If you’re building a new custom home with ICI Homes, you’ll find no end of inspiration and options for outdoor living.

We live in the Sunshine State, so of course all of our homes come with a lanai of some shape and size. In most of our floorplans, you can opt for a large sliding glass door to open up your lanai to your outdoor livinggathering room and really bring the outdoors in. You may also choose to screen in your lanai, or go with a plethora of other upgrades. A favorite upgrade and staple of Florida living — the summer kitchen — includes things like grills, cooktops, under-the-counter refrigerators, and sinks to make cookouts an entirely new experience.

But, if you’re unsure how you’d like to design your outdoor living space — or deploy the one you know you want — we can help. And you don’t have to wait until the weekends to enjoy it! In fact, we encourage you to make it so inviting and comfy that you’ll use it every day.

Keep reading for fun ideas on how to turn your backyard into a weekday oasis.

Prioritize comfortable seating

This may seem obvious, but hard chairs get uncomfortable very quickly, especially after a long day at work or keeping up with hectic family schedules.

The ultimate backyard statement? A classic hammock. Don’t be afraid to hang one (follow manufacturer directions). Hammocks are great nap destinations and curiosity pieces for parties.

Whatever you choose, avoid outdoor seating that looks good in a showroom or online, yet isn’t comfortable for everyday use, particularly if you work indoors all day. That means buying hardy, all-weather cushions, or seating constructed out of body-friendly materials.

Collapsing in a rocker at 6 p.m., on Wednesday sounds even better when your backside approves of the landing site!

Allow for shade

The brightness, warmth and inherent cheer of sunshine are all good things, but it can and will get hot during our subtropical summers.

So, plan ahead to enjoy your outdoor living space in August. Work with your ICI Homes designers to site your floor plan around any existing trees on your lot. Those can provide natural shade at the hottest part of the day, without blocking warmth and light.

No trees on your lot? Consider adding a pergola or pavilion.

Pergolas are freestanding, framed structures with no walls and open, slatted roofs. They beg for gorgeous tropical vines that provide another form of natural shade, plus greenery and pretty blooms.

Another option is a pavilion, which is a fully roofed, open-air structure that can be any size, and tucked anywhere in your backyard.

And don’t forget to stay cool. Add ceiling fans to your covered lanai and outdoor living spaces to keep breezes stirring year round, ensuring that even hot days are comfortable.

Allow for beauty

Do you stare at cubicle walls all day? Conference rooms? A noisy, busy retail workspace? Kicking off dress shoes and enjoying a refreshing beverage while watching a sunset can be the perfect antidote when your outdoor living space is an attractive place to unwind.

And while swimming pools and container gardens are nice vistas, you don’t need elaborate landscaping to beautify your backyard. A manicured lawn, classic shrubbery and native-Florida flowers and perennials can be just the backdrop for your end-of-the-weekday flops.

Work with your ICI Homes designer to tuck in a small fountain, or install a trellis for climbing roses against a fence. How about a putting green?

Ready for your new outdoor living room? Talk to ICI Homes here. opens in a new window