We have been in our home less than two years and we have spent many hours (and dollars) furnishing and decorating all of the rooms, including the lanai. Here is what we were greeted with when we first moved in.
A rough finished cement patch and a vinyl fence that runs around the perimeter of our subdivision.
Welcome to the most used "room" in our house! We are out here 12 months of the year, rain or shine!
For those of you not familiar with outdoor spaces in Florida, what we have done here is have a pool installed with a large deck around it that connects to the covered porch in the back of the house. The whole area is then screened in (see above where it comes off the roof line) so that it's like a giant screened porch. Apparently what we have is called a covered lanai and pool with cage. Or something like that. No bugs, no debris in the pool and the screening cuts down just a bit on the sun's rays. I can remember the first time I saw a picture of a screened in pool and thought how ugly it was. Now I'm used to it and I love it!
Because the whole pool area is screened in, we can leave the sliding glass doors open when the air conditioning isn't running. My sister in law's house has a wall of sliding glass doors that open completely so that the outside and inside become one area. Love that (next house, maybe?)
Our outdoor seating area is tucked under cover and never gets direct sunlight. It always stays cool. Well, cool for Florida! I went with a "beach" theme out here and had the ceiling painted blue. You can read about that HERE.
We couldn't live without our ceiling fan. This one is from Lowe's and is made to go outdoors.
All the essentials are covered here. An absolute must for outdoor seating is comfort! We bought this Henry Link sofa and chair at an estate sale last summer. It was in good condition (minus the cushions) and is very comfortable. This sofa is just a nap waiting to happen! One of things I want to do next year is take the plunge and buy some quality replacement cushions. They are VERY expensive and I wanted to be sure we were happy with the furniture itself. In the mean time we bought inexpensive cushions on sale at KMart (Jacyln Smith collection). They are kind of scratchy and flatten out easily. I wouldn't recommend them, however, I love my awning striped pillows from Pottery Barn. Always look for cushions and pillows made for the outdoors. If you are making your own, look for outdoor fabric and foam. That's an absolute must for Florida, the mildew capital of the world!
The best way to make an outdoor space look like a room is by anchoring the furniture arrangement with a rug. Make sure your rug is made for outdoors. I learned this the hard way! I found this patio rug at Ross for less than $20! The coffee table and end table were from Lowe's at the end of the season last summer. The best time to buy patio furniture is before the 4th of July. Lowe's and Home Depot always have some great markdowns at the end of the season. Remember in the retail world the end of the season is really the middle of the season! Next year I would like to paint the whole set a matching color. Buy the best quality furniture you can afford. The cheap stuff just doesn't last. Learned this the hard way too! The shell pillow is also made for outdoors and is from Beall's. If you don't live in an area with Beall's department stores, you can shop from their website. They offer coupons and free shipping sometimes and offer a variety of beach and tropical items.
We have some of the other essentials covered on this side. Small refrigerator for beverages (gift to my husband for Christmas) and the TV (gift for my husband also). The TV is on a swivel mount so that you can even see the screen from the pool. Like I said, these are essentials! We want to install cabinetry and enclose the refrigerator which will give us a serving surface, storage and hide those horrible cords! I made a lame attempt at cord hiding with these baskets from Ross.
Ok, failed at that! The baskets are good for storage though. We also invested in an all weather cover for the TV(not pictured here). It's safe from rain here but you never know. The best prices are on the Internet (I think around $50) for the cover. The TV can also be removed from the mount for when we are away.
Next essential is lighting. This is an all weather lamp from Target I bought a few years back. It has a 2 way switch which is nice. It weighs a ton so it never flips over from the wind. The light is so much better than from the overhead light. The shade comes off it's frame and can be put in the washing machine.
My husband does not want live plants out here (he thinks they bring bugs) but his sister has helped me out by giving these to me as gifts! It's always nice to have your sister-in-law on your side.
I changed this terra cotta planter with some paint, burlap ribbon and rope.
These sconces add a bit more soft light. I added starfish to the tops to hide the bolt that attaches them to the wall. Long story short, the beautiful cracked glass globes that came with these never made it to the wall (my fault!) so Dollar Tree came to the rescue with glass cylinders. The sconces are from Kirkland's.
Another essential is the pool bath. This door leads directly into a full bath that is also accessible from inside the house. The plant stand came with us from NJ and has been spray painted at least 2 other colors before this bronze. Every lanai has to have a big decorative sun. It is the sunshine state after all!
The coffee table is perfect for serving drinks or displaying magazines. My father made the lantern and I painted and distressed it.
When we had the pool built we made sure to have the deck large enough for an eating area. Today I have set up my BJ's Wholesale table with a buffet.
Even though I am not a fan of plastic dishes, I use them when we aren't having a sit down dinner out here. Most of what you see is from Target, Ross and Walmart.
The paper lanterns are from Pier One. In case you didn't know, paper lanterns=party!
Can't forget the tiki torches either!
You can read about this candle holder and runner HERE.
Here is the essential we had to have. The big blue thing in the middle of the picture! You can read all about our pool and my tips for pool buying HERE. Looks pretty inviting doesn't it?
Some Adirondack chairs for sunning. They are surprisingly comfortable. Also visible in this picture is the privacy fence we had installed on either side of our yard.
Right outside the door you will find my herb garden.
A view from outside the screen. See how the sun is on the pool but there's shade in the covered area?
We recently put plantings in along the back fence. You can read about this HERE
You might be having so much fun in the pool that you lose track of time. Just look above the sliding glass doors at this clock I got at a craft festival in Punta Gorda this spring.
Lots of candlelight and tiki lights for after the sun starts to set.
Okay, I think that's enough pictures and information for about 3 posts! I will be sure to update when we get started with our outdoor kitchen and a makeover of my patio furniture.
I will be joining the fun at the following parties...
Overflowing with Creativity at It's Overflowing
Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper
Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter
Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different, Act Normal
Saturday 7 at Positively Splendid
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Nifty Thrift Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Your Cozy Home Party at Cozy Home Scenes
You're Gonna Love it Tuesday at Kathe with an E
Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Creative Blogger's Party at Homemaker on a Dime
Newbie Party at DebbieDoos
Tutes and Tips not to be Missed at Home Stories A to Z
DIY Project Parade at DIY Showoff
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Show 'n Share at Southern Lovely
Rustic Restorations Party at Homespun Happenings
Pinspired Rewired at Southern Lovely
Show us Your House Party at Thrifty Decor Chick
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits at Stone Gable
Grace At Home at Imparting Grace