This Nostalgic A-Frame Cabin Is Like A European Fairytale Escape

About two hours outside of Melbourne, you’ll find this nostalgic A-frame cabin in Daylesford.

Owned by arts manager Ella Bucovaz and landscape designer Matthew Banhidi, the original mid-century home once belonged to Matthew’s grandfather, Zoli. When he passed away in 2021, the couple purchased the unique property to preserve it as part of their family’s legacy.

Since then, Ella and Matt have lovingly restored the holiday home without losing any of its ‘60s charm — and they’ve also listed the house as short-stay accommodation so guests can experience it’s nostalgic appeal too!

Christina Karras

Zoli’s A-Frame owners Ella Bucovaz, landscape designer Matthew Banhidi, and their two kids sit outside the cabin.

The glorious A-frame is located a private orchard and a bush garden.

Pine trees make the home feel like a mountain chalet in a European fairytale.

The second-floor balcony.

The floorplan has been carefully reconfigured and new pine panelling lines the interior walls.

A fireplace keeps the living room warm.

‘We wanted to be as authentic to the era as possible, the design was influenced by a lot of original furniture and decor that was already there,’ Ella says.

Deleted Interiors designed and built the new kitchen with black and soft green cabinetry that mirrors the foliage of the gardens outside.

‘The tiles I found for the splashback were so psychedelic and inspired the whole design of the kitchen,’ Ella notes.

The moody new bathroom. Tiles supplied by GT&B and West Vic Tiling.

The main bedroom is located on upstairs at the top of the A-frame.

The dreamy exterior.

It’s a perfect getaway amongst nature.

The 1960s cabin before its recent renovation.

Christina Karras
21st of May 2024
Building designer
Kitchen Build
Landscape designer

Daylesford, VIC/Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Stepping inside this mid-century cabin in Daylesford is like stepping back in time.

Now owned by Melbourne couple Ella Bucovaz and Inscape Horticultural founder Matthew Banhidi, the unique residence once belonged to Matthew’s grandfather, Zoli, a Hungarian immigrant who fell in love with the idea of a European-looking ‘treehouse’ surrounded by bush in Victoria.

‘Zoli purchased the A-frame in 1966 from another Hungarian who had built it as a weekender on a sloping bush block with a few pine trees,’ Ella says. ‘He used it regularly as a holiday home and then in the early 1980s, moved up there permanently, adding a brick extension, carport and shedding to the property. It was his pride and joy.’

Then, when Zoli sadly passed away in 2021, Matthew and Ella knew they had to find a way to keep the house in the family.

The only problem was the A-Frame itself hadn’t been touched since the ’60s. The squishy galley kitchen had suffered water damage; cabinetry was starting to fall apart; the only way to access the upstairs was through a dangerously narrow ‘ships ladder’ that needed to be replaced.

‘We put our plans to upsize in Melbourne on hold and threw our energy into revitalising the A-frame,’ Ella says.

‘It had amazing original features but pokey, small rooms, old carpets and partition panelled walls. Our vision was simple; bring it back to life, honour the era in which it was built by keeping as much character and original features as possible and open it up for modern living.’

This inspired them to reconfigure the floorplan with the help of building designer Drw Studio. In the kitchen, Deleted Interiors designed and built space with black and soft green cabinetry that mirrors the foliage of the gardens outside, as Ella sourced some psychedelic patterned tiles to bring some retro flavour to the new fit-out.

They stripped back the floors to reveal the existing Victorian ash timber floorboards, pairing perfectly with the new pine wall panelling, and a brand-new bathroom features glossy burgundy tiles alongside a luxurious bathtub.

‘The A-Frame is dark and cosy, so we wanted to lean into that and create a warm glamorous atmosphere that looked like it was straight out of a ’60s film,’ Ella explains.

It took about a year and half to complete their updates. But they couldn’t be prouder of the result, having now listed the property for short-stay bookings so other families can come get a taste of the beloved two-bedroom home — complete with much of its original furniture, a bar, and even a vintage record player.

‘The sense of nostalgia you get when staying in an A-frame is special. Guests love the transportive effect Zoli’s A-Fame has from the moment you step inside,’ Ella says.

‘The house is surrounded by towering pine trees and opens onto a sprawling orchard, it really feels like you are in a European fairytale.’

Book a stay at Zoli’s A-Frame here.

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