Ever since the Golden Girls made this Hawaiian word mainstream we’ve all dreamed of escaping reality on our very own tropical lanai.
But a lanai doesn’t have to be a covered balcony with a couple of chairs and a potted plant. You can really take the space and run with it, transforming it into an alfresco dining room, a hammock haven, a breakfast nook or a gathering spot for your nearest and dearest.
Before gathering furnishings, take a long honest look and consider how you envision spending time there.
Do you see yourself relaxing quietly in a hammock with a book? Are you socializing with friends? Is your family gathered around an outdoor dining table in the early evening?
Visualize your idyllic space and then plan out how much and what type of furniture you’ll need to make your dream a reality.
The sun can be cruel to outdoor furniture so choose wisely. Wicker and plastic are most commonly used but neither stand up to the sun’s rays. Indoor furniture will also take a beating.
Teak and synthetic resin wicker are the most durable. Invest in hardier pieces and introduce your own style when it comes time for fabrics and art.
Be wary of using metals as they can be prone to rusting and stain the floor.
Spend an afternoon in a lighting store exploring the plethora of options in ambient lighting. LED programmable wired or solar lights can be a real game changer for setting the mood.
You’ll know when you get the lighting right because it will start to feel less like an outdoor space and more like an extension of your home.
Select planters of the same style but in differing sizes and contrasting colors. This is a beautiful way to introduce greenery into your lanai, bridging the gap between your garden and your home.
Include plants that deter bugs like lemongrass, lavender or citronella to add a level of functionality.
A succulent centerpiece on your lanai table is a great way to express your personal style.
Now that you’ve created the space you envisioned with classic furniture, plants and lighting, it’s time to get expressive with colors.
Living on the coast it’s easy to draw inspiration from the sea. Use shades of blues and greens and highlight with splashes of yellows, oranges or reds to really personalize your patio furniture.
Match your fabric colors to your wall art and planters.
Use marine quality outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella. If it can resist the sun without fading out on the waves, you know it will look stunning in your lanai for years to come.