If you’re looking for a new Florida home, don’t overlook the outdoor living opportunities that accompany it. The Sunshine State boasts a fabulous climate — likely one reason you’re seeking to relocate or retire here — so take advantage when you choose your home plan. Consider how you’ll use an outdoor living space, how you’ll maintain it and how to budget for it. Whether it’s a classic covered lanai or a gourmet outdoor kitchen, be sure you create space to enjoy the fresh Florida air. Here are six suggestions.
Light a Fire
“In balmy Florida?” you say? Absolutely! The cooler months are perfect for a toasty fire pit or outdoor fireplace. Not only do they allow your family and guests to linger longer outside, they’re perfect for roasting marshmallows or assembling S’mores.
Really Live Outdoors
You have more options than a picnic table and drying rack for wet swimsuits. Regardless of the size of your outdoor space, think of it as a true living room. Use comfortable seating and enough tables to capture drinks and books. Ottomans also provide convenient landing spots, and today’s hardy outdoor fabrics and furnishings keep it all looking good year-round.
Make It Easy to Get Outside
Eliminate indoor obstacles to your outdoor living space. Track the clearest footpaths from your indoor spaces to your outdoor space, then make sure they’re easy to use. For example, the refrigerator door — when open — shouldn’t impede someone’s route to a patio entrance.
Also consider decorating your outdoor space similarly to your indoor living space. Complimentary design becomes an unspoken extension and invitation.
Light It Up
Be both practical and fun when lighting an outdoor living area. Sconces and recessed lighting are good options, but so is candlelight, in combination with electrical lighting. Try clustering scented candles — all shapes and sizes — down the center of an outdoor dining or coffee table. Non-electrified scones and chandeliers also lend an atmospheric brightness. Don’t forget to illuminate your exterior. Those floodlights beaming up palm tree trunks make a statement. So does the glow from your pool lights.
Never Too Many Planters
You’ll live in a subtropical paradise. Pile on the plants! Go for classic terra cotta containers and greenery. Or a courtyard garden teeming with colorful hibiscus, geraniums or bougainvillea. Site your planters to enhance the decor of your outdoor living space.
Are you an enthusiastic outdoor chef? Tend your own potted herbs, steps away.
Exercise Creativity Underfoot
How will you pave your outdoor living space? If it’s smooth, burnished concrete, try weather-proof rugs as accents. If you prefer something dramatic, use pavers to build a permanent rug. Whatever your exterior flooring choice — bricks, pavers, stones or tiles, to name a few — creativity is another way to enhance the outdoor living experience.
Ready to live the Florida lifestyle outdoors? ICI Homes can help. opens in a new window Click here to begin.