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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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Architecture
Homes
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A House With Healthy Boundaries

In cultures across Asia, there are only a few valid reasons to move out of your parents’ home. The most acceptable one is getting married and building your own family. Moving to a faraway place for a job or for pursuing higher education is also fine. Reasons other than these would typically be considered as less than ideal, or as an outright abandonment of one’s filial duty – after all, why wouldn’t you take care of them and the place they raised you in? It’s the ultimate act of filial piety. Adult children, of course, need their own spaces. And so, the ideal, multi-generational homes in the region are the ones that give everyone their own breathing room. House for a Daughter by Vietnamese practice Khuôn Studio is a stellar example.

The titular daughter moved to Ho Chi Minh City from her childhood home in Tay Ninh, a city 90 kilometres away, for one of the more valid reasons – to study. The residence in which she resided in also belonged to her parents. The property was purchased to accommodate their children – the daughter and her older brother – as they relocated to attend university in the capitol city. Since the daughter planned to remain there for work following graduation, her parents decided that it was a good time to demolish the old house and build a new one to fit their future lives. In the new house, she could live independently and accommodate them (and other visiting relatives) with ease. They let the daughter choose the architect. 

“Big or small, all houses are interesting in their own way; what we appreciate is an interesting design brief.”

Founded in 2015 by architect Huynh Anh Tuan, Khuôn Studio is a four-member enterprise specialising in residential design. While the studio has yet to build an online portfolio, in real life its projects consist of urban houses with small footprints. One of the studio’s signatures is the use of breathable walls, built using perforated bricks that the studio custom-designs for each project.

“In Vietnamese, khuôn literally means brick moulds – we use them to create airbricks of different shapes for different projects. Figuratively, it means framework or standard,” says Huynh. The daughter was intrigued by the studio’s unvarnished aesthetics, resourceful use of space, and clever way with bricks.

Occupying an 8x17 square-metre-site, House for a Daughter is Khuôn Studio’s largest project. “Big or small, all houses are interesting in their own way; what we appreciate is an interesting design brief,” says Huynh.

The brief was indeed interesting, albeit simple. The client sought plenty of natural light and greenery, ample space for herself as the primary occupant, and rooms for her parents and visiting guests. From the outside, the house looks like it employs a strategy to maximise its footprint by merely extruding the buildable area up and dividing the resulted volume into rooms, much like its neighbours. For Khuôn Studio, it’s the other way around. The studio stacked the room requirements neatly into two three-storey volumes; one for visitors and one for the daughter.

In a more tranquil setting, perhaps these volumes could have been separate pavilions set in a lush garden, but the site is wedged in a dense urban neighbourhood rife with noises, so the two volumes share one roof that spans almost the entire site’s footprint.

The sheltered area between them, dubbed the atrium, is the home’s designated social space, containing the kitchen, dining and sitting areas placed at different heights. It is also designed to feel like as much like the outdoors as possible. The studio’s signature perforated bricks shield the house from prying eyes while letting air flow through the interior. A series of square skylights let air and natural light in and allows occupants to view the sky. These skylights are equipped with sensors that will automatically close at the first hint of rain.

The kitchen and dining areas are an open affair set amidst planter boxes housing trees and shrubs; among them starfruit trees, parlour palms, dracaena and the quintessential indoor houseplant golden pothos. The kitchen is compact, the daughter doesn’t cook too often, shares Huynh. Though I imagine she wouldn’t mind if her mum or dad cook for her during one of their visits.

The atrium facilitates diagonal lines of view– the kitchen on the ground floor can call out the rest of the house to come down for a meal.

“The house should feel airy, not empty,” says Huynh on the biggest challenge of the design. The largest footprints were given to areas with the most traffic – the daughter’s quarters and the atrium. The rest of the spaces were kept compact. The corners of the two volumes are rounded off, softening the overall visuals of the space when the light hits the walls.

The materials were chosen for their ease of maintenance. The entire atrium is painted white, a brightening backdrop to the greenery and the decorative tiles adorning the kitchen and other wet areas of the house. The floor finishes in public spaces are terrazzo and concrete, while private spaces boast oak parquets.

The daughter’s favourite spot is the atrium, where she can sit and bask in poetic solitude. And perhaps, the best part of the house is that the atrium, the heart of the home, serves as both a common ground and a healthy distance between parents and child.

Khuôn Studio

Photography by Hiroyuki Oki

Dissection Information M&A Tiles terrazzo tiles and decorative wall tiles Dulux wall paint Custom designed and locally made Breeze blocks ZAGO Designer Furniture & Home Décor chairs Custom designed and locally made bed Phu Gia Khang Lighting Atria pendant lights Bosch kitchen appliances Toto sanitaryware

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Cantilever’s Latest Kitchen Design Has A Soft Touch

At this time, like no other in recent history, appreciation for the home has grown exponentially. Over the past months there has been the opportunity to come to truly understand the place in which we live, and there is no doubt that the kitchen is, and always will be, the nurturing heart of every home. Since its establishment in 2006, Cantilever has understood this and over the years developed the expertise and formidable skills to present the very best kitchen solutions for countless delighted clients. As a kitchen design and manufacturing specialist, Cantilever is renowned for its quality, service and visionary aesthetic and with the release of the K3 Kitchen System in SoftTouch Black there is another outstanding material suite available for this much-loved product. The versatility of the SoftTouch Black K3 Kitchen System is undeniable – it is equally at home in a contemporary or a traditional setting – but whichever the situation, it brings another dimension to the favourite room in the house. With the new palette of SoftTouch Black to the readily adaptable K3 Kitchen System, there is a crisp clean materiality that also includes a hint of timber warmth that is perfect for any application and to meet any brief. For maximum durability, high quality scratch resistant SoftTouch Black laminate is adhered to durable FSC Birch ply and the matte finish provides an easy to clean, robust surface. Coupled with GFRC custom black concrete benchtops or custom stainless steel benchtops with an integrated Cantilever sink, the design can be individualised to suit personal taste and requirement. The K3 Kitchen System can also be paired with a selection of FSC / PEFC veneers with a Low VOC water-based finish to ensure even greater versatility. Another exciting feature of the K3 Kitchen System is the ability to extend the joinery to other rooms and this in turn can provide a design continuum throughout the home. The K3 Kitchen System was originally released in 2014 and joined the immensely popular and now classic K collection that comprises K1 and K2. The K3 Kitchen System remains a staple of Cantilevers’ product family and with the addition of the new palette offering in SoftTouch Black there is now undoubtedly abundant choice for the discerning client. Cantilever has developed a unique range that showcases the company’s deep commitment to design that is evident through practical application, resolved detailing, balanced form and superior function of all products. Through experience, and with a team of accomplished craftspeople, Cantilever is able to communicate, manufacture and supply exemplary resolutions for both trade and design demands. Working through an individual design approach, the company can also offer design and documentation services distinct to each project while flexibility and adaptability ensure that each project is executed to ensure a perfect conclusion. As an Australian manufacturer, Cantilever is well placed to supply product that is locally made and of the highest quality. With services such as kitchen concept design, design development, construction documentation, site service guide, manufacture, installation and interstate shipping, Cantilever is in charge and in control every step of the journey. Now with the sophisticated SoftTouch Black K3 Kitchen System there is another superb Cantilever product to add to the range. SoftTouch Black extends the integrity of the K3 Kitchen System and is certain to become a benchmark for kitchen design in the future. Cantilever Interiors cantileverinteriors.com [gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="105759,105757"] Photography: Martina Gemmola | Styling: Kylie Forbes  abc
Architecture
Homes
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How A Californian Bungalow Grew With A Family

As is the case for many growing families, space became an issue for the owners of a typical 1950s Californian brick bungalow in Sydney’s Lane Cove. They loved the original design and the area, but for a husband, wife and two young girls, there just wasn’t enough room. As well as a better sense of connection throughout, the brief included a bedroom for each of the girls, a rumpus room, courtyard and a pool – all on an odd-shaped site with steep slopes and bordering neighbours. In response, THOSE Architects opened up the existing bungalow and added an entirely new wing in the form of a tower that solved myriad design issues. “At the rear and to one side, we inserted a brick ‘tower’ with a small footprint – leaving the remainder of the yard to be usable space for the rest of the home by way of a courtyard, pool and lawn and native gardens,” says director of THOSE Architects, Simon Addinall.  

THOSE Architects opened up the existing bungalow and added an entirely new wing in the form of a tower.

  Built in robust materials of brick and exposed concrete, which bring both harmony and contrast to the bungalow, the tower creates ample extra space – housing the extra bedrooms, rumpus room, additional bathroom and laundry, and significantly improves the dynamic and connectivity of the entire house. Situated on the western boundary, the tower reconfigures the house into an L-shape, creating a courtyard that both main living spaces open onto. This not only creates a central area, but also separation between the dwellings. To deal with the challenging site, the architects terraced the backyard and pool, creating a series of smaller breakout spaces. The original house, which previously had little connection to outside, has been entirely reoriented so that it accesses the north-facing courtyard. Thanks to a new skylight cut into the north-facing roof plane and the removal of a poorly designed lean-to, it has also been completely opened up and given beauty. “The skylight floods the living room with light throughout the day while the softly sculpted ceiling creates a beautiful form internally.” Original features, such as elaborate cornices, a Juliette balcony and circular bay window in the main bedroom, were also restored to retain the bungalow’s character. In the new building, Art Deco features carry over in the form of motifs, including the tower’s bullnosed brick corners and timber balustrade.  

The tower reconfigures the house into an L-shape, creating a courtyard that both main living spaces open onto.

  In terms of passive design elements, House Lincoln was designed with these in mind from the outset. Working on both on an aesthetic and environmental level are a number of features, including the brick tower, which benefits the house with passive heating and cooling. Similarly, concrete flooring reduces the need for mechanical means. North facing windows with extended eaves also help block the summer sun whilst allowing winter sun to penetrate deep into the home, and cross ventilation exists in all rooms. So do the owners like it? Absolutely. Apart from the spatial and functional improvements, the biggest joy they have described to the architects is the “connectivity of the home to the outdoor spaces and their relationship to the living spaces of the home”. For a studio that strives to achieve a meaningful connection to place, that’s a win. THOSE Architects thosearchitects.com.au Photography by Luc Redmond Dissection Information Bricks (Gertrudis Brown) from Brickworks Winkelman’s tiles from Old English Tiles Tretford goats hair carpet from Gibbon Group Elba Marble benchtops from Artedomus Tapwear for Sussex Tapwear Dioscuri parete-soffitto wall lights from Artemide Pallisade table and chairs from Hay (courtyard) Thonet S32 Dining Chairs from Anibou (dining) Dita Stools from Grazia and Co (kitchen) Quadrant Sofa from Koskela Ceramics from The Dea Store We think you might also like House Burch by THOSE Architects abc
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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