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


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Design Products
Fixed & Fitted

How To Improve Your Laundry Life

My laundry has to be the hardest working zone in my house. Three loads a day, minimum. It’s also the smallest, least enjoyable space and, by virtue of its workload, the top consumer of electricity and water. Sound familiar? A well-planned laundry would have to be the dream of anyone who places fabric care up there alongside cooking and home entertainment. And it really is about fabric care. Not just dirty washing. There is a quality of vision involved that transforms the hum-drum laundry space into a highly efficient and aesthetically appealing zone – one that brings joy rather than eliciting an apologetic wince. Kirstin Charlesworth, a working mother of three, considers her laundry to be the lynchpin in her busy family life. “Given how much time a family spends processing their dirty clothes, I think it’s something that can be a make or break,” she comments. As a highly visual person, she approached the renovation of her home – a 1903 Victorian – with the laundry as a key priority. “I really wanted to have a space that looked beautiful, sparked joy”, and contained all the paraphernalia of fabric care (that is, washing and drying), in one neat, well-planned zone. Drip-dry clothes are assigned to a large drying cupboard and each family member receives their own designated washing basket, (there’s also one for the ironing). A swathe of marble, left over from the kitchen renovation, has been used to finish the benchtops – a durable choice that brings a generous touch of luxe to a hard-working space. But the centre of operations? Well, that’s the V-ZUG washing machine and dryer. Kirstin notes the “high quality” of these appliances, boutique designed and manufactured in Switzerland, and extremely sustainable to run. In fact, V-ZUG’s V6000 Washer is the only laundry appliance in Australia with a 5.5 Star energy rating, consuming just 148kWh per year. Kirstin also credits her V-ZUG laundry appliances with clever ‘simplexity’. “Behind the [user-friendly] touch screen it’s complex,” she says, referencing the ingenious Wet Clean dry-cleaning function. V-ZUG developed this to allow users to care for delicate fabrics such as silk and evening wear – all from the closeted convenience of their own laundry. For Kirstin this “wow” function has already helped remove a nasty red wine stain from a beloved silk top. Other innovative features include V-ZUG’s Easy Care Drum technology. Here, 14,000 holes punctured into the inner drum provide maximum suds with minimal use of detergent; effortless drainage to remove all detergent residue so fabrics last longer; and an improved spin cycle so clothes require less time in the dryer. All subtle improvements which contribute to great longevity. “The sustainability aspect is a core piece of the fabric puzzle for us,” says V-ZUG’s head of brand communication and gourmet academy, Sally Lukey. She points to the V-ZUG dryer, which, thanks to V-ZUG’s heat pump technology, makes it the most energy efficient in the world. “I think Swiss quality speaks to the fact that these are products that are designed and built to last.” For Kirstin, who also chose V-ZUG for her new kitchen, the high-quality nature of the appliances is “sustainable in its own right”. Their boutique manufacture and the care with which they’ve been designed makes them an extremely worthy investment. And if that’s not recommendation enough, we have one more parent willing to go on the record: “My Mum says her V-ZUG washer and dryer has changed her laundry life,” says Sally. V-ZUG vzug.com We think you might also like to Make Yourself A Masterchefabc

Discover the final exhibitors announced for Super Design 2020

Super Design is fast approaching, kicking off over two weeks from November 16. With more than 40 activations to engage with, Super Design lets you choose your own adventure across digital and physical events, including design discussions, behind the scenes tours, interviews, launches and more. If you’re in the know, you’ll be right across our first two exhibitor drops (if you missed them you can catch up here and here) which included some of our industry’s best and most loved brands from Cult, Euroluce, Sub-Zero & Wolf, V-Zug, Cantilever, Didier and more! But wait - there’s more! Rounding out our list of exhibitors are our third and final group who are joining the Super Design lineup with some of the most highly anticipated sessions of the festival. Ready to hear all about them? Read on below to discover the latest exhibitors or get to know them all here. Once you know the names, make sure to register for their sessions and start planning your Super Design experience.

Design Nation

Over the past 20 years, Design Nation has created a carefully considered collection of local and global designer furniture and lighting. Their products are designed to move and inspire you. They elicit a sense of familiarity or nostalgia. They offer a special and lasting connection, and carry an innate intelligence and functionality that transcends time, place and application. Our products are designed to make you feel differently, and transform the way you live and work every day. See more: https://www.superdesignfestival.com/exhibitors/design-nation/  


Flokk provides a wide range of furniture and acoustic solutions. They are the proud owners of product brands HÅG, Offecct, Giroflex, RH, Profim, 9to5 Seating, BMA, RBM and Malmstolen. With a shared belief in human-centred and sustainable design, each of our brands has its own unique identity, and their own stories to tell. The vision of Flokk is to Inspire Great Work. With their passion and dedication to workplace furnishing, we aim to contribute to others fulfilling their potential.  See more: https://www.superdesignfestival.com/exhibitors/flokk/  


Pioneering a tradition of design and innovation, the King brand has evolved into a distinct expression of the way furniture is designed and experienced, combining technical complexity with an elegant creative philosophy. King has pioneered sustainable practices not as a trend, but as a philosophy for over 40 years. Sustainability is achieved through consistent quality craftsmanship, a commitment to luxury materials and attention to detail so every King is built to stand the test of time. Removable tailored covers enable every King sofa to be refreshed or reimagined over its lifespan. See more: https://www.superdesignfestival.com/exhibitors/king/


kreon is an international organisation manufacturing architectural interior lighting products (lighting tools) and complete metal ceiling solutions, creating contextually appropriate systems within an increasingly changing world. Committed to excellence since 1982, the premise for kreon’s design is a very clear, characteristic visualisation of the company’s philosophy: purity and simplicity.  kreon offers timeless and innovative lighting concepts, initiating a dialogue with and between architectural structures. The collection includes an array of downlights, uplights and sidelights which blend harmoniously into ceilings, floors and walls.  See more: https://www.superdesignfestival.com/exhibitors/kreon/ What are you waiting for? Discover the new design dimension and start building your schedule now!abc
Around The World

Nothing Superfluous To See Here

Despite the abundance of floor space available in this three-storey semi-detached house, it suffered from poor space planning and had a dated appearance. Stepping in to rejuvenate the abode and accommodate the needs of a couple in their 30s, Third Avenue Studio removed unnecessary walls and employed a contemporary palette of black and white for a sleek, yet timeless feel. The original layout of the house segregated spaces according to their function, which wasn’t the most efficient use of space. At the same time, it created awkward pockets of unused and unnecessary zones. To enhance the flow of the home, the designers tore down various walls and made fluid the distinct areas of the common rooms, while keeping the interiors functional, with particular consideration for future family expansion. Doubling as the backdrop for the TV console, the floor-to-ceiling glass divider offers a semblance of spatial separation, without compromising visual access or closing off any part of the room completely. It boasts black frames with window-like grids – and is a simple yet chic feature that allows plenty of light through. As avid readers, the homeowners needed a dedicated space to store their massive collection of books. Rather than keeping them tucked out of sight, the design team decided to turn the books into a statement, displaying them on open shelves that stretch all the way up to the ceiling. This library-like wall of books, complete with a ladder, also maximises the room’s vertical space. This house has both a wet and dry kitchen. While the latter (pictured above) features a kitchen island, glossy textured subway tiles and brass details, the former comprises black-and-white homogeneous tiles, stainless steel countertops, and cabinets clad in black laminates with a woodgrain texture. Glass sliding doors lead to the outdoor space with a black spiral staircase that matches the monochrome theme. The master bathroom is sexy in ebony, save for a few white sanitary ware. The all-black space features a subtle mishmash of textures and patterns – from the herringbone feature wall of subway tiles to the hexagonal mosaic floor tiles – to bring added depth and dimension to the single toned space. Overall, the designers have managed to create a bathroom that’s both sleek and classy looking. Third Avenue Studio thirdave.sg abc
Design Products

A Celebration of Colour: New Hues For Staron Solid Surfaces

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK77DDMYRLo Custom projects and bespoke design are things to be celebrated. For an architect or designer they can provide an opportunity to truly innovate or express oneself unconstrained through design. For a client it’s an opportunity to build on the client-designer relationship and have one’s unique needs met to an exacting degree. For occasions such as these, Staron Solid Surfaces has more than 80 colour offerings so that architects and designer can finish, or match, surfaces to their custom designs in an elegant and seamless manner. This year, we welcome three new additions to the colour family that will bring a pop of colour to everyday living: Sanded Iceblue, Sanded Mint and Terrazzo Como. Sanded Iceblue is a semi translucent finish with a soft blue background and fine white particulates. It is inspired by the view of an arctic winter, with frozen treetops and a light blue hue saturating the atmosphere. A gentle colour left as is, or backlit to create a stronger impact. Similarly, Sanded Mint is semi translucent in nature with a pastel green base and fine frosty white particulates. Inspired by a lush forest nearby waterfalls, this colourway is inherently serene for calming environments, or backlit to inspire energy. Finally, Terrazo Como finds its inspiration in the natural colour palette and tones of Como, Italy. With a lustrous grey background and larger white and clear particulates, this colour redefines the ever-popular terrazzo effect. As one of Australia’s leading destinations for premium surface solutions, Staron Solid Surfaces are dedicated to providing the utmost quality for projects of any size and type. Imbued with superior design function and inimitable style, Staron products are comprised of a natural mineral derived from bauxite and blended with an advanced pure acrylic resin. This means they are suitable for linear or curved designs alike. Common applications range from benchtops, splashbacks, wall cladding, bathroom vanities, commercial counters and nurses stations, however the flexible nature of the product means it can be specified for any surface area, no matter how unique. Staron Solid Surfaces are non-porous, non-toxis, silica-free and Greenguard and Greenguard Gold certified for peace of mind in any environment. Staron Solid Surfaces staron.com.au  abc
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Not Bigger, Just Better

The owners of this two bedroom cottage in Annandale – a young couple with a dog called Chowder – approached architect Kitty Lee not long after they bought it, with a view to improving its layout and functionality. Renovated by previous owners, the timber cottage had an awkward and steep L-shaped stair – which intruded into the living room – leading up to an open mezzanine space. Two bathrooms located at the back of the house blocked access to the small rear garden. Kitty suggested transposing the main living space and two bathrooms – and moving the stairs – to open up the rear and create a light-filled open plan living area. Her design solution overcame the issue of the lower ceiling heights beneath the mezzanine, which had compressed the volume of the previous living room, although that’s not such an issue in the new bathrooms. And realigning the staircase in the remaining space helped to improve the flow from front to back. “Having the bathrooms at the back – next to each other – created a leftover, narrow and awkward space that the owners didn’t use, because it wasn’t big enough for a living room and had multiple doors coming off it,” Kitty says. “By moving the bathrooms, and turning one into an ensuite, we were also able to add a bonus separate walk-in-pantry and laundry; which wasn’t mentioned in the original brief.” “Now it feels like a completely different house,” she adds. “They didn’t need any more space internally – there is only a small backyard so we didn’t want to encroach on that; it’s basically built to the site’s limits. But now they have a large living room and a separate TV room upstairs that doubles as a guest room, so it feels very generous for an Inner West house.” The new living area occupies the full width of the house at the rear, and feels more expansive than its footprint thanks to the clerestory window that floods this space with daylight, and provides glimpses of treetops and sky. A new splashback window in the kitchen enhances the sense of connection with the outdoors, but the main hero element is the island bench, with its terrazzo top and fluted timber edges. Kitty used a consistent material palette throughout to link the older sections at the front with the newly configured spaces at the back, including pale oak floorboards, curtains and shutters, wardrobes in both bedrooms, and a new front fence. She also added two skylights above the staircase to deliver light into the centre of the house, and this is one of the clients’ favourite features of the renovation. Despite these transformative changes, one element remains the same, from the previous plan. Chowder used to have a dog bed under the old L-shaped stairs, so Kitty installed a “cubby” beneath the new stair, painted in Dulux Yolande. “I chose the terrazzo for the island, and it became the starting point for the colour scheme throughout,” Kitty says. “We’ve picked up the grey in the joinery, and the specks of blush and warmer tones can be found in the timber and in the main bathroom with its curved shower, and we used the pink tone for the cubby.” The renovation commenced in March 2020 – just as the Covid-19 pandemic struck – and was completed by early June 2020, and since then, it has significantly changed the way the couple enjoy their home. They now use the front room as a work-from-home office, and have two inviting livings spaces. The upstairs room – with city views – feels cosier than it did before, because it was previously open on two sides. “They have separate rooms for different functions, so they can comfortably work from home, and feel together yet apart,” she says. “You can really see how they are using all of the different spaces, and – having spent so much time at home since it was completed – the whole thing really works for their lifestyle.” Kitty Lee Architecture klarch.com.au Photography by The Palm Co. Dissection Information Woodcut Pale Oak floor boards Fibonacci Stone Moon Garden Terrazzo Di Lorenzo Tiles Calacatta Gold penny round mosaic tiles Di Lorenzo Tiles Le Reverse Opal Elegance wall and floor tiles ABI Interiors brushed nickel tapware Valdama Cut wall basin and Track Oval basin Volker Haug Anton Gunmetal wall lights ISM Objects Pop Smoke pendant lights We think you might also like this Grand Small Apartment in Melbourne by Tsai Design  abc
Design Products
Home Technology

The Intersection of Tech and Wellness

Balancing the line between technology and stylish design, the sleek simplicity of Zip Water hydration systems has been synonymous with the purest drinking water for over 50 years. A centrepiece of residential and commercial kitchens around the globe, Zip's products are anchored in research, customer feedback, and the brand's innate ability to anticipate and respond to the dynamically changing needs of the modern world. The result? Multiple Good Design Awards recognising their pioneering role in the world of hydration – and a variety of innovative water systems for any interior. We sat down with them to hear about their latest releases, a perfect expression of Zip's innovative spirit, customer-centric design principles, and their clean, modern aesthetic. Embodying the company's ability to deliver innovative products that are born out of a genuine human need, the Zip HydroTap Touch-Free Wave was brought to market in just six months to provide contactless water access in the hygiene-driven, post-pandemic workplace. "We're proud of how quickly we've been able to develop the product. From initial concept to the first installation set for December, we've been able to get the product to market within six months – a process that would normally take up to three years," says Mike Abbott, Marketing and Strategy Director for Australia and New Zealand. A timely product for an uncertain future, Zip HydroTap Touch-Free Wave uses smart sensing technology to deliver instant boiling, chilled and sparkling water with the wave of a hand – with twin sensor activation to safely dispense boiling water. Zip HydroTap All-In-One Celsius Arc represents the ultimate in functionality and streamlined modern design. Mike explains "The HydroTap All-In-One Celsius Arc design ensures residential spaces have one single tap for use, whilst hitting all key design features, often using this product as the centrepiece of the kitchen." It delivers five water types from a single tap: filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling drinking water, as well as unfiltered hot and cold water. Boasting a range of finishes and a variety of advanced technological innovations, this system will elevate any residential space. Offering an interactive touch screen under-bench command centre, PowerPulse boiling water safety mode, sensor-activated energy-saving modes and advanced MicroPurity 0.2-micron water filtration, the HydroTap All-In-One Celsius Arc is the pinnacle of tech-enabled tapware.

Last but not least (except in size) is the Zip Micro, an award-winning drinking system for smaller spaces. "Our product innovation team was able to make the under-bench smart command centre 37 per cent narrower than the traditional HydroTap models, giving the millions of Australians who work in smaller workplaces access to the HydroTap for the first time," says Mike. "This was done without losing any of the performance of the original HydroTap," he adds. With an integrated safety lock and intuitive twist activation with auto and manual fill options, Zip Micro is a simple yet effective solution – and proof that good things come in small packages.

With a focus on customer-centric design and innovation, Zip Water creates exceptionally relevant products. Through their latest releases, Zip exemplifies the delivery of pioneering and timely fittings that improve user wellbeing while embodying the best practices of modern design. Zip Water zipwater.com abc