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From Flavorless to Fabulous, the Shabby-Chic Way

A few quick DIY tricks for making your home party-ready in no time!

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It’s the night before (insert any special event here) and there’s absolutely no way that your home will be nicely decorated in time. You’re pacing around your house nervously in hopes of somehow coming up with a last minute save-the-day type solution. Flipping through magazines for inspiration is only making you wish you went to interior design school (who would think to hang a plate on a wall?!) and you’re really regretting the bland DIY job you did decorating. No worries, your home will soon be party-ready after just a few simple Shabby Chic touches.

From Flavorless to Fabulous, the Shabby-Chic Way

Dress The Door

What better place to start decorating than from the very first thing your guests will see – the entrance to your home. You can make a pretty, seasonal wreath with minimal effort, so your guests will know your home is party-ready even before they enter. Here’s how:

  1. Make a base using two wire coat hangers, stretched out to form a circle. Wire the hangers together and cover with duct tape.
  2. Cut several 8″ to 10″ long branches of greenery (redwood, pine, douglas fir, etc.)
  3. Using lightweight floral wire, secure the branches to the wreath base. Overlap the stems. Keep adding stems until the wreath base is fully covered.
  4. Add and secure decorations with floral wire or hot glue.

Wreaths are easy to make and have a big first-impression impact

Start From the Bottom

Layering rugs can quickly and easily bring your home decor to the next level. If you have time, look to purchase another area rug for your space. Besides for providing a home-y, designer’s touch, a rug will protect your expensive carpet, Persian, or hardwood underneath. Now you won’t have to scrub that wine stain out of your expensive carpet or rug with a toothbrush, or worry about those new marks your friend’s aggressive Louboutins made on your floor. Even if you have carpeted floors, layering a rug on top can look effortlessly chic and totally party-ready.

From Flavorless to Fabulous, the Shabby-Chic Way

Layering rugs is an easy trick you can use to transform your home in time for your event

Style Your Table

The last time you played thought of a table in a creative way was probably when you were a child, but I’m sure some of the energy you used to Sharpie your stick-art all over your parent’s kitchen table and walls can be revived to inspire your creativity. Your table is like a canvas, and you should let your artsy spirit shine. Don’t be afraid to purchase mismatched patterned runners, plates, and cups. You can pair complimentary designs and test out different color schemes until you reach the look you’re going for.

From Flavorless to Fabulous, the Shabby-Chic Way

Mismatched dishes create a fun and cozy atmosphere, and it matters less if someone breaks one

Who has time to purchase fancy flower vases seconds before guests arrive? I love the girly-rustic contrast when fresh flowers are placed in empty kitchen bottles. They look even better when you paint them. It allows for a laid back, casual, country-like vibe that is especially perfect during the summertime and warmer seasons. I also keep a stash of silk flowers and some metallic paint on hand for occasions like these.

Empty bottles are chic alternatives to flower vases

Scentsational Mason Jar Air Fresheners

Everyone loves the feeling of walking into a warm, apple-cider smelling home on a cold winter night, or an airy, lemon-scented summerhouse after a long day at the beach. Why not bring these wonderful scents into your own home yourself, and kiss that Bath and Body Works visit goodbye? It’s one less stop to make before the guests arrive…

From Flavorless to Fabulous, the Shabby-Chic Way

Mason jar air fresheners will keep your home smelling pleasant during your event

Besides for the fact that you could practically make them in your sleep, these Mason Jar room fresheners could perk up any space with their bright colors and fresh looks, ideal for any party setting.

Citrus Mint Freshener – I love how the citrus compliments the mint in this fresh scent combination.
Ingredients: One lemon, grapefruit, lime, or orange cut into circles. Water. Mint leaves.
Instructions: Place fruit and water into a pot, and bring to a simmer. Add more water to the pot as it evaporates.  When ready, transfer the liquid to the mason jar, and put in a few mint leaves. Enjoy the scent!

Cinnamon Freshener – This scent is especially great during the autumn and winter.
Ingredients: Whole cinnamon and water. Place ingredients into a pot, and bring to a simmer.
Instructions: When ready, transfer the liquid to a mason jar, and display in your home. Breathe in the goodness! For a nighttime party, add floating (beeswax or soy) tea lights.

From Flavorless to Fabulous, the Shabby-Chic Way

Tip: To keep your bathrooms smelling fresh during your party, place a freshener in each one. If you want to make the scent even stronger, add some essential oils to the mix.

How will you spruce up your home for your next event?

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 65 Comments

  1. June Ryden

    These jarred air fresheners look so exotic! Did you make them? They look so chic. 😊

  2. Jadie Dennison

    What kind of essential oils would you recommend?

  3. Arda Daschel

    I’m more into modern minimal interiors but I love these tricks and ideas you’re talking about in this article. Good job as always!

  4. Aubrey Nikolaus

    I’ve found your blog through your Pinterest. I’ve come across so many great ideas, and added them all to my ideas board. I’ll be a follower from now on, all your social network platforms. 🙂

  5. Stephanie Hutchinson

    I have no idea how to spruce up my house for the next event! My husband’s surprise birthday party that is… That’s how I ended up on your blog in the first place. I was Googling for ideas.

  6. Heather Ashworth

    Can’t get enough of your amazing DIY ideas! Can’t wait for more. I hope you post more soon. 🙂

  7. Belinda Martinez

    Found your website while searching for shabby home deco ideas on the web. Seems like I’ve found just the right place! So many articles full of amazing ideas. Can’t wait to read them all in details!

  8. Amanda Hodge

    Oh god yes! I need to get some stylish and colorful tableware. Thanks for the reminder. 😉

  9. Rose Wiles

    I love the idea of decorating the door with a wreath. It could help any place look homely. 🙂

  10. Alma Harley

    Beautiful ideas! I haven’t changed the decoration of my house in a few years, and I’m starting to get real bored of it. Everybody compliments how beautifully decorated my house is, but it’s starting to look dull to me.

  11. Sue J. Gibbs

    I just love these!! Such lovely small decorations that can change the look of a whole room!

  12. Evangeline H. Lopez

    Getting married at the end of the summer. We are planning a small wedding in my parents’ backyard. We have a small budget, so we didn’t hire a wedding planner. So far it’s been fun. My fiance helps a lot. He’s an artist so he’s a very creative man. That comes a lot handy when planing an all – DIY wedding. I’ve come across some stunning ideas on your blog, some are from this article, some are from previous articles. In a way you will have helped planing our wedding, so thank you so much!

  13. Christy Barksdale

    Lovely ideas, Hilary. Not too shabby. 😉 Lol I’m not always full of bad puns like this I promise, but you’re always full of unique and inspirational ideas. Love you and Urbanette so much! xo

  14. Patti Linkous

    Greetings from Paris! I’d like to start off by thanking you for this wonderful article. Helped me out creating a better mental picture of how to decorate my apartment. – That’s where BUT comes in…- BUT my girlfriend is moving in with me next month, yes we are a LGBT couple and very proud! I want to go for a completely shabby style redecoration, but she’s more of an artsy-musician person, so she wants some bohemian spirit in the apartment. We figured we should meet up in the middle and mix shabby and bohem. But sadly we are confused and clueless as to how to do it without making our place look odd. Any tips or advice? Thank you!

  15. Gladys Cargo

    Wow! Who could’ve ever guessed that you could learn so much from a quick read? Inspiration is flowing right now. I can’t wait to start redecorating my room. I’ll definitely be using the tips I’ve learned from you. 🙂

  16. Carolyn Lennox

    Start from the bottom? Is that a Drake reference? “Started from the bottom, now we’re here.” haha sorry! Just couldn’t help myself. 🙂

  17. Alexandra Harrison

    Thank you for stating out the importance of the choice of rug. I wasn’t aware that it mattered so much. I have recently started getting into this whole decorating thing, and it seems I have a lot to learn.

  18. Maryann Logan

    I’ve always wondered why the word “shabby” has a meaning in our language, when in fact, as a deco-style shabby is purely amazing and beautiful. Anyway, sorry for the random rant lol. I’m absolutely loving and copying these ideas for my livingroom. 🙂

  19. Josephine Grenier

    What a timely article for me! I am about to get married in a few months, and started decorating our new house, which we will start living in once we get married. So many of your home-deco ideas I came across this blog will take place in our new house. Thank you so much for all the inspiration.

  20. Geraldine Chambers

    Such breathtaking ideas 😍👏 However I’m a total failure when it comes to DIY projects. These things take some talent, and I sadly don’t have what it takes. So, could anybody please let me know when and where we can get these?

  21. Maria Singleton

    I love everything I’ve seen / read here. Especially loving the natural feel of the air fresheners. I must make some. I absolutely need those.

  22. Kim Grimm

    Excellent ideas and great photos, Hilary 💕 You and your ideas are always all around amazing.

  23. Marisa Goss

    I find shabby deco very romantic for some reason. It has a fairytale-likeness to it. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. But I know I love it!

  24. Joyce McClendon

    Ahh! I really love these! 🙂 In my humble opinion, shabby is the way to go. Because it never goes out of fashion.

  25. Nina Simmons

    Hello! I’ve just stumbled across your blog, this article to be precise, while Googling shabby diy ideas. I won’t have to look any further! Everything I need is right here. Thank you so much!

  26. Kendall R. Manuel

    Creativity at it’s best! I’ve been following your Pinterest for a while, and come across some awesome diy ideas, and shabby deco tips and tricks. Helping me out big time with redecorating my house. It’s a very slow process, but getting there.

  27. Rose Aimee

    I will never ever ever throw away jars anymore! I love this air freshener idea so much! I want to make a few for each room. It’ll go so well with the deoc style of my house. 🙂

  28. Joan Morales

    So totally #obsessed with these ideas!!

  29. Esther Devine

    My 🏡 could really use more DIY touches like these… Thx

  30. Maxine Ford

    I bookmarked these. Super useful 🙂

  31. Connie Schmidt

    I totally LOVE these ideas! ❤

  32. Karen Abeyta

    Just in time! I’m throwing a dinner party tomorrow and really needed this!

  33. Elizabeth Gonzalez

    I can’t imagine how you came up with these wonderful ideas! Please post more decor articles ASAP 🏡

  34. Rosalia Russell

    Another excellent DIY article from you, Hilary!

  35. Della Martin

    Thanks for introducing me to “shabby chic,” can’t help but love the style and ambiance.

  36. Zoraida Martin

    I think that after following your advice, my home will become so much more elegant.

  37. Carmen Griffin

    Is shabby chic the most common interior design style for French houses?!

  38. Andrea Jones

    Love this post! Great idea on dressing the door!

  39. Arlene Davis

    Very helpful! Opening my home to relatives and friends often causes me stress!

  40. Sharon Payson

    The most exciting article I’ve read on the topic 😉

  41. Those fresheners are the loveliest and the smartest DIY shabby ideas I came across! I totally want to make some for my office!

  42. Sibel Jenkinson

    Loving these! They’re actually great ideas for a wedding too! Bookmarked.

  43. Molly Twain

    The next event in my house will be my daughter’s 9th birthday… So I won’t get to do any of these ideas above UNFORTUNATELY, but I’m still looking forward to her princess themed party with great excitement, afterall a child turns 9 only once, right? 🙂

  44. Brenda Nelson

    My husband and I have just recently bought a beach house and we’ve been browsing lots of home design ideas. This is so far the loveliest idea we’ve come across. I think we agreed on going for a shabby chic style for our new house. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration and great tips!

  45. A friend of mine painted some kids toys metallic gold and glued candle holders to them, then put them all over the table. It was a memorably creative effect.

  46. Cathy Welch

    I can’t imagine how you came up with these wonderful ideas! Please post more decor articles ASAP 🏡

  47. Elvira Taylor

    Bookmarked (and imprinted in my mind.)

  48. Nicole Schmidt

    Thanks for another excellent DIY article from you, Hilary! Keep ’em coming!

  49. Carol Wood

    I love this style… Thanks for introducing me to “shabby chic,” can’t help but love how relaxed and easy, yet elegant it is.

  50. Stephanie Savage

    I can already tell that after following your advice, my home will become so much more cosy.

  51. Maria Lien

    Seems like shabby chic the most common interior design style for French houses, right?

  52. Lorie Stewart

    Love these ideas. I’m going to go to the flower shop to get materials to make a wreath right now. So motivated!

  53. Rita Boddie

    Super helpful! Having people over for dinner can be stressful, but I’ll be a lot more confident about my home now.

  54. Kseniya Tomlin

    You’re such an expert! Thanks for sharing excellent tips!

  55. Jesse Wyss

    Among these, the “scentsational tips” are on the top of my list

  56. Jessie Fernande

    Now, I can make my home ready for guests 💗 👠👥

  57. I have never imagined how easy it is to transform my home. Thanks for the tips!

  58. Lana Wiliam

    I love how easy and tasteful these ideas are.

  59. Alena Martin

    The last party I had, a friend spilled red wine all over my expensive white rug. I’m definitely going to do your rug layering suggestion this time!

  60. Juli Woods

    I love entertaining. I’m definitely going to incorporate these ideas. Please share more ❤

  61. Hena Taylor

    The wreath idea looks easier than I would’ve thought.

  62. Lusi Martin

    Loving this — I’m going to do these ideas every day

  63. Jessi Agusta

    GREAT ideas! + I adore French decor…

  64. Honey Smith

    I really love these ideas… they work for any decor and are super easy to implement. Please write more home decor articles!

  65. Bela Christo

    Shabby Chic is definitely my style. I love the feminine look and feel of all the frilly pieces, all the flowers, etc, all the things that makes these posts look feminine…

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