Florida homeowners prize their patios, decks, porches and courtyards. As they should. The state’s temperate climate makes fresh air, warm days and comfortable nights a major lure for new-home buyers, many of whom hail from places where frozen pipes always burst.
What better way to enjoy the Florida lifestyle than to live out of doors? If you want to incorporate outdoor living in your new Florida home, consider the topics below. They’ll help you sort the priorities and practicalities of designing an outdoor living space.
Decide How to Use It
It’s helpful to know how large your outdoor space is or will be. But, you can start by knowing which outdoor-living activities are most important to your household. Think of your space as you would its interior twin. What activities will take place there? Cooking? Lounging and relaxing? Entertaining? How active will it be? Do you need a splash zone for a fountain or pool?
Decide How to Furnish It
Outdoor furnishings should be comfortable and durable no matter how casual or formal the atmosphere. Think all-weather materials that repel the Florida sun and humidity. Also big, over-sized chairs and sectional sofas to accommodate your entire gang. Don’t forget the accessories you’d use indoors — ottomans to prop on, small tables to hold drinks, books or reading glasses.
Sub out the rock-hard picnic table for a outdoor dining table surrounded by chairs padded with all-weather cushions.
Decide How to Decorate It
Whatever your interior decor, think of reproducing it in your outdoor living space. Not only does it utilize a style you already know and love, it makes the transition from indoors to out — and vice versa — more aesthetically seamless.
Thanks to technology, you can export the same attractive accessories you enjoy inside your home, outside. Manufacturers now build toughness into all-weather (that important word again) rugs, decorative pillows and other more fragile objects so that these items aren’t fazed by ruthless sunshine and rain. Since you’re outdoors, how about a burbling fountain for white noise?
Decide How to Cook
Your hardware-store hibachi may suit you fine. If so, no need for Gonzo Gas Grill. But, if larger cookouts or pool parties — even fun dinners with friends — are important, think about creating an outdoor kitchen (yes, you can incorporate Gonzo Grill). If you also need the typical kitchen stalwarts — cabinets, appliances and sinks — be sure to tuck your outdoor kitchen under a roof.
Decide How to Play
There’s nothing wrong with flopping in a lounge chair to watch a Florida sunset. But, you have options. How about using your outdoor-living space as a mini-spa with a hot tub and pool?
Foster year-round activity by building a fire pit or installing a chiminea, a Mexican terra cotta fire pot. You can toast marshmallows, or circle up friends for drinks on a cool evening.
If your space is large enough, why not a bocci ball court? Badminton net?
Ready to decide how to use, furnish, decorate, cook and play in your outdoor living space? At ICI Homes, we’re Florida’s Custom Home Builder. Click here to get started.