Lanai Love

Many of our seasonal friends are shocked to discover, upon moving to Florida for good that Florida summers are often hot and muggy! If you are reading this, you more than likely have just endured your first Florida summer. If you are a permanent resident, congratulations, you made it through another hot one. Your spirits will be lifted as the nights this time of year become a bit cooler and outdoor weather is tolerable and almost bug free. This time of year people congregate on their lanais and visit with friends in the lighter night air. However, this happens after they have spent the day cleaning the bugs and dirt off of everything in the lanai. Many of my clients decide after a few seasons to give up and close in the lanai since they are tired of all the dirt, bugs and rain. Let’s take a look at the lanais of a Gardenia and a Whispering Pine that have been closed in to comfortable climate controlled getaways somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• The Gardenia LanaiGardenia-Lanai When-the-remote-is-pressed-all-the-windows-are-covered-with-honey-comb-blinds The homeowners decided they wanted the lanai to be a part of the home. They removed the slider, poured the slab level with the rest of the house and added large picture windows for a permanently enclosed space. With the sliders gone and all the large picture windows the space felt so big that we had to do something to cozy it up!

• Widow treatments The large picture windows needed privacy but the homeowners did not want to block any of the view. We had motorized crystal pleats installed. This is a honey comb blind that drops like an accordion providing full privacy. Once the widow treatment is raised up it can’t be seen because it blends in with the top of the window. One push of the remote button and the room is private. It is more expensive to add power to the privacy treatment but worth every penny! The accent color in the home was a teal blue. We made the space feel cozier by adding blue stationary side panels in between each window. The blue panels soften the space and made the windows look finished.

• Sectional The homeowners envisioned people grouped at the table on one side of the closed in lanai and people grouped in a cozy sectional on the other side of the room. We found a perfect sectional for the corner. Also, we added a large ottoman to use when watching TV and when extra seating is needed it can be used for that. We angled a recliner inward toward the TV and added a side table and a lamp.

• Rugs This enclosed lanai is a part of the house and cannot be closed off which allowed us to use wool rugs in the space. We placed an 8×11 wool rug under the sectional and another 8×11 rug under the table. I would not use wool rugs if there were no air conditioner.

• Air conditioner The homeowners had a climate control unit installed before they made the lanai a part of the home and they kept it to use in the space. These climate control units are great and a necessary part of the addition equation. If you have a room that is not getting cool enough, these climate control units really help take the load of the central a/c unit.

• Whispering Pine Lanai The Lanai of the Whispering Pine is enclosed but the sliders where left in place. This lanai was enclosed with a series of sliders so that if the homeowner wanted to open it up completely it could be opened. We did install climate control A/C for the times that the sliders are opened into the home it would not be a drain on the central A/C.

• Furniture Placement The furniture placement on this lanai is tricky because it grades from a large rectangle to a smaller rectangle and is very long. There is little wall space to place a sofa against so we placed the large sofa against the back sliding glass doors. This sofa is deep so having it set back in the room gives the illusion that it is less deep. We placed the two matching chairs on angles opposing the sofa. This created a nice entry point to the seating area and a cozy space that is full of light.

• Rug We used a very colorful 8×10 indoor/outdoor rug in this space to set off the seating area. We used the indoor/outdoor material because sometimes the doors might leak and when the homeowner is gone for extended times this room is closed off and the climate control is usually off. The I/O rug can be cleaned with a pressure washer should it get dirty or have mold.

• Side panels To pop color and make the space feel cozier we added I/O side panels made of Sunbrella fabric in a bright teal. This fabric is mold resistant and fade resistant so it is perfect for a space that might be open to the elements or just closed off for extended periods of time.

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.