Livable Lanai

I love Florida and I cannot imagine living anywhere else but Florida. However, I am not blind to the fact that she has her faults. Florida is the sunshine state and she is really hot during the summer. During the spring, that is not yellow dust on your car or lanai furniture, it is pollen and she lays it on thick. Florida will establish a very predictable rain pattern most afternoons during the months of July and August. It is not unusual to pop into the store for twenty minutes on a sunny day only to return to your car with fogged glasses from the steam bath that was created after the downpour while you were inside. It is also not unusual to see the sun shining and it will be raining at the same time. With all of Florida’s predictably hot steamy summers she offers lush greens and wildlife to view from your lanai. So if you have a lanai and you are not using it, transform that space into an all season’s room. Let’s take a peek into the newly enclosed lanai of a gardenia model that is pollen dust and steam free. The air conditioning will allow you to linger beyond the setting of the sun, and enjoy Florida 365 days and evenings a year somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Budget to add an air conditioner from the start
So often, I will hear people say they want to try leaving the doors open to see if the main air conditioner will cool the room. I give those homeowners two years until they break down and add an air conditioner to the room. When you enclose a lanai it will be mostly windows and the sun depending on your exposure, will add heat to the room even with efficient windows. I recommend having the cassette air conditioner installed at the beginning so that the room is always cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The cassette air conditioner is installed in the ceiling and looks like a large air vent. This type of a/c does not impose by taking up space on the wall and looks very clean and streamlined.

• Privacy on windowsThe lanai is comfortable and usable all year - Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
This lanai in mostly windows and at night the room might feel like a fishbowl. The homeowners purchased the Hunter Douglas verti-glides for the large windows. The Verti-glide is a honeycombed blind that when expanded provides privacy. Also, the honey combs act as heat chambers to keep the heat from affecting the room. When the verti-glide is open the stack back is so small the blinds are almost unnoticeable. The two small windows at the end of each side of the lanai received a similar treatment but it glides up and down.

• Cornice boards and crown
The homeowners had 5 ¼ inch crown molding installed which really adds to the height of the room. Also, the track mechanism of the verti-glide is hidden under a cornice to finish off the windows and add architecture to the space. The white wooden cornices act as a picture frame highlighting the view of the golf course.

• Rugs
Once the lanai was enclosed the homeowners had two distinctive areas in the space for use. One area would be a sitting area and TV watching area while the other area would be an eating and card playing area. The homeowner liked a rug with a large palm print that pulled in the green and blue colors. We decided that matching the rugs in this space would be best because they do have such a large pattern. Together I think the rugs make a statement without being too loud.

• Real wicker furniture
The homeowner had her heart set on real wicker furniture so she ordered all new Lloyd Flanders coordinating chairs and table that look wonderful in the space. I like the chairs because the arms are very streamlined and keep the size of the chair more manageable.

• Lamp, mirror and table
When entering the house from the front door your eye goes straight back to the lanai. We decided that the small wall between the large windows needed something to focus on from the front of the house. The solution was to place a small mirror on the wall with a table below the mirror. Finally, a lamp that pulled all the colors in the lanai was placed on the table. This table lamp provides a great foal point to see when entering the lanai and another source of low lighting at night.

• Final touches
When the homeowners entertain, they can have a tropical picture on the television that does not move and it will look like art. The TV can also act as the music source when having a social gathering. Finally, one touch at night the homeowners added outside is solar touches. When the sun goes down and before they close the shades, the back yard comes to life with fire. The back plant beds have a mired of solar tiki touches that burn all night long and they look real. Looking out the dark window at night is enjoyable when it is lit up by the element of fire.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

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