Avida Living: How Carlo Aldaba Made his Dream “Man Cave” Home

How Carlo Aldaba remade his 35-sqm condo unit in Avida Towers Centera to suit his personality and needs. By Joyce Panares

Carlo Aldaba's Living Room
Carlo Aldaba's Living Room

Visitors find plenty of surprising contrasts in Carlo Aldaba’s 35-sqm condo unit. Industrial, but still homey; functional, but surprisingly feature-rich – a man-cave in the middle of the metropolis, where everything is easily within reach.

As a seasoned real estate professional with nine years’ immersion in the industry, Aldaba knew first-hand how to achieve his dream living space without going overboard on the cost.

“My background in real estate has allowed me to maximize my unit within a specific budget,” Aldaba said. “It also made me realize that good and functional design doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank.

“At first glance, it automatically speaks ‘man cave,’ and I enjoy the thought of having my own space and alone time,” Aldaba added.

Located at the 14th floor of Avida Towers Centera – a four-tower condominium development in Mandaluyong City – Aldaba’s unit gives him ample natural light, providing a warm contrast to the unfinished surface design of the walls and unpolished feel of the metal pendant lamps.

“The industrial design trend got into me, but what really drew me in was its accessibility and practicality. The manly aesthetic was an extra – just a bit of my clutter, travel finds and vintage hand-me-downs that made the design masculine and personal,” Aldaba said.

Carlo Aldaba's bedroom and kitchen
Carlo Aldaba’s bedroom and kitchen. Image courtesy of Carlo Aldaba

Aldaba collaborated with interior design specialist Ryena Estrada to formulate the cozy industrial interiors. Estrada and Aldaba are currently dating, giving the former a unique insight into the latter’s desired outcome. “Because of my personal relationship with her, I knew that she will be able to create a design perfectly based on my personality and needs.”

Key to achieving his desired personal sanctuary was managing his unit’s space.

“Hidden and concealed storage spaces are a given already, but what I could definitely call a hack is my most used area in the space – the tiny counter in the kitchen,” explained Aldaba, pointing to the extra space it afforded width-wise. “Most people would think adding an extension to your kitchen would require a large space, but a little goes a long way. With only one foot of depth, this gives me extra space to prepare food and sort my groceries.”

His living room even has a nifty mini-bar that features, aside from the usual drinks, antique items from his grandfather’s house – a perfect conversation starter for when his friends come around.

“One of the best things from having my own space is hosting get-togethers and preparing food for people dear to me,” he said. “The living area easily expands its capacity as I can quickly pull my bench from the dining area to add more seating.”

Carlo Aldaba's Bedroom
Carlo Aldaba’s Bedroom. Image courtesy of Carlo Aldaba.

The bedroom has a projector for late-night binge-watching, and a separate area for his work desk – a must for the “new normal” where Aldaba must stay productive even from home.

“The space was not limiting. Every provision for every item was exact and enough for my needs. The bed, sofa and even my recently added workspace perfectly fit my compact space without making it too cluttered. It’s just a balance of scale and contrast,” he said.

For Aldaba, what sealed the deal when he invested in his Avida Land unit was the convenience and accessibility offered by the property.

“I chose Avida Towers Centera because of its perfect location. It really is at the center, being in close proximity to Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City. I chose the one-bedroom unit because it suits my current needs and lifestyle, and may also serve as a good start-up home for a possible future family,” he said.

Avida Towers Centera residents like Carlo Aldaba enjoy Avida Land’s continuing value-added services, such as ongoing anti-COVID-19 protocols like limits on elevator riders, alcohol dispensers on all lobbies and elevators, and online payment for association dues. With careful property management by the Ayala Property Management Corp., Avida Land protects the value of the investment made by happy homeowners.

“Don’t be afraid to make real estate as your first major investment – you’ll earn while also having a tangible asset,” Aldaba explained. “Moreover, the independence and sense of accomplishment of owning your own property is definitely worth it,” Aldaba added.

If you’ve always wanted to build your own dream living space the way Carlo has, you don’t have to look very far. Find out what Avida has in store for you, by browsing through your options here.