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

Folk Studio Are Calling All Coffee Lovers

Folk Studio Are Calling All Coffee Lovers

If you like your café like your coffee – fresh and familiar – then check out Folk Studio for their new design of Wentworth Street Coffee.

Barefoot Coffee Traders has been a popular local coffee joint in Manly, Sydney, for more than 15 years. But like all long-lasting cafés, there comes a time to hit refresh. Rebranding to Wentworth Street Coffee, the owners engaged Folk Studio to create a space that felt fresh yet familiar in order to retain its regular clientele and attract passing tourists. Folk Studio pared back the venue and worked with local manufacturers and designers to create custom fittings and furnishings suited to the relaxed and social Manly vibe.

“Manly is quite laid back, but there is an energy and youthfulness about it,” says Mariah Burton, who is co-director of Folk Studio alongside Chris Polain. “We wanted the café to relate to the surrounding beach and be instantly eye-catching. We also wanted to ensure the loyal locals felt they could sit, chat and feel revitalised not only by their coffees but also by their environment.”

Wentworth Street Coffee Folk Studio CC Maca Whittle folk studio co founder

Wentworth Street Coffee Folk Studio CC Maca Whittle street seats

The existing café was dark, seating was limited and the loose furniture proved hazardous for staff moving through the space. Mariah and Chris brightened the space with a crisp, clean backdrop of white rendered and tiled walls, and reconfigured the 50-square-metre venue to make it more inviting and functional. With fixed tables and bench seating installed along the walls and windows and within nooks of the café, the seating increased from 10 to 25 and created more space for people to walk through.

Keeping it local, Folk Studio worked with Sydney manufacturers for the custom features and sourced the seating and lighting from Melbourne designers. “We introduced refined yet earthy solid timber throughout and bold but minimal seating,” says Chris. The American Oak timber tables, curved counter and banquette seating are by Sydney Wood, and Sir Burly Stools and Lord Sconce wall lights by Dowel Jones. Folk Studio also collaborated with Ensight for the custom leather upholstery. “The curves are a reference to the rising and falling tides and rolling waves of the beach,” says Mariah. “They are also inspired by particular pieces of mid-century furniture that explore playful upholstery, whilst keeping a sense of understated luxury.” This includes Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair and Drop Chair and George Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa, as well as Alvar Aalto’s iconic Savoy Vase.

Wentworth Street Coffee Folk Studio CC Maca Whittle details

Wentworth Street Coffee Folk Studio CC Maca Whittle nook

“We had a lot of freedom with this project, which was very exciting,” Chris says. “We’re very proud of working with local Sydney manufacturers to design our custom seating and tables. It’s very satisfying to develop something together and see it come to fruition and be well received.”

Folk Studio

Photography by Maca Whittle

Dissection Information
Sir Burly Stool by Dowel Jones from Catapult Design
Lord Sconce by Dowel Jones from Catapult Design
Custom upholstery by Folk Studio and Ensight Furniture
Custom timber by Sydney Wood
Menu board and shop signage by George and Willy

Wentworth Street Coffee Folk Studio CC Maca Whittle seating

Wentworth Street Coffee Folk Studio CC Maca Whittle table

Wentworth Street Coffee Folk Studio CC Maca Whittle sign

We think you might also like Café Oriente in Seoul


Rebecca Gross is a design historian and freelance researcher and writer specialising in design, architecture and visual culture. From her base in Sydney she studies cultural history through the lens of architecture and design and holds a Masters in the History of Decorative Arts and Design (Parsons School of Design), a Bachelors in Marketing (University of Otago). Rebecca has more than fifteen years experience in the industry.