Make Your Home Party-Ready


From Flavorless to Fabulous, the Shabby-Chic Way


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.


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

  2. Sibel Jenkinson

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

  3. 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? 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. Cathy Welch

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

  7. Elvira Taylor

    Bookmarked (and imprinted in my mind.)

  8. Nicole Schmidt

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

  9. 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.

  10. Stephanie Savage

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

  11. Maria Lien

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

  12. 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!

  13. Rita Boddie

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

  14. Kseniya Tomlin

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

  15. Jesse Wyss

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

  16. Jessie Fernande

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

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

  18. Lana Wiliam

    I love how easy and tasteful these ideas are.

  19. 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!

  20. Juli Woods

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

  21. Hena Taylor

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

  22. Lusi Martin

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

  23. Jessi Agusta

    GREAT ideas! + I adore French decor…

  24. Honey Smith

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

  25. 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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