Moving to the Sunshine State and ready for a sunnier interior design than what’s in your current home?

Many people are! Lightening up and paring down are popular strategies for many new Florida homeowners. The living generally is more informal here compared to other North American locales,Want a Versatile Living Area Try These Hacks and many ICI Homes customers take that approach.

Our advice? Versatility is key when it comes to planning your new living area. These hacks show you how.

There are no rules…

It’s Florida. It’s a living space. Consider the easy, outdoorsy lifestyles inherent in a subtropical climate and plan accordingly.

Stiff, formal furniture might not be the first choices unless there’s a cherished antique that’s been inherited. Heavy draperies, or floors and furniture that can’t take moisture and sandy feet, are other examples of things you might be used to from living elsewhere, but feel stilted in a more relaxed climate

And don’t think you can’t enjoy beautiful — even dressy — furnishings and decorative objects because you now live in the sub-tropics. Blanket assumptions on either end of the formality scale aren’t accurate or helpful. Don’t be afraid to mix and match!

Instead, keep the pieces you love and pull in some new ones. Pair an easy-to-clean, painted cotton rug with a modern glass and chrome coffee table. It works if it fits your style and home.

…Except for practicality

Yes, use what you love and enjoy it, always. However, if you want to update your existing chairs and sofas with fresh upholstery, go for a fabric that’s impervious to wear-and-tear and moisture.

Manufacturers make all sorts of durable fabrics these days — really lovely cotton duck on dining chairs, anyone? — so don’t think you’re stuck with sail canvas, denim and other indoor-outdoor choices.

If possible, you also want harder surfaces — tables, shelves, desks — you can swipe clean with paper towels or a cloth. Especially if you’d like a fluid floor arrangement…

Keep your floor plan flexible

A favorite monster recliner may have to be accommodated, but the ability to shift other furniture and elements to suit a dinner party, or new bookshelves, gives you more options.

A smooth, durable flooring material (not carpet) makes it easy to slide tables, chairs and sofas. If you’re buying furniture for your new Florida home, try pieces that are lighter-weight — stools, side tables and ottomans — that also can travel outside to a lanai or a porch.

Inside, it’s nice to be able to slide and scoot items around the TV to watch football games. Or to create cute, conversational nooks for wedding showers, birthday parties or luncheon attendees.

Love art and other decorative objects? Mount larger works you know will be a consistent focal point on walls. Prop smaller ones on stands or easels, on shelving towers that can be moved around. Corral collections in glass shadow boxes, curio cabinets or baskets.

Ready for your new custom Florida lifestyle? Talk to ICI Homes here. opens in a new window