Outdoor Living Design
By Steve Murray
For the majority of people moving to Florida, drinking a cocktail and flipping the steaks on the barby whilst looking out over their pool or bayfront view is their idea of utopia. Every day begins and ends the same way….enjoying their outdoor living space.
As a result, over the years we have seen a trend in how homes have integrated lanais, covered decks and pool areas into the overall flow of the home. Homes built inland typically have more land and are less restricted on lot coverage allowing large living and eating areas under the protection of an expansive pool cage, whilst waterfront homes have historically had smaller covered areas due to coverage constraints.
With the new trend of smaller yet better appointed homes, we are seeing architectural designs that allow living areas to flow to the outside decks transforming them into full fledged and often extremely lavish living rooms, dining areas and kitchens. With the installation of pocketing sliders, disappearing walls or multiple French doors, interior spaces suddenly double in size when opened allowing the outdoors in and creating large entertaining spaces.
Here are a few ideas for creating functional and desirable outdoor living areas:
• Outdoor Kitchens: This has evolved from a built-in BBQ grill to full-blown kitchens, including sinks, dishwashers, refrigerators and even beer dispensers. Large countertops and high bars for entertaining sometimes take the place of interior wet bars and place owners outside looking over their pool and views.
• Fireplaces: Exterior seating areas often congregate around a fireplace, which can extend its seasonal use through the colder nights and create a cozy ambiance.
• Audio Visual: Flat screen TV’s have transformed interior design and likewise allow television viewing in many more locations. Whole house structured wiring has also allowed zoning for speakers and keypads in the outdoor living areas.
• Décor and Lighting: Decks and lanais are being decorated with similar colors and materials as interior rooms such as cypress stained ceilings, fireplace surrounds, back-splashes and flooring thus seemingly expanding the indoor areas. Top Tip: always choose maintenance free products to ensure enjoyment rather than refurbishment!
In conjunction with pools and landscaping, you can greatly increase the value of your home whilst improving its flow and livability.
If you have any questions on how to spruce up your outdoor living spaces, please give us a call at 906-7000.
Steve Murray is the founder and owner of Murray Homes a residential construction company specializing in building custom waterfront homes on the Keys of Sarasota. He also owns Murray Realty with his wife Bev. Murray Realty is a full service real estate company offering customers a first class experience in finding, evaluating or selling houses and lots, primarily on the waterfront. Murray Homes is a Certified Building Contractor #CBC1250846
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