Friday, July 15, 2011

Redecorating à la Cheap

It has been a long time coming, but we're finally feeling the economic crunch in the EcoYogini home. Let me tell ya, it's stressful and annoying. All superfluous spending is out. That includes yoga classes. Thank goodness Yoga in the Park has survived another close call (another story... and not a very nice one. I'm honestly not sure I feel like sharing- let's just be happy Halifax still has a free yoga in the park).

With the money crunch comes the reality that we can't afford to purchase non-essential things. After a year of living in our new apartment, I was just coming up to feeling like we should make it into a 'home'. Years of apartment living, moving every two years, has resulted in never being able to justify investing the money into making the space a home. I never bought art, furniture or painted. It just seemed like a colossal waste since we'd be moving in a few years anyways.

But now we'll most likely be living the apartment life (cuz who would ever give us a mortgage?) for quite a few more years. Ah, it could be worse, I could be unemployed...

So what to do? Our apartment needed a sprucer-upper.

What's an environmentally friendly option? A top to floor scrub. Yeppers, we spent hours scrubbing the floors, walls, dishes, furniture, appliances. We tidied up, straightened the clutter away and finally I lit some cleansing black candles (pagan). Wouldn't you know it helped.
 View from the kitchen (please note Asteya in her favourite place- the box, and yes that is Andrew playing WoW)
 View from the door (diagonal to the previous picture. That black thing under the couch is the retired full sized keyboard... wish we had space to haul out that sucker).

More Environmentally Friendly Re-Decor Ideas:
  • Now's the yard sale-ing season! Like a huge creep-o, drive (or bicycle!) the streets of your neighbourhood scoping out the loot. Take a deep, full bellied breath, and be prepared to haggle and look through other people's stuff. You never know what you may find for uber cheap! Make sure it's quality though and something you'll love for a while. Don't buy it just cuz it's cheap.
  • Replace your comforter with a funky quilt- instant bed change.
  • Re-arrange your furniture- zero dollars and may just quell the 'change' itch you got going.
  • Choose some of your favourite photos and have them printed. Find some funky frames at a yard sale or a Value Village (used store) and make a fun framed montage.
  • Have a little cash but can't buy art? Purchase a canvas, some paint and some paintbrushes. Make your own art!
  • Buy fresh flowers at the farmer's market every so often. An instant mood lifter and room brightener.
What about it fellow EcoYogi(ni)s? Got any other ideas? Has the economic crunch resulted in a more minimalistic, non spending lifestyle for you? If so- regardless of how you feel about our planet going in the crapper, you're now officially being environmentally friendly :) (and if you do a massive cleaning, make sure to take pictures like we did so we can remember just how clean the place can get lol).

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Sorry for whatever happened with Yoga in the Park! I hope it works out!!

    I love these ideas - so simple, and yet so effective! Moving the furniture around is my FAVORITE way of making a change. It doesn't cost a thing and can give a room an entirely new "vibe." And using your own pictures is awesome, too - I've done that many times. We all have an inner artist within! :)

  2. i disagree, look at all that space! you've definitely got room for the keyboard. maybe move the couch out into the middle of the room more and put the keyboard along the back of it?

  3. the space is gorgeous! will they let you paint the walls? (of course i never asked when i was a renter, just let 'em take the repainting cost out of my deposit, haha)

    fresh flowers in a mason jar always do it for me...

    ps could you come clean my hardwood floors? i hate that part of cleaning! :)

  4. After years of having $0 available for any real decorating, I have become the master of decorating on the cheap! Yard sales and 2nd hand stores can be a gold mine, throw in a little eco friendly paint and you can change the entire way a piece of junky furniture looks! Hanging some "one of a kind" pottery or china on the wall provide instant art! It's amazing what kind of wall art you can create with some craft paint, and a canvas (or scraps of old wood!). Use 2nd hand scarves, or some have in your drawer but don't wear anymore, into wall art, or a funky curtain for a small window. With creativity the ideas are endless.

    I like to read shabby chic blogs too, sometimes they have some great reusing projects too.

    It's funny, because even though I sometimes have the disposable income to buy stuff for redecorating, I still go the cheap/artsy/crafty route. Old habits die hard! That reminds me, you can easily dye repurposed fabric or something you're sick of for a new look...

    Your apartment is lovely, those are some awesome looking floors!

  5. Yep...we have the crunch here too...with only one salary coming in...

    Cleaning and re-arranging stuff is a cheap/free way of making HUGE changes! I just did that with our front entrance AND our kitchen food cupboards. Soon the fish tank in the bedroom will be well as another in the living room. I love them but in the end I think having only one tank (of course our kitchen one!) and keeping it looking great will be the best....which means more rearranging! :)

  6. You can often get free and cheap stuff on Kijiji, and there's always Freecycle. I find to get anything on Freecycle you have to subscribe to the emails that come instantly in your box and respond to things quick. Sometimes you luck out, but mostly I use it to get rid of things.

    People might even give away open cans of paint. If it's not dried up and is suitable for your walls, then why not?

  7. Speaking of money-related musings, I just read a great post on money and energy by Eliza at Art Asana:


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