About Habitusliving

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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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
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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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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

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Brushed Grey Is The New Black

Materiality and luxury are two values perhaps most essentially synonymous with Cattelan Italia. The foremost has been steadfast to the furniture design and manufacture company’s core since its beginnings — as a producer and exporter of Italian marble furniture — in the late 1970s. On the other hand, the brand’s expressed affinity toward luxury in design runs true throughout the extended lineage of Italian design, which it shares with preeminent titles, such as Vogue Italia and Versace, that are symbolic of affluence in design. It is fitting that these days Cattelan Italia, hailing from such auspicious heritage and now in its fifth decade, is realised as a world-class patron of constant, conscientious contribution to luxury design evolution and material innovation. One of the brand’s most recent donations to covetors of design everywhere is its budding range of brushed metal finishes. First came Cattelan Italia’s Brushed Bronze finish, which wasted no time in becoming a cult favourite amongst customers and specifiers alike; now the brand’s Brushed Grey metal finish, emanating the refined masculinity and tactile emotion of brushed steel, has made its official debut. Presenting as the origami-esque legs of the iconic Skorpio table range, designed by Andrea Lucantello for Cattelan Italia in 2014, the debutant Brushed Grey finish enhances the table’s acicular identity. An invisible glass top ensures that the edged metallic table base goes unchallenged as the star of this rendition of Skorpio.  The tarnished finish of the brushed steel base may be the antithesis of a polished execution, but that juxtaposition begins and ends with the baseline definitions. Channelling the unrelenting and inimitable spirit of brutalism, the steely sculpture yields the coveted je ne sais quoi of a designer furniture item that is sorry, not sorry. It’s a realisation of Italian design grandeur that couldn’t be further from the hallmark opulence of Versace, but it epitomises modern luxury nonetheless. Cattelan Italia cattelanitalia.comabc
Happenings

Announcing Super Design: The Most Immersive Design Event of 2020

In a year that’s seen major industry events cancelled or postponed, we’re here to make all your design-related dreams come true, with a brand-new event that’s set to change the way you experience inspiration. Introducing Super Design, a two-week immersive design event that will draw on a unique hybrid of digital and physical activations to bring you design without limits. Coming to you this November, Super Design will close the distance between us, supercharging your connection to the industry through a ready-made design dimension. Open to anyone, anywhere, this is an event unlike any other, with exclusive activations from some of our industry’s biggest names.
“Super Design is just what we've been waiting for! An exciting, progressive and multidimensional design event that presents a unique opportunity for architects & designers to see, hear and learn about our interstate and international industry peers’ experiences and successes. Super Design is the perfect platform to bring our community together for everyone's betterment.” – Hana Hakim, Founder/Interior Designer, The Stella Collective
Super Design is the latest evolution on Indesign’s 20 years of industry event experience across the region. It telegraphs a new way forward for how we engage, launch products, network and get inspired and – importantly – strengthens the Indo-Pacific’s bridge to the global design community by removing all geographical boundaries and limitations. So get ready to connect locally, regionally and globally as you catch up with your favourite designers, uncover up and coming brands and get the low-down on the latest in the design world. Pick and choose what your Super Design experience looks like with an interactive calendar that lets you curate your own schedule. Tune in digitally or join intimate physical sessions in your local area, watch live or catch-up later with our on-demand library – Super Design is an event that’s for you, by you. From exclusive events and interactive workshops to manufacturing tours and engaging panel discussions, Super Design will change the way you experience industry events, offering bite-sized timed sessions that let you choose your own design adventure.
Super Design is a great way to bring the region together through physical, digital and hybrid activations. I can't wait to get involved and know that myself and team are always hungry to develop, learn and connect with our industry colleagues and suppliers. I'm really looking forward to engaging through all forms of activations and love the idea of being able to connect with talks, tours, and showrooms throughout our region whether in person or from the comfort and convenience of my home or office.” – Tim Carr, Head of Lighting, Australasia Leader, Arup.
With a schedule that’s sure to re-ignite your love for design, we can’t wait to drop our first line-up announcement. Be the first to know and get updates sent straight to your inbox by registering your interest here. If you’d like more information or a media kit for the event, visit the Super Design website or get in touch with our media team. Stay tuned – more information will be dropping weekly. It’s time to level up!abc
Architecture
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Celebrating Edwardian And Modern Architecture Side-By-Side

WALA’s clients, and the residents of Henry House, are a semi retired yet wholly active couple who were looking to downsize from their family home and move closer towards the city. They love entertaining and would regularly host their friends and adult children in their previous home. This is not something they wanted to relinquish so the new house, though smaller, needed to comfortably accommodate regular guests and extended visits. The terrace they found was long and narrow, with a site frontage of 6.1 metres. Located in East Melbourne and built in 1878, the size and layout was typical of terraces of the Victorian era. It was also perfect for WALA’s clients, who didn’t want a large house and appreciated the location for its close proximity to local amenities.  

Large pivoting glass doors define the rear façade and connect the indoors to the garden.

  The brief was for a low maintenance rear extension (fortuitously north facing) that did not encroach on the garden but did expand the indoor living areas. Additionally, the clients wanted to retain the three bedrooms in the original house. “We were faced with a challenge to fit as much as we could into a very restricted floor space,” says Weian Lim of WALA. Through the entry corridor that traverses the original house and culminates at the rear addition, one finds the contemporary, open plan kitchen/living/dining area. “A large stand-alone brass-coloured kitchen rangehood is a statement piece that anchors the kitchen in an otherwise open plan space,” says Weian. The brass is echoed sparingly through the rest of the house. Beneath the kitchen benches, mirrored kickbacks suggest floating furniture.  

The shape of the concrete eaves on the rear façade was custom designed to maximise the sunlight during winter.

  The house transitions respectfully from old to new by acknowledging the different architectural styles of each period. Decorative heritage features of the original architecture have been retained and restored, providing a contrast to the restrained minimalist design of the extension. Natural materials such as timber, concrete and steel help frame these simple geometric shapes. Large pivoting glass doors define the rear façade and connect the indoors to the garden whether they are open or not. Teamed with a large skylight above the kitchen these elements draw natural light into the internal spaces. A floating daybed behind a glass wall has the same effect and – visible from the entry hallway – connects the garden view to the house from the first step inside. On the other side a cantilevered concrete bench extends from the living room well into the backyard further suggesting a connection between interior and exterior spaces.  

Natural materials such as timber, concrete and steel frame simple geometric shapes.

  The clients were interested in adopting passive design principles where possible. As the rear extension was north facing, WALA proposed a tiled floor over a concrete slab in order for it to function as thermal mass. The shape of the concrete eaves on the rear façade was custom designed to maximise the sunlight during winter. “The concrete eave is intentionally designed to align with the same sun angle during the winter solstice so as to maximise the amount of direct sun hitting the tiled floor on slab, thereby storing as much heat as possible in thermal mass during the colder periods in the year,” says Weian. The residents have enjoyed the house in its full glory since practical completion in September 2019. However, having lived in the house during construction (this was staged in order for them to do), the finished product is twice as nice. As intended, “This space has become their sanctuary in the city,” concludes Weian. WALA wa-la.net Photography by Derek Swalwell Dissection Information Interior Stylist, Bea + Co Landscape Designer, Nadia Gill Landscape Architect Landscaping, Good Soil and Water Fiandre Plain Core floor tiles from Artedomus Oro kitchen counter from YDL Stone Parachilna Aball pendant from Ke-Zu Furniture Dita Double Console by Lignet Roset from DOMO Yanzi suspension lamp by Neri&Hu from Artemide Wall Step pendant from Volker Haug Seymour Low Swivel Armchair from King Living L’Imprevu Sofa by Lignet Roset from DOMO Kitchen appliances by Miele Qasair kitchen rangehood We think you might also like Concert Hall House by Pandolfini Architects abc
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A Vibrant Family Home

For Australian renovating royalty Michael and Carlene (“The Block”, “Ready, Set, Reno”, “Open Homes Australia”), their biggest residential challenge took place in a dilapidated old house in the lush Gold Coast Hinterland. Set on one-and-a-half acres and spread over three levels, the home was not the set of prime-time television program but was actually the couple’s own property: a project that they gradually transformed from rambling ruin to luxe family home. Purchased over 10 years ago, Michael and Carlene’s home was the epitome of an unpolished gem. Set in a quiet cul-de-sac and cocooned by native gum trees, the home’s location was always an agent’s dream, but the house itself – with an entire floor with significant fire damage – required a mountain of work and a clear design vision to match its perfect aspect. Through the last decade, the couple slowly tackled a room at a time, eventually creating a vibrant, light-filled space to call home. Playful in both design and layout, the home now comprises of a collection of rooms that anchor the building into its surrounds. Full length windows and sliding doors surround the home’s perimeter, creating a seamless connection to the outdoors and drenching the interiors in dappled light. Generous skylights sit above exposed white beams, creating a sense of height and space that defies the boxed-in feeling of the home’s original rooms. Renovated slowly and with purpose, each room is slightly different from the last, an evolution in style and design that subtly speaks to the process and the journey. Teals give way to dusty pinks and layered greens while fixtures change from antique brass to a vivid brushed gold. Materiality is also varied here, with bricks, plaster and panelling used interchangeably on the walls, while underfoot, polished concrete evolves to natural hardwoods in darkening shades. This variety creates a house that feels warm and inviting, where there is a single design identity but also spaces to escape and unwind, where every corner displays the consideration of light, views and comfort that can only come from years spent living on site. For Michael and Carlene, the kitchen is their greatest triumph. Oversized and open plan, the room combines kitchen, dining and informal living spaces in one, with sliding doors opening the entire space onto the sparkling pool. The kitchen, like those of other young families, is the home’s centralised hub, and Carlene has designed it as such: The traditional galley kitchen has been elevated with a statement island bench, from which a deep curve has been scooped out to allow for a built in bench for an informal dining and breakfast bar setting. The island, finished in dark quartz, is set against complimenting shades of earthy greens and pale whites, creating a space that is made for both children and adults alike. Keeping clutter to a minimum, the kitchen includes a full butler’s pantry and laundry. Hidden behind an internal wall of louvered glass windows, this nook exemplifies the home’s liveability, blending usability with sleek design. Containing everything from the double-sized fridge to a washer and dryer, the space allows for the mechanics of home life to be elevated to a luxurious level. Epitomising this is the Zip HydroTap in brushed gold, which sits atop a vintage double sink. Allowing for instant boiling, chilled and sparkling water, the Zip HydroTap has fast become one of the family’s favourite new additions, satisfying a love for tea and sparkling water, while making sure Michael (as renovator-in-chief) remains adequately hydrated. With only a handful of rooms still to be transformed, this is a project which gives weight to the saying that “good things take time”, proving that in the world of home renovations, slow and steady can sometimes be the key to making an incredible home. Zip Water zipwater.com abc
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A Private Nature Reserve In Singapore

Robert A.M. Stern once said: “the dialogue between client and architect is about as intimate as any conversation you can have.” To that, John Pawson responded by saying, “Likewise the dialogue between a client and a finished piece of architecture is about as intimate as any conversation you can have.”

These observations cannot be truer of the relationships that shape the Windsor Park House in Singapore. “Every part of the house has been thought through many, many times,”says Millet Architects’ Chiew Hong Tan of the process she has had with her clients, Marc W. and Ee Lyn L., together with interior designer Vanessa Ong of April Atelier. These have been long conversations about everything from hopes, memories, and aspirations to cost and family dynamics, that slowly, rigorously, over thes pan of a good year, came to produce this deeply personalised house that not only has a clarity of intention, but also great ingenuity.

 

The house was to be properly future-proofed for the clients’ young family, but also re-oriented to face the nature reserve.

 

The site is on a sloped hill next to Windsor Nature Park, a forested nature reserve in central Singapore. There was originally on site a single storey house that Marc’s family had moved into in the 1980s, and had then expanded over subsequent years. “It ended up being quite dark, especially in the middle,” Marc recalls of the house, which turned away from the forest.“Back then people didn’t like to face the jungle because it’s very ulu,” he adds, referring to older perceptions of the jungle as being rural. Marc and Ee Lyn had at first considered renovating, but addition and alteration work proved to be challenging given the way the old house had occupied the site. The decision was therefore to tear down the old house and build anew. The house was to be properly future-proofed for their young family, but also re-oriented to face the nature reserve that they love.

The architecture makes the most of the site. The main living areas and upper floor bedrooms are placed in a linear stretch paralleling the expanse of the forest to maximise views. An infinity pool, cleverly created out of the sloped terrain, stretch some 23 metres across the foreground. A compact attic peeks out of the main building, raising above it a lovely lookout point perfect for views of the sun that sets daily into the treeline, and for stargazing when the forest darkens later at night.

Unlike most residences in Singapore, the house is not built to the maximum site coverage allowed; green spaces take up more than 60 percent of the total land area.

Having plenty of outdoor spaces means one-year-old James can learn to cycle on the compound, and poolside gatherings can be hosted on Singapore’s many balmy evenings. Even then, planting is minimal. “We don’t need to create another forest on the property. All the trees we have — the three frangipanis and five bucidas in front – strategically add more texture with their shadows,” Marc says, explaining how they prefer to keep landscaping, and all the rest of the design, as low-maintenance as possible.

“We explored ideas based on the notion of light and shadows, in place of expensive materials or fancy detailing,” Chiew Hong says. The house sports a simple palette of white walls, black window frames, off-form concrete, white oak floors and a modest use of teak cladding. “The idea was to keep the colours neutral so as to draw focus to the natural landscape. At the same time keeping costs low without sacrificing elegance in the architectural design.

 

The main living areas and upper floor bedrooms are placed in a linear stretch paralleling the expanse of the forest to maximise views.

 

“One of the biggest challenges was that the forest view is almost entirely west facing and therefore vulnerable to the afternoon sun that can be quite unbearable in this region,” she continues. She found a smart solution in exterior venetian blinds that shield the house from the western sun. “The good thing with external blinds is that we don’t need to have curtains, so it’s low maintenance,” Ee Lyn says of the blinds, which can be controlled from inside to open or close to varying degrees. One evening, she and her husband raised these blinds to a spectacle of lightning and thunder over the darkened forest canopy.

The interior shares a similar rationality with the architecture, with a focus on economy of design and the use of natural materials to bring warmth. “The intention was for the interior to blend in with the architecture,” Vanessa says. “We didn’t choose anything that was too loud; everything was in neutral, warm tones.”

The choice of fittings is deft. At the stairs a set of Flos String Lights are hung so its geometry of cables engages the spatial volume, and accentuates the puncture of the picture window.

The multi-generational home also caters to family dynamics and future needs. A separate single storey block holds the living room so that the couple can entertain without disturbing grandma who can watch TV in the family room at the other end. Dry and wet kitchens are separated by user-ship – grandma can cook up a storm in the ventilated kitchen while Marcand Ee Lyn host a party.

The ground floor is completely level and without steps passageways and thresholds are wide so every space, including grandma’s bedroom on this floor, is wheelchair-friendly. Four more bedrooms are laid out side by side on the second floor: they could be used separately by future children, or combined into a junior master suite for James when he grows up.

For all its rationality of thought, there is also great poetry in the quiet gestures of the house – in how the torque of the stairs releases into a shaft of the blue sky above, for example or, in the way, as Chiew Hong points out, shadows cast by the supports of a skylight break the silence of white walls.

Millet Architects milletarchitects.com Photography by Khoo Guo Jie abc
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Setting The Tone For Bathroom Furniture Design

A new decade has dawned and with it has come a fresh perspective and not-so-serious attitude to bathroom furniture design. Designers are taking a lighter, more playful and sometimes nostalgic approach, creating bathtubs and basins with architectural and sculptural forms inspired by traditional baths, troughs and vessels, and made all the more surprising in ethereal and energising hues. These stand-out pieces can stand alone in a bathroom, or they can be mixed and matched and customised to create an original and positively personal space.

 The bathroom is a place we hit refresh in the morning and wash away the day at night. As colour can have a powerful effect on our mood and emotions, a bathroom awash with colour can energise and inspire. Designers are embracing more eclectic colour and combinations, pairing bright and surprising hues with muted colours and neutrals.

The soft, fluid form of the Acquerello collection is enhanced with two-tone colours and a contrast of finishes.

The Acquerello basin collection, designed by Prospero Rasulo for Valdama, has a two-tone colour-blocking effect to enhance the basin’s fluid form.

Acquerello (meaning ‘watercolour’ in Italian) has a soft and sensual shape with gentle, shallow curves that never cast a clear-cutshadow. The interchangeable colours allow for personalisation: the basin and tablet are available in a sulphur yellow, soft pink, ocean blue and lagoon green, along with black, white grey and clay. “The colours have been chosen and interpreted like small inventions,” says Italian artist and designer Prospero. “Each is its own distinctive colour, and a colour capable of representing the shape in the best possible way.” Prospero took inspiration from his homeland, looking to nature, light, art and sculpture, and selecting colours that work in combination and in a variety of settings and styles.

The round, blush-pink Nouveau bathtub is inspired by the geometries of art deco and colour palette of art nouveau.

The vanity is the hero of the Frieze collection.

The Freize and Nouveau collections from Ex. T are also a fresh take on colour and form, with inspiration drawn from Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatures series and the early-twentieth-century styles of art nouveau and art deco.

Frieze, designed by Marcante Testa, is a colourful collection with a strong architectural imprint. Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa looked to Lichtenstein’s Entablatures from the 1970s: a series of paintings comprising horizontal layers evoking the architectural façades and ornamental motifs the artist encountered around New York. Marcante Testa used the same geometry, graphics and colourways in the Frieze collection, creating a range of basins that sit against a horizontal band. The basin, intended as the central element, comes in bright turquoise, lilac and soft pink and can be embellished with graphic patterns. Bathroom accessories can be hung on the horizontal band and different wall finishes can be used above and below. The combinations of shapes, colours, finishes and materials allows for unique and original combinations and a versatile system both spatially and stylistically. 

Also from Ex. T, the Nouveau bathtub designed by Paola Vella and Ellen Bernhardt is inspired by the distinctive geometries of art deco and rendered in a blush pink drawn from the colour palette of art nouveau. The small size and asymmetrical shape enable the bathtub to be positioned against the wall, in a corner or as a centrepiece of the room.

The Halo is made of recyclable material that United Products can recondition or recast into a new basin or bath.

 As the twenty-first century marches on into territories unknown, many designers are finding comfort in the familiarity of traditional forms of basins and vessels and reinterpreting them in a contemporary way.

Hargreaves Vanity is from a collaboration of Central Coast-based designers – Loughlin Furniture, Fabric Architecture and Slabshapers – and is inspired by the classic laundry trough. It has a rectangular concrete basin, VJ panelling on the cabinetry, aged brass taps and timber caddies for bathroom accessories. “It has an underlying coastal vibe that conjures up the image of summer holidays spent at a mid-century beach house,” says Brent Fitzpatrick, co-director of Fabric Architecture.

Neri&Hu also looked to a traditional vessel for its Immersion collection for Agape. Inspired by the relaxing Japanese onsen, the Immersion bathtub is smaller, deeper and more upright than a standard tub. It has a straight outer profile and a half-spherical inner profile that allows for full submersion in a more upright posture.

Neri&Hu’s Immersion bathtub is designed for smaller bathrooms, having a deeper and more compact form than standard tubs.

The compact footprint of the Immersion tub is designed for a smaller bathroom, as is Thomas Coward’s collection of bathroom products for United Products. Halo has a decorative metal ring that enables the hand towel to be part of the basin, while Lunar has a pedestal base, evocative of a baptismal bathing vessel and able to be placed against a wall or away from it to create a stand-out and standalone piece.

 With eclectic colours and forms, the new generation of products enables designers and customers to create a bathroom that indulges their own personal style. To create a space that is energising and refreshing, or calm and relaxing, setting the tone at the start or end of a day.

Photography courtesy of the designers and brands

We think you might also like bathroom design in the age of Instagram

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The Best Seat In The House Is Now Outdoors

In the current reality of booming population growth and ever-increasing urban densities across Australia, access to the outdoors in our homes is becoming less so a given, and more so somewhat of a luxury. Trends are even showing that many people will opt for an inner-city abode (even one that is compact with little to no outdoor access) and escape on weekends and holidays to a secondary residence inland or along the coast. Australia’s very own take on a pied-a-terre. Whatever your situation – from cosy courtyards, to verdant backyards, to sprawling views of the beach or hilltops – outdoor living areas should be met by furniture that can further facilitate its enjoyment. The Jasper II Outdoor is a continuation of the Jasper sofa, which quickly became a crowd favourite within the indoor range for its luxury aesthetics and clever design solutions. In the same vein, the Jasper II O sofa artfully straddles the line between necessary practicality in an outdoor setting, and the desire for luxurious furniture to enhance access to the outdoors in our private homes. Beneath the seats generous storage platforms provide ample space to store outdoor accessories protected from the elements and weather covers to prolong the vibrancy of Jasper II O. The open arm keeps the design light and airy but functionally it doubles as an open shelf to keep at hand the book you’re reading, the coffee you’re sipping, or the throw you might need as the sun begins to set. The chaise seat is available on either the left or right end of the sofa, depending on what suits the client best. And, should that change over time, the components can be easily altered with an Allen Key. The weather covers are designed to be reversible to fit over either configuration. Compositionally the sofa comprises a galvanised steel frame, Outdoor Postureflex and Outdoor KingCell with multilayer HR foam and generous memory foam top finish for the seat cushions. The cushions on the backrest feature an Ultra down fill with an in-built bolster for back support and an outdoor specific internal cover. The Kingrope Luxe Weatherweave upholstery fabric is new to King Living and available only on the Jasper II O range of furniture. Although Weatherweave feels delicate and soft to the touch, it is hardwearing, completely weatherproof and comes backed by a five-year warranty. Likewise, the steel frame comes backed by King Living’s 10-year Outdoor Steel Frame Warranty. The Jasper II O sofa is known to be a generous entertainer and as such, it shares the stage willingly. The Luna Outdoor Chair was designed by celebrated Australian industrial designer Charles Wilson, who is also a longstanding collaborator of King Living. Like the Jasper II O range, the Luna Outdoor Chair was inspired by its indoor counterpart. The seat is moulded from an expandable mesh and sits atop a steel frame – backed by King Living’s 10-year Steel Frame Outdoor Warranty as standard. A fabric-covered seat pad is attached seamlessly via magnets. The overall look is one of design sophistication that comes from innovative thinking and climate-appropriate design – both celebrated markers of Australian design. Furthermore, the flexibility and adaptability embodied by both the Jasper II Outdoor sofa and the Luna Outdoor Chair are hallmarks of King Living that have gained the Australian furniture company a global reputation in producing functional, comfortable and covetable designs. King Living kingliving.com.au abc
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Bringing Exceptional Design To The Bathroom

PARISI: a name that honours quality craftsmanship and a creative distinction that inspires architects and designers endlessly. [caption id="attachment_104233" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Domiziani Disegual Basso Natural hand decorated Basin[/caption] Since its inception, PARISI’s design approach has been focused on consistently delivering cutting-edge products that put them at the forefront of Australian design. The history of PARISI is defined by its relationships with a number of exceptional Italian Bathware brands. Collaborations with design houses such as Domiziani, Valdama, Flaminia and Newform – to name a few – demonstrate PARISI's commitment to progressive design, functionality and elegance. Manufactured to the highest standards, each object under the PARISI name redefines the way we interact with our everyday products through meticulously crafted objects that complement the Australian lifestyle. For over three decades, Domiziani has been a revolutionary in creating pieces that merge nature and art. Through their exceptional craft techniques, the Italian bathware brand has challenged our perspective of stone by turning the simple basin into extremely captivating pieces of artistry and creativity. Located in the heart of Italy, Domiziani prides itself on the uniqueness of each piece. Each one is never duplicated, giving each basin an inimitable identity as a result of traditional artistry and extensive material explorations. For PARISI, the appreciation for art and colour is paramount throughout the company and Domiziani products are the ideal centre point to any bathroom design. [caption id="attachment_104236" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Prospero Rasulo, Designer and Architect.[/caption] Another design house which PARISI aligns itself with is Valdama. Bringing the latest designs into the Australian market, PARISI is thrilled to supply these exclusive products by skilled artisans in the art of exemplary ceramic basins. The Valdama products practice stunning execution of colour and form time and time again – a long-lasting pillar of this creative brand. In particular, the creations by illustrious artist, sculptor, designer and architect Prospero Rasulo have delivered iconic masterpieces for the Valdama brand. Celebrated ranges such as Seed, Pod, Track, Trace, Cameo and the new, Acquerello basin range have also received global recognition for its contemporary and innovative approach to design. Prospero continues to create organic sculptural basins that challenge the industry’s stereotypes of bathroom products by delivering human-centric pieces that enhances client’s individual lifestyles. [caption id="attachment_104230" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Seed Basin in Laguna with EVO vanity and EVO side storage unit.[/caption] Enforcing the company as an industry leader is PARISI’s recent introduction of premium-quality coloured tapware and accessories. Along with mirrors and other essential bath ware products, PARISI brings a complete offering to the marketplace. Refined with sustainable craftsmanship and sustainable designs, PARISI puts the experience of the individual at the forefront, constantly innovating, expanding and developing products to deliver exceptional furniture solutions for the bathroom. [caption id="attachment_104235" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Loom Vanity with Matt Black Linfa tapware[/caption] The importance of choosing the right bathroom products is key to any renovation. PARISI does no less. With the extensive range of products available, the options are endless – allowing you to create a functional bathroom with remarkable style. With products that fuse design innovation, meticulous manufacturing and traditional craftsmanship, PARISI is dedicated to delivering a full bathroom that continues to inspire your bathroom experience. Explore the beauty of PARISI at any of these leading Retail showrooms located nation-wide. Cass Brothers (NSW) cassbrothers.com.au Routleys Bathroom, Kitchen, Laundry (SA) routleysonline.com.au NCP (QLD) ncpgroup.com.au Mary Noall (VIC) marynoall.com.au [caption id="attachment_104237" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Cameo mirror, Matt White Nuda Slim basin, App wall hung pan and brushed Brass fittings.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_104231" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Pure Frame Vanity with marble top and Arrivo Matt Black mirror.[/caption]  abc
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Australia’s Best Design Innovations On Exhibition

Launched in 2000, WORKSHOPPED was the very first awards program focusing on furniture, lighting and object design in Australia. Started by Leanne Gibson and a handful of friends, with just five designers exhibiting, this small but dedicated team grew WORKSHOPPED into large scale annual events held in various locations in Sydney. WORKSHOPPED’s evolution as an exhibition was followed by the opening of a retail business in Surry Hills selling the work of selected designers. In the last ten years, as the exhibition has continued to be key in discovering new Australian talent, the business has grown, and kick started the careers of many Australian designers along the way, including the likes of Alex Gilmour, Adam Goodrum, Trent Jansen and more. Later, having moved to a showroom in Rosebery, WORKSHOPPED honed a focus on specifying Australian and New Zealand design for residential and commercial markets. After two decades, WORKSHOPPED is still leading the way. A champion of the creativity and ingenuity of Australian furniture, lighting and object designers, producing products for global brands to critical acclaim. It has presented the work of more than 650 Australian designers in over 20 exhibitions and been viewed by over 750,000 people. Australian Design Centre has a long relationship with WORKSHOPPED, including the ADC on Tour exhibition, Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design (2014 – 2017) and is delighted to present this annual exhibition at the Centre for the third year. The 20th anniversary exhibition, WORKSHOPPED20 is showing at Australian Design Centre, in Darlinghurst, Sydney, until 30 September 2020.

WORKSHOPPED20

Emerging designers: Arthur Koutoulas | Ashley Menegon | Ayano Yoshizumi | Benjamin Jay Shand | Chloe Goldsmith | Dora Ferenczi | Duncan Young | Eliza Maunsell |Fiona Booth | Hyuck Lee | Ian Bromley | Indy Wilson | Ivana Taylor | Jake Wilson | Jake Williamson | James Laffan and Seaton Mckeon | Jason Ju |  John Wardle and Simon Lloyd | Jordan Leeflang | Jordan Silver and Stefano Di Lorenzo | Josh Riesel | Jun Kim | Kathleen Prentice | Katie-Ann Houghton | Luma Weinhardt| Max Harper | Michael Hoppe | Saint Mary O’Flynn | Steven Giannuzzi | Timothy Robertson | Xanthe Murphy. Superstars: In celebration of its 20 year milestone, WORKSHOPPED20 also includes a selection of recent work by successful Australian designers who kick started their career in a WORKSHOPPED exhibition. Adam Cornish | Alex Gilmour | Adam Goodrum | Charles Wilson | David Knott | Don Corey | Karina Clarke | Trent Jansen Award Winners: Awards were judged by WORKSHOPPED, Australian Design Centre and Stefan Lie. The judges thought all of the designs in this year's exhibition showcased exceptional design skills to a highly resolved finish. Winners in each category are: WORKSHOPPED20 Established Designer Award John Wardle & Simon Lloyd, System Vase, 2020   WORKSHOPPED20 Emerging Designer Award Indy Wilson, Summit - Occasional Table, 2019   WORKSHOPPED20 Emerging Designer Award- Highly Commended Ayano Yoshizumi, Stack Planter, 2020   WORKSHOPPED20 Sustainable Design Award Josh Riesel, Lucidium, 2019 Australian Design Centre australiandesigncentre.com Photography by Rhiannon Hopely abc