
Furniture

Jon Goulder Pays Homage To His Artisanal Heritage

Jon Goulder never set out to be a designer – he was simply born an artisan. Growing up in regional New South Wales, the self-proclaimed country lad spent much of his formative years at the workbenches of his father, uncle, and grandfather; three generations of Goulder furniture makers. Though Jon lovingly embraced the tuition of his elders, by the age of twenty he’d decided that a career of reupholstering tattered Victorian antiques was not for him. Abandoning his post within the family business, Jon forged his aesthetic sensibilities at the Canberra School of Art under the mentorship of the late George Ingham. He then set up his own consultancy before heading to Perth as head of workshop of Form’s furniture studio at its Midland Atelier. With this experience, Jon received an invite from the Jam Factory’s Brian Parkes to head to Adelaide and re-think the furniture studio. In 2018, following four years at the Jam Factory, Jon set up shop inside the Adelaide office of Snøhetta Architects Australasia, to whom he provides senior design and production consultancy. To say that Jon’s furniture-making career has transcended that of the Goulder’s before him is something of an understatement. A nationally celebrated artisan, Jon has won several design prizes and his work is held in permanent collections by local, state, and national art galleries and museums – including the National Gallery of Australia. The beaten-up Victorian chaise lounges of his apprentice years have long been pushed to the corners of his creative consciousness, until now. Jon’s latest collection, Broached Goulder, is the creative manifestation of the mid-career designer­–maker he is today, reconnecting with the boy from Bowral. Initiated by creative studio, Broached Commissions, Broached Goulder is a collection of finely crafted, ambitious design pieces with the capacity to reflect on the traditions of design. Each piece riffs on a different design period covered by one or another member of the Goulder family and these styles have been synthesized with Jon’s contemporary craftsmanship. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="97351,97350,97348"]   Central to the design process was a yearning to recreate the memories of his childhood, without reproducing the forms that so repelled him. The woven panels of the Credenza and woven upholstery of the Chaise Lounge, by prolific textile artist Liz Williamson, represent the memory of all the fabrics that hung along the walls of the Goulder workshop. Similarly, the Maharam leather in the collection has been supplied by Kvadrat Maharam and has been used in highly complex and varied ways: as woven pieces to form the intricate sliding doors of the credenza and the chaise lounge, then as a robust water formed skin backing a standing-mirror and finally as a laminated structural form in the console. In its entirety, Broached Goulder is a synthesis of technical innovation with traditional techniques. The result is a collection of limited-edition furniture that combines deep memory with Jon’s contemporary practice, defined by a passion for testing the boundaries of hand-crafted form. Broad Commissions broachedcommissions.com Photography courtesy of Broached Commissions We think you might also like Gabriel Tan On Longevity In Designabc