10 Recession-Proof Green Decorating Ideas

With all the doom and gloom we hear about the economy and consumer spending, many of us are hunkering down and saving our precious resources. Can we continue to create EcoNests?

According to this New York Times article, we are not spending and holding tight until the recession eases. The home building industry is faltering. Their hope is that shrinking home sizes will jumpstart the build industry. A survey of builders this January, found that 89 percent are building or planning smaller homes than they had been. With the lower price adjustments that may come with smaller homes, homeowners may begin to buy and bolster up the real estate market. The jury is still out on that count.

As a homeowner who devours shelter magazines like they are going out of style, the recent shutting down of Domino magazine reinforced my fear that the home design industry might be the next to slide. Domino joined the ranks of some other fine home decorating magazines that became victim of this latest downturn. Blueprint, House and Garden, O at Home and Cottage Living all met an untimely death last year.

Dominoís demise came as a shock to me. It was one of the interior design magazines that had a young, hip and green angle to their stories. They approached the issue of when and what to spend on for your home realistically and with regard to consumers on a budget. Affordable decorating. We need that more than ever!

While Domino may have lost their battle to the recession, in their last dying breath (the December/January 2009 issue), the magazine created a list of some top recession-proof decorating tips.

Here are 10 EcoNesting inexpensive green fixes inspired by Domino magazine:

1. Reuse and reduce when you renovate. Try an architectural and home salvage facility. I found a professional stove for an amazing price at one.

2. Make your own art and frame it. Raid the art-supply store. If you donít have an art supply store nearby, check out Eco Art Works.

3. Paint can be a homeís new best friend. Paint is much cheaper than buying new furniture or wallpaper. Maybe it can heal the winter blues. Think color therapy, not shopping therapy. Try green! It helps to create balance, contemplation, and inner peace.

4. Forgo pricey overhead lighting. Table lamps give off soft light and can be moved around the house for dual purposes.

5. A little decadence goes a long way. Check ebay. I collect mid-century wood handled flatware. Itís an obscure item, but I watch ebay. There are great deals to be found and itís fun to win.

6. Enjoy your small house.
Small is in and now you can sit back with no regrets about not owning a bigger house (who wants to clean one anyway).

7. Check Target or IKEA. Their stores and websites have stylish home dťcor and products and statements about how friendly they are to the environment.

8. Live outside when the weather permits. No, not in a tent. Make your yard an outdoor living space.

9. Repurpose. Here are some ways to repurpose old sheets and towels.

10. Try a DIY home project.

In the meantime, Iím holding on to those dog-eared Domino magazines in hopes that this one will be the last if itís kind to bite the dust. Bye, Domino. You will be missed.

Tip: Domino created some fabulous green lists of resources over the last three years. Before the website becomes extinct in March, you may want to squirrel away those green decorating tips and resources.


Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Good tips thanks for sharing

Charlotte N.
Charlotte Noro7 years ago

Great tips! One thing I always think should be on these green list are Tapestries! Tapestries are entirely cloth based, made from natural materials and do not use toxic paints or chemicals. Cleaning them is also easy and earth friendly. I currently have two hanging in my home and love the depth and color they bring into my living room. I buy mine at www.saveontapestries.com

Jennifer C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Erin K.
Erin Kurnik8 years ago

I love the link "repurpose old sheets and towels", especially the idea to donate your linens to animal shelters. I also use my old linens as rags to clean up when I do art.

Darla G.
Darla G.8 years ago

Thanks for the tips. Would love to see some changes in our home. Lived here almost 9 years, hubby is a contractor, so we have had very little done.... and I would like to do some myself.

Sarah Armstrong
Sarah Armstrong10 years ago

Too bad about Domino but thanks so much for sharing these great tips!