How to Spruce Up Your Home for $300 or Less: An Interview with Adrienne Hubbard

By Kealia Reynolds

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to spruce up your home—in fact, you can actually increase the overall value of your house with just a little cash. There are plenty of ways to improve the look of your home—like new paint, fixtures or house numbers—for less than $300.

We sat down with professional DIYer Adrienne Hubbard of Crafty Little Gnome, who uses cost-effective methods to make her own home beautiful, and got her take on ways to spruce up your home for $300 or less.

How to spruce up your interior for $300

Upgrade your walls with a fresh coat of paint

Paint is one of the most cost-effective and easiest upgrades for cost-conscious homeowners, and it provides plenty of opportunities to be creative. Enhance the brightness of a room with a single color or create murals that span an entire wall.

The average cost to paint a 120-square-foot room is just $100, which includes the cost of painting supplies like masking tape, primers, and paint rollers. Because this requires about a third of your $300 budget, consider painting high-impact spaces like the master bedroom or living room to increase resale value.

Before picking a paint color, Hubbard suggests thinking about the whole effect of the house and what colors complement existing tones—go to a hardware store and pick out paint swatches, then compare the colors against your current colors.

Add crown molding to increase the value of your home

Not only does crown molding add charm, but it can also increase the resale value of your home. Costing between $120 and $260 (for wood-based materials) per room, crown molding installation can be completed in a single weekend.

Since this will take up most of your budget, install crown molding where it makes the most impact, like your living room or master bedroom, to achieve maximum resale value.

Integrate color and design into your space

If you’re looking for a quicker way to spruce up your home, choose new décor to make your bathroom, bedroom, or living room pop. Spend $300 by making updates to many rooms or mix between décor and improvement projects.

  • For the bathroom—Upgrade your bathroom for less than $20 by choosing new hand towels, purchasing a new soap dish, and replacing your old shower curtain.
  • For the bedroomTransform a bland sleeping space into a personalized room with a new duvet cover, area rug, and wall art. These changes will cost $120–$300 if you shop a site like Wayfair or you can hunt for great finds at a flea market or on Craigslist.
  • For the living room—Add a new light fixture or lamp, a funky side table, or decorative pillows for a rustic-chic or contemporary-modern look. Get great deals by shopping holiday sales, Facebook Marketplace, Wayfair, or Overstock.

Spruce up your home’s exterior for $300

Paint your shutters

If you have exterior shutters, painting them can improve your home’s curb appeal. Typically, paint ranges from $15–$50 per gallon with additional supplies like painter’s tape and paint brushes costing less than $40.

Swap out your house numbers

As a subtle, more creative way to upgrade your home’s exterior, replace your house numbers or update existing numbers with a coat of paint. Try Etsy for unique options. This simple switch costs as little as $25.

Touch up your landscaping

Hubbard suggests using landscaping as an inexpensive way to spruce up your home’s exterior. Your total landscaping cost will depend on the types of plants and flowers you grow, where you buy, and how many you need.

I like to plant with perennials because they last more than one season, whereas an annual will die at the end of the year. If you go this route, you end up saving a lot of money in the long run. I also love to plant bulbs in the fall because you get a lot of color in the spring once they pop up.”

Here are a few sturdy plants to give your home some fresh curb appeal:

If you don’t have a green thumb, adding a bench or seating area, Hubbard says, has a huge impact on the presence of your home. Try Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for second-hand patio sets.

Stain your porch

To revitalize the look of your porch, power-wash or hand-scrub the area, then brush on a protective coat of stain for ultimate strength and protection. Not only does this improve the look of your porch, but it can also increase the resale value of your home. On average, the entire project will cost around $80.

Decorating for seasons and holidays

If you’re feeling crafty around new seasons or the holidays, here are Adrienne Hubbard’s suggestions to liven up your house:

  • Buy ornaments or other decorations from the clearance section at any craft store.
  • Download free, seasonal print-outs online and replace existing pictures with your new prints.
  • Put up Christmas lights as an easy and festive way to brighten up your living room.
  • If you want to be more creative and include the entire family, try making wreaths with the greenery in your yard.

How to decide between doing it yourself and hiring a professional

If you’re not comfortable completing a project, like changing a light fixture for example, Hubbard advises calling a professional to complete the job. By hiring out complicated work, you can avoid paying for costly mistakes.

If you don’t have the budget to hire out a professional for a project, Hubbard suggests recruiting a friend you trust. “This [alternative] is pretty cheap and you’ll have money for things you know how to do yourself, like painting.”

The three rules of DIY

Before beginning a new home improvement project, follow Hubbard’s three rules of DIY:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try new things and learn new skills.
  2. Make sure you do lots of research and ask other people for advice and help.
  3. Know when to hire a professional to prevent damage to your home.

Hubbard’s one last piece of advice for homeowners looking to spruce up their home—get creative. Whether that means updating older home renovations or finding items around the house for new projects, creativity is key when sprucing up your home on a limited budget.

About the Expert

Adrienne Hubbard is a jewelry artist and DIY and craft blogger. On her blog Crafty Little Gnome, she shows her readers how to make pretty things, tasty things, practical things, and every type of thing you can think of. She lives with her husband and daughter in Northwest Washington state.

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