The Colourful California Bungalow Of Designers Bonnie And Neil

The husband-and-wife team behind Melbourne brand Bonnie and Neil have a masterful way of playing with colour and pattern in their business, so it’s no surprise that their own home is perfectly eclectic.

Co-founders Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie bought their California bungalow in 2018 after falling in love with its peaceful, leafy location and heritage character.

The couple have since redesigned the interiors in their signature style, using pops of green, peach, pink and, of course, plenty of printed textiles!

Christina Karras
Editorial Styling

Inside Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie’s renovated home. Kitchen joinery designed and made by Neil Downie, painted Dulux Army Greens. Belize Quartzite from Peraway Marble. Royal Oak flooring. Jardan sofa. DOMO stools. Vintage Murano vase. Flowers by Bonnie Ashley.

Linen curtains in Bonnie and Neil Hibiscus Yellow fabric, custom-made by Bamboo Blinds Australia. Bonnie and Neil plates on wall: Hibiscus Red Plate, Monstera Green Plate, Moana Multi Plate. On bench: Bonnie and Neil Moana Floral Yellow Medium Salad Bowl.

Walls painted Dulux Pale Tendril Quarter. Vintage dining chairs from Curated Spaces. En Gold table. Bonnie and Neil Pineapple Border Embroidered Tablecloth. Bonnie and Neil Tiny Checkers Powder Blue Cushion on vintage armchair. Bonnie and Neil Dots Blue Tumblers. Bonnie and Neil Boucle cushions on Jardan sofa.

Bonnie and Neil Stripe Mint Wool Rug. Jardan Sofa. Vintage armchair reupholstered in custom Bonnie and Neil fabric.

Artwork by Anna Dalzell. Bonnie and Neil Stripe Mint Wool Rug.

Artworks left to right: Amalia Keefer, Lucas Golding, Fred Fowler, Gloria, Kate Daw, Vintage, Wam Vrijmal.

Walls painted Dulux Lama. Window furnishings by Bamboo Blinds Australia. Lamp by CCSS. Bonnie and Neil Stripe Cocoa Wool Rug. Vintage sofa reupholstered in Bonnie and Neil x Jumbled fabric. Bonnie and Neil Bold Stripe Wheat Cushion and Shell Check Coral Cushion.

Bonnie and Neil’s collection of books and records. Vintage German 1970s chandelier from 1stDibs.

Bench seat upholstered in Bonnie and Neil Florence Stripe Red fabric. Bonnie and Neil Wave Side Table Speckle Clay. Bonnie and Neil Beeline Peach Bolster Cushion, Hibiscus Coral Cushion.

Terracotta floor tiles. Bonnie and Neil vase and Wave Tan Bathmat.

Vanity designed and made by Neil Downie. Marble from Peraway Marble. Vintage wall sconces and mirror.

Walls painted Dulux Gentle Calm. Tigmi Trading lighting. Bonnie and Neil Curls Golden Wool Rug. Bonnie and Neil Hawaiian Border Pink Bed Cover and Beeline Peach Bolster Cushion.

Bedhead upholstered in Bonnie and Neil Bloom Citron fabric. Bonnie and Neil Woven Stripe Buff Cushion, Shell Check Citron Cushion and Carnation Moss Pillowcases.

Vanity designed and made by Neil Downie. Perini Marble Tiles on floor. Vintage mirror. Cerastone Rose Zellige tiles.

The view into the ensuite. Bonnie and Neil Wave Tan Bathmat.

The charming exterior of the bungalow now features a lush garden.

Vintage rug, table, and mirror. Lamp from Etsy. Artwork by Ngalyipi Jukurrpa. Bonnie and Neil door knocker.


Christina Karras
Editorial Styling
21st of March 2024

Neil Downie


Bonnie Ashley
Neil Downie

The exterior of Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie’s home doesn’t give much away about the patterned haven that greets you once you step inside.

Every element of the California bungalow has been personalised by the Melbourne couple, who co-founded their namesake homewares brand Bonnie and Neil in 2010. The launch of their business saw them combine their expertise in textile design, floristry and furniture making, and they drew on these same creative skills when it came to renovating their Coburg property.

‘When we first visited the house, we instantly loved the quiet, leafy street and surrounding neighbourhood,’ Bonnie says.

‘It had a beautiful aspect and felt very serene and peaceful. We were attracted to the heritage details of the house, but could also see the potential for improvement in both the home and garden.’

The original 1940s property had already been extended, but the floorplan still needed some work. They engaged builder MJ Harris to remove internal walls, reconfiguring the kitchen to create a contemporary open-plan living and dining area, before tackling the interiors.

In addition to creating a pink-tiled ensuite and a vintage-inspired bathroom, building a large entertainer’s kitchen was at the top of Bonnie’s wishlist.

‘I had my heart set on a green-toned kitchen and searched high and low for the right piece of marble for our bench top,’ she adds. ‘When I found this quartzite from Peraway Marble it was love at first sight!’

Neil designed, built, and installed the matching green joinery, styled alongside a series of Bonnie and Neil’s floral plates and their Hibiscus Yellow fabric on custom linen curtains, bringing a playful cottage-core energy to the kitchen.

‘We also spent many months landscaping the garden ourselves, planting mature trees and paving with blue stone paving,’ Bonnie says.

‘Part of my working week is spent at home so it was important to find the right balance between an inspirational creative haven and relaxing sanctuary to wind down after a busy working week.’

Each room layers colourful walls with artworks and printed cushions, rugs, and upholstery from Bonnie and Neil’s collections. The bedroom is painted a calming muted green, while a peachy pink backdrop complements the couple’s library of records in a playful sitting room, topped with a vintage German 1970s chandelier that was a ‘lucky find’ on 1stDibs.

But despite the eclectic styling, there’s an enduring sense of calm that stops the home from becoming overtly maximalist. Instead, this joyful space is simply an authentic window into Bonnie and Neil’s colourful world!

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