Studio Bonarchi: Local Sensitivities And A Global Perspective


Greek boutique agency Studio Bonarchi designs interiors with contrasting elements. Between refined sophistication and summer serenity, between robust marble sinks and soft linen sheets, between local heritage and cosmopolitan modernity, their spaces are of laid-back elegance. Through its signature touch of accentuating muted and neutral tones with dark elements, the studio continually draws the eye to the most powerful presence of all: natural light.

“In my projects, there is always a play with the idea of light. It is a precious gift we have in Greece; for me, it is where everything always begins,” Vangelis Bonios, founder and creative mind behind Studio Bonarchi, shares as he welcomes us into his home in the Athenian neighborhood of Pangrati. To fully embrace this element, the designer is fearless in letting it occasionally fade into the background. “I tend to create spaces that are either very bright to celebrate the radiance of light or that have a dramatic effect due to its absence,” he reveals.


Specializing in residential, restaurant, and hotel spaces, Studio Bonarchi defines its style through bespoke and high-end interiors with a timeless appeal. Projects like the minimalist luxury hotel Kalesma on Mykonos, which they have realized in collaboration with the architects of K-studio, have already attracted our attention on earlier occasions.

"Each of our designs carries a reference to the regional identity."
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Anandes Hotel | Lobby | Photographer: Helen Cathcart

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Anandes Hotel | Breakfast Area Veranda | Photographer: Helen Cathcart

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Anandes Hotel | Lobby Corner | Photographer: Helen Cathcart


Mykonos Residence | Bedroom | Photographer: Salva Lopez


Mykonos Residence | Outdoor Dining Area | Photographer: Salva Lopez


Kalesma Spa | Spa Corridor | Photographer: Vangelis Paterakis


Kalesma Mykonos Villas | Kitchen / Dining Area | Photographer: Salva Lopez


Kalesma Mykonos Villas | Living Room | Photographer: Salva Lopez

Another essential ingredient of the interiors conceived by the studio is the constant research into texture, ambiance, and local history. “We always strive to incorporate the forms and shapes of the local idiom in our projects. The idea is to make interpretations of it and transform it into a contemporary vocabulary that results in new design elements.”

Yet Studio Bonarchis’ commitment to a local narrative goes beyond mere aesthetics. “Interiors are not only beautiful images—there is always a meaning behind things. Each of our designs carries a reference to the regional identity.” The local vocabulary can vary significantly given Greece’s wealth of islands, estimated to be in the thousands. “Even though all these islands are part of the same country, they each have a unique history. We strive to incorporate these diverse heritages in the most caring way,” Bonios emphasizes.

An example of this is one of the studio’s most recent projects on the island of Tinos, the Odera Hotel.


Odera Hotel Tinos | Interior design & FFE: Studio Bonarchi | Architectural design & construction: T-constructions | Lead architect: Panos Nikolaidis


“Tinos was always considered to be the most religious island of Greece,” Bonios shares about the place, which is home to over 700 Catholic and Orthodox whitewashed churches. “Reflecting this element of spirituality in the conception of the hotel’s identity and interior design was a goal since the very beginning,” he shares. “Materials in their purest form confined architectural gestures, and discrete pieces of furniture were thoughtfully selected as a direct reference to the islands’ dense monastic mosaic.”


Bonios’ signature use of contrasts is also clearly incorporated in Odera’s design language. In the lobby, for example, the interplay between light and darkness creates an atmosphere of mysticism, and in the spa area, the dimly lit corridor that guides guests to the treatment rooms reminds them of a monastery hallway leading up to the monks’ private spaces. Attentive observers, however, can also discover references to the island beyond its religious context. One example is the unique geometric pattern of Tinos’ pigeon houses, which was subtly incorporated into the headboards of the hotel beds.

"I always try to combine a global perspective with local sensitivity."

While Odera beautifully portrays the deep connection to his Greek heritage, Vangelis Bonios’ designs also bear the imprints of his European identity. Inspired by cities like Paris, Vienna, and Milan, Studio Bonarchi’s interiors are infused with a touch of European elegance—an amalgamation of influences forming the foundation of the agency’s distinctive approach. “I always try to combine a global perspective with local sensitivity. So for me and my practice, it is essential to know what is happening in different parts of the world,” he shares.


The fusion of Bonios’ Greek soul and cosmopolitan spirit is also clearly mirrored in his home and studio, both located in the same building, just a stone-throw away from the ancient Panathenaic Stadium. In his apartment, the oak fishbone floors, meticulously preserved from the flat’s original state, harmonize with the elegant white boiserie that describes the space. Timeless black Pierre Jeanneret chairs add the dark visual accents typical for the studio, and the soft hue of the gray wall finds its reflection in a set of upholstered chairs once treasured by Bonios’ grandmother.

From the apartment’s corridor, an elevator takes us to the top floor of the building and directly into the office space of Studio Bonarchi. Here, tones of beige and off-white, smooth edges, and tactile surfaces define the interior. A bespoke, matt marble table meets Platner chairs, and a potpourri of natural fragrances infuses the air with a soft and pleasant scent. The studio seamlessly extends into a terrasse that, amidst the lively heart of the city, immediately transports us to a calm and island-like oasis. Up here, the only subtle reminder that we are within an actual office is the understated brass logo—Bonarchi—adorning the walls.

“I wake up thinking of interiors, and I go to bed thinking of interiors.”

In Studio Bonarchi, everything seems to flow together effortlessly—the living space and studio, local heritage and global inspirations, the island life, and urban energy. At the heart of it all stands Vangelis Bonios and his profound passion for design and aesthetics. “I wake up thinking of interiors, and I go to bed thinking of interiors,” he admits jokingly. However, one thing seems to fill him with even more joy than his profession: “My number one pleasure in the world is swimming in the Greek sea, under the Greek sun,” he says with a smile. “When you’re in the sea, a special energy connects your body and soul. It affects how you feel and how you think. This is when I am happiest and when marble, brass, and boiserie suddenly become a secondary concern.”

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