A 25sqm French Country-Inspired Condo Unit

Filled with DIY details and customized pieces, this quaint one-bedroom condo brings labor of love to a whole new level

Original Article: Cecil Jusi-Baltasar Photography: Dairy Darilag Styling: Dagny Madamba and Paula de Guzman

In today’s digital age, it’s quite easy to learn a few hacks with just a click of a button or accomplish easy projects with the help of a detailed guide you can download from the Web. Let this unit in Tagaytay be the perfect example—with the Internet at their disposal, the owners of the once plain condo transformed the 25sqm space into a charming escape where you’d feel right at home the moment you step in.

Aside from reviewing online sources, the husband also took woodworking courses in the US to prepare for the challenging job. To say that the journey was worth it would be an understatement as after listing it on Airbnb, the unit has been home to a lot of satisfied and impressed guests and travelers. Just a peek into the sweet and picturesque space is enough to encourage you to take a break and book a stay or even redecorate your own home.

Read the original article ("Fair BnB") in the March 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Living, Dining, and Kitchen Areas

Given the limited space, the common areas occupy most of the unit. It used to have ceramic tiles but with the help of Youtube, the owners didn't have to remove the tiles. By simply putting foam between the old and new flooring, they got the job done. Charming pieces and colors complete the space.

Living Area

Who wouldn't find this corner inviting? An IKEA daybed can accommodate extra guests as according to the owners, it can extend to up to 54 inches. On the other side of the frosted glass wall is the real sleeping space.

By adding mirrors in the living area, they were able to create an illusion of bigger space. To keep within the theme, shutter doors from Wilcon Depot were used to secure and install the mirrors.

Living Area Detail

Find similar shutter doors when you visit Wilcon Depot. For a list of branches, click here.

Kitchen and Dining Areas

The print on the wall is the wife's focal piece to tie the French country look together. To transform the blank wall, a photo of a New York street was blown up and turned into sticker wallpaper. A French window was added to create an authentic feel. The husband created the dining table while the custom-made chairs were from Match Contract Furniture. To make the chairs unique, the wife upholstered it with a fabric that's similar to the ones seen in the living area.

Meanwhile, to separate the kitchen from the dining area, the man of the house built a wooden divider with an attached L-shaped bench using palochina or pinewood crates. To craft more storage spots, the divider also serves as extra counter and shelf while the bench has extra drawers underneath.


A memo board can be used to leave notes and reminders. To add an extra rustic touch, mason jars were used as holders and decor.


The lady of the house purchased this slotted shelf online and turned it into a smart and useful storage for pans, kettles, and other utensils. With the help of S-hooks, the slots were maximized to hang and display mugs. You can buy S-hooks from hardware stores and home depots.


The "real bedroom"—as the owners would fondly call it—is bathed in generous light streaming in from the windows. While most of the pieces are "off-the-rack" or bought from department stores, they couldn't help but add DIY touches here and there. The man of the house crafted the frame of the mirror seen by the entrance.


Two droplights from Etsy, an online store, flank the bed on both sides. To suspend the lights, the wife worked some hack magic using shelf brackets from IKEA. From the bedroom, guests can access the balcony and rest on a chair while admiring the view of the Taal volcano.


The owners replaced the two-door closet that used to be in this corner with a special nook that can serve as reading area, extra storage, or even as a workspace. To complete the space, they added a custom-made desk and chair. The overhead cabinets provide extra space for belongings.

Decor Detail

Potted greens serve as decor all over the place as well as add a refreshing vibe.

Bathroom Detail

To maximize the bathroom, the couple decided to knock down the wall separating the toilet and shower areas. This is the only part of the home where they needed professional work as experts did the retiling and renovation of the T&B. Of course, the husband couldn't resist adding a personal touch—a barn door completed with fittings bought online.


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