I stood on my front porch in the strange balmy winds of last week’s storm and tried not to worry about tornados. The warm winds felt like Hawaii so I closed my eyes and took a trip back in time. I remembered the flames from the torches that leapt toward the sky and those warm trade winds that wrapped me in their wispy embrace. All eyes turned toward the sea as strong brown arms raised the conch shell sending out the gathering call. Relaxation washed over me as I prepared to watch the celebration of dance, native spirit, and aloha. The hula dancers told their story with hips and hands; and the sun disappeared beyond the horizon. This was a scene that I will never forget and I remember thinking with my limited Hawaiian vocabulary, “This Wahine (Woman) could stay Mau Loa (Forever) watching the Mele (Chant or song) on this Hawaiian Lanai (porch). Obviously, I did not stay Mau Loa but my mind does wonder back from time to time. In a Hawaiian home, we should always bring the outside in and that is what we did on a grand Lanai somewhere in the heart of The Villages.
The homeowners were raised in Hawaii and the feeling of the “outdoors in” was very important to them. We treated this outdoor room as if it was an indoor room with a view and we needed great furniture to sit and appreciate the view.
• Eating area
The homeowner needed an eating area (dining room) and it needed to be easy to use for entertaining. We placed it at the back of the space by the slider so that trays of food could be quickly set down on a surface for serving. We also placed a server/bar along the back side wall to accommodate food or drinks.
• Conversation area
The homeowner wanted a large seating area and we were able to get that while creating the feeling of a living room. We place a large sofa along the wall and added two chairs beside it looking out at the view. We turned one chair inward toward the couch and two chairs to create a conversation area. The love seat is placed in front of the one screened in window because it really finishes the space. The love seat is able to be pulled forward a bit to seat a full room of ten, if needed but otherwise just looks great in that space.
• Side tables
We were sure to place many small side tables around. There is nothing more distressing than being at a party and there is no table to put anything down while you visit with company.
The element of fire is very important to outdoor living and Hawaiian life. We placed a large propane burning fireplace to bring the outside in as the guest snack and dine. The fireplace provides a bit of heat on a cool night and so much ambiance that people can’t help but gather around.
• Indoor outdoor rug
We needed a rug to define the seating area and provide a large dash of color. We use a very thin indoor/outdoor rug so that it would dry quickly. This rug can be pressure washed and it will come clean as if it has never been used.
I love the colors of the cushions! The bright teal blue is punchy and fun. The accent pillows are the colors of fiesta ware. All the pillows and cushion are indoor/outdoor Sunbrella fabric and hold up very nice in the sun and rain.
The room without embellishments is amazing because it was built with columns and has a great high roof. However, we think it is the indoor outdoor curtains that look amazing!
They are the perfect eye-catching teal blue and we hung them high at 108 inches! Each opening received two panels and it looks really good. The panels are made of sunbrella fabric that dries fast in the rain and resist fading. The rods that hold the panels are made for outdoor use. So if you are thinking of hanging panels in the outdoor elements everything must be made for the outdoors.
P.S. –Attention, club presidents! I give free decorating programs! It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056
P.P.S Be sure to visit our home decor store, "The Finishing Touch" for your home good needs.