Home Decorating Ideas : Creating an Outdoor Shabby Chic Room

March 1, 2013 0 By Koehler Home Decor

Shabby chic has been a popular style of home decor since the mid Nineteen Eighties. Thirty years later, it is still as popular as ever, but the look does not have to be limited to the interior of your home.

We all look forward to the days we can spend outside and enjoy the simple pleasures of ‘outdoor living’. Home owners are choosing to make their outside activities even more pleasurable by creating an outdoor room rather than simply adding a generic patio set to their deck, patio or porch.


Shabby Chic is based on the look of English stately homes in the earlier part of the 20th century, primarily between the two World Wars. This was a time when many of the owners of grand homes fell on hard financial times and although they still owned all their fine furnishings often their elegant furnishings were falling into a state of disrepair.

Many of these homes still had a defined outdoor living space. The English weather is unpredictable and summers tend to be short, so making the most of every sunny day was a must. Now modern homeowners can make use of shabby chic decorating techniques to create their own genteel outdoor living spaces.

Defining a Shabby Chic Outdoor Room

For those with a porch, defining an outdoor room is rather straightforward and easy. Doing so on a patio, deck or even out in open garden space calls for a little more creativity. It is not as hard as you might think though.


In a space where there are no “walls” a simple garden trellis can be erected to do the job very effectively. These trellises can then also be used to introduce extra floral elements into the space, a common element of shabby chic decor.


There are those, people who have no deck or patio, who go one step further and create a freestanding outdoor room in a simple garden shed. Such a shed does not even need to be particularly large, as the idea is that it simply creates a delineation, and that when in use furnishings would be grouped outside it.

Using Shabby Chic Style Furniture Outdoors

A real outdoor room should be as functional as it is pretty. One of the musts of course is a great table. White is often an excellent choice as you can then take advantage of the fact that in shabby chic decorating there is no need for furniture to match perfectly, meaning that a good, solid table can then be surrounded by eclectic thrift stores finds, or even by odd chairs, stools and other pieces of furniture taken from indoors.


Storage is handy to have in an outdoor room as well, to save trips back indoors simply to fetch basic supplies (glasses, cutlery, maybe even books and magazines). Rather than opting for out of place plastic storage boxes choosing a shabby chic styled storage cabinet will not only allow easy storage but will also help the space feel more like a room than a simple collection of furniture placed outside.