Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can't get enough of Daiso

Kawaii means cute in Japanese and if you want to go kawaii on a budget, Daiso is the place.
It has 4 branches in Singapore - IMM Jurong, Vivocity, Plaza Singapura and Sembawang Shopping Centre. Everything there costs Singapore $2 (US $1.30) , from snacks to household goods , from stationery to gardening tools. The range is endless. New stocks arrive in all the time and just when you think they can't go any more kawaii than that, new kawaii stuff keeps coming in. They must have a team of designers who keep a look out for trends and translate them into affordable goods by manufacturing them in bulk in China.

I love miniature furniture and Daiso even has them in different ranges, from country and modern collection to zen and bamboo. Did I mention that they were $2 each ?
And the Japanese table ware section is amazing. The Japanese love to collect a huge number of dishes. There are small dishes for soy sauce, long plates for fish, bowls with lids for miso soup etc. Unlike Western setting, these dishes do not have to match at all and they are made from a wide range of materials including ceramics, glass, lacquer, metal and wood.

The Western section too has its charms. Glass tumblers and ceramic mugs with polka dots, flowers and geometric prints. Pie dishes and ice cream cups in the sweetest pastel colours. Very often, I find myself rationalising whether I need them and very often , I rationalised that I do. When they are so affordable, getting carried away is often the case and finding space in the home becomes an issue and not the price.

Paper dolls, cute little stickers, erasers in the form of sushi, happy colourful handheld windmills, paper laterns is so difficult to resist putting them into your shopping trolley.
Even came across a cross between vodoo dolls and monster dolls and I couldn't resist one with a polka dotted scary face and the other with a heart shaped froggie face.

Another favourite of mine is the gift packaging section. Shelves and shelves of ribbons and plastic gift bags of the most beautiful designs. Most useful especially during the Christmas season of last minute gift wrapping. There is even a plastic section which carries many Muji types of storage, simple designs at a simple price. Yes, $2 each.

If friends of mine come visiting from other countries, I always recommend them to go Daiso-ing. My favourite branch is at IMM Jurong as the floor space and the range of goods is the widest compared to the others. Stretching your budget for gifts is a lot easier here.

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