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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.


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


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HAP - Feature

Who’s The Lucky Winner Of The Habitus Ultimate Design Package?

During season 2 of Habitus House of the Year, which aired on Channel 7 in March, design enthusiasts across Australia relished in the rare opportunity to take extended tours of some of the Indo Pacific Region’s most outstanding examples of residential architecture. Add to that, by simply voting on their top pick, they had the chance to win the Habitus Ultimate Design Package. We're thrilled to officially congratulate Dianne Fraser on her win! The project that won Dianne's heart - and vote - was BacHong House by LAB Concept in Hanoi, Vietnam. LAB Concept designed this house, for three generations of one family, with the spirit of a village; harmoniously synthesising modern comforts and traditional forms. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="92835,92833,92825"] BacHong House, LAB Concept, photography by Trieu Chien  

"A life-affirming concept that could be adopted in disability and retirement living,"

BacHong House is an exemplar of architecture for inter-generational living and context-sensitive design. Or as Dianne so aptly said: "a life-affirming concept that could be adopted in disability and retirement living." Here's what Dianne received for her eloquent and valued contribution to the Habitus House of the Year conversation...  

Original Eames Classic Lounge and Ottoman

A chair that speaks for itself. In continuous production since its introduction in 1956, the Eames Lounge Chair is widely considered one of the most significant designs of the 20th century. Courtesy of Living Edge  

Bosch Unlimited Cordless Vacuum

Combining a cordless design with extendable runtime*, the Unlimited cordless vacuum provides maximum flexibility and convenience, making cleaning up a breeze. Courtesy of Bosch  

Zip HydroTap Celsius All-In-One Arc

The unmatched convenience and everyday luxury of boiling, chilled and sparkling filtered water, as well as hot and cold washing up water, from a single tap. Courtesy of Zip If you missed Habitus House of the Year season 2, never fear — you can catch up here.abc
Design Products
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Feel Right At Home With The Sundae Collection

Designed by Australian-based industrial designer, Jason Ju, for DesignByThem, the Sundae collection serves to challenge the status quo. Creating a refreshing narrative of the space in which work meets leisure, the Sundae collection proposes a new lounging style. The latest addition to the wider DesignByThem range, Sundae celebrates functional charm with a distinct personality – one that looks beyond the boundaries of commercial design and hits closer to the comforts of home. Established in 2007 by Nicholas Karlovasitis and Sarah Gibson, DesignByThem celebrates the work of Australian designers through an extraordinary collection of furniture, accessories and lighting products. Based in Sydney, the company is known for its unique Australian perspective, timeless aesthetic and distinct playfulness. For the team, Sundae is a collection with an inviting character, designed for both commercial and residential spaces, by means of blurring the boundaries in-between. As the company’s design and production coordinator, Jason received the opportunity to develop the Sundae range, in collaboration with Nicholas and Sarah, in 2019.  

Curved and organic in form, the aesthetic of the Sundae-range opens itself up naturally – expanding into the perfect form to relax.

  The initial idea for Sundae was to create a lounge collection that was modular, dynamic and comfortable. Curved and organic in form, the aesthetic of the Sundae-range opens itself up naturally – expanding into the perfect form to relax. A steel skeletal substructure forms the Sundae range with a plywood base structure and together, it gives the lounge strength and longevity for years and years. A spring system is integrated within the seat to provide maximum comfort and support for the individual. The minimal steel structure successfully keeps the voluminous shape through advanced foam layering techniques and specific layers, densities and craftsmanship. From this, the construction of the Sundae range is unique and intelligent – transforming the traditional lounge chair into a feat of exquisite craftsmanship and creative thinking. The material palette extends to hand-picked fabrics from Kvadrat Maharam, including Colline in white to perfectly display the product’s detailed and delicate boucle features. The neutral colour speaks to a sense of sophistication and tranquillity – a notable feat of the Sundae collection. By combining this with Kvadrat’s Coda 2 fabric in a warm, earthy and homey tone, Jason and the team at DesignByThem were able to bring in another layer of texture and vibrancy to balance out the hero pieces. Designed with sustainability in mind, all the products across the collection are made from high quality, low VOC commercial grade green-star rated foam, ready to be recycled after use.  

A steel skeletal substructure forms the Sundae range with a plywood base structure and together, it gives the lounge strength and longevity for years and years.

  [gallery type="rectangular" columns="2" size="medium" ids="101108,101110"]   “Being able to design alongside the DesignByThem team has to be my favourite thing about the Sundae Range,” says Jason. “I think the biggest thing that stands out is the scalability of the design. The range can be scaled from an armchair to as many seaters as you want without a heavy usage of materials.” With a design philosophy that focuses on detailing and refining aesthetics, Jason was passionate about designing a product that is refined and inspiring all the way through – something that is embodied across the DesignByThem collections. “I wanted the individual to have an instant connection with lounge visually,” he says. “Whether in a residential or commercial setting, the Sundae is designed to be a statement piece as well as an invitation to relax. To fit in the DesignByThem range, it had to have personality.” Featuring an armchair, lounge and ottoman, the Sundae collection from DesignByThem is the complete package – ready to welcome you home in its comforting embrace. DesignByThem designbythem.com.au abc
Design Hunters
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Distance Makes The Team Grow Stronger

With a workforce of 450 people across Australia, Architectus is an inimitable behemoth amid the nation’s design industry. When mandated with the task of transposing its culture and ways of working onto the virtual realm, the firm’s leaders’ first and foremost priority was the wellbeing of their people. Within two weeks of receiving the command the transition was, for all intents and purposes, complete. As a studio already adept in working remotely and collaborating across borders, the transition was, technically speaking, not a start-from-scratch situation. Rather a matter of ensuring company-wide shared knowledge and understanding of the systems and platforms in use. Above and beyond the rudiments of getting all people and processes up to speed with remote ways of working, Artitectus' transition extended to optimising home workspaces. This highly personalised approach meant ergonomically surveying each individual's home office set up and supplying screens and task-chairs as needed. By Simone Oliver's account, steering a large-scale design practice online hasn’t been as convoluted as first thought. In the context of her comparatively smaller - though still sizeable - team, as Architectus' national head of interior architecture, Simone believes that the current state of affairs is bringing them closer in ways beyond the physical sense. Simone's vision for the Architectus' interior architecture division - comprised of forty interior architects split across five locations, each with a local principal - has always been that of one cohesive team. Though simple in sentiment, realising it in practice hasn't always been easy – and was never presumed to be something to be made easier by the team spreading further and farther apart. The current state of forced widespread separation, as it turns out, has been more of a blessing than a curse. Any previous notions of geographic displacement have been eliminated through and through, galvanizing the team’s vision. They are now forty people in many locations, coming from the same place, as one team. Truth be told, Simone believes our industry has been cast ten years into the future.  “We are finally truly walking the talk, we are agile and paperless, and connected,” she says. Besides the team being set up correctly, delivering on their mental health and wellbeing and happiness at home is high on the priority list for Architectus.  “Checking in with each other daily, making sure we as a team are ok, e-coffee-presentations with suppliers or run team fitness such as online yoga are all happening,” says Simone. The world of creativity tends to lend itself to face to face contact, crits, meetings, coming together of minds. However, it would seem that they have the right focus to be able to keep the cultural juices flowing, fueling the creativity. Albeit in their own isolation but as a group online. Simone definitely feels that as an industry we are banding together to deliver to clients and to each other.  “We are keeping the conversation going, we can deliver online, present workshops, take briefs, its really is not so strange.” In fact, they are even managing to onboard people in this new way of working. So you see, there is a closeness in distance and one that it would seem has been embraced by not just the leadership team at Architectus but across the whole firm, one and all. Architectus architectus.com.au Photography by David Wheeler We think you might also like this Design Hunter Profile on buck&simpleabc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature

Dialling In With Matiya Marovich of Sans-Arc Studio

Designer/director Matiya Marovich founded Sans-Arc Studio in Adelaide in 2015. A few years later he and the business expanded to include Sam Cooper, who Matiya had met studying architecture at the University of South Australia and had since moved the Melbourne. As a result Sans-Arc Studio has always worked on remote projects and between states. But until recently the ability to jump on a plane for an important meeting or site visit was unhindered. Not only has the team fully adapted to working with the technology that is available while travel isn’t, but they’ve also taken up on the opportunity to self reflect on instances in which it may not have been essential to travel, and look forward to taking these insights into the future in consideration of their carbon footprint. Moreover, Matiya and his team are grateful for their ability to use the side effects of the current restrictions to enhance their creativity, productivity and as a result, their quality of work.   Can you take us through what your set up was two or three weeks ago prior to the various stages of restrictions rolling out? Then how it has changed if it has changed? We were actually in the process of moving studio and we needed to be out by the 20th of March. At that point in time social distancing and lockdown hadn’t properly kicked off, nonetheless, at the start of the week we decided to work from home and separate ourselves. There are three of us in the team and Astha, who is a new employee and a graduate, stayed temporarily in the studio. Sam Cooper, the other director, and I began working from home. We did that for a couple of days and once we had a gauge on how it would technically need to work we were able to finalise our IT set up and make sure everyone was comfortable. Sam is now working from the studio and Astha transitioned to working from home. We have a big, beautiful, light-filled studio that is just being used by one person now. A bit disappointing but hopefully only temporary. Sans Arc Studio has a heavy presence in Adelaide too; do you have a working space there? We don’t have a team in either state as such, rather we work between the two. Sam and I go between Adelaide and Melbourne as required by the jobs we’re working on. For the moment we’re in Melbourne – and it looks like we’ll probably stay here for a while. Are you from Adelaide? How did it come about that you work between the two states? Yes, Sam and I went to the University of South Australia and that’s how we met. Sam moved to Melbourne six years ago or so and I started the business in Adelaide [in 2015]. A few years later I got in touch with Sam and we decided to spread the wings. Now that you’re all working separately and from home, how are you keeping in touch and keeping up creativity? And avoiding distraction. I’ll begin by saying that I fully acknowledge how lucky we are to still have jobs and be able to continue to work. I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of distraction and creativity and I’ve been able to find a small silver lining. There are two things I see that make up life in the city that Covid-19 has taken from us. Social connection and distraction – obviously we all miss the social connection but with the news cycle dominated by Covid-19, the constant distraction of news and events has been removed. We’ve lost that cycle of images constantly moving through our mind, mostly via social media. We’re always stimulated, we don’t get bored and that is really problematic to creativity. Now, everyone is a little bit bored. Meaning work can be a distraction from Covid-19, as we tire of hearing about it? Perhaps yes, but also when we’re a little bit bored our minds run free and we can have some true creative thought. This is when the real gems come to light. I’ve found that scrolling through instagram and seeing the thousands of designers I follow and their work keeps me distracted. Sometimes I need to have an empty mind and be a little bit bored to then drift off into a spiral of thought around one of my own projects. Does that make sense? Absolutely. I don’t think I’ve heard that point be made before and it’s quite thought provoking. On that, do you think that a global disruption to a scale such as this one might make us rethink about how we have previously worked? Are there ways of working forged out of necessity now, that you’ll take back to the office? I think the pace is a massive one, as humans we really need to slow down. All too often we have meetings for the sake of it and because we travel there is a carbon footprint to consider. It’s nice to be able to reduce that and see that sometimes this stuff can be done over videoconferences and phone calls. Certainly not always because you do still need to have that face to face contact. I hope we carry some of these things over, and more broadly not just for Sans-Arc Studio. Are you referring to clients only or between the team as well? As a team we’re in the same space and all pretty productive. With clients and collaborators in particular there can be so many meetings and pre-meeting meetings. Because we work between Adelaide and Melbourne we already Face Time our builders quite a bit and it works well; we’ll even do a site visit via Face Time. I went overseas last year to visit family in Croatia and one of our friends and collaborators Tim from Love Concrete was doing the counter at Part Time Lover, he had some queries for me so I facetimed him from the beach and talked it through. We have a really good relationship with him so we can communicate clearly and understand what one another is talking about. I think that is imperative to any consultation over the phone. We’ve always had to be quite organised with our schedules so that we can balance the two cities in which we work. Now, this disruption in a way has solidified the way we work in that face to face meetings aren’t as accessible as they once were. The initial reaction was a quick push to keep in touch via video conferencing almost constantly. That’s great for keeping up collaboration, team spirit and the culture of a workplace, but, on the other hand, it’s also a sudden onslaught of additional meetings. If we’re already having to take the time to adjust to new ways and environments of work surely too many videoconferences are just as disruptive as too many meetings. Maintaining that social connection through this time is imperative but there are too many meetings that could be emails. That would be a lovely little thing we could take into the new world if we can. In terms of specifying materials and finishes and products how do you think you’ll navigate that space if the current circumstances don’t change soon? We’re a bit different to other practises in some ways; we like to be quite self-directed when we look for materials. We have particular tastes and requirements around where the materials are sourced. So far it hasn’t impacted us massively, we call suppliers, request samples, and then assemble a box to ship out to the client. So it’s been okay. What would happen in normal times? Pretty much the same! We use the internet and we’ll go to see suppliers if they have something new we particularly like. It’s better to see materials in the flesh and our regular suppliers are all happy to ship things out quick smart. You mentioned you have quite particular requirements in the products that you specify, what are they? Within reason of the client’s budget and their approval, we try and use local materials as much as possible. And then we aim for renewable and materials with low or small carbon footprint. Essentially trying to be as sustainable and as environmental as we can – we’re not perfect but we try. It filters out a lot, like 80 per cent, of what’s out there when you have those requirements. Sans-Arc Studio sansarcstudio.com.au We think you might also like Plaster Fun House by Sans-Arc Studioabc
ARC - Feature

A House Within A Garden City

Brisbane-based architectural practice Vokes and Peters has a remarkable way of designing residences that bask in the presence of nature. Casuarina House is one of them, pride of place in its private garden city. Owned by a young couple and their growing family, the brief for Casuarina House was, in a nutshell, ‘a place to call home’. For a pilot who had not lived in a detached house for 25 years and who spends much of their time up in the air, such a simple task has added meaning. Having harbored an admiration for Vokes and Peters’ previous work (for those who are unfamiliar, check out Teneriffe House from the 2019 Habitus House of the Year programme and you’ll see what we mean), the client enlisted the practice to make real the family house of their dreams.  

A roofless, double-height volume in the center of the floor plan acts as a repository for sunlight, rain, moonlight and ocean sounds.

  “Our design concept was a compact house in a large garden. We wanted the house to capture the spirit of the place,” says Stuart Vokes, co-director of Vokes & Peters. All of the living spaces are arranged on the ground level; existing on the same horizontal plane as the surrounding garden city. Meanwhile, a roofless, double-height volume in the center of the floor plan acts as a repository for sunlight, rain, moonlight, ocean sounds, as well as a window to the stars, and a lung for the interior. “When it storms, it feels like it is raining inside the center of the house, as the dining room and living rooms flank either side of the central void,” says Stuart. Upstairs, the bedrooms and private quarters of Casuarina House are shielded from the perils of the outside world by a delicately crafted screen of timber battens painted a rusty shade of red. The striking façade of the upper floor is offset by the humble brickwork of the lower, the soft, matte surface of which absorbs light in a way that expresses depth and monumentality.  

“Our design concept was a compact house in a large garden. We wanted the house to capture the spirit of the place.”

  “Brickwork was selected not as suburban motif, but as a perfect material for making walls in the garden,” says Stuart. “A pale white brick was chosen as an expression of modernity – pure, unaffected – and its colour does not carry the burden of suburban house or cottage stigma.” Having now lived in Casuarina House for 18 months, the occupants have taken a shining to their budding garden city. Thanks to meticulous research, planting and nurturance, the garden is coming into its own. As it continues to flourish, the garden will grow to become an integral cooling device as the micro-climate of Casuarina House. Vokes and Peters vokesandpeters.com Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones Dissection Information Bowral 76 Chillingham White bricks from Austral Bricks Super Blanc floor tiles by Winckelmans Kitchen sink by Franke Rangehood by Qasair Solar Bath in Wild Moss by apaiser Pendants by Artek Title Bed by Mast Furniture Louis Table by Tom Fereday for Mast Furniture Sia Chair by Tom Fereday Banquette fabric by Marimekko We think you might also like Teneriffe House by Vokes and Peters abc
Design Products

Cattelan Italia And Their Heritage of Italian Grandeur

Established in 1979 by Giorgio and Silvia Cattelan, the brand has become a hallmark of Italian luxury and an embodiment of opulence and innovation across every product. As the world is spending more time at home, it is the perfect opportunity to invite a taste of refined Italian craftsmanship and artistry into your everyday routine with no other than the pioneers of genuine and tasteful Italian design brilliance. Stratos Keramik Crafted with a geometric angled base, the Stratos Keramik table is bold, dramatic and sculpted to take pride of place through any interior space. A notable feat of the Keramik range, Stratos Keramik illustrates the brand’s creative spirit of functionality and aesthetics in one form. Designed by Studio Kronos, the base is available in a striking Titanium, black or graphite finish and embossed in lacquered steel. Sitting perfectly above it, the ceramic top breathes an elegant and sophisticated soul into the table. Finished in Marmi Calacatta, Alabastro, Ardesia, matt Golden Calacatta, glossy Golden Calacatta, matt Portoro, glossy Portoro, glossy Sahara Noir, Emperador, Makalu or Brown Zinc, Stratos Keramik is a design statement that deserves to be celebrated. Not just your traditional dining table, the Stratos Keramik is a table made for artful conversation with a superior functional purpose. Belinda Presented for the first time at the Salone del Mobile 2018 in Milan, Belinda is a chair with a distinct personality – one that’s continuously celebrated within the Cattelan Italia brand. Designed by Giorgio and Silvia’s son, Paolo Cattelan, Belinda pays homage to a design heritage of fine artistry, passion and traditional forms. Belinda heroes the simplicity of raw materials, talented craft and timeless colour all in one chair. Presented in a curvilinear structure, the chair comes with or without arms and framed in a natural ashwood finish; Canaletto walnut stained, burned-oak or an open pore matt white or black ashwood. Sit back and relax as Belinda embraces you in her comfort – upholstered in fabric, synthetic nubuck, micro nubuck, synthetic leather or soft leather. Belinda is a clever and welcoming seat – a notable feat of Paolo’s ingenuity of intricate details, forward-thinking ergonomics and his ambition to reimagine residential furniture. The chair’s charming appeal is perfect for any room – with its dynamic nature designed to transcend the individual towards a new sense of sumptuous comfort. Cattelan Italia cattelanitalia.comabc
Around The World
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A Four-Storey Jigsaw Puzzle In Inner-City Jakarta

AGo Architects were invited to build a jigsaw puzzle house for a fellow architect, his wife and young son in South Jakarta, Indonesia’s busy (but sinking) capital. The team selected a narrow plot that, at just 3.5-metres-wide and 17-metres-long, needed to consider affordability and low-cost and sustainable design strategies. “One of the main focus is to create a compact space that efficient and effective for the user,” say AGo Architects. 3500mm House came together with extensive planning to find out how the clients lived and what was essential for their future home. They needed a house suitable for all three members of the family, allowing them to have individual spaces but included open-plan living for quality family experiences. The site faces west so the architects factored this into the design of the façade with a perforated steel and polycarbonate outer skin that filters direct sunlight. The screen was built on an angle, creating an extra outdoor room for the clients while offering the illusion of space and visually connecting the entire home. Designing around inner-city tropical living, the architects used sun controlling reflective glass skylights to help capture the filtered natural light. The walls used structurally insulated super foam panel (M-system) to reduce heat, noise, as well as the cost and increase construction speed. AGo honoured a minimal aesthetic with sleek edges and angles, using earthy timber custom joinery, contrasting the cooler polished concrete walls and floors. Light globes are hidden behind timber panels which offer a warm glow, and the architects were creative with windows that let in select light, framing external gardens. While each room only has a diameter of 3.5 metres, the height of the home extends up in four stories, finished with a rooftop terrace. The ground floor provides an entrance to the house and the master bedroom level complete with a desk and en-suite bathroom. Traversing up the external steel staircase, the open plan living, dining, and kitchen greets on the first floor, while the internal storage-stairs take you up to the client’s son’s bedroom on the second floor. The home is full of rooms and furniture that offer storage, fulfilling the client’s desire for a clutter-free home. The living room is most impressive as every surface can be pulled open for hiding nooks — including the stairs which travel up to the child's room and extend into his desk, bunk bed set up. “We wanted to create different experiences by generating a space without walls, providing various floor levels and ceiling height, and connecting each floor with different types of stair-furniture-facade integration,” says AGo Architects. AGo Architecture agoarchitecture.com Photography by Kafin Noe and Achmad Soerio Dissection Information Twinlite Polycarbonate façade M-System Polyfoam precast panel 3M™ Sun Control Window Film Smart Biosept Dusaspun Modena cooking series kitchen appliances We think you might also like this Design Hunter profile on AGo Architects abc
Design Products

160 Years of Ligne Roset: The Hallmark of French Luxury

Particularly in the unprecedented climate of today, it’s vital to acknowledge the triumph of the brands, ideas and artistry that have made a remarkable impact in shaping the way we live and experience architecture and design. Amidst the design sphere’s ever-changing landscape, the period of a century is an outstandingly – and albeit, unfathomably – long time for a brand to evolve, adapt and come out stronger than ever. To top that off with another six decades is an inimitable milestone for any company name in any industry. The year of 2020 marks the 160th anniversary of the French furniture company, Ligne Roset. Founded in 1860 in the Ain, the Auverge-Rhône-Alpes region of France, Ligne Roset continues to light the way forward – drawing tradition from its past while providing to the future of design in an unmatched spirit of innovation, technology and manufacturing. Today, Ligne Roset has become the pinnacle of elegant living and a hallmark of French luxury by delivering contemporary solutions deemed as the “art of living” – driven by exquisite craftsmanship, an artistic soul and a sense of timelessness imbued in every product. The brand’s enduring aesthetic and innovative style is celebrated on a global stage, operating in over 70 countries worldwide with the brand’s commonality and passion behind each Ligne Roset product remaining the same in every corner of the world. The designs of Ligne Roset have been recognised by their extraordinary level of comfort, strength and sustainable qualities that are easily distinguishable from other manufacturers. Since the Roset family established the brand amidst the abundant greenery in the Ain province, the Ligne Roset brand has always been aware and taken inspiration from nature and the importance of preservation. Looking beyond the environmentally sound material solutions, the company strives to reduce waste and operate in progressive manufacturing processes from generation to generation without compromising on its inimitable ability to deliver elegance and sophistication like any other. The brand continues to pioneer the creative industry through close collaborative relationships with both established and emerging artists that have contributed to the extensive lines of collections across the world. Through its extensive history as Ligne Roset’s exclusive Australian agent, DOMO brings the French brand’s exclusive stock program of extraordinary designs including the CM 131, Geoffrey Mirror, Oxydation Occasional & Low Table, Prado Settee and Rosa, Rosa, Rosas to Australian shores. The global footprint of showrooms and distribution networks allows Ligne Roset to design and produce pieces with a human-centred approach. At the start of the decade, Ligne Roset launched its 2020-21 collection during the IMM Cologne and Maison & Object Paris fairs, comprising of striking new collections by Sebastian Herkner and Canadian duo, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg; as well as breathing new life into a 1960s design created by French designer, Bernard Govin. CM 131 by Pierre Paulin As a reissue of the original 1953 chair, CM 131 by Pierre Paulin embodies an ergonomic form in a modern twist of a brown-stained solid beech form and a moulded glossy finish. Dramatic, raw and rich in history, CM 131 brings an old favourite into the 21st century. Geoffrey Mirror by Alain Giles Simplicity and sophistication is embodied in the aesthetic of the Geoffrey Mirror. Designed by Alain Giles, this design doubles as a mirror stand console, making it a spectacularly versatile addition to the home. The mirror adopts a minimal, pared-down form and large dimensions with bold details such as the virile black-lacquered steel structure; which contrasts with the intricacy of a small brass-coated trinket holder, making it a superior multi-functional piece for any space. Oxydation Occasional & Low Table by Kateryna Sokolova Designer, Kateryna Sokolova incorporates a form that is reminiscent of contemporary architecture in Oxydation. The materials used in this structural form draw inspiration from the natural properties and process of oxidation – resulting in a simple shape with an interesting, intricate texture produced through traditional techniques and an advanced technological approach. Prado Settee by Christian Werner The Prado Settee has been crafted to give users the freedom to configure the sofa to suit their mood and lifestyle. Designed by Christian Werner, this design puts versatility and comfort at the forefront – with its movable weighted backrest cushions and additional bolster cushions to create formal or informal settings. The Ligne Roset brand is available throughout Australia exclusively through DOMO. DOMO domo.com.au
Photography courtesy of DOMO Australia.
We think you might also like the SOL Collection by Sarah Ellison. abc
Design Products
Habitus Loves

The Danish Design Philosophy For Living Well

Pronounced hoo-gah, hygge is as much a mood as it is a philosophy for elevating everyday living. But no matter which way you use it, the essence of hygge does not change, pertaining to a quiet yet wholly-felt sense of contentment with one’s everyday experience. Intrinsic to such contentment is an underlying balance of safety, security, and spontaneity – herein lies the key to putting this Danish design philosophy into practice. When it comes to living a hygge life, there are few better gurus of Danish design philosophy than Miek Wiking. As chief operating officer for Copenhagen’s Happiness Research Institute, he ought to know a thing or two about creating the conditions for contentment. In his book, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets To Happy Living, Miek explains that some of the key ingredients are togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort. “You know Hygge when you feel it,” he proclaims. But that’s enough about how it feels; we want to know what it’s made of and what it looks like. The architects and designers of each of the following spaces may not have been knowingly bringing a Danish design philosophy to life, but each has an undeniable sense of Hygge, through and through – you’ll know it when you see it.  

Imperfect Residence by NC Design & Architecture

Tactile sofa by Vincenzo de Cotiis for Baxter. Photography by Harold De Puymorin The Japanese notion of wabi sabi may have been NCDA’s guiding principles in designing Imperfect Residence, but the end result has an interior design aesthetic aptly described as hygge. The soothing tonality of plaster cement rendered walls and ceiling become one with hard paneled timber flooring as if to cocoon anyone who enters the living room. Natural light pours in through an aperture that renders almost an entire wall opaque. Inhabitants are free to let the world in or retreat from it as they please, thanks to a generous run of muted, sage green Kvadrat fabric curtains that cascades, from a deep recess at the edge of the ceiling, down to the floor. And then there’s the Tactile sofa. Designed by Vincenzo de Cotiis for Baxter, the low form, soft leather and embracing curves of the Tactile sofa make for a piece of furniture that is truly immersive in experience.  

Lantern House by Timmins+Whyte

Bowral 76 in Chillingham White from Austral Bricks. Photography by Peter Bennetts Timmins+Whyte Architects’ modest extension to a Victorian terrace in North Melbourne is characterized by a prevalent sense of calm; akin to the tranquility of a day spa. Though its surface materials are, by nature, hard and dense, an enlightened tonal palette makes them feel soft and unfussy. The choice of Chillingham White finish for the quintessential Bowral 76 brick from Austral Bricks is an apt example of Timmins+Whyte’s propensity to create an uplifting space from dense materials. This interplay of solid and soft materiality resonates with the balance of safety, security, and spontaneity so key to realising the Danish design philosophy of hygge.  

Bivvy House by Vaughn McQuarrie Architects

Radiante 692 woodburner, from Cheminees Philippe. Photography by Simon Devitt Set in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Bivvy House by Vaughn McQuarrie Architects is the architectural epitome of hygge. Though the Danish design philosophy was never mentioned or discussed by name, from its beginning brief, Bivvy House was always intended to cultivate a sense of contentment. “A space to eat, a space to sleep, a space to wash, a space to play, a space to read and to share with friends,” was the client’s request. With concrete for its high thermal mass, the house's social spaces feel solid, hunkered down and reverberate with a slight echo. Stepping down into the lounge, a panoramic lake view opens up via a wrap-around ribbon of window, positioned perfectly for seating height. The space is anchored by a Radiante 692 woodburner, from Cheminees Philippe, creating a cosy atmosphere sure to send anyone into a trance of stillness and content. Bivvy House  

Rammed Earth Retreat by Thais Pupio Design

Stabilised earth for walls from Rammed Earth National. Photography by Michael Nicholson When the owners’ of this Byron Bay retreat briefed architect Thais Pupio on their design aspirations, their specific words were, “something inviting, earthy and modern.” The resulting abode is every bit an example of a hygge house; comfortable, carefree and nurturing. Made of stabilised earth, sourced locally from Rammed Earth National, the promotion of wellbeing – that of both environment and occupants – is built in to its very walls. Inhabitants are able to feel as if they could be in a hidden villa in Mexico, a weekend getaway in Brazil or a retreat in Thailand, such is the design’s highly evocative nature. Rammed Earth Retreat  

Huru House by WireDog Architecture

Photography by Strike Photography With Japanese modernism central to its design inspiration, it’s no surprise that Huru House by WireDog Architecture is resonant of Danish design philosophy. A hygge-like atmosphere however is most profoundly felt in the living room of Huru House. Furnished by a modest yet eclectic collection of coveted antiques, the interior design conveys an evergreen soul. At one with its picturesque landscape, Huru House provides all the key ingredients for hygge living: togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort. Huru House  

Seed House by Fitzpatrick+Partners

Natural stone bathtub in travertine from StoneBase NZ. Photography by John Gollings Designed by Fitzpatrick+Partners, Seed House is a splendid example of hygge in the context of residential design. At any point, one feels part of a whole while still enjoying private spaces. In the main bathroom, this is achieved by means of a monumental natural stone bathtub, carved from Greek travertine by StoneBase NZ, surrounded by stone and timber – walls, floor and ceiling. The resulting cavernous space has an almost sedative atmosphere, repellent of any potential cause of discontent. Seed House  abc
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Fixed & Fitted

It’s What’s Behind The Frame That Counts

“One of the greatest outcomes of collaboration would have to be revelation; when the thinking of one person or practice challenges, extends and influences another,” says Cantilever. The Melbourne-based interiors firm speaks from experience; collaboration is part of its daily practice, not just a matter to preach. We’re not just talking about collaboration between co-workers – that kind of collaboration is simply a given – but that which extends above and beyond Cantilever’s team. The kind of collaboration that rallies every player in the process of design, manufacture and construction together, to deliver holistic design solutions that are greater than the sum of their parts. One such cross-disciplinary collaboration is the recent partnership between Cantilever and Kett Furniture. Like Cantilever, Kett Furniture is a company born and raised by a local Melbournian, Justin Hutchinson. So, naturally, the two companies click on core values: timeless, enduring design; collaboration; craftsmanship; and homage the Australian way of life. The first fruit of this harmonious collaboration is the Frame Living System – a flexible wall hung system designed to streamline the functional and aesthetic design of living spaces. Bringing together a curated palette of porcelain, Elton Group finishes, and powder coated aluminum accents; the Frame Living System complements an array of interiors. Its sophisticated concealed hanging system adapts the product to most wall types, managing electrical needs and cables. The visual independence of the Frame Living System on the wall creates a space of its own, like a room within a room. Customisable in width and function through the combination of set modules, the adaptability of the Frame Living System means it is suitable for most living spaces. At the fulcrum of the concept behind the Frame Living System, is Kett Furniture’s guiding design principle: ‘inside looking out’, which emphasises the inspiration to be found within natural surrounds. “From place we understand the importance of colours, shapes and form that are akin to Kett’s own identity,” says Justin. The Kett Studio enjoys the quiet creativity of Abbotsford Convent as the backdrop to its practice. “From our perspective, good design should bring joy to all those who interact with the product along its journey,” says Justin, echoing the collaborative sentiment so deeply embedded in Cantilever. “Cantilever Interiors has an amazing track record for producing beautifully refined kitchens for the Australian market… [So] when it came time to finding a suitable manufacturing partner, we looked no further than Cantilever Interiors who share our same obsession with detail and are design focused. We are fortunate to have found great partners in Cantilever who are equally driven in making this vision a reality,” shares Justin. The result is an impressively resolved product, fit for purpose and pleasure, available exclusively through Cosh Living. Cantilever cantileverinteriors.com Kett Furniture kettfurniture.com.au Cosh Living coshliving.com.au We think you might also like this warehouse conversion renovation by Cantilever Interiors  abc

Suburban Living; Refined By A Designer Builder

Situated nine kilometres north-east of Melbourne’s CBD, Bellfield is not exactly a suburb synonymous with the highly refined standards of inner-city living – but that could all be about to change. As Melbourne’s population continues to swell, the city continues to sprawl outwards, taking outer-such suburbs under its wing along the way. Rather than proceeding with old ways and continuing to create large parcels of land further and further out, compelling new approaches to suburban residential design are beginning to see the light of day. This Trio of Townhouses by designer builder Robbie J Walker is one of them.  

Trio of Townhouses presents a series of three contemporary family residences designed with liveability and longevity front of mind.

  In spite of its unconventional site – described by Robbie as “truly hodge podge and wedge-shaped” – Trio of Townhouses presents a series of three contemporary family residences designed with liveability and longevity front of mind. From the street it is evident that one of these buildings is not like the others. Flanked on either side by cookie-cutter suburban dwellings, Trio of Townhouses boasts a proudly distinctive Australian design vernacular. In a sea of brick and rendered McMansions, there is no mistaking the timber panelling and corrugated iron façade of Robbie’s design. Hints of foliage spill over the first-floor rooftop, where the timber stops and iron starts, providing the neighbourhood with its first taste of biophilic and sustainable design. Being the first and foremost to break free of the McMansion mould however was not entirely easy. “The council approvals and planning phases took close to a year,” says Robbie. “They hadn’t seen anything like this in the area before. I think [Trio of Townhouses was] even the first to have a rooftop.”  

Light and a connection to the outdoors are foregrounded in the design, with living spaces opening out onto terraces.

  Light and a connection to the outdoors are foregrounded in the design, with living spaces opening out onto terraces. Internal stairs have been designed without risers, allowing light to filter across multiple levels. “Every design decision came back to making sure that the project would be durable. We also used cost effective materials and products in clever ways and worked in high end details to bring a level of finesse,” says Robbie. Inside as well as out, the materiality speaks to contemporary Australian design vernacular, all the while being mindful of budget. Besa block concrete walls are softened by polished concrete flooring, timber floorboards, and white joinery. With his robust yet refined design for Trio of Townhouses, designer builder Robbie J Walker evokes visions of a suburban utopia – in which liveability, longevity and sustainability are the guiding light of every design. Robbie J Walker robbiejwalker.com We think you might also like Pine Ave by Cera Stribley Architects and The Stella Collective abc
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DH - Feature

A Quality Process Is The Key For buck&simple

“We had a shared enthusiasm for pushing the boundaries, stretching conformity and getting the absolute most out of everything we could have an impact on,” says Peter Ahern, of architecture firm buck&simple. He is describing how he and Kurt Crisp bonded over their shared views on design. The pair, who were previously working at a boutique architecture firm in Paddington, came to realise that their unique architectural vision could only be achieved working for themselves. United by their shared experiences, Peter and Kurt formed buck&simple in 2013. “We’d both had experience from a mixed scale of firms,” adds Peter. “The practice in Paddington had strong design-driven ethos and opened us up to amazing projects, some that required particularly complex integrations into heritage buildings, some that were new builds and nearly always in an urban context, all of which needed solid concept and execution.  

“We look for clients that appreciate the quality in a bespoke, crafted outcome, tailored to their needs and that are excited about the process.”

  “I think we both learned a lot from that firm and it also educated us on some things we thought we could do differently.” From day dot they sought projects that they felt could offer opportunities for creating homes that demanded “beautiful resolution”. “Overall, we look for clients that appreciate the quality in a bespoke, crafted outcome, tailored to their needs and that are excited about the process.” Peter talks candidly about the fact that projects of this nature can require generous budgets, given buck&simple is committed to exploring detail and customised resolutions. “Throughout the design process we explore how an element can be simplified, a space refined, a material expressed,” continues Peter. They use this philosophy as their guiding principle, constantly critiquing the brief and the site, and how a building will respond to ­– and impact – the environment.  

“Throughout the design process we explore how an element can be simplified, a space refined, a material expressed.”

  Since 2013, buck&simple has produced a number of standout residential and hospitality projects, all of which attest to their crafted and highly considered approach. Rhodes Apartment is a prime example, a minimalist and intricate apartment renovation. Asked about their proudest moment to date, Peter references the buck&simple brand itself. “It is truly ours, built from the ground up,” he says. “The culture and approach we are developing within the firm, using it as a springboard for ideas and nurturing creativity. Seeing those principles and approach come to fruition in different aspects of each project is the most rewarding.” Based on buck&simple’s rich ­– and rapidly growing – portfolio, it’s evident that the pair are set to push even more boundaries in their combined effort to produce ever more refined and detailed projects. “We are constantly looking for new areas and new challenges; the unknown,” says Peter. “We are also currently focusing on assessing and trying to strengthen what we have built.  I like to think that we have left enough freedom in the direction of the company that the future of buck&simple can be quite organic. The Doers of Stuff. I want to keep nothing off the table.” buck&simple buckandsimple.com A+H Apartment photography by Simon Whitbread We think you might also like When Kitchen Joinery Becomes Part of the Furniture abc