A Charming Contemporary Country Home in Batangas

Instead of asking for a congratulatory gift after passing the board exams, this nurse asked for budget to fix up his space, instead. The results are amazing!

Photography: Dairy Darilag Pictorial Direction: Issa Villar and Tala Singson

In lieu of a gift from his parents after Vince Morales had passed the nursing board exam, he asked for a budget to fix up his room. He then discovered a love for creating things with his own hands, and it was his family’s three-bedroom bungalow in Talisay, Batangas, that he chose as his first project.

His first DIY handiwork was his own bedroom, where he made an amazing mural of the New York skyline using only a black Sharpie pen. It was only natural for Vince to work on the rest of the house after that, and with some persuasion, he got his parents’ approval to move things around, reuse some of his nanay’s old belongings, and make additions to the home he grew up in. The Morales home now has spruced-up spots like the kitchen and dining areas, living room, and even the patio.

Working on a limited budget has made Vince a DIY expert. He confesses that he is inspired by the simplest of things, and readily visualizes what he wants, so it’s easier to determine where to source materials. Vince adds, “Dapat rin kumpleto ang gamit mo. Meron si Tatay ng lagari at martilyo. Ang laging nasa bag ko, metro. Best friend ko ang spray paint. Kasi pag hindi mo nagustuhan ang kulay, i-spray paint mo lang ng white or black.”

The excitement never fades for this nurse who, after a long week at the hospital, looks forward to his days off when he can scout shops in the city not just for more home items but also for bits of inspiration. “Pag nagkaroon ako ng sariling bahay, hindi talaga minimalist, kailangan all out,” Vince says with a smile.


Kanina ko lang yan ginawa, around 30 minutes before kayo dumating,” admits Vince. Inspiration hit him when he saw a pillowcase with a birdcage print. He jazzed up the wooden panel with wall decals from Ace Hardware, and livened up the space with hanging plants. The succulents are remnants from a trip to Dangwa—a steal at four for P100. The tree trunk table was fashioned out of a tree felled by a recent typhoon. (If you want to read more about Dangwa, click here)

Living Room

A funky trompe l’oeil curtain of a classical door from H&M Home balances out the bright yellow walls and serves as a wall accent in the living area. A Thai Buddha head from Vigan and corals and plants from Divisoria add decorative touches. Vince loves to go to Divisoria regularly to source accessories and fabric. (If you want to read more about Divisoria finds, click here)

Dining Room

Vince hauled stacks of white plates—budget finds from Cash and Carry in Makati—choosing different textures and shapes. After experimenting with different methods for attaching the plates to the wall, Vince ended up using a combination of super strength instant glue and adhesive.

Breakfast Nook

In the kitchen, the breakfast nook’s dining table is made from an old glass top with a customized wooden base. Country-style Windsor chairs from a Japan surplus shop and white hanging hurricane lamps freshen up this kitchen setup. Get similar hurricane lamps from Dapitan Arcade. (To see what else you can buy at Dapitan Arcade, click here)


Parang alanganin ako mag-design ng kitchen. Ang hirap, kasi unlike my bedroom, maliit lang yun. Nung pinost ko na sa Instagram, puwede naman pala,” Vince says candidly. Vince completed the country-style kitchen and nook with a patterned tile backsplash, paneled cupboards, and quaint accessories.

Vince's Bedroom

It was in this bedroom that Vince practiced his DIY chops—the mural is Vince’s own sketch using a Sharpie pen. The headboard covered with a Times Square-printed fabric set the stage for the New York-inspired theme. On one of his regular trips to Divisoria, he came across a roll of fabric with the famous scene of Times Square printed on it. “Kinilabutan ako nung nakita ko ito, 45 pesos lang per yard,” he says.

Study Area

Vince spiced up a blank wall with his Nanay’s old picture frames spray-painted in black, and set his desk against it. The display consists of an old table lamp, a globe, and a metallic skull scored from an 88-peso store. For color, Vince added a gumball machine from Typo (they have local outlets at Uptown Mall BGC and at TriNoma). 

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