Florida new homeWhen decorating your Florida new home, most people worry about the inside and tend to forget about the outside. However, in the world of Florida real estate, your outdoor living areas are just as important as any other part of your home. The lanai, or patio, brings your home’s coziness and style to the great outdoors.

First things first—ask yourself how much you entertain, how much time you spend outdoors, and what budget you would like to work with. This will help you plan and get more “bang for your buck.”

Furniture plays a very important role in sprucing up your lanai. Select furniture that is comfortable and adequately sized—furniture that is too big can crowd the lanai or if it’s too small, you will lack adequate seating and entertainment abilities. To save money, look for older wood or metal sets that can be repainted instead of buying expensive, new patio furniture. Making your own cushions can also save money and customize your space even more. Simply sew waterproof fabric around inexpensive polyester-filled bed pillows.  Really have your heart set on a new patio set?  Wait until the end of the season; retailers usually clearance out patio furnishings in July or early August.

Once you have your furniture, add summer-inspired accessories. There are so many inexpensive and fun ideas when it comes to summer décor and you can even make decorating into a fun craft project with kids! One example is planting seeds in soil in glass bottles or jars. You can also add rocks, stones, or flower petals for a more colorful look. Metal lanterns and flower pots are always popular, and hanging flower plants look beautiful and can even bloom year-round in Florida. Make sure your plants are ready for the Florida summer heat by refilling the soil and mulch and keeping them watered. It’s also a good idea to pull off any petals or leaves that have turned brown.

Finally, if possible, add stepping stones or bricks to make a pathway through your backyard. This is especially nice if you have a fire pit, fountain, garden bed or other outdoor living elements. Tiki torches lining your path are a timeless and inexpensive way to bring island style into décor. To make torches sturdier, place them in a decorative bucket or plain plant container sprayed with metallic outdoor paint.  The bucket should be at least 12 inches tall and filled with gravel three inches from the rim—stick the torch in the center and top the bucket off with sand, pebbles, rocks, or glass marbles.

These are just a few ideas to get you started with decorating your outdoor living spaces this summer. With the right colors, accents and details, your lanai can become a much loved part of your home and a relaxing outdoor retreat!

Highland Homes builds affordable new homes in Tampa, Orlando, Winter Haven and Lakeland in more than 25 beautiful communities. For more information on our Florida new homes, visit the Highland Homes website.