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


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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