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


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


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


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Design Products

We Want You To See This For Yourself

Stone Concave is the latst, 3D natural stone creation from Skheme. Designed in-house, the Skheme team have a long history servicing the architecture and design community and its unique needs across aesthetics and durability. It was founded almost 20 years ago in 2002 yet was an evolution of a family business operating in the tile and stone industry since 1974. The new Stone Concave range is available in eight different stone colours and a unique concave shape. There are neutral colours for a muted interior effect, or rich hues that won’t go unnoticed. Suitable for wall applications the Stone Concave natural stone tiles add interest and intrigue to design-led interiors. Skheme skheme.com abc
Design Hunters
Design Stories

Tom Dixon Takes Us On A Journey Of Discovery, Courtesy Of Living Edge

One of the best things to evolve over the past months has been the opportunity to meet, greet and discover all manner of people and design through the, now ubiquitous, Zoom event. One of the best of these occasions was lately presented by Living Edge and provided insight into the renowned British designer Tom Dixon at his studio, The Coal Office. The hour-long event was divided into two parts: a whirlwind tour of the astounding creative hub that is The Coal Office and exploration of Tom Dixon’s outstanding range of products, followed by a Q & A with Aidan Mawhinney, CEO of Living Edge. Dixon’s wry humour and down to earth personality made the occasion such an enjoyable one as he walked us through the artistic labyrinth of The Coal Office and talked about his latest designs. Located in Kings Cross, London with a backdrop of the Coal Drops Yard, The Coal Office is home to the multi-disciplinary practice that Dixon has established since he rose to prominence in the mid-1980s. With the most impressive range of products, this latest home for the designer is the perfect place to showcase the different streams of design as the working studio also incorporates a Lighting and a Furniture shop, a Perfumery, Haberdashery, Factory, Trade Counter and Office along with a Restaurant. The breadth of Dixon’s work came into focus during the tour as he walked us through the studio’s 1625-square-metre floorplate. He talked of products from small to large, furniture and home accessories, lighting and candles and explained the designs and processes. First there were home products such as Puck, a new range of hand-made drinking glasses and Mill stainless steel pepper and salt grinders; next the Fat collection and the new Fat chaise. Dixon talked about his collaboration with bute, a Scottish fabric company, and then moved to the lighting space where we discovered Spring, a new pendant light that can alter shape; and, of course, the Melt range of lighting. Interestingly the Mega Melt chandelier was initiated for Australia, designed for the Sydney Opera House. Dixon has adapted an interior space within The Coal Studio to include a discotheque and here he presented a range of cork furniture that helps absorb sound, aptly named Cork. The designer spent time talking about lighting design and in particular the incorporation of LED into his products and the use of LED circular circuit boards as sculpture in a range of track lighting. We visited the Perfumery Lab and discovered the latest candles and incense holders in brass that have been plated with chrome and copper and saw a range of vases, Swirl, made from recycled powdered marble resin. Dixon also talked about the iconic S Chair, its evolution and iterations, and then it was on to the very latest design, Mass, a simple table made from brass extrusion rather like a plank. Perhaps this product encapsulates the Tom Dixon philosophy of ‘simple with a twist’ as the material and form can be applied to a lamp, a console, table or even a coat rack! After the tour the questions asked by Mawhinney and facilitated by Michelle Lai, Tom Dixon Sales Manager for the Asia Pacific region, gave us the opportunity to understand the designer a little more as he talked of how and where his products can be utilised, those who had passed through his studio to then establish their own creative endeavours and the restaurant that plays a vital role in road testing new design. All in all this was an event that offered insight and access to one of the world’s best and most in demand designers who is at the peak of his career. It’s wonderful that now we are only a click away from access to the bright stars of design, thank you Living Edge, and may there be more opportunities to explore and learn like this. Living Edge livingedge.com.au We think you might also like the new Living Edge website abc

5 Bathroom Designs That Redefine The Inner Sanctuary

At Habitus, we often liken bathroom spaces to places of nourishment  on both a physical and emotional level. They serve some of our most primal needs, but it has been in more recent times that, as a society, we’ve cottoned on to just how enjoyable these spaces can be. Straight from the pages of Habitus #48, our 2020 kitchen and bathroom special edition, these five contemporary bathroom designs, dotted across the Indo-Pacific Region, are each in their own right the very definition of a domestic inner sanctuary, tending to their residents' needs physically, emotionally and esoterically.

Indooroopilly House, Owen Architecture

Words by Sandra Tan | Photography by Toby Scott

Developed by Brisbane-based Owen Architecture in collaboration with Lineburg Wang, Indooroopilly House is designed in sync with its surroundings.

Inside, a strategy of gradual split-levels creates a sequence of platforms emulating the sloping site, which falls away toward Brisbane River. This internal topography is defined by angular custom joinery and a robust material palette of concrete and marble, accented by timber. The effect is confidently minimal, with a bold weight.

“We believe not every finish should be ‘beautiful’,” says architect Paul Owen. “Spaces should feel they have a permanence to them.”

Entering through a walk-in robe in the main bedroom, the linear ensuite also employs a‘micro’ split level. To the left, a discreet shower drain runoff. To the right, the bathroom floor steps down to form a tiled marble tub, entirely open to the bedroom and densely treed view beyond. This unexpected spatial detail of a raised, skylit masonry bath evokes the feeling of a cave, or eroded cliffside opening.

“There’s a particular type of condition we’re trying to create, of being enclosed but also having an outlook,” explains Paul. “It’s the opposite of open plan, and more about editing or curating the space that you’re in.”

Owen Architecture  

RSB House Bathroom, Davidov Architects

Words by Holly Cunneen | Photography by Jack Lovell

Longevity was core to the brief Davidov Architects received from their clients for the wet rooms of RSB House. A couple with young children, they also wanted a return to the family bathroom. “This room is intended to be used by all the children for the time being until they are old enough to graduate to their ensuites,” says architect Robert Davidov.

The highly functional design of the bathroom lends itself an almost civic feel, with an entirely intentional feeling of robustness and utilitarianism. Examples include the shower zone’s tiled niche – “to house a household’s supply of soap and shampoo” – and the extended hob at the end of the bathtub for parents to sit while bathing children; for children drying while their siblings finish up; or simply to sit and keep company.

Orange ceramic square tiles extend from the floors to the wall accompanied by venetian blinds and wall-mounted lights. Through the large north-west-facing window light streams in. Cleverly, the partition walls are tall enough to offer privacy while allowing light to traverse the demarcated zones. Together, these design cues delight the younger occupants while simultaneously offering a subtle nod to the building’s 1970s origins.

This sensitive homage plays out through the rest of the renovation, ensuring the bathroom is connected to the house as the young family moves through the complementary spaces.

Davidov Architects

Tiled Bathroom, Katie Lockhart Studio

Words by Vicki Wilson | Photography by Neeve Woodward

A bathroom space should evoke a sense of tranquillity and calm. This is true at least from the perspective of New Zealand-based interior designer Katie Lockhart. “I like to be able to relax in a bathroom,” says Katie, sharing an inclination with which most can surely relate. “Good natural light and a simple palette of materials contribute to this overall feel.”

Channelling a mid-century affinity with the mosaic tiles and the material simplicity of Japanese washrooms, Tiled Bathroom by Katie Lockhart Studio offers a tranquil place of respite for the bustling family residence that revolves around it.

At the crux of this bathroom design is the tile that covers almost every surface. “Once we had decided on using this particular tile by Heath Ceramics,” – the soothing hue of which is Soapstone – “the challenge was in planning the tile placements to make use of the bullnose edge tiles,” says Katie.

The painstaking intricacies of planning have evidently paid off, with the end result being a bathroom space permeated by a formidable sense of instant zen.

Katie Lockhart Studio  

Venus House, Ming Architects

Words by Luo Jingmei | Photography by Studio Periphery

With just frontal and rear faces, terrace houses are notorious for their dearth of natural illumination. But not this abode by MingArchitects. The Singaporean studio carved an atrium in the plan’s centre, bestowing interiors with not just good light but a deeper connection with the weather’s natural rhythms. The house is designed for a multi-generational family and hence considers a balance of private and common spaces. The master bedroom rules the roost, with the bolde nsuite privy to this light and sky view that caps the atrium through ample glazing.

The freestanding bathtub’s curves are put on display through this glass wall like a sculpture. The tranquil vista of pale blue skies and shifting clouds above is a boon when one is soaking away the day’s stresses. When the privacy blinds are drawn up, the bathroom converses with the lofty bedroom across the atrium and the through views enhances the house’s porosity.

Light is a dominant concept, with the alabaster, marble-inspired homogenous floor and wall tiles selected to bounce light off their surfaces. Behind the bathtub, a dark granite counter and matching joinery contrasts in tone. Yet, designed as an elevated volume, this element evokes a sense of lightness. Custom-designed teak timber and spray painted steel plate lights border the mirrors, their unfussiness accentuating the bathroom’s elegance. Tucked behind opaque walls, the shower and toilet cubicles give added privacy and visual neatness.

Ming Architects

Imperfect Residence Bathroom, NC Design & Architecture

Words by Tamsin Bradshaw | Photography by Harold De Puymorin

At Imperfect Residence, the bathroom sits like a beacon of light at the end of a dark corridor. It’s the pinnacle in a “series of meditative moments,” says Nelson Chow, founder and principal of Hong Kong-based design firm NC Design & Architecture (NCDA), the design firm behind this home – and it brings a new level of meaning to the idea of the bathroom as sanctuary.

Here, bathing and grooming are a reverential experience; no wonder NCDA called this space ‘the Altar.’ Setting the tone is a round of marble, inlaid on the floor in front of the basin. “When you wash your hands here there’s a sense of ritual and purification. You’re preparing yourself to do certain things,” says Nelson.

The same veined, green marble finds its way onto the basin’s splashback and the column separating the bathing space from the basin area, creating balance without the need for perfect symmetry. Other materials also repeat across floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces: plaster, Caesarstone that resembles concrete and oxidised metal.

“We used the same materials in different ways to create a variety of layers and depths,” says Nelson. “By keeping our colour palette really simple, you get to see how the light changes the textures of the materials, and the environment.”

This is a space that revels in the integrity of materials, in their imperfections, and in the harmony that comes from asymmetry and contrast. It’s wabi-sabi made modern, and the result is sculptural and serene.

NC Design & Architecture   We think you might also like these carefully curated Australian bathroom designsabc
Design Hunters

Beyond Borders

Suze Raymond and Christoffer Kjærgård are the founders behind WØRKS, bridging the gap between design-led bathroom products and discernible eco ethics. The Danish/Australian couple and business partners has brought sustainability to the fore of their company, spanning product formulations, vessels to house the products, and packaging and distribution. It’s challenging, admits Christoffer Kjærgård, but they wouldn’t do it any other way. In amidst of running a business just a couple of years old, they’ve also embarked on a bathroom renovation to their top floor apartment in a building dating back to 1854. For two people who work endlessly in the bathroom sphere, find out how they’ve designed their own.   Tell us about WØRKS and its recent evolution as a company? Suze Raymond: We founded WØRKS in 2018 with a mission to bridge the gap between sustainable living and considered design. We saw personal care products existing at opposing ends of a spectrum: eco-friendly formulations that are let down by unappealing branding, or aesthetically pleasing products that miss the mark on integrous formulation and environmental responsibility. As a Danish/Australian couple, we set out to curate a collection of personal care products that celebrates the best of both cultures without compromising on efficacy, aesthetics or integrity. With that in mind, we source premium Australian raw materials and manufacture our formulations ethically in Melbourne. When it comes to design and branding, we collaborate with a Copenhagen-based designer to create beautiful packaging with a focus on clean lines, classic silhouettes and neutral palettes. Most recently we’ve been working on expanding our range significantly to include additional hand and body care products as well as crafting beautiful objects for the home. We’ve been working closely with a master perfumer to create proprietary scents that evoke mindfulness, calm and balance, and utilising materials like milled volcanic stone and organic carrot oil to develop natural formulations that deliver luxurious sensory experiences. Our collections–ÅRHUS Hand Care, ØDENSE Body Care and KØBEN Home Care–are named for Danish cities.   Your clean formulations are vegan, biodegradable and housed in reusable glass vessels, how do you manage to tick all these boxes? Is it difficult? Christoffer Kjærgård: It was challenging, and it continues to be challenging as we expand. We spent two years in research and development before launching WØRKS with a capsule collection, and our most recent formulations have been in development for a further 12 months. Suze and I are both vegan and we live as sustainably as practicable, so it’s natural for us to bring our personal values into the business. Our formulating chemist specialises in balancing plant-based raw materials with efficacy and sensory experience. Together, we’ve created a synergistic collection of pH balanced vegan and biodegradable formulations that contain certified organics and are free from parabens, sulphates, synthetics, phthalates, silicones, PEGS, mineral oils and palm oil. Our commitment to natural materials extends past the formulations to the vessels themselves. We house our formulations in glass because, unlike plastic, glass can be easily sterilised for safe reuse; it doesn’t rely on petroleum or synthetics for manufacture, and it is recyclable in perpetuity. Further, our glass vessels are tinted to protect the natural formulations inside from UV light. We operate a single-use plastic free business model, offer refills at a reduced price point to encourage sustainable choices, and have designed our shipping boxes to protect the products in transit while negating the need for plastic bubble wrap or packing beads. Operating a consumable product business with integrity in formulation, manufacture and design isn’t quick, cheap or easy. But we wouldn’t do it any other way.   Your currently in the midst of renovation to your own bathroom, what changes are you making and why did they feel important SR: Our apartment takes up the top floor of the former Star and Garter Hotel in St Kilda. The building dates back to 1854, which affords us plenty of Art Deco charm and original features but presents some unique quirks and challenges. The existing bathroom was quite small, so this renovation is all about creating a sense of space and light. We’ve achieved this by removing several walls to gain floorspace, opting for slimline cabinetry and discrete fixtures, installing new north-facing windows, and keeping the lines clean and minimalistic throughout. To create harmony between the history of the building and the modern finishes of the renovation, we sourced a full leadlight bathroom door that allows abundant light to pass through while being opaque enough to provide privacy. It was important to me that the bathroom offers a beautiful space to conduct the daily rituals of personal care. Our recent self-isolation has highlighted the significance of the bathroom as a sanctuary. I think we all need a calm space to retreat from the home office or daily stressors and practice wholistic self-care.   How have previous bathrooms you’ve lived with in the past informed your tastes now? CK: For me, the two standouts are functionality and palette. Apartment living demands clever use of space and functional design, which have been absent in previous bathrooms I’ve lived with. Incorporating adequate storage while maintaining a feeling a space is really important to me. In terms of palette, I like to keep things neutral. In our recent renovation we’ve worked with classic grey and white tones balanced by black accents to bring a feeling of clean minimalism and simplicity. When you have a foundation of neutral tones and timeless materials like stone, glass and porcelain it’s easy to use accessories to personalise the space.   What are your bathroom essentials and why? SR: I’m currently obsessed with our ØDENSE Revitalising Body Care Duo. The gently exfoliating body cleanser is formulated with finely milled volcanic stone to polish and purify, while the medium-weight body balm restores moisture and revitalises fatigued skin. The signature scent offers top notes of sage and grapefruit; heart notes of saltbush and jasmine; and base notes of white wood and musk. It’s divine. CR: I enjoy bringing Danish classics into our home. When I moved to Melbourne from Denmark in 2015, I brought a collection of soft furnishings and accessories. Some of those – a Vipp 13 pedal bin, several sets of Georg Jensen bath towels, and a pair of Lyngby vases – have found a place in our bathroom. These small accessories never go out of style.   WØRKS worksliving.com We think you might also like this one-on-one with Jonnie Vigar, co-founder of Leifabc
Around The World
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Escape To The Urban Jungle

By virtue of their function as secondary homes, more liberty is often given to holiday homes for unbridled creative expression. However, the owner of this condominium apartment in Singapore chose to go down a subtler route. “The owners wanted a simple backdrop for their time spent here. As such, we made sure our layout was not too complicated or experimental. Instead, we experimented with details and materials,” says designer Sujono Lim from Parenthesis. Each element in the holiday home is thoughtfully considered and artfully detailed to create a haven of calm. This is apparent upon entry, where one walks into a genteel atmosphere defined by soft grey, large-format homogeneous tiles, clean white walls and oak veneer cabinetry all round. Proportions are refined and joinery edge profiles streamlined. Sujono considers the occupants’ use of space as a temporary abode. The floor tiles are easy to maintain while forming a tasteful foil for elegant timber furniture from Japanese brand Conde House. Since not much cooking is done, the designer opened up the kitchen into the dining area, carving out a smaller wet kitchen adjoined to the utility area. The kitchen island topped in Dekton ultra-compact surface resembles marble but is more than able to withstand hard knocks and frequent spills. “The new island counter promotes circulation and interaction around it. It is the centre of the house where many things are accessible from,” says Sujono. Throughout, Sujono enhances the house’s functionality by adding storage to under-used or dead spaces. For example, shoe racks have been fitted above the foyer window ledge. Here too, full-height timber doors conceal clutter while maintaining a streamlined appearance consistent with the rest of the house. In the bedrooms, timber portals trace the windows, giving the spaces character. Each is endowed a unique use as a study table, platform bed and bench tailored for each room’s user. The aesthetic is distinctively Japanese. It is inspired by the owner’s fondness of the culture, particularly of well-crafted Japanese furniture. “The Japanese craftsmen’s attention to detail and their dedication to work to the best of their abilities make their work endearing. These products require little effort to maintain and the designs can be considered classic for years to come,” says the owner. One of the ways Sujono translates this ethos into the house is through the design of the joinery, which sees refined proportions and bespoke profiles. He painstakingly explored different techniques with his contractor to ensure straightness, accuracy and durability of the built work. Quietly elegant and with well thought-out details, this holiday home perfectly aligns with the idea of modern luxury. Parenthesis parenthesis.studio Photography by Fabian Ong abc
ARC - Feature

A Complement To Clovelly

For more than ten years the residents of Clovelly House lived in this Federation bungalow situated on a headland offering views down to Clovelly Beach and the uninterrupted blue beyond. The couple first bought the residence, adorned by an 80s-era second storey addition, in the knowledge that some things would need to change. However, with two young children priorities were elsewhere. It wasn’t until more recently that they engaged Smart Design Studio to bring the house into the modern era.

Neither husband nor wife knew especially where to look to find an architect, but it was the latter who recalled passing a fascinating corner building in Surry Hills every day on her way to work. She admired how respectfully old and new had been integrated. This was [at the time] the home and studio of William Smart, director of Smart Design Studio. They had found their architect.

The brief was simple, in line with the clients’ tastes. They wanted the common spaces of their home to be open and warm; to encourage natural light and ventilation through the house; to make the most of a modest, but by no means small site; and most importantly, to live in a house that would not date. Sustainability was paramount in the way that materials, finishes and furniture should be location and use appropriate, and anything that could be restored and retained would be. “Preserve what you can, change what you have to,” recalls William.

In the early stages of the project, time was spent considering which step was the best foot forward. The original architecture was lost behind a tall wall at the front and dominating addition at the back. The bungalow wasn’t protected by council or heritage restrictions, so a knock down/rebuild was entirely possible, but not completely necessary. And although the addition had its faults, the clients liked the extra floor space it offered and did not want to give that up. Likewise, the tall brick fence at the front offered rare privacy to the front yard.

It was agreed that the original structure would remain but the rear addition would be rebuilt and reconfigured. And although the façade at the front wasn’t initially part oft he brief, William suggested that for visual consistency “it would be very nice to do that as well”. The clients agreed. One of the biggest considerations then became how to reconcile the new work with the existing bungalow and surrounding streetscape without one element dominating all others.

Shadowclad was used on the front and rear façades, painted white with Dulux Weathershield. Both materials are purpose designed for a seaside location. “We felt that really gave it the coastal feeling. The idea was a crisp modern house sitting in a green landscape,” says William. And although solar panels weren’t possible at the time of the project, the roof has been designed with the capacity to take them in future.

The positioning of the entry – along the length of the site via a side passage that extends all the way to the rear garden – was reviewed but ultimately retained. “We were able to split the house in that way and a key move was to [keep] the entrance halfway down,” says William. The interiors of the extension have the distinct hallmarks of modernity – minimal, clean, white – and yet they exist in harmony with elements of the original building that have been retained: the floorboards, stained-glass features, and some hardware and furniture the clients wanted to keep.

The natural progression through the residence is to turn right down the hallway past a walled in living room and staircase up to the three bedrooms (including a main bedroom). This path leads to the new extension comprising an open kitchen, dining room and seamless transition to an exterior deck and garden below. Open yet subtly segmented, the common living area allows the family to engage in different activities yet remain together; and enjoy the south-facing rear with water views.

The all-white kitchen is carried through by white Thonet dining chairs surrounding a timber dining table (a piece of furniture the clients chose to hold on to), plain white vitrified tiles, and a white Kartell exterior dining setting. The joinery is simple but effective – Corian surfaces and polyurethane joinery, all in crisp white and without handles or pulls – which can be quick to date. “We were looking to create something quite disciplined in the space. This is my love really, inexpensive materials detailed in a really crisp way,” says William.

Interestingly, the island bench has no surrounding stools. The residents, who “like a bench to be a bench and a table to be a table” have instead opted for storage on both sides. The inside length caters to food preparation while the outer holds pieces that service the table such as placemats, napkins, platters, vases and so on. The sink and stovetop are located on the bench lining the west wall.

Upstairs in the private domain the kids’ bedrooms sit side-by-side on the north wall, exact duplicates of each other, designed to be ageless and gender neutral. The distinctive peaks from the street view let northern sun into their bedrooms and offer beautiful sightlines to the street. “In my view, that’s a better use of north than a master bedroom,” says William, “because the kids are more likely to be playing in their rooms during the day.” This is no skin off the clients’ teeth, who, from their main bedroom and small balcony, enjoy prized, unobstructed views of Clovelly Beach.

Returning downstairs, and alternatively turning left upon entry towards the front of the house one finds the kids’ living room and study (or guest room as needed). Here, children playing and parents working are offered privacy and minimal disturbance as family and guests enter or exit. There was little architectural intervention in these rooms from the original bungalow, a simple case of aligning them with the new extension without changing what didn’t need to be changed.

“I feel as though the big success of the project is the transformation,” says William. Neither residents nor architect feel like it could have been better as knock down/rebuild.“We gave the house a new contemporary form, but wanted it to express itself as one language throughout,” he elaborates. A poetic comment that reminds me of the residents’ first impressions of the Smart studio, housed in a building that – now like their own – artfully integrates old and new.

Smart Design Studio smartdesignstudio.com Photography by Katherine Lu We think you might also like Hole in the Roof House by Neeson Murcutt

Design Products

Glass, Bath And Beyond

Vision has never lacked in the history of antoniolupi. The Italian design and manufacturing company, renowned today for its innovations in materiality and bathroom furniture, originated in 1950 as the workshop of Antonio Lupi, a young artisan of glass for furnishings. It wasn’t long before glass gave way to mirrors and from there, during the lucrative years of mid-century economic growth, the first bathroom furniture products came about. The organic evolution of antoniolupi since is immortalised in the company’s extensive range of innovative materials and truly unique, coveted bathroom furniture products. But the most recent evolution marks perhaps the most exciting step-change yet. The introduction of Tralerighe, a wallpaper collection, and Tramato, a collection of carpets, transposes antoniolupi products to interior wall and floor finishes for the first time. Both collections have culminated from antoniolupi’s collaboration with Gumdesign, as part of the Tra le Righe concept which also includes the acclaimed Bolgheri and Gessati sinks. Like the impeccable wrapping of a present, Tralerighe wallpapers are the ultimate becoming of an antoniolupi bathroom. Characterised by a sense of precision, rationality and order, the collection consists of 20 designs, each available in both positive and negative. “Thin, traced lines generate a network; a filter for a frenzy day to stop and look beyond. Go past the surface to immerse yourself in the invisible aspects of everyday life,” explain the designers, Gabriele Pardi and Laura Fiaschi. Tramato applies the same graphic filter to what’s underfoot, however here, the geometries herald a more illusive effect. Unlike the wallpaper, which is open-ended, the new antoniolupi carpets come defined within a border. Made of printed velvet, by means of the tufting technique, the Tramato collection comprises 16 variations, in which pure geometric figures form unconventional shapes. For most, it would seem a far stretch from glass and bath, to covering wall and floor too. But for antoniolupi, master of design, innovation and materiality, it is an entirely natural progression. antoniolupi antoniolupi.it abc
Design Hunters

Meet The Maker

Holly Ryan is a name synonymous with Australian designed and made precious jewellery – and no stranger to Habitus, we visited the designer and maker at her home in Brisbane not too long ago. In the years since the brand has continued to grow and Holly has continued to evolve the collections, and the timelines to which they are released. The biggest news to date however has been a move to Sydney and the recent opening of the brand’s very first showroom. Located centrally in Surry Hills, easily accessible by car or on foot, the space is part showroom, part office, part workshop and bears room for growth. Finding a terrace was high on the list for Holly “because that felt very Sydney” and although this one was previously a financial office, she immediately recognised it’s creative potential. The opening of a showroom also marks the ten-year anniversary of the business, and as such has been designed to celebrate the brand and its achievements, but also as a physical embodiment to echo the company’s social and environmental values. “All of my jewellery is made from recycled metals. We recycle our scrap metals and I have a recycling initiative where customers can bring something back to me for a store credit and we’ll melt down those metals and reuse them again,” says Holly. Throughout the space custom joinery is consistent, from the display cabinets in the showroom, to the bookcases and shelves in the office, and the unique shape of the traditional jeweller’s bench in the studio. The half round cut outs house the bench pin, which is what the jewellers lean on when they’re making pieces for ease of movement and 360-degree access. While this element is a traditional jewellers bench concept the tray underneath was built in to catch all of the metal filings to be sent away to be refined and reproduced into wire, sheet metal or chain. LED strip lighting features above every workbench with a dimmable option so that each jeweller can work in a comfortable amount of light. Holly sought a local Sydney carpenter mindful of the environment to collaborate with and was recommended Sam Creecy of S.C.Creative by a close friend. Initial conversations – which included a big discussion about recycling and up-cycling materials – went well and the collaboration even better. In all the joinery the Hardwood trimmings are recycled pieces or offcuts from job sites; the plywood was bought new but used almost entirely (just two per cent waste); and it was finished with a water based enamel paint from Bio Products that is chemical free. “It was important to me to work with someone local who has the same principals as me in terms of the environment,” says Holly. And the working relationship won’t end there, having found someone with a similar mindset and complimentary skills Holly Ryan and Sam Creecy will continue to collaborate in the future. Currently the showroom is open by appointment only as a way to offer clients one-on-one time with Holly to try the pieces on, get perfectly sized, and feel part of the design process on customisations. To complement the custom display case and shou sugi ban oval coffee table, also made by Sam Creecy. Traditionally the shou sugi ban technique is used with Japanese Cedar, however, Sam used reclaimed Oregon. There is also an original mid-century, Danish-designed Teak lounge set from Vampt Vintage Design, a lamp from Curated Spaces, Holly Ryan sculptures and additional pieces by Sabrina Sterk. Furthermore, with the jewellers’ studio in the same building clients have the opportunity to see where and how the jewellery is made to better understand the process, putting it to the fore of the mind each time you revisit a Holly Ryan piece. Ultimately, Holly is offering a memorable and sentimental experience around acquiring jewellery pieces that, she hopes, will become heirlooms. Holly Ryan Jewellery hollyryan.com.au Photography by Maddy Matheson abc
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

Winning Group Acquires Rogerseller

Winning Appliances was established in 1906 and to this day remains a family-owned and operated business – now in its fourth generation under the leadership of John Winning. The company is known as a leading supplier in of kitchen and laundry appliances, but with the recent acquisition of Rogerseller 2020 marks a new era, expanding into the bathroom hardware and products. Founded in 1895, Rogerseller, like Winning Appliances, has a long and rich history as an Australian family-run company. The synergy in the merger is clear. “Both the Winning Group and Rogerseller share many similarities, including being century-old family-run businesses, having a strong focus on providing exceptional customer service and offering customers the world’s best brands,” said John Winning, Winning Group CEO. “We are very proud to be succeeding the 125-year old Rogerseller brand and business to such an aligned and passionate family-owned company in the Winning Group,” added Rogerseller managing director, James Edmonds, who will continue in his position during the transition before stepping back from day-to-day operations. Rogerseller’s three showrooms, in Sydney Brisbane and Melbourne, will add to Winning’s seven: across New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, and the Australian Capitol Territory. Winning’s Chief Operating Officer, Jo Devery, will oversee Winning Appliances, Winning Appliances Commercial, Rogerseller and Customer Experience. The exclusive partnerships Rogerseller has fostered with brands such as Catalano, Claybrook, Falper, Fantini and Valcucine at this stage look as though they will remain through the merger. Winning Appliances winningappliances.com.au This article was informed by additional sources.abc
Design Products

Misura And The Deities Of Design

If you were to ask Driade, the pioneering Italian furniture design and manufacture company would likely describe itself as something along the lines of: “an aesthetic laboratory coveting the beauty in living”. The brand’s lucid sense of purpose has been unfaltering since its inception in 1968 — and based on the success garnered over the decades, it’s a directive that evidently seems to have served well. When, in fact, the humble claim does not quite do Driade due justice.       Coveting aesthetic beauty for the everyday is barely the beginning. Driade is at once a creator, curator, collector and conveyor of iconic design items. The company is astute in the alchemy of experiential existence, transcending superficial trends and superfluous conversations, to conceive unique products — always equal parts eclectic, extravagant, elegant, timeless and joyful. With an extensive residence of European designers, many of whom are household names, Driade has built a brand around producing designer furniture as individual author’s objects, poised to become design deities and/or collectables. For those of us who covet such immortalised design pieces, Misura is the Australian messiah.  Established in 2013, Misura is a second-generation, Australian owned and operated furniture retailer with a penchant for European design. Its motive in life pertains to a deep-seated “desire for elegant, versatile, contemporary furniture that is made for modern living,”  — to use the brand’s own words. The resonance with Driade’s endless pursuit of immortal, intuitive and elegantly resolved design solutions for modern, everyday living is uncanny. Comprising a curated collection of designer furniture, authored by preeminent European designers — such as Enzo Mari; Ludovica + Roberto Palomba; Lievore Altherr Molina; Philippe Starck with D. Sugasawa; Miki Astori; and Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, among others — the iconic Driade design pieces available through Misura are as perennial and refined as you would expect. Despite having diverse origins, designers and influences across the board, the individual Driade numbers in the scheme of Misura are unified by a distinctively modern, minimalist mood. Elegantly simple, classic forms showcased in neutral fabrics and finishes culminate in an amiable and accessible range of furniture with exponential possibility — all the while avoiding monotony from piece to piece. The Mod and Felix sofas, designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, and Elisa sofa, by Enzo Mari, make for a prime example of this. From form to finish, each of the sofas is undeniably modern and minimalist in style. But then again, not one could be rightly accused of being bland or same-same. The subtle eclecticism of the modern minimalist style spectrum continues to hero throughout Misura’s catalogue of Driade designer furniture. It comes through in the traces of art deco glamour that, though appearing more polished than glitzy, are unmistakable in the sumptuous form of Ludovica + Roberto Palomba’s Moon Armchair; the mesmerizing grace of Kissi Kissi table’s unconventional yet perfectly fluid shape, conceived by Miki Astori; the protagonistic perspective brought to the table by Phillippe Starck’s abstract Lou Eat chair; or the pure simplicity of the La Francesca chair, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, and its chameleon-like ability to take on the character of its surrounds.  Each item of modern, European designer furniture produced by Driade and brought to Australia by Misura is as thoroughly resolved as the last. And it’s no wonder why - at every step along the way, since their design conception, experimental product development and curatorial process of Misura, these furniture pieces have further transcended into deities of design for everyday living. Visit misura.con.au, or one of its physical showrooms in Sydney or Melbourne to explore the curated collection of designer furniture immortalised by Driade. Misura misura.com.auabc
Design Hunters
DH - Feature

Sense And Sensitivity

Thomas Coward has worked with some of the coolest, funkiest, and most forward thinking bathroom brands out there, and as creative director of a fair few them – Artedomus, United Products and New Volumes – one could begin to wonder if he is the common thread. 

Originally from Cornwall in the United Kingdom, Thomas studied furniture design at Ravensbourne College in London – now famous for Foreign Office Architects’ tile covered campus completed in 2010. It was during his time at Ravensbourne that he developed an interest in bathroom products – an interest that has marked his career to date.

In 2004 he came to Australia. “I moved to Melbourne and started working with Joseph Licciardi, who was hugely influential on my way of thinking,” says Thomas.

Many of the most notable designs from Omvivo (founded by Joseph as a joint venture with Schiavello) can be linked to Thomas. In 2009, he designed the Latis Basin carved from natural stone. That was soon followed by Motif in 2011, another solid surface basin featuring etched glass.

“Our relationships with products can be complex so I try and consider those feelings as well tackling the inert functional aspects.”

Thomas then began working with a number of well-known brands, leaders in the bathroom space. He has designed numerous basins for Artedomus and the interiors for their showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and most recently, Il Bosco in Brisbane. In 2017 New Volumes was launched as a joint venture between Thomas and Artedomus. Collection 01 is a series of 12 pieces from eight local designers made from Elba, a dolomite-based raw material at least 250 million years old. “New Volumes has been a lifelong idea come to fruition. [It] is a brand working with Australian designers to produce collections from singular materials,” he says. That same year his basin designs for United Products, Saturn and Ledge, were released followed by Lunar in 2018.

Although his interest in designing for the bathroom hasn’t waned over the years, his approach has certainly changed. If you sat Motif next to Lunar, it’s quite apparent. Thomas says his first designs were very much informed by wanting to make a statement. Now he is increasingly interested in using design to answer questions of a physical or emotional nature: “Our relationships with products can be complex so I try and consider those feelings as well tackling the inert functional aspects,” he says.

Function, while imperative, is also“pretty simple”. Conceptually, his work in the bathroom is more concerned with aiding the rituals of bathing and acknowledging the sanctity, privacy and vulnerability of the bathroom. “Materials and form should be sensitive to the naked body,” he adds.

Furthermore, Thomas is intent on understanding the impact of his designs on the environment and holds some pretty radical – albeit convincing – ideas about the future for makers and consumers. “Designers will become stewards for the products they create and manufacture,” he says. “We can’t absolve ourselves of the responsibility of a product once it has been sold.” As the reality of what happens to products and materials when they are discarded creeps increasingly into a mainstream consciousness, the responsibility is equally with designers, manufacturers and suppliers to educate their customers on the impact of their disposal decisions.

“Perhaps we will start leasing furniture, and never owning anything,” muses Thomas. “Or the opposite, and your ownership does not end once you’ve finished with it. We make it too easy to discard materials.”

His personal future involves more of the same, creating for a space he loves to be in himself. “I’m really into baths. And now phones are waterproof, I take even longer ones,” he jokes. Suffice it to say you can expect his world and world views to continue to be a large part of the local design scene.

Thomas Coward thomascoward.com

Photography by Marnie Hawson

Design Products

Taking Cues From The Beloved Muse, Nature

For over a decade, Armadillo has dedicated themselves to creating beautifully designed, hand-crafted artisanal rugs. As a company that’s just as passionate about ethics as much as aesthetics, all Armadillo products are made with natural materials and sustainable processes. As a result, every rug is designed to lie lightly on the earth and stand the test of time, enhanced with a social responsibility that makes a remarkable difference. The newest additions to Armadillo's Classic Collection pays homage to the colours, patterns and surfaces of the natural world. As humans, we have an inherent affinity for nature – and during these busy, challenging times we often find ourselves yearning for time outdoors. These four refreshing new styles by Armadillo invite the characteristics of the outside into the home; restoring balancing into our lives and nurturing the soul with rare moments of quietude and exceptional design. Andes takes us on a journey along sweeping landscapes on the contours of one of the world’s longest mountain ranges. Featuring hues of Charcoal, Parchment, Pumice and Rye, Andes harnesses the breathtaking personality of the range. Crafted with an asymmetric weave of sumptuous wool, Andes is specially hand-crafted to refresh the interior of any space within the home. Its easy, neutral and pared-back tones creates a calming space of relaxation and rejuvenation. Embodying the vastness of aerial vistas is Acacia. Its elemental authenticity is transcendental, inviting you to escape the demands of your everyday routine. Acacia features the three distinct shades of Fawn, Galapagos and Sable – encompassing a certain subtlety that is made for a backdrop for any and every environment. Hand-knotted from wool and abrash-dyed jute, the rug’s tactility and attention to detail is prominent through its façade, displaying an old-world charm that awakens the senses with every step. Inspired by the fluidity of nature and its enduring presence, Winnow brings a tangible charm to the Classic Collection. An elegant combination of subtle, earthy tones and a bold personality; Winnow is an extraordinarily intimate choice for the calm and collected residence. The colours of Alabaster and Granite are made from a cross-hatched flat weave in luxurious flecked wool, ultimately creating an artful statement piece. Intuitive and tactile, Winnow is designed to soothe the soul and energise the mind for the day ahead. Bramble encapsulates the honest colours of the great outdoors. From the fiery red hues of the sand to the burnt orange tones of the rich soil, this earthy palette exudes sophistication and comfort. Bramble comes in its natural form with an intricate soumak weave in textured jute – a design that takes the nourishing energy of the natural world into the abode. Armadillo crafts a refined sensibility throughout Bramble: one that is designed to reimagine the way we live, work and play within our everyday spaces. Each new addition to the Classic Collection is designed with a magical combination of softness, sophistication and comfort that is unique to the Armadillo name. This collection integrates nature within the confines of the home; allowing us to immerse ourselves in a unique experience that reconnects us with the beauty of the world around us.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Claire Delmar.
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