Chic Tip with Kecia of Couture Zoo

Way back when, ok, it was only a year ago, I had the nerve to contact a ton (and I mean a TON) of my favorite bloggers in an attempt to get them to contribute some of their fame and glorious-ness here on Living on the Chic. The work it took to just get some of them to even reply to my emails was harder than I thought it would be. And a lot depressing than I had anticipated. More times than not, I was told that they couldn't contribute to my blog or that perhaps they could point me in a different direction, with someone that fit my 'style' more. I dealt with the dejection and often felt puny about myself as a blogger. The feature was called Chic Tip of the Week and somehow I had managed to keep it alive for almost a year, but ended up losing that battle. After having a year break from contacting other bloggers about guest posting on LotC, and a lot of thoughts and brainstorming on how to make it awesome, I've decided to bring it back.... With some changes. I will be featuring some of my favorite bloggers whom I often interact with, who will still be giving their own advice on how they live cheaply, yet chicly, however, it'll be a no-pressure, people I love, no-schedule type feature. I hope you enjoy this (and these people, whom I adore!) as much as I do.

First up is a very special lady. I first discovered her blooming blog about a year ago, when she left a comment on one of my posts with a link to her blog. I started following and this lady has ceased to amaze me. She has many adventures as a zoo-keeper under her belt, along with a creative sense of style! Her taste is very similar to mine, and I often wonder why we weren't born sisters or something. Anyways, here she is all the way from Germany... Kecia from Couture Zoo!

Hello, 'Chic'lets! I'm Kecia from Couture Zoo.  When Trissta asked me to guest post, I was thrilled and honored.  I've been following Living on the Chic for I don't even know how long!  I've always been a fan of Trissta's blog and Trissta herself is someone who I definitely consider one of my bloggy friends I've made since starting my own blog just about a year ago.  

I like to consider myself the Queen of thrifty style.  

My biggest piece of advice is to utilize flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales.  I love the thrill of the hunt!  You never know what you're going to find!  Case in point, I once found an authentic Milo Baughman coffee table worth about $1200 at a Goodwill for $35!  Another time I found an authentic Chanel jumbo logo brooch at a flea market for $1!

But be patient!  You're not going to strike gold every time!  It's going to take a lot of hoof work to find those amazing pieces, but that makes the reward all the sweeter once you find that can't live without piece!  

Equally important is to have an open mind...look at the bones of a piece as the aesthetics can be changed.  Spray paint is your friend!  I'm partial to gold on most things as it gives a brass effect and who doesn't love gold!?

Don't be afraid to put in a bit of elbow grease!  Paint and spray paint, staple guns, and fabric remnants are your friends!  

I've put all these resources and more to use in my home...

 via Me

This is my office.  The desk I got from Craigslist for $20.  At the time it was a dingy off-white, but a little glossy black and gold leaf make the perfect place for me to blog from.  The ceramic monkey on my desk is from a thrift store with a fresh coat of gold spray paint.  The art above my desk is all DIY.  The center one is a vintage 1920's Louis Vuitton French advertisement I found on eBay and framed in this frame I found at Goodwill.  The mug shot prints are tear outs from an editorial in W Magazine.

Both of these stools are thrift store finds that I painted and recovered with fabric remnants and a staple gun.  My favorite fabric resources are eBay, Etsy, and Spoonflower.  

Here's some more spray paint in action.  This horse head my Mom found at a yard sale for about $5.  It was an ugly brown color.  After stealing it from Mom (thanks, Mom!), I glossed it up in white.

via Me

I highly recommend using found objects in your decor as well.  These are some of my found objects that I brought home from my work as a zoologist, African crested porcupine quills and a variety of infertile eggs that I blew and put on spray painted candlesticks. from Goodwill  The gold buddha is yet another spray paint job, the brass vase a Goodwill find, the table a $10 Goodwill find that I painted, and the art is my own photography.

I know some of you are like, "Um, yeah, I can't find my own porcupine quills and emu eggs."  Found objects are all around you.  Collect shells and pieces of coral when you visit the beach.  Collect rocks and feathers on hikes.  Look for antlers, bones, and turtle carapaces when taking walks through the woods.  These pieces may not seem like much on their own, but they look fabulous displayed together in a pretty vignette.

When you're a thrifty chic, it is possible to be fabulous and poor!



Nice one Kecia! You really are the queen of thrift and always have such creative ideas, love the mug shots! xx

Irene said...

Hi Girls!!!

Trissta, your story is very touching and so real. Thank you for sharing your story of reaching out to others, taking a break, and coming back refreshed! I appreciate that because you're REAL. :) Kecia, you KNOW I think just like you, I just don't have the knows in the furniture DIYness like you do! Great post, and TOTALLY my philosophy! I'm PRO on the fashion side of this!

Loves to both!

drollgirl said...

LOVE IT! just because one is on a budget doesn't mean they can't have style and many fabulous things! thrifting takes patience. but creativity and inspiration are free!

Kristie said...

I feel you. Sometimes the blogging world can be a bit cold or even hostile. Cheers to you for sticking with this segment. You're the best!