Design

Everything In This Man Cave In Cebu Was Built From Scratch

It’s the man cave of your dreams.
IMAGE Pablo S. Quiza
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It’s not every day you come across something as unique as The Unique Loft on Airbnb. Its name says it all, and not in a pretentious way either.

“I know it sounds obnoxious,” said Pablo Quiza, a Cebu-based photographer from the Basque Country and the brains behind the project. But when people started referring to the loft as unique before he even mentioned the name to them, he figured, why not? True to its name, what sets this place apart is the fact that 99 percent of the loft, from the furniture to the décor, was designed and built by Quiza himself.

“You can’t find my furniture in Ikea!” he quipped.

The living area and the iron staircase.
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The first floor. Photos by Pablo S. Quiza.

Located in Kiener Hills, just five minutes away from Mactan Airport in Cebu, the loft boasts a combination of wooden touches and refined décor. With its dark neutral colors, industrial floors, and iron stairs, it’s the ultimate bachelor pad/man cave for the sophisticated traveler. But don’t take that to mean the space is boring—it’s far from it.

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The kitchen and living area. Photo by Pablo S. Quiza.
The living area. Photo by Pablo S. Quiza.
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On the second level, Quiza installed a giant net-like hammock that overlooks the first floor. For an adventurous stay, you can rest on the hammock, but don’t push your luck and jump on it.

“When I first saw the bare, unfinished unit I immediately fell in love with the space. Two floors with a quarter of the ceiling between the floors open and connecting both levelsthe feeling of volume of the unit was great and I wanted to keep that feeling at all cost,” explained Quiza. “That's where the decision to build the giant hammock came from. I didn't want any physical boundary, any space constriction.”

The bedroom. Photo by Pablo S. Quiza.
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The giant hammock.
Photo by Pablo S. Quiza.

Another priority of Quiza’s was making sure that his furniture serves more than just one purpose. Keeping things minimalist and practical, the loft can be an Airbnb, a long-term rental, or even his own home. The giant L-shaped sofa was built with concealed storage underneath and the detachable side can be wheeled around to transform the couch into an almost queen-sized bed. Meanwhile, the living area's center table has built-in cup holders that double as remote holders so you never have to hunt for it around the apartment. 

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There is definitely a lot of practical resourcefulness present in the space as the lighting over the dining table was built with PVC pipes that were painted matte black and mounted on a sliding door track. It was a DIY undertaking for the practical man. Quiza’s handmade lights are 300 percent cheaper than the lights in the hardware store with the exact same design. 

The dining area.
Photo by Pablo S. Quiza.
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Quiza's handmade center table.
Photo by Pablo S. Quiza.

Quiza's job, as a photojournalist with Reuters for 18 years, pushed him to be a jack-of-all-trades, which explains how he was able to be an interior designer, carpenter, plumber, electrician, and engineer all at once. Every inch of the loft was designed and built by him, from the furniture to the finishes. Only the stool for the desk was purchased at a store, while everything else was built on site.

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For the handyman looking to undertake a similar project, Quiza has a few tips to share: “Take your time and don’t rush it, think every move 10 times, and make sure that whatever you are building has more than just one use.”

It took him 11 months, countless YouTube tutorial videos, and some help from professionals to finish the project, but the satisfaction of building things with his own hands made up for all the hard work. He admitted that he was “a little bit surprised at how not-so-bad it ended up.”

Yeah, not bad at all.

The loft is currently listed on Airbnb.

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About The Author
Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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