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.

 

Learn more

Conversations
Design Hunters
Design Products
Furniture
People
Primary Slider

Design That Invites You To Live Honestly

Anaca studio is a boutique, Melbourne-based furniture design practice that focuses on creating beautiful, timeless pieces that inject both fun and sustainability into the lives of their owners. Since 2012, owner and designer Anne-Claire Petre has been committed to working with consumers to create personalised pieces that will be cherished for years to come. 2021 has seen the introduction of the elegantly whimsical Zola range of ottomans and tables to anaca’s furniture family. With four sizes of the plump, curvaceous piece, available in custom colours, this range is the playful addition you didn’t know you needed. Following this release, we at Habitus sat down with Anne-Claire Petre to talk about all things anaca studio and contemporary design. ____

Habitus: What inspired you to start the journey of anaca studio?

Anne-Claire: I have been involved in the furniture industry for over 20 years, but there came a time when I wanted the freedom to create my own products, brand and artistic direction that was guided by my own ethics. I envisioned a brand that would focus on good design, be environmentally aware and locally manufactured. I can trace these values back to my childhood in France. Both of my parents were small business owners, and my mum always valued having nice things around the home. So, from a young age I had good design instilled in me and I wanted to incorporate these into my business and brand.

Sounds like creativity has had a special place throughout your life.  

I’ve always had a creative spirit, but my love of furniture came much later. I started my studies in industrial design, but I wasn’t inspired by the products. I couldn’t connect to the process until I started to explore objects – where emotion comes into play, and I became fascinated by our attachment to furniture.

How did you use this love for furniture to define the vision and goals for anaca studio?  

My goal for anaca studio is to deliver well-designed, high-quality personalised products and a second to none service to my customers. It’s critical for me to carry my personal ethics into my business and brand, where environmental awareness, local manufacturing and good design standards are front and centre. My vision was (and still is) to build a brand that would represent what we can offer here in Australia in design and manufacturing and be a voice for a more sustainable future in the furniture industry. I want to design for longevity, comfort and well-being. I believe design is not just about how a product looks, but how it feels and how it makes you feel. I believe that details are important, the look is key but it should not be more important than the use or the comfort.

With the ever-changing nature of our living spaces, the demand for stylish, functional and versatile pieces has increased. How have you instilled this vision across your products?

When I was dreaming up the Toulouse sofa, I wanted to design something that was easy to maintain and I know (from experience) that my customers are busy people. They don’t always have time to fluff cushions or tend to fabrics. It’s why the cushions on the arms of the sofa are fixed (so they won’t flop around) but you still get the impression of a detached pillow. I opted for a narrower and higher back sofa, where the cushioning feels soft but still offers a great support. It also has a beautiful and sculptural slanted back, which did bring a manufacturing challenge and was a non-negotiable but one that my upholsterer resolved beautifully and seamlessly.

So understanding people and the way they live, interact and connect with different objects has helped in shaping your creative direction.  

Definitely, it's been an integral part of the design journey. For many years I worked as a showroom manager and spent a lot of time with customers, finding out their needs and how they use the furniture, what comfort level they preferred. So I use all this gathered knowledge when designing new products. Designing the Camille sofa, I considered all my years of customer feedback, which led me to finding the right balance of comfort and ergonomic support. It was an idea that, over the years, came up again and again: in a previous showroom we were often making these custom changes to sofas, so I took the lesson and ran with it. Providing customers with a truly personalised experience, giving them a beautiful product or design service that fits their needs and taste is a top priority. When we connect with our customers, we can create a product that is distinctly for them – something they’ll enjoy and cherish in their home.

Something that surpasses the tests of time and trends.

Exactly. It’s easy to get carried away with aesthetics. With some products that’s okay, however when it comes to comfort, I think there needs to be the right balance – making it effortlessly timeless.

What role does anaca studio play in the current Australian design landscape?

My hope is for more Australians to start understanding the value of investing in better quality products. I make it a priority to promote the value of original designs and educate [potential] customers on why buying from small local businesses makes sense. At the same time, I love creating custom designs for interior designers and architects. There’s been a few over the years and I’m keen to do more. I feel like design isn’t a solo experience because to get a finished product there’s a lot of collaboration that happens. anaca studio is more than just me, it also supports a community of manufacturers, makers, artists and artisans. I am proud to say that the network of people I work alongside all value integrity and doing the right thing. It’s just as much about being environmentally friendly along the way as it is about being true to myself, being honest and living authentically. anaca studio anacastudio.com.auabc
People
DH - Feature
Design Hunters
Conversations

DKO’s Michael Drescher Talks Kitchens

Michael Drescher muses that, “A kitchen is not just a static thing.” As interior design director of DKO, Drescher has designed countless kitchens working across myriad projects, including private residences, and small- and large-scale apartments and townhouses. Given this experience, he’s at the forefront of shifting demands when it comes to creating a kitchen that is both practical and beautiful. [caption id="attachment_114696" align="alignnone" width="810"] Habitus Townhomes by DKO, photo by Timothy Kaye[/caption] For Drescher, “The kitchen is becoming more of a design object”, as the veritable heart of the home, he sees the kitchen continuing to be a centre point, while also becoming a statement in itself. “One thing I see really evolving in Australian kitchens is how the island bench has become not just a beautiful object but also a social facilitator.” “One of my favourite things to do is put people at the end of an island bench, all facing each other, creating an opportunity for connection,” he shares. It might not seem like much, but that subtle shift to a circular arrangement encourages interaction. “You want people to be able to be social in all parts of the home – living, dining and kitchen – and small tweaks can encourage it,” he says.

“The kitchen is becoming more of a design object.”

As a key element within the kitchen, Drescher pushes what an island bench can be, designing them as a natural yet distinct extension. For instance, he takes design cues from furniture and integrates it into the kitchen. “I often look at the characteristics of a dining table and break down the solidness of the island bench by having part of it with legs, adding in more detailing, and lifting or lowering the height.” It’s here where the notion of the kitchen as an object shines through. [caption id="attachment_114701" align="alignnone" width="800"] Martha Cove by DKO, photo by Damien Kook[/caption] While they do require more space, this kind of statement island becomes an additional zone within the living area. Adding an extra surface in this way adds further flexibility, creating a space for kids to do homework while dinner is being prepared, or a spot for casual meals. It can even be utilised as a desk when working at home. Even though the starting point for any kitchen always begins with the owners and how they live, Drescher points out that there are some fundamental considerations that will make a kitchen a place of joyful functionality. Regardless of size and scale, the fridge should be located at the edge of the kitchen, so anyone else can come and grab stuff without interrupting the flow if someone is cooking. Then it comes down to the arrangement of the three points – cooktop, sink and fridge – which should all be in a natural, comfortable placement with one another. [caption id="attachment_114698" align="alignnone" width="810"] Habitus Townhomes by DKO, photo by Timothy Kaye[/caption] As a highly trafficked space in the home, Drescher always opts for high-quality materials like natural stones, timbers and veneers, aligning with the sentiment that “a beautiful kitchen wants to be touched”. These offer durability and can withstand the usual wear and tear that goes hand in hand in this space. While the idea of the kitchen being a command centre for daily life will continue, through clever design it can also be a versatile hub that brings people together. DKO dko.com.au This article originally appeared in issue #51 of Habitus magazine – the Kitchen & Bathroom special Enjoyed this story? See this clever project in Collingwood by DKOabc
Architecture
Editors Picks
Header Slider
Homes
Interiors
Primary Slider

An Artisanal Home Honouring Rich Colours and Tactility

From its perch in Dover Heights, 'Budge Over Dover’ overlooks the ocean at Bondi Beach. Having previously had an apartment in Bondi designed by YSG, the clients looked once more to the studio’s characteristic celebration of whimsy and functionality when it came to designing their new house. Originally a dark rabbit’s warren of rooms with travertine floors, the clients were looking to open up the space, allowing direct view lines from the front door out to the pool area. Accordingly, YSG removed internal walls to create open and flowing living areas and the kitchen and living area roof was raised, allowing natural light to flow throughout. YSG replaced much of the travertine flooring with handmade matte terracotta tiles to bring character through undulating texture, complementing the small areas of retained travertine. Subtle curves in the arched doorway, cabinet handles, and built-in bench seat, along with the cushioned tactility of the sofa and bench seats soften the harder elements of the kitchen and living areas’ polished marble and aged brass island bench. “The home appears larger with raised ceilings, internal walls removal, re-modelled outdoor entertaining ‘rooms’ and the introduction of floating joinery particularly within the bathrooms and kitchen, imbuing a sense of lightness despite the luxe nature of the stone varieties,” says YSG director Yasmine Ghoniem. The client also looked to enhance the connection between the internal living areas and the external, including the garden, where the pool was reduced in size so there was more space to use it as an outdoor entertainment area, the courtyard and the upstairs ocean view balconies. Generous bi-fold doors connect the living and dining area to the outside. The kitchen and living area were levelled with the outside, where the terracotta tiles continue, allowing the entertaining space to flow continuously between indoor and out. “The entire house is steeped in craftsmanship, with the indelible mark of artisans found on multiple hard surfaces, from the shimmering strokes of the sage and toffee Marmorino plaster walls plus blushing aubergine ceiling extending to the northern courtyard like an awning to its grainy finishes on the fireplace and the brusque caramel borders on the nursery walls,” says Ghoniem. The craftsmanship through the house is evident in the diversity and refined mix of natural materials. Ten different types of stone throughout demonstrates this, including hewn sandstone plinths that anchor the open courtyard area, a custom coffee table in the lounge and bathroom vanity features. The project was one of the first that allowed YSG to illustrate what the studio could achieve on a larger scale.   Project Details Architecture and design — YSG Construction — Promena Projects/Joseph Gordon Photography — Prue Ruscoe Enjoy this? You might also like Quirky Meets Calm at Sarah Ellison x Three Rooms Sydney.abc
Interiors
Homes
Architecture
ARC - Feature

Peninsula House is an Art Collector’s Dream

Down a winding driveway in a windswept seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula, the rectangular form of Peninsula House rests, nestled into a coastal ridgeline. “While the landscape serves as a distinct feature of the project, it also presented one of the greatest challenges,” says the managing director of Carr, Chris McCue. The sleek home was conceived as a contemporary farmhouse and has been tactfully placed to protect against the elements, following extensive wind and solar analysis. A glimpse of the ocean is visible from the exterior entrance to Carr Peninsula House. “Embedded into the design are laboured experiments and analysis of the site, which unlocked an understanding of the influence the prevailing wind and solar would have on the property,” says McCue. Extensive research determined the exact location and orientation that would shelter the home from sweltering summers, brutal winters and constant exposure to harsh sea winds. Contemporary orange black and yellow art in Peninsula House. Both the home – and the land it stands on – have become a backdrop for the client’s extensive art collection, which was a key requirement in the client’s brief. Around each corner is a piece that is honoured by the home’s restrained natural materiality and complemented by the Mornington Peninsula’s striking natural landscapes. “Layers of refinement and quality come through the project’s materiality, which is defined by concrete, natural stone and timber, all coming together to create a subdued palette that lets the incredible art collection and view remain the focus,” says McCue. A sculpture sits outside the Peninsula House next to timber cladding. Materials like the exterior Andorra limestone pavers and the batten and shiplap timber cladding are a testament to the project’s natural palette. “This materiality was key in realising the refined farmhouse aesthetic, but more importantly was chosen for their quality, durability and simplicity.” McCue and the team designed a gallery hall to answer functionally to the desire to highlight the client’s art. The hall, which acts as the formal entrance to the home, ends with the focal point of a sculpture standing in front of a window that frames the landscape beyond. Carr designed a hallway gallery for the client's art in Peninsula House. The landscape is used as a feature throughout Peninsula House. In the formal living room, pared-back furniture ensures the sweeping views of the ocean have maximum impact and swivel chairs offer seating for socialising or for spinning around to watch the waves. In the master ensuite, floor-to-ceiling windows mean the bathtub can be used with uninterrupted views of the landscape beyond. The brief also entailed the need for the home to feel “intimately scaled” when being used by just the couple. A bathtub looks through the floor-to-ceiling windows over the ocean views. “To achieve this, the layout has been carved up into key zones, allowing for the home to come down to a human scale with one side of the house dedicated to the client’s day to day life, while the other half of the house can be opened when family visits,” says McCue. Each aspect of the home’s planning and placement is designed to create anticipation. “We wanted to create a journey that would meander through the landscape, providing an opportunity for art-like installations formed from the landscape itself,” says McCue. Peninsula House is an idyllic coastal home that responds tactfully to the landscape it resides on as to the brief of its owners. Exterior of Peninsula House Architecture and interiors – Carr Construction – Shielcon Group Structural Engineer – Webber Design Photographer – Ben Hosking Enjoy this story? We think you might enjoy Sue Carr’s Brilliant Career Honoured https://youtu.be/cU_-VvVAwTkabc
Primary Slider
Interiors
Homes
Header Slider
Architecture
ARC - Feature

The Third: A Home That Celebrates the Nuanced Nature of Company

Dalecki Design was briefed to reinterpret this Perth home to better fulfil the contemporary and connected lives of its residents, prioritising a seamless connection to nature. Their design injects life into the home’s public zones by gently shaping opportunities for gathering within the open plan. Two courtyards provide additional havens for leisure-time, a north-facing summer area to the rear of the home and a cosy south-facing winter courtyard. Inside, the curved form of the ceiling plane glides over the lounge, visually integrating these indoor and outdoor living spaces. A multi-purpose undercover zone mediates between indoor living and the winter courtyard. The summer sitting area is bookended by patterned brickwork. Selectively omitted bricks allow light to sprinkle through while also providing sun protection. Although the project focused on the public zones of the home, a master suite was achieved by merging the former living room with a bedroom. Dalecki Design kitchen. Dalecki Design Kitchen Beyond the physical connections, the redesign is a catalyst for visual interactions throughout the home. Timber bench-seating has been inset externally at the base of the windows that encompass the winter courtyard. Providing indoor-outdoor visibility, the windowed seating is a resourceful use of space, denoting that even the very threshold between indoors and out can be savoured. Dalecki Design Third Avenue house living room and courtyard. Materiality here has been treated as an opportunity to complete the cohesion between indoors and outdoors. A textured white brick wall provides continuity through the living room into the courtyard, wrapping around the fireplace, while the pattern of the brick is visually mimicked by the tiles tessellating across the kitchen splashback. The polished concrete flooring unfurls outdoors onto the concrete steppingstones outside. Dalecki Designs Third Avenue house courtyard. Defining the curved edge of the ceiling plane above the living space, timber beams frame a series of operable skylights that simultaneously invite in natural northern light, while also sustainably ventilating via a chimney effect. Fresh air is drawn in from ground-level openings, coaxing warm air to escape through the ceiling. As sunlight transitions throughout the day, these skylights allow it to decoratively inspire the pace of the room. The Third delivers a unique sense of home through versatile spaces that act both as an invitation to entertain, or to find peaceful solitude in a nook of one’s own – where a design of visual connection means solitude is never isolating, simply a tranquil means of enjoying company. Project Details Building Design – Dalecki Design Photography – Dion Robeson Builder – Integrated Construction Perth Stylist – Matt Biocich If you enjoyed this project, you might also like Mid-Century House by Alexandra Kidd.abc
Homes
Architecture
ARC - Feature

WOWOWA’s Energetic 1960s-Inspired Extension

Despite the home’s name, Melbourne design studio Wowowa weren’t horsing around when it came to updating and adding a modest extension to ‘Pony’, an original 1960s home in Brighton East. The yellow front door of the brick home stands slightly ajar. “Pony is architecturally ambitious within the project’s tight budget constraints,” says Wowowa director Monique Woodward. “The energetic design was embraced by courageous clients, celebrates the local context, and enhances the functionality of a busy family home.” The courageous clients Woodward speaks of are a family of six who were looking to extend their home to better accommodate them. A pool in the foreground and the Wowowa glazed brick extension in the background. “The design sought to have maximum impact on the lives of the inhabitants with minimal effect on the amount of garden and outdoor space,” says Woodward. Consequently, the home’s axial plan was extended to add a new wing for the children’s rooms. The addition is supported by a colonnade of glazed bullnose brick columns interspersed by doors and windows that open to the garden, increasing the relationship to the outdoors. Above, a sculptural roof forms a folded petal-like form which meets in spouts at the edge to celebrate the rain. During the day, the roof leaves arched shadows down the exterior of the brick home, mirroring the arches of the pool fence. Inverted arched shadows on the glazed brick wall of the Wowowa designed home.. It’s these subtle touches that are a reminder of Wowowa’s commitment to the playful details. Slightly less subtle, the kitchen is an exuberant study of colour that sits at the centre of the winged home between the front and rear annexes and the garden. Signorino terrazzo tiles with flecks of beige, muted green and orange make up the kitchen floor and splashback, highlighted by yellow countertops and Muuto bar stools in dusty green. A view down the hallway with a slanted wooden roof and the edge of the kitchen's yellow bench and colourful terrazzo. While the kitchen and dining rooms are a hub for family gatherings, each section of the home can be closed off to create privacy and quiet in an otherwise busy home, allowing the adults moments of respite or the kids space to study. A hallway with a curved, wood panelled roof runs down the new appendage outside the children’s rooms. Each room is designed to have equal storage and study, with windows overlooking the strip of garden at the side of the house and dedicated zones for washing, toys, books and school bags makes life a little simpler. One pink door is closed, another is open to show a glimpse of one child's bedroom. Based in Melbourne, Wowowa Architecture portfolio is extensively playful and colourful, a celebration of kitsch and of Australian culture. “Our colourful, contextual and socially sustainable projects are for people who know life’s too short for boring spaces, always engaging, playful & flexible,” says the studio. This sentiment remains true for Pony, a house whose name is just a taste of the lightheartedness it represents. Green tiled bathroom. Project Details Architecture and interiors – WOWOWA Architecture Builder – LOCBuild Photography – Martina Gemmola Did you enjoy this article? Step inside Wowowa's Balwyn North property.abc
Interiors
Homes
Architecture
ARC - Feature

Terrace House 1 is a Suburban Jewel

Our homes are our havens, the place we come back to after a hard day’s work and where we gather with family and friends. Transforming a less than perfect house into a sparkling new residence has been achieved by thoughtful and detailed design and creates a warm and inviting environment for those who reside there. Terrace House 1 is a modest home within its neighbourhood and is the perfect example of old made new again. The exterior façade of finely corrugated Mini Orb cladding complements the streetscape of corrugated fences and roofs of the surrounding houses. However, through this two-storey rear addition, there are now 87 square metres of new interior floor space that bring a  touch of luxury, room to move and modern amenity for the residents. The brief to architect Ben Shields, principal of DREAMER, was to update an existing 1990s renovation, bring light into the home and create a main bedroom suite above the public areas at the rear of the house. The client, a front-line health worker, required her home to offer respite from the long working hours. Shields has delivered a place of comfort and relaxation over and above expectation. New features include a green roof, three bedrooms and a kitchen, dining and entertaining space. While the land size of the house is compact, Shields has made excellent use of the suburban site. There are clever inclusions to increase the volume of the house such as the placement of the living space diagonally across the site instead of square on. This angling of walls provides unexpected spaciousness in the living and entertainment areas but also translates to the garden area outside as well. As the client is a keen gardener it was important to keep the connection with the outside landscape. Natural light was also an imperative and glazing has been included at every opportunity. There are floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors at the back and views through windows have been strategically placed to screen neighbouring houses. [caption id="attachment_114515" align="alignnone" width="1170"] A new rooftop terrace gives the owners ample garden space[/caption] Plywood cladding has been used on the interior walls and ceiling and the ground floor is sealed raw concrete. The new addition consists of a kitchen with island granite bench and stools, and an adjoining entertaining space with dining table and chairs. The rich browns of the timber informs the colour palette and creates warmth and softness within these spaces. Lighting is subdued and minimal with simple round globe pendant lights in the kitchen, strip lighting in joinery and strategically placed downlights. Dove grey-coloured sheer curtains at the rear of the house define the area but also add transparency so as not to confine. Upstairs the main bedroom suite has an ensuite and walk-in robe, with recycled and re-milled Tasmanian messmate timber sealed with beeswax on the floor and a large picture window at the side. To create intimacy there is no window in the ensuite, just a skylight above that brings a soft dispersed light into the space to complete the relaxed ambience. An outstanding feature of the house design is the fully native green roof on this level. This is a garden in the air that brings the greenery inside, affords privacy and provides an outstanding view of vegetation and flowers. The garden can also be accessed from a courtyard off the main bedroom – the perfect place in which to sit for a morning coffee or late-night drink. The build was not without its challenges, soon after town planning permission was granted, the rear of the house was destroyed by fire. While there was little left to include from the original house, a low-height brick wall/bench has been designed in the courtyard along with a steel coffee table that helps bring memory of the old, together with thoughts of the new. Terrace House 1 is a fine example of why architects are integral in designing a home. The thoughtful and detailed plan of this small house explores every possibility for greater facility and comfort. The continuum of the architecture and materials makes for a simple yet effective and functional design that provides spaciousness and style within a contemporary setting. Terrace House 1 is refined and beautiful, a small jewel situated in the suburbs. Simple? Yes. But clever beyond its size. It’s a place to call home and an exemplar of design. Project Details Architecture and interiors – DREAMER Project team – Ben Shields, Malisa Benjamins, Mitchell Sack and Anwyn Hocking Builder – Neverstop Group Photography – Rory Gardiner This article originally appeared in issue #51 of Habitus magazine – the Kitchen & Bathroom special, subscribe now to have Habitus delivered to your doorabc
Architecture
Header Slider
Homes
Interiors
Primary Slider

How to Instil the Artisanal with the Contemporary

Reinstating a lost grandeur, Stanley Residence is founded on the ideas of generosity and stateliness. In its previous occupation, the home stood large and bold on its site, resembling a European country estate in size and proportion, yet it lacked the finesse resulted from being crafted by an artisanal hand. Williams Burton Leopardi then brought that hand, combining a considered and time-laboured approach to elevate the entire home, creating character and charm and connecting it to place. Approached from a long and anticipating driveway behind a landscaped hedge, the home reveals itself slowly. In its symmetry, the 12-metre by 12-metre home is idyllically reminiscent of the heritage principles it references. A series of newly formed gestures complete that initial intended connection to heritage and bring a recognisable purpose. Both externally and internally, all finishes are reconsidered and replaced, and a reconfigured plan connects the internal experience of the home with its surrounding formal landscape. While there are elements that connect to heritage, Stanley Residence is essentially a contemporary home that pays respect to traditional techniques. The same rhythm instilled in the façade is brought inward, with a clear and open circulation that signals movement and transition between spaces. An internal openness is then emphasised through steel and glass doors and windows, while also aiding in separation as needed. A muted palette of similar toned neutrals makes volumes feel consistent and sinuous, wrapping the spaces to create a restful feel. Home to its family of four, each space reflects its occupants in subtle ways while feeling connected to the greater sense of cohesion throughout. By raising and lowering ceilings, a feeling of compression and release signals room and zone changes while not interrupting an overall connectedness. Incorporating and celebrating a sense of flow then underpins the home, both within the home and between the inside and out. Increased openings allow natural light to bathe the home and reduces the reliance on exterior energy sources to maintain a consistent comfort. At the heart of any home, and in particular this one, is the creation of a shared comfort and sense of retreat. Although heightened materiality signals an increased quality, the home remains connected to its owners, as a place that embraces through warmth. Williams Burton Leopardi’s Stanley Residence embodies principles of luxury and the benefits of a considered and resolved home, through the realignment with the home’s original stylistic intent. Project Details Architecture and interiors – Williams Burton Leopardi Build – Tandem Building Landscape – David Baptiste Garden Design Photography – Caroline Cameron We think you might enjoy this project that bridges old and new, by Daniel Boddamabc
Design Hunters
People

Léo Terrando Launches Boutique Design Studio

Léo Terrando joins my video call from his Bells Beach home on the Victorian coast. A Brett Ferry artwork hangs behind him on the vertical wood-panelled walls of his sunlit 1970s house. Nearby is a potted Kentia Palm and a white Brumbury Lamp by Luigi Massoni. This isn’t the only Bells Beach property that Terrando is familiar with. Since launching his eponymous design practice just a couple of months ago, Terrando has already landed a large residential project in the area. Over the course of his career, Léo Terrando has carved out a niche for himself by drawing on an interest in layering and bringing depth to design spaces that tell stories through their complexities. With two decades of industry experience under his belt in both Australia and France, the architectural interior designer will bring this knowledge to his practice and continue to specialise in hospitality, commercial and residential interiors. [caption id="attachment_114527" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Small table in Frederic Bistro by Léo Terrando Frederic Bistro, completed by Terrando during his time at SJB.[/caption] Prior to establishing his own practice, Terrando worked at SJB Interiors’ for over 14 years, designing award-winning hospitality and residential interiors. “Leaving SJB is still very difficult. I shared a lot of really great memories with my business partner. I learned a lot from him, we travelled together and we did some pretty great things,” says Terrando, who had been a director at SJB for five years. Despite the shared history, it felt like the right time to leave SJB. Terrando began his practice at the start of June, something he had never dreamed of doing. “I had absolutely no idea of what was involved to start my own business,” says Terrando. “To run and design a project, I can do it with closed eyes. But to start a business from the beginning, that was a big challenge.” Leaving SJB meant Terrando client list also had to start from scratch. The challenges though, says Terrando, have paid off. [caption id="attachment_114528" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Frederic Bistro, by Léo Terrando Frederic Bistro, completed by Terrando during his time at SJB.[/caption] "As soon as I started my own thing it just opened the door to new opportunities and that's pretty exciting,” says Terrando. “Suddenly I'm facing all of these people with amazing projects and amazing opportunities.” Dinner with friends from France a few months back, for instance, led to new introductions to a few friendly acquaintances — two of whom soon became his first clients as a solo designer. One needed assistance on a large residential project in Bells Beach, another was looking for a designer for their brand’s Melbourne flagship store. Just as Terrando finished the documentation for the first store, the client let him know that they’d also need his help on their stores in Sydney, London, Paris and New York. He’s also working on a hotel and a restaurant, both in Melbourne. According to Terrando, a lot of people prefer to work with smaller design companies rather than the large firms, because of the personalised feel. [caption id="attachment_114526" align="alignnone" width="1170"]Frederic Bistro, by Léo Terrando Frederic Bistro, completed by Terrando during his time at SJB.[/caption] “By doing my own brand, I still want to have people working for me and with me. But I don't want a lot of projects, I just want a few. My dream office would have one of each project: one hotel, one bar, one house, one commercial project,” says Terrando. He aims to keep the company small in order to maintain the bespoke and personalised element of the work. At the moment, Terrando has employed an interior designer and a rendering and visualisation expert. “When I have another project come in, we'll have to employ another person. I'm planning to have maybe in total five or six people, but no more,” says Terrando. Leo Terrando Photography Sharyn Cairns Did you enjoy this story? You might also like Watts Up With ADesignStudio’s Alex Fitzpatrick?abc
ADVERTORIALS
Design Products
Fixed & Fitted
Home Technology
Living

Taking sophistication to the Next Level

Installing elevators in their homes more than ever before, Australians are adapting to be future ready, both technologically and mobility-wise. For Next Level Elevators, providing industry-leading residential elevators means providing elevators that are eco-friendly, using less power than their hydraulic counterparts, stylish, with sleek, customisable details, and crafted in Italy. Founded almost a decade ago, Next Level set out to revolutionise Australia’s elevator industry by addressing pain points observed by architects, homeowners and builders. Crafted by Eltec in northeast Italy, Next Level worked extensively with renowned elevator innovator Gianluca Polensig to create products purpose-built for the Australian market. Next Level’s Eltec range are designed and made in Italy for an Australian audience, and are significantly customisable so they fit in with their surrounding furnishings. Electric elevators are generally seen as superior due to their functionality and reliability, as opposed to hydraulic lifts, which also require electricity, and often take more power and work to maintain which creates significant problems in the long term. One of the most affordable and beautiful lifts on the Australian residential market, the Eltec Volare is Next Level’s entry level model. Purpose built to solve specific pain points that homeowners, architects and builders face, the elevator is completed with an incorporated shaft, meaning no external structural wall is needed. The internal cabin surfaces of Volare can be curated in solid colours like polar white, or embossed wood grain finishes including Notaio Walnut and Antico Oak. A step up from the Volare, the Eltec HLB is one of Australia’s most environmentally friendly lifts. The sleek profile of this statement piece combines the unique finesse of Italian design and electric belt drive system technology. The HLB has a range of premium finishes. Wall panels can be altered to a range of hues from oak to tobacco, the glass or steel doors can be swinging or sliding, and there’s a variety of options for lighting, handrails, buttons and handles. Finally, Eltec’s HLG model is their flagship elevator. “The most eye-catching lift on the market” according to Next Level, the HLG is at once striking and yet not ostentatious. This elevator is the most spacious of Next Level’s elevators. Building on the strengths of HLB, this model comes complete with an enhanced drive system and exclusive premium finishes. Next Level’s chic and energy efficient designs are setting a precedent - and dare we say, elevating - the Australian industry standard for residential elevators. Next Level Elevators nextlevelelevators.com.auabc
ADVERTORIALS
Design Hunters
Design Products

Embracing the Sensory Dimension – Where Design Meets Materiality

Materiality is a core pillar of design. While architecture provides structure and delineates a space, it is the material palette that draws out the spirit of a room or building: adding a soul to the body of architecture. In its purest essence, the material palette is a composition of layers and tones, where even the most minimalist aesthetic is built from a careful interplay of wall treatments and flooring, fabrics and fixtures. Each element of the material interplay leans into an evocative narrative of place – giving visitors or residents cues to respond to their surroundings. This composition is arguably nowhere more important than in the home, where comfort and relaxation can be drawn from furnishings that have a ‘touch me’ quality. They inspire an irresistible urge to run a hand across the surface, evoking a desire to make oneself at home and stretch out. [caption id="attachment_158448" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] Sebastian Nash, King Head of Textiles[/caption] The sensory experience is everything, as King Head of Textiles, Sebastian Nash, explains. “When designing the King Collection, the look and feel of the textiles are of the utmost importance. For King, there is no compromise on comfort or quality.” King balances the timelessness of materials that have a long history in our lives such as timber, natural fabrics and leather with a forward-looking creativity. “The cornerstone of the King Collection is our iconic True Touch leather. This beautiful, soft leather is arguably the finest upholstery leathers available today,” Nash says. “The tannery in Germany that produces TrueTouch has a history of tanning dating back 800 years.” The True Touch colour palette is as rich and luxurious as its history, and its aroma of natural premium leather adds to the sensation of opulence. “They are innovators within the industry, creating specialised leathers for other premium brands such as Rolls Royce and BMW, as well as British luxury motor yacht brands. TrueTouch has no surface correction and only the lightest pigment, this allows the leather to breathe, making the leather warm in winter and cool in summer.” King commissions its textiles and leathers directly, working closely with the source to ensure the materials express the design intent. “For example, Bowen fabric, an Australian wool blended boucle, was added to the collection because it works with our curved chair and sofa designs, such as the Oliver Chair designed in collaboration with leading Australian designer Charles Wilson.” [caption id="attachment_158452" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] King, Oliver Tub Chair[/caption] From the start of the material selection process, King has the customer and their experience at the centre of the creative story. The question is always: how will this material, this design, this crafted piece, enhance a person’s life? “King customers value quality, longevity and sustainability,” Nash says. “We design the fabric, leather and rug collections to align with these shared values and reflect our unique Australian heritage.” A new design – Oceania – added to the King Collection this year, exemplifies the fusion of place-based design and materiality. The artistry has been translated into multiple textile mediums, including a rug using natural unbleached New Zealand wool, a printed fabric and an outdoor woven jacquard using Sunbrella 100% solution-dyed acrylic yarn. “Oceania has been unapologetically hand-drawn and takes its inspiration from the incredible landscapes across Australia,” Nash explains. “It is bold, modern and confident yet has a carefree attitude that reflects the Australian lifestyle.” [caption id="attachment_158450" align="alignleft" width="1170"] King, Oceania Collection[/caption] There is a similarity when selecting materials to selecting instruments for a symphony – every texture, colour and form is part of a harmonious whole. Nash says when the King Collection is being designed, careful consideration is given to how the fabric, leather and rug colours and tones will work together. “This gives rooms a tailored look and allows customers to add extra pieces of furniture when needed. For example, if a customer has a sofa in our Whiteley fabric they can add occasional chairs, ottomans and scatter cushions in many different complementary fabrics or leathers. “Our aim is to help our customers create a relaxed, natural flow of fabrics, leathers and rugs that all work together in the different rooms of their home.” With over 40 years of furniture making experience, King has long standing craftspeople who bring rich and deep expertise in working with many different materials. David King, Chairman of King, who founded the business in 1977 is also very hands-on in the creative side of the company. As robustness is an essential element for furnishings designed for lasting value, there is an underlying rigour in the testing and quality control applied to material choices. King performs thorough in-house testing, and also consults external experts. “The King sewing room in Sydney allows us to test different fabrics on the furniture and make adjustments. We also use independent laboratory tests such as the Australian Wool Testing Authority.” King rugs are endorsed by Care and Fair, an industry-led not for profit organisation dedicated to breaking the vicious cycle of illegal child labour in the carpet knotting communities of India, Nepal and Pakistan. King also donates a proportion of the profit from each King rug to the healthcare and educational needs of these communities. Sustainability of people and planet is embedded into every process, and King retains end-to-end oversight and control from design to manufacture and delivery. “This gives us the freedom to make sustainable choices,” Nash says. The King team works closely with suppliers, supporting them as they improve and evolve their processes. “For example, our leather suppliers are incredibly committed to sustainability. In recent years, they have significantly reduced carbon emissions and water usage.” Like design itself, materiality is constantly evolving. “I am fortunate that in my role I get the opportunity to travel and visit international specialist trade fairs where mills and tanneries show their latest ideas and ranges,” Nash says. “We make a point of visiting the mills themselves, so we understand their process. A special part of my role is meeting with the design teams to develop products that are unique to King. As relationships grow with key suppliers, we start to innovate with new designs and qualities, which is exciting.” The ambition is always to touch those who will make King furnishings part of their lives. “Textiles have an emotional dimension,” Nash says. “We are passionate about the beauty of material and how it can be translated onto a piece of furniture that will add positively to a person’s life. “The right colours, textures and pieces of furniture can make an ordinary room special, joyous and very personal.”abc
Architecture
Around The World
Design Hunters
Design Stories
Habitus Favourites - Slider
Header Slider
Interiors
NOT HOMES
Primary Slider

Creating a Sanctuary

Architect Nic Brunsdon uses the word ‘Instagrammable’ when describing the type of bathrooms people are seeking out. “We might not be travelling like we used to, but people are still looking for an experience in their own bathrooms. And even though your home might not be in a five-star resort, a bathroom can have that same sense of escape as soon as you pass the threshold,” says Brunsdon. While Brunsdon’s portfolio spans mostly private residential projects, he also has several luxury resorts and spas either on the books or recently completed, including Tiing in Bali, situated three hours’ drive north of Denpasar. [caption id="attachment_114461" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Tiing, Bali. Photo by Ben Hosking[/caption] Wanting to make the resort experience unforgettable, Brunsdon considered how the natural environment could make its way into the rooms. All 14 villas offer a view of the volcanic mountain ranges at one end, and a view to the sea from the other. Set between each aspect is a body of water – a plunge pool on one side and a freestanding bath with plants on the other. “With Tiing, the main body of water, the sea, is quite shallow and warm, not dissimilar to a shallow saucer of warm water,” says Brunsdon. Obviously, Brunsdon can’t reproduce this natural idyllic setting in the homes he designs in Perth, where his practice is based. [caption id="attachment_114462" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Photo by Ben Hosking[/caption] However, irrespective of the house or its site, Brunsdon will often locate bathrooms at the periphery of a floorplan, adjacent to a garden to offer cross ventilation. Part of ensuring a touch of luxury at home is including a free-standing bath, something that Brunsdon always accommodates for in his designs, while also avoiding a shower rosette over a bath. There are other ways in which bathrooms can be treated like an oasis, where the bathroom expresses something completely different to other parts of the house. This was the approach used on a current project that is part of a larger renovation, where Brunsdon is using handmade Portuguese tiles that are hand-painted in bright hues. [caption id="attachment_114463" align="alignnone" width="1170"] East Fremantle House. Photo by Dion Robeson[/caption] “This house will be quite restrained in its use of materials and colour palette. But when you take a bath or simply clean your teeth, the colourful tiles will offer a completely different experience, almost an escape from the everyday routine,” he shares. A sense of tactility in bathrooms is paramount. At the Tiing resort for example, the in-situ concrete walls have been ingrained with bamboo of different widths. In the case of Tiing, the restricted use of materials, with an emphasis on concrete, allows the views to envelop and be the focal point of the interior spaces. “We often create large operable windows in our bathrooms, not just for ventilation, but to create a sense of bathing outdoors and being close to the elements,” says Brunsdon. Alternatively, generous skylights can strengthen a connection to the outdoors while bringing in lots of natural light. [caption id="attachment_114464" align="alignnone" width="1170"] East Fremantle House. Photo by Dion Robeson[/caption] While preferencing views and a connection to the outdoors, the bathrooms at Tiing are partially concealed within the space, while each villa is afforded privacy by elongated concrete fins that shroud the plunge pool. “In this case, there’s a sense of solitude, an escape, and importantly a complete retreat.” Brunsdon is always conscious of providing an experience in bathrooms, some of which have a resort feel, others simply a place to escape and contemplate what lies ahead. “It’s important to engage with the eye, but also take the inhabitant’s vision beyond the windows and walls. It could be a distant rock or tree, but always connecting to nature,” adds Brunsdon.   Nic Brunsdon nicbrunsdon.com This article originally appeared in issue #51 of Habitus magazine – the Kitchen & Bathroom special. Read more about Nic Brunsdon's East Fremantle House here.abc