Decals are not a new thing. But they change their form and shapes as vendors get creative with the changing time.
In our previous place, we had this really huge wall decal of “Gaia” which is still standing today. I find it timeless to use decals if the designs are clean-cut and not too cheesy.
When we moved into the new place, there are a massive number of glass doors! Then again, it is the new norm. As the average sizes of apartments get smaller in Singapore, architects made use of glass to allow more natural light and at the same time, create spatial division of the usage of space without a wall.
I like glass but I dislike crashing into them!
More than once, I had people “walking through” my kitchen glass doors. It is not funny.
So we decided to look for decals which can add some character to the interior design and prevent accidents too.
After a long search on the Internet, I found Decorette – a local online shop – which stocks some really interesting designs. From Decorette, I learnt a thing or two about decals vs stickers.
The below information are from Decorette’s FAQ page which provided a very good summary of vinyl die-cut decals vs stickers/non die-cut decals.
“Vinyl wall decals (not just any type of decals) are graphic cut outs using self-adhesive coloured vinyls. They are intricately cut by machine (not printed with ink) followed by the removal of the negative space, leaving only the design itself to be installed. Unlike printed decals where the graphics are ink printed onto a clear or white vinyl backing, die-cut decals do not come with any backing. Instead, your wall colour (or glass) serves as the background giving a clean, seamless and professionally painted effect.”
Still not clear enough? Simply-put: Die-cut vinyl decals are of a better quality, more lasting and gives a clean look unlike stickers. Naturally, their prices are a little higher than stickers or low-grade decals.
Beside the assurance in quality, the main thing that attracted me was the Uniquely Singapore decals.
It tells of my age, I think.
After spending 2 years flying around the world and hearing foreigners asking if Singapore is part of China?!, I am even more drawn to This-is-Home-Truly. I appreciate the uniqueness of our little red dot, the “rojak” (mixed) style of residents and even the Singlish we are famous for.
Decorette has been around for 8 years. 2 years ago, the folks behind it revamped the way decals look and feel. They conceptualised Uniquely Singapore collections decals which I fell in love with.
Look at these:
|Fancy Gems – our ubiquitous, old-charm gem biscuits! These look so daintily cute in a kids’ room. You can customise the colors accordingly.|
|Another one of my favourite – Peranakan Tiles. There are 2 designs (rose and lotus) and you can customise the colors. This a good alternative for those who love tiles and can’t use tiles in their place (read:ME!).|
|My absolute favourite – Kopitam Talk. Or maybe it’s a tie with Fancy Gems. This screams SINGAPORE! Even though most coffee shops do not have such a menu, you will hear shouts of all those drinks orders “thundering” through the kopitams in Singapore.|
|Singlish – how can you leave Singapore without a souvenir LAH? Great gift idea for that foreigner friend who is relocating or the overseas Singaporean who missed home!|
Besides “Uniquely Singapore” decals, Decorette also specialise in customised designs for corporations, monograms and text/quotes/wordings. In a nutshell, they can do anything you can dream of. Almost. More designs selections are available on their newly revamped website.
|Scallop Monogram – If I have a girl, I would love this for the nursery room. Too sweet.|
|For the Christians, they stock several designs of bible verses or you can customise one with your favourite verse.|
After meeting up with Decorette’s bosses, I found out that they are revolutionizing the world of decals. From catering to the end-users with DIY good quality decals, they are also taking on projects to customise designs and engage in branding for individuals and businesses. It helped that both of them – Catherine and Brandon – came from a marketing and branding background. They are strong in communications, design and branding from a business angle and are able to tailor make designs to suit various set-ups or your home.
Decals are actually highly versatile and can be used in many ways on different smooth surfaces such as floors, doors, walls, glass, mirrors and even ceilings. In my case, I needed decals urgently for my glass surfaces in the kitchen and yard. We had a great conversation on the designs and they kindly came in person to install them!
Here are some details to share if you are going to D.I.Y installing decals yourself:
1) Know your surfaces
There are 2 ways to install decals on glass – wet and dry. In my case, the Decorette team applied the dry method as the decals are not large. For newly painted walls, it will be ideal to stick decals after 30 days so that the paint had “rested” and the decals will adhere properly. Catherine advised that she also give out sample stickers to clients who are not sure if their walls are suitable surfaces. Some wall paints have Teflon substance (non-stick material) and thus decals might warp or not adhere.
|Installation of Peranakan tiles decals onto the kitchen glass divider. Usage of simple material such as masking tape to hold the decals in place while you position/adjust them.|
2) Follow the instructions
There are clear instructions on DIY pasting of decals on glass and wall surfaces. You can also watch the videos or read the instructions on Decorette’s website for a better idea. Follow the instructions and you will be an expert in no time. Brandon mentioned that some of his clients made it into a family bonding activity and allowed their children to help out with the easier applications. Sounds fun.
|Brandon used the same technique of securing the decal using masking tape and using a squeegee or an old credit card to smooth out the air bubbles.|
|After determining the position of the decal, I had the easy task of removing the transfer tape; thanks to the high-grade properties of the European vinyl material. Imagine trying to peel off one letter at a time?! *horrors* !|
3) Be Creative!
It is really just plain walls and glass when you first start off. Beside customisation, you can play around with the pre-designed decals too. For example, Fancy Gems come in separate “biscuits” and “sugar toppings”. It is up to your creativity if you want to create a free-form, structured, around-the-border or even a vertical design.
We went with the same design shown on Decorette because I liked it.
|After the sugar toppings are added, Taa Daaa! You get Fancy Gems in cool yummy shades of green and white.|
Altogether, Decorette’s team installed 3 different glass decals for my tiny kitchen. The theme is Uniquely Singapore no less! Here are some before/after shots:
Kitchen Glass Divider:
Catherine recommended Peranakan Tiles in Ivory and White to match the colors in our house. If I had more surfaces to play with, I would have chosen bright colors as Peranakan colors are always so vivid and bright! Decorette has a really colorful color chart to chose from. By the way, my tiny kitchen is normally not that neat! So the tiles served a dual purpose to hide the mess behind the glass.
Glass yard door:
Fancy Gems will work really sweetly on the wall of a baby or girl’s room. But I think the nostalgic gem biscuits add a quirky and unexpected look on the yard glass door which is just next to the kitchen. A fun reminder of my childhood favourite biscuits. Once again, the dual purpose of hiding some of the mess and prevent accidental crashes into the transparent door!
Kitchen glass door:
This is the most “dangerous” glass door as I had guests who really “walked-through” the door~! with bumps on their heads!
Koptiam – this has got to be my favourite of all. When I posted this photo on Instagram, many of my friends thought that I really opened a new koptiam or cafe!
This classic piece showcased Singapore’s dialect and our coffee shop culture. I really loved its character.
And so, my kitchen is now “transformed” into Uniquely Singapore! Thanks to Decorette. Though I didn’t get a chance to use their decals on wall surfaces, I believed the good experience will be replicated.
I was very impressed with the conceptualisation, intricate design and careful thoughts which Decorette’s team put into each of their decals and especially so for the Uniquely Singapore series. From intense research work to product design and customisation, Brandon and Catherine are personally involved to ensure that their decals are of high quality. Of course, the fact about design is that it can always evolve. But the good thing is, these decals are easily removable from various surfaces and you can change to new designs whenever you changed your mind.
For now, let me sit back, relax over a “Teh C” – my default local drink.
For those who are interested in decals, do support our local business!
Good news No.1: Decorette is kindly giving Evespiration’s readers a special 15% off decals from their online store (not applicable for customised decals and installation service) by quoting promo code EVESPIRATION. This will be valid until 31 December 2016.
Good news No. 2: GIVEAWAY!
If you like the “KOPITAM” decal as much as I do, here’s a chance to win one!
Decorette is happy to giveaway one KOPITIAM decal (a different color can be chosen).
Enter this giveaway through the Rafflecopter link below:
UPDATED ON 16th NOV 2016:
Winner of the Decorette Decal Giveaway is Justina Tey! Congratulations and you will be receiving an email soon! 🙂 Thank you everyone, for the kind support and participation.
Terms and conditions
This giveaway ends on 15th Nov 2016; 2359hrs. The winner will be randomly selected from Rafflecopter and announced on this blog post on 16th Nov 2016.
Winners will be contacted via the email address provided and will have 48 hours to respond; failing which a new winner will be selected.
By entering this giveaway, you agree to release your email address to the sponsor for verification, contact and marketing purposes.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.
N.B: We were kindly blessed with the above mentioned vinyl decals from Decorette; of which I honestly would have purchased them nonetheless. All opinions and images are writer’s own unless credited with links.
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