Home and Decor (Part 4)–Dressing up your walls and glass doors with Decals by Decorette

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.

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Our tiny kitchen – when we first collected the keys.

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.

For more information, do check out Decorette’s FAQ page and Behind the Scene to understand the difference in quality.

Beside the assurance in quality, the main thing that attracted me was the Uniquely Singapore decals.

It tells of my age, I think. Open-mouthed smile

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:

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Fancy Gems – our ubiquitous, old-charm gem biscuits! These look so daintily cute in a kids’ room.  You can customise the colors accordingly.
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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!).
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My absolute favourite – Kopitam Talk. Or maybe it’s a tie with Fancy Gems. Open-mouthed smile 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.
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Singlish – how can you leave Singapore without a souvenir LAH? Smile  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. Smile More designs selections are available on their newly revamped website.

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Scallop Monogram – If I have a girl, I would love this for the nursery room. Too sweet.
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For the Christians, they stock several designs of bible verses or you can customise one with your favourite verse.
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Customised wall decal design for one of Decorette’s corporate clients.

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.

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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. Smile

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Step-by-step decal pasting on glass surface.
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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.
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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. Smile

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Printed “Fancy Gems” decals prior to cutting
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Thanks to Catherine, she prepared a cardboard piece with exact cut-out squares for the Fancy Gem biscuits. You can prepare this easily with an used cardboard or mahjong paper. Alternatively, if you prefer to have a free form design, you can let your kids have a hand in pasting them. Smile
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The biscuits are pasted onto each square and replicated throughout the entire glass.
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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! Smile 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. Open-mouthed smile

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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. Smile Once again, the dual purpose of hiding some of the mess and prevent accidental crashes into the transparent door!

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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.

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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. Smile

For now, let me sit back, relax over a “Teh C” – my default local drink. Smile

For those who are interested in decals, do support our local business!

Decorette

Website: www.decorettestore.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DecoretteWallDecals

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/decalsbydecorette/

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:

Decorette Decal Giveaway

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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Home and Decor (Part 2)– 5 useful Home Renovation websites/apps

Following the completion of our key collection and defect checks, we moved on to the real work – the RENOVATION.

We meant to keep things really simple as the new place already have the necessary built-in wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. But having said that, we still want a cosy and efficient place. Compared to a full renovation we did 8 years ago for the old flat, this is considered a minor work. Previously we fully entrusted the job to a random interior designer (I.D.) we met at a design fair. It turned out well….. alright but impractical for the long run. We ended up putting back walls, tearing down a “floating’ dining table and basically making more space for an expanded family of 4 (not counting helper and my mum).

This time, we decided to give the IDs a miss and hired a contractor to execute our ideas in the limited space. And so, that meant researching a lot on our own to finalise the “design” we want.

Sharing some websites/apps here which I found useful for ideas research. I kept it to Singapore sites as I find them more relevant to the local spatial sizes.:

1) Qanvast

This is my favourite because it is “real”! Real renovation done in real places. Of course, photographs are taken at their best but it is by far the most user friendly and useful site in my opinion. I used this a lot mainly because the app is user friendly and the photos are well presented. You can also get free quotes from ID if you want to engage them.

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2) Square Rooms

This is also a Singapore site which gives good ideas and what’s trending. It looks good on a full laptop screen.

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3) Home and Decor

This is a site which has their own magazine too. Not too unfamiliar. Most of my generation should know their sleek magazines. Their website is well organised with chockfull of interior designed photos.

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4) Lookbox Living

Quite similar to Home and Decor. Loads of interior designer photos. Good for inspiration. I like it that you can browse by Type of housing.

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5) Facebook

This is by far one of the quickest methods to generate ideas too. Facebook is pretty much part of my life and once I start “liking” a few interior design and vendors’ facebook pages, the clever Facebook predictive advertiser will propose many similar pages.

No particular Facebook page caught my eye; but I did “steal” some ideas off their shared photos. Open-mouthed smile


And so we kinda of researched what we liked. I was really torn on practicality versus the aesthetics. Due to time and finance constraints, we bought a 3 bedroom to fit in the entire family which is quite a stretch in space. I wished for a million design ideas that I so adorned. But the husband kept bringing me back to reality with our very tight space constraints and our “treasure mountain” (a.k.a loads of accumulated junk possessions).

In the end, we did not finalise on any particular genre of design. I like a mix of industrial, Scandinavian and modern look; yet sometimes drifting into the cottage/homely feel. But fundamentally, we prefer a timeless look (save money!). I wished I have a few houses or rooms to design different looks! The husband just want things to be packed in and place to look bright. Simple. Open-mouthed smile Is. Good.

We pieced everything together and the look is … well… a mix of what I mentioned above! haaa… Let’s just say, I ain’t no designer but it is cozy enough to stay in and contain the mess while our children grow up. Smile

Next up – have a peek into the decoration of the kids’ room!

If you are interested, here’s our first post on Home and Decor – Key Collection and Defects Check.

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“Agar Agar” Door stopper from Supermama. So good you can even eat it on it’s own! Open-mouthed smile

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