MIDAS ON THE CHEAP
Living a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget is hard you guys. The other day I went to the jeweler at Sarit to get my skinny gold chain – which I bought at a dodgy-ish store in another mall for 50% off – fixed. So while there I’m trying my darndest to look like I’m no stranger to jewelers stocking fancy, legit pieces. It worked, because I even had the confidence to ask about a custom pendant I’ve been dreaming of for a while. Si you know how Kenyans always think they can get something they’ve seen online for cheap if they just get someone here to do it? Weh!
The guy just casually hit me with an estimate of 45K. For a small pendant. Now, I know some of you reading this are thinking what a steal that was, but it took a lot not to say “ATI?!” Because that would have ruined the perception I’d created. I’m pretty sure that with my simple (tiny to some) wedding band I looked like a young lady with good, minimalist taste, never mind that its size was determined partly by our wedding budget (read my thoughts on wedding planning here), and I had just managed to squeeze that thing back on with the help of a healthy amount of lotion and ugali-fueled right hand. It can’t come off now. Thank you pregnancy-enhanced water retention and weight gain.
Growing up, I was a huge fan of silver. Not so much because I liked the colour, it was more about liking jewelry and only being able to afford real silver. The smaller pieces anyway. Gold was way above my budget (the stuff I want still is, apparently), and I didn’t want to fall into the trap of wearing “gold-plated” jewelry from Dubois all the time, so with silver at least I could wear genuine stuff. I wasn’t going to be that babe walking around with golden chains and rings!
One of the 48 laws of power according to Twitter is: disdain what you cannot have. So for the longest time I pretended to prefer silver to gold because I couldn’t have it.
Then I met two things that changed my life and allowed me to look like a woman with a nice budget: highly polished brass, and gold spray paint. So even though I have all of 400sh in my wallet, 9 bob on M-PESA and 26 bob in my account as I type this, I’d like to think that you wouldn’t know that if you walked into my home. I’ve settled on a black, white, grey and gold colour scheme, mixed in with some solid hardwood furniture to create warmth. I like to mix the cheap and the not so cheap, the DIY and the store/roadside-bought, because balance is important and not having the money to get everything I want keeps me creative. And humble.
I got the spray paint at a hardware store in Kawangware while buying paint, but I’ve also seen it (or something similar) at Text Book Centre. You can also get it from hardware stores on River Road and it comes in gold, rose gold, silver and a bunch of other colours. I love how that little can of spray paint can transform a basic wooden bowl into a cute key and random things holder; how it updates used wine bottles and turns them into pretty accessories. The best part is; you don’t have to be a DIY beast to get it right since the instructions are really straightforward, and it only takes a few minutes.
Now here’s how I’m adding gold into my home without breaking bank. Yeah, I’ve got that Midas touch on the cheap.
Disclaimer: I’m really trying to take decent pictures. Turns out black walls suck in all the light and make it quite hard to get a decent shot, so don’t hate, just appreciate.
Got some great ideas I could incorporate into my home? Or would you like to share what you’ve done to make your space feel really you? Drop me a comment below!
- Gold spray paint – River Road hardware store
- Gold bottles – DIY
- Gold tray on coffee table – Healthy U, DIY
- Gold bowl – Maasai market, DIY
- Gold candle holders – @Home, Cape Town
- Brass champagne bucket – Odds & Ends, also seen here
- Gold candles – TACC, James Gichuru
- Black and gold sparkly picture frames – TACC, James Gichuru
- Black metal candle holders – TACC, also seen here
- White porcelain ornamental chicken – Panache Kenya
- Gold polyhedron triple candle holder – Target, USA
- Wall paint – Duracoat Black Pitch and Brilliant White, also seen here and here