They call it the “Sunshine State” for a reason. Outdoor living is an essential part of enjoying Florida’s climate. Porch, lanai, veranda, patio — no matter what you call it or how it’s laid out, most homeowners desire some sort of outdoor space. Although summer months can be hot and humid, Florida residents get to enjoy the mild winters of a sub-tropical climate. Enjoying those sunny days becomes almost effortless when you have the perfect home patio.
What makes a great patio? A patio is an outdoor space intended for multi-use. Whether you use your patio as a place for a quiet conversation with a friend, sharing a meal with family, or simply reading a book, here are five ideas to make your outdoor space perfect for you.
5 Patio Design Ideas
Easy access — sliding glass door
A sliding glass door out to the patio is essential. A sliding glass door offers expansive glass to let in the sunshine, as well as easy-gliding operation for convenient access to your outdoor living space. The door to your patio should allow you to move in and out freely to carry food or other items, while keeping out insects as well as the Florida heat and humidity.
SEE ALSO: FINDING THE RIGHT SLIDING DOOR
Sliding glass patio doors have at least one operable panel that glides smoothly on a track. This style of door is ideal when space is tight — because they do not swing, they take up much less floor space. In Florida, it’s important to consider energy efficient glass for your patio door in order to help keep out the heat of the sun. Depending on where you live, you may also wish to explore impact-resistant glass for your patio door.
Patio arrangement ideas
Extra seating is high on most homeowners' wish lists. If you like to entertain, consider adding flexible seating options that can be rearranged quickly when preparing for guests. Wicker-look or rattan patio furniture is popular for Florida — just be sure to find something that can withstand the humidity and salty air. Consider what style you’re looking for — coastal chic or old Florida style are popular. A tropical print on textiles can give a relaxed vibe, making you feel like you’re on vacation when you step outside.
The purpose of your patio becomes a key component of planning for furniture. Will you use your outdoor space for dining, lounging, or casual entertaining? Consider creating several zones or spaces in your outdoor area and linking them together to allow for free movement from one area to another.
SEE ALSO: How to Expand Your Living Space into the Great Outdoors
Patio decorating ideas: live decor
Decorating with live plants really ups the wow-factor of any room — indoor or out. If your patio gets a lot of sun, choose heat-loving container plants in well-draining pots. For added color, consider a flowering vine like a Mandevilla. Bamboo can create a fantastic, fast-growing screen, but be sure to contain it to a large container where it can't escape — otherwise it can be invasive. For a beachy feel, consider large potted palms, canna, or banana plants. To help chase away bugs, try potting lavender or lemongrass close to seating areas.
Many Florida patios feature a screened-in enclosure — especially if there’s a pool. A screen enclosure or pool cage allows you to be outside and enjoy the fresh air without being eaten by mosquitos. Bonus: it can help protect your pool from fallen leaves or unwanted guests like snakes, frogs, or even alligators. For a less exposed option, some homeowners opt for a sunroom instead of a patio or screen porch. A sunroom offers many of the same benefits, but with the added advantages of structured walls and a roof.
If a screened-in porch isn’t part of your plans, be sure to plan ahead with some Citronella candles or tiki torches. The soft candlelight can also add to the ambiance, making your outdoor space more welcoming.
Pool and towel storage
Living in Florida, water is never too far away. Whether you live close to the beach, have your own pool, or have another swimming option nearby, it helps to have an area designated for wet towels or swimsuits. You don’t need anything too complicated — simple hung hooks or towel bars to drape towels over will work.
Baskets or small deck boxes can work for storing pool toys, goggles, and other essentials out of sight. Storage for other outdoor essentials is helpful as well. Consider where you’ll keep candles, pool chemicals, and entertaining accessories like placemats and grilling utensils.
Creating the perfect patio
Your Florida patio will be a welcoming extension of your home. Explore different ways to use your space and try different ideas to see what works for your family.