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  • Sydney
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  • Bona Vista Home Tour: A Stylish Transformation of a Family Home

Bona Vista Home Tour: A Stylish Transformation of a Family Home

A Californian Bungalow that celebrates classic and contemporary design in the most unexpected of ways.

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

Haberfield in Sydney’s Inner West

Who lives here

A family of five

Interior style

A characterful merging of the classical and contemporary.

Favourite room

The open plan living and dining is a very special space in the home, existing alongside the original structure empathetically and seamlessly.

Favourite pieces

We love the Akari Noguchi paper lanterns because they add balance and peaceful quality to the volumes of the interior architecture.

Love the most

The way Bona Vista celebrates the original house, with a layer of fresh personality.

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

Where forever homes are found, and community is strong, a suburban village charms with the lingering aroma of fine Italian flavours. In Sydney's Inner West, Haberfield has a nostalgic feel that blends the heyday of Californian Bungalows with European flare. 

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

It is here, where period homes are revered for their heritage beauty, that Sydney-based architecture practice Studio Prineas transformed a tired and worn Californian Bungalow into a home fit for a growing family of five. Keen to remain in the heritage conservation area of Haberfield, the family purposefully sought out a house they could breathe new life into - making it a place that is uniquely their own.

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

Believing in the importance of home and its role in our overall well-being, Studio Prineas was the perfect fit for the project. "Our interior vision and overall design approach were to restore a home that would encourage and inspire a life well lived for generations to come. One that addresses the functional and emotional needs of the family, in equal measure," explains Eva-Marie Prineas, Principal of Studio Prineas.

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

A collaboration between Eva-Marie and Associate at Studio Prineas, Jacqueline Lindeman, Bona Vista is a carefully crafted house. In line with heritage guidelines and the councils highly prescriptive regulations, the clever and fresh design of the renovation and extension plays on texture, warmth and light without compromising on the home's narrative, blending the old with the new in the most unexpected of ways.

Behind the brick façade, the traditional colours of the home's exterior echoes throughout the interiors. Natural stone, maroons and browns appear within the furnishing, joinery and flooring – weaving together the classical and contemporary design elements.

"Since first setting foot in the home, our design team were inspired by its existing terrazzo thresholds and vitrified tiles to the fireplace, driving a tactile and layered material sensibility," says Eva-Marie. "Red stack bond brick forms a robust datum that grounds the open living spaces and is complemented by warm natural stone, Tasmanian oak and rattan joinery."

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

Encouraging a sense of connectedness throughout the home while still allowing space for quiet retreats, Studio Prineas repurposed existing rooms and bedrooms. They created a new pavilion that functions as a contemporary living area. With open plan living not usually associated with Californian Bungalows, Studio Prineas purposefully created the modern addition, separated from the original house by a drop in level and internal stair.

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

The unconventional internal ceiling line is a defining and memorable volume, articulated by partially obscured skylights, filtering natural light into the living and dining, highlighting bespoke joinery, Akari Noguchi paper lanterns and a cosy sunken lounge area. A place for the family to gather, it's made all the more special with walls of glass opening out to the lawn, pool and pool house made especially for the children.

Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)
Bona Vista (Photo credit: Chris Warnes)

Yet still, the standout in the home is the use of various flooring. "To pay homage to the identity and grain of the original house, we used subtle transitions in flooring that combine brick, terrazzo, parquetry, and traditional timber boards, giving depth to the articulation of space," explains Eva-Marie.

With the home now complete, Eva-Marie is enamoured by how Bona Vista celebrates the original house with a layer of fresh personality and the traditional colour palette and how it's used in a contemporary way.

"The home is now as much about the parts we restored as it is about the parts we created. I feel proud that we were able to lovingly revive the original home with more attention to detail than it likely received in the first place. We set out to ensure our design impact would stand the test of time, and I feel that we've achieved that," says Eva-Marie.


A quiet achiever in Sydney’s Inner West, Haberfield’s European influence makes this small neighbourhood a standout. Italian-style shopfronts have stolen the show from neighbouring Leichhardt, with family-owned businesses – delis, pasticcerias and restaurants serving the finest traditional Nonna-style Italian food. Beautiful gardens, sprawling parks and the popular Bay Run all just add to the charm of this suburban gem.


For breakfast: For a real local hangout, the Hungry Grasshopper Café is perfect for breakfast.

For lunch: Pasticceria Papa is an absolute must at any time of day. It’s a café, bakery, pizza and gelato bar all in one.

For dinner: La Disfida serves traditional fuss-free Italian dishes – the menu is made for sharing, so go hungry. Or for waterfront dining, Haberfield Rowers Club.     

For drinks: Golden Gully in neighbouring Leichhardt is a small bar with a vegetarian menu.

Go-to local shop: Paesanella Haberfield stocks some of the finest Italian small goods and cheeses.

Must do in the local area: Eat your way around Ramsay Street – you will feel like you’ve been transported to Italy.


Architect: Eva-Marie Prineas and Jacqueline Linderman, Studio Prineas

Interior designer: Studio Prineas

Builder: Carrington Building 

Joiner: Finch Projects

Photographer: Chris Warnes

Stylist: Anna Delprat

Landscape designer: Custom Creations Landscapes