florida new home

Springtime means flowers, bright colors and sunshine galore! Thanks to the mild temperatures we enjoy in Florida throughout the winter months, you’ve likely enjoying your outdoor living spaces year-round. And, with warm spring temperatures and longer days, it’s likely you’ll begin spending even more time outdoors and enjoying the porch or lanai of your Florida new home.

If you’re ready to decorate (or re-decorate) your outdoor living space, there are two questions to ask yourself before starting. The first is how you’ll use the space – Will you eat meals there? Or use it for lounging? How often do you entertain family and friends, and therefore how much seating would be optimal? Next, determine your budget. Now, it’s time to start planning your porch décor! Here are 10 ideas for fun and functional warm weather porch décor!

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1. If you plan to eat meals outdoors, look for an outdoor dining set and be sure it’s sized appropriately for the space. An oversized table can crowd your porch and make it uncomfortable when the table is fully seated. To save money, consider purchasing an older set that can be repainted or stained instead of buying new. If you really have your heart set on new furniture, wait until the end of the season when retailers discount outdoor furniture.

2. If you’re planning to use your lanai for daily lounging and relaxing, search for comfortable chair and love seat options – hanging chairs are my personal favorite! If your budget is tight, consider making your own cushions! Pick out your favorite water and sun resistant fabric from a craft store and sew it to fit inexpensive polyester-filled bed pillows.

3. Add personality with a one-of-a-kind porch sign that welcomes guests, outlines your “porch rules,” or ties in with your design scheme.

4. If you’ll be spending time on your porch at night, lighting is a must. Our Florida new homes includes recessed lighting on the lanai, but accent lighting can add extra style and help set the mood for relaxation. For a whimsical touch, add twinkle or string lights across the porch. If your porch has a beach theme, consider adding lanterns with candles anchored in buckets of sand. You can also light up the patch outside your porch with solar yard lights.

5. In Florida, you can grow outdoors year-round! Create unique planters by covering the top band of terracotta pots in chalkboard paint so you can add creative designs or write the name of the plant on it. On painted or galvanized pots, use stencils to add your monogram or street number and place on your front porch.

6. Adding plants to your porch adds to the relaxing environment, and just like accessories, you can match the type of plants to your décor! If you have a beach or tropical theme, look for palms that thrive in pots or fun succulents. If you want traditional flowers, search for heat-tolerant bulbs like Caladiums, cannas and gladiolus. For perennial greenery, try an autumn fern or zeezee plant. As a reminder, be sure to check any plants that will sit on the ground for toxicity to your furry friends!

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7. Do you have porch railings or window ledges? Hanging planters or baskets are a fun way to add more greenery to your porch, especially if you don’t want to take up floor space with potted plants, or if you want a pop of color when viewed from the street. Be sure to use multiple plants when you’re filling your hanging basket or planter and use the rule “a thriller, a filler, and a spiller.” To add a trail of green cascading over the baskets or planters (your spiller), look for creeping jenny. Add a pop of color with geraniums (your filler) and pretty purple coleus (your thriller) in the spring.

8. For a more functional garden on your porch, create your own herb garden! Create a hanging herb garden to cover bare walls and free up floor space, and then use what you grow for homemade recipes in the kitchen. We love this win-win idea for fragrant greenery and fresh culinary flavors!

9. Want more privacy on your porch or lanai? Outdoor curtains are a great way to add privacy, provide shade and create an intimate environment for relaxing. There are plenty of outdoor curtains that can be purchased instore and online, but consider creating your own to save money and provide unique style. The trick to creating them on a budget? Use inexpensive drop cloths and add your own design with outdoor paint!

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10. Last but not least, make your backyard as inviting as your porch by adding stepping stones from your porch into the yard. Wander the stones through plantings, or direct people to various elements in your yard such as a firepit, playground or water feature. For a playful twist, purchase inexpensive pebbles or rocks and spray paint them with a glow-in-the-dark paint, then fill in the spaces between the stepping stones for an instant well-lit path at night!

These are just a few of our favorite outdoor decorating ideas. For more inspiration, tips and DIY projects, visit our Outdoor Living Pinterest board. In no time at all, your porch and lanai will become the most relaxing and oft-used spaces in your home!

Highland Homes builds new homes in central Florida in sought-after cities including Lakeland, Tampa, Winter Haven, Haines City, Davenport, Palmetto and more. For more information, contact a Florida New Home Specialist today by calling or texting 863-797-4999 or visit www.HighlandHomes.org.