Are you Florida-bound or thinking about making that move?

Our sunny climate and year-round warmth are major reasons many people head south. Being able to go to the beach (comfortably) almost any day of the year is a bigOutdoor-Living draw, along with amazing recreation options, world-class attractions, booming industries and no state income tax.

Perhaps the biggest draw is being able to truly live outdoors. No more covering the pool for winter. No more shuttering and sealing the back porch in plastic for six months.

You might need a light jacket or sweater on our cooler winter days, but that’s also why you should plan on installing a firepit or portable outdoor firebox at your new Florida home. Roasted marshmallows and S’mores taste good any time, anywhere.

Here’s how to compile your outdoor-living wish list.

Shade

It’s the Sunshine State. You’ll need it.

There are various ways to add shade to your outdoor living space. The classic is the Florida lanai — a shaded, open-air outdoor living space usually off the back of the house. The lanai can be left open, screened or glassed-in, or lead to an uncovered patio or pool deck.

The other classic is the Florida room — a sunroom with screened, closeable windows. You can air-condition it in warmer weather and heat it during our brief winters.

Another universal classic is the back porch. It’s timeless for a reason and easily equipped with ceiling fans, comfy seating and places to plop drinks or plates.

What kind of shade you want and how you use it is up to you. But you’ll be glad you prioritized it once you’re enjoying your new custom Florida home.

Outdoor seating

Folding lawn chairs work just fine if you’re partial to them, but today’s outdoor-living options include full suites of weather-resistant seating, tables and accessories. It’s easy to create an outdoor living room that could work indoors, too.

Most of today’s outdoor home furnishings are well-suited, if not downright impervious, to Florida’s humid, sunny climate, especially those designed and manufactured for sub-tropical and tropical climates. For example, a teak side table will do fine in the elements. But you want to be able to shake off chair cushions after a July thunderstorm, and be able to sit right down.

The summer kitchen

This is such a staple of Florida living, it’s almost an automatic option in many floor plans.

If you’re not familiar, it’s covered counter space, usually with storage cabinets and a sink, perhaps a small refrigerator, and some variety of cooktop — usually a built-in gas grill.

Mix and match according to your tastes and budget. Perhaps countertop space and the cooktop — it also can be gas burners — are all you need. If you and your household enjoy entertaining, plan for buffet and bar space, and that sink.

No matter how you outfit your summer kitchen, you’ll need somewhere to sit, eat and drink. Consider a classic picnic table, or a full outdoor dining table and chairs, illuminated at night by a candlelit chandelier!

Ready for your new custom Florida home? Start the conversation here.