A 24sqm Boat Cabin-Inspired Condo Unit

Sail away and let this creative compact home fuel your desire for a decor upgrade

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela

When styling and decorating a home, working on a theme can be a blessing in disguise. Given a general concept, you get to keep with a certain palette, choose accessories easily, and have a guiding principle when it comes to making decisions for the space.

In this Airbnb favorite, the creativity of the host shines through. From the moment you step in, it’s not difficult to see why many guests fell in love with it, too. Inspired by a boat cabin and the famous island of Nantucket, the unit highlights hints of blue, clever small space hacks, and details one would often see in a ship. Deciding on the theme made it easier for the owner and her partner contractor to rethink the layout, finalize the list of what needs to be done, and complete the home with whimsical knickknacks. Come aboard and get ready for a unique adventure inside this well-thought-out place.

Living, Dining, and Kitchen Areas

Upon entrance to the unit, guests can already see and access the kitchen, living, and dining areas. Listed on Airbnb as Rey's Cabin, the unit features nautical details and elements that would remind guests of a ship. Since guests look forward to a relaxing stay, every piece in the space offers comfort and an unforgettable experience.

Prior to the renovation, the unit was fully furnished. In order to create the look she has in mind, the owner worked with a contractor and a few trusted workers to change the layout, tear down some cabinets, and rewire the entire space.


The kitchen was transformed into an efficient and functional nook with the guests' need in mind. Instead of retaining the old cabinets made from medium-density fibreboard (MDF), they installed custom-fit welded iron open shelves. Marine plywood was also chosen for the cabinets as it can withstand moisture.

Meanwhile, a lighthouse decal spruces up the refrigerator. The owner considers the said appliance as a blank canvas that can be decorated and personalized.

Kitchen Detail

To keep the backsplash from being boring, another charming detail was added. Since guests often come and go, a simple reminder by way of wall detail was added by the sink.

Wall Detail

Instead of having the house rules printed and laminated like usual, the owner opted for a captivating way to put it on display. Painted wood planks liven up the blank wall near the door—each plank with a corresponding house rule. Given this creative touch, guests would be compelled to stop and read.

Dining Area

Even though the dining area is quite small, guests would still be able to enjoy meals comfortably. Steel drums turned into sturdy seating pieces serve as accent pieces. The owner loves tinkering with the said items and for this unit, she improved it with cushions for the seat.

Dining Area Detail

Completing the look is a Scandinavian-inspired table patterned after a reference found on the internet. While the pieces are enough to wow guests, it's the backdrop that would pique one's interest. Inside the glass case are tiny decor pieces showcasing the vastness of the sea, fishing boats, and a part of the owner's Dad's Native American collection. The pinlight on top serves as the sun shining down on the sea.

To complement the decor and theme, blue and white dinnerware were chosen as well.

Living/Entertainment Area

As with any other tiny unit, finding pieces that fit inside was challenging. The owner opted for the Solsta sofa bed from IKEA as it can accommodate extra guests when needed. To hide the exposed wires, a built-in entertainment console was added in front of the seating piece. It houses the TV as well as other storage compartments.

Living/Entertainment Area

Notice the mini cargo container beside the sofa bed? It's a side table with lid that can be used to store magazines and other belongings. The owner also added a spot where guests can charge their phones and other gadgets near the sofa.

It's a given to see mirrors in small spaces as these help create an illusion of bigger space. To complement the mirrors in the unit, the owner added a wall decal that covers an entire wall to achieve an expansive feel.


A custom-made trundle bed is a welcome respite after a long day outdoors. Sheets with nautical prints were chosen for the bed while the rest of the pieces in the room highlight wooden finishes.

The backdrop above the bed features laser etched tiles that seem to remind the occupants of a warm and calming sunset.

Bedroom Detail

A mirror and an anchor lamp brighten up the work corner beside the bed. It can serve as a vanity nook, too.


Inspired by the work of her husband who is a marine engineer—the owner designed and decorated the bathroom with the boiler room in mind. Often referred to as the fire room, the boiler room helps power the ship.

Aside from the accent light from A&S Lamps, we can't help but notice the boat shelf, too! Purchased from a local tiangge, it keeps the toiletries and other essentials in place. To keep the T&B from being too stiff and masculine, the owner added colorful accessories and faux potted plants.

A&S Lamps is located at #1, CW Ortigas Home Depot, Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City.

To learn more about Rey's Cabin and how you can book a stay, click here.

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