This Father Built a Modern Tree House in Just 2 Months
Using old materials from their family's bodega, civil engineer Gbong Suniga created a magical space without cutting the majestic Acacia tree in their backyard
It’s no secret that many of us dreamt of building tree houses and secret forts when we were young. Perhaps this is the reason why being able to turn that dream into reality as a grownup makes it even more special. Civil engineer Gbong Suniga has always wanted to have his own tree house where he can spend time with his son.
Fortunately, there’s an outdoor space waiting to be maximized within their property in Tarlac. Using his expertise and experience as a civil engineer, Gbong designed and built his tree house using old materials he found in their family’s bodega.
“My son and I stay here most of the time. The structure is very safe because the tree house itself is made of concrete and steel, then cladded by native materials like wood and nipa,” Gbong shares with Realliving.com.ph.
If the house looks intriguing by day, it’s equally captivating at night as lighting pieces hanging from the tree give it a warm glow. Taking inspiration from houses in Bali, the tree house features a modern minimalist interior, a hanging garden, an attic coffee area, and a Batman-inspired carport as well.
“I love the combination of the design concepts which makes it unique and at the same time, very comfortable to live in. Each area stands out depending on the time of the day because of the shade provided by the Acacia tree,” adds Gbong.
See more of the tree house below:
The tree house blends in with the outdoors seamlessly, embracing the tree that shades it from the sun. Excluding the money used on furniture and appliances, Gbong spent around P250,000 in building the tree house.
In his post on Home Buddies, he shared that he was able to save on costs because he found tiles, GI sheets, and other materials in the family’s storage room. “Sa tamang blending ng kulay at disenyo, naging maayos ang kinalabasan,” he muses.
The carport under the tree house is one of the project’s surprises. While you’ll see that the house is elevated, you won’t immediately notice the garage. According to Gbong, he took inspiration from Batman’s batcave when conceptualizing the concealed carport.
Steel railings and stairs complete the 30sqm house’s structure. Gbong thought of adding faux grass to camouflage this part of the home. He even added hanging and potted plants to make sure the house complements the Acacia tree.
The civil engineer expertly incorporated wood and nipa into the house as well. From this angle, you can see how he used wood on the roof and nipa as cladding.
Deck hammocks are becoming family favorites. To bond with his son, Gbong installed a giant hammock and he made sure it’s sturdy enough to accommodate him, his son, and other relatives.
There’s a smaller hammock within the tree house and another one near the garage. The time of day determines when it’s best to hang out in each spot. “The first one is the best tambayan in the morning between 7am to 10am then the second one is best used between 1pm to 3pm. In the evening, the best views are seen from the attic and bedroom,” the owner shares.
Meals can be prepared in the house since it has a kitchenette completed with small appliances (including a mini ref!) and a compact countertop.
To complement the relaxing vibe of the house, Gbong furnished the sleeping area with a plush bed with a tufted headboard, crisp sheets, and lighting pieces that add a warm touch to the space. To highlight the high ceiling, a striking lighting piece serves as an accent.
Sturdy wood and metal were used in completing the house’s structure as seen on one side of the sleeping area.
With proper space planning, Gbong was able to achieve a well-appointed bathroom with a sink, a toilet, and a shower area. Succulents help brighten up the compact space.
The attic is maximized with a cozy coffee area completed with an abaca rug and stools. This spot is also ideal for quick snacks and refreshments or even winding down at night.
Treehouse at Night
With proper lighting incorporated into the home’s design, the tree house looks extra magical at night—like a setting of a fairytale.
From this angle, the light from the hanging lamps adds dramatic flair to the setting. Gbong also made sure there is enough lighting in the carport.
Learn more about Gbong's tree house when you watch OG's video below:
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