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Summer is Here and the Time is Right for Outdoor Living

Outdoor living, Summer…

Mama Cass Elliot finished that with “for dancing in the streets.” Ella Fitzgerald (and countless others) sing about “Summertime and the living is easy.” The not-so-subtle trend? Summer is a fine time to kick back, have fun, and go outside. But for those that live in Florida (like myself) or anywhere similar, summers can be brutal. Beat the heat with shade and water to not only make the outdoors tolerable, but enjoyable!

Shade is important to outdoor living
Summer Outdoor Living Tips

Shade is important in Florida. It keeps us cool and protects us from the harsh rays in the middle of the day. Covered outdoor living has long been a mainstay in Florida, but it has recently grown in size, flair, and design. Instead of a simple 10’ by 20’ covered concrete space, we are setting lanai extensions that look more like gazebos. In addition to a summer kitchen (outdoor kitchen) with a grill, sink, and under-counter refrigerator, look for outdoor TVs and Tiki bars. Tile or pavers go a long way in adding the finishing touch to your outdoor living space. This is the new living room, after all! Don’t forget, you can create shade outside the building footprint with trellises and free standing gazebos as well.

Outdoor ceilings fans are a must

Ceiling fans are must to circulate the heavy air and ward off mosquitoes. The most effective fans are hung between 7 and 8’ above the floor. If you have taller ceilings, you can add extension rods. Fans blades with the steepest pitch will move the most air. You will also want to look for “outdoor” or “exterior” fan and synthetic fan blades. It should be mentioned that before you go crazy buying expensive outdoor fans, be prepared to replace even the “exterior grade” ceiling fans about every 3 to 5 years. As I said, summer can be brutal!

Water features provide relief from the heat

Water is a great way to provide relief from the heat. If a swimming pool is out of the question, consider a small fountain instead. Not only does the sound of running water add ambiance, but evaporation from the water cools the air – if ever so slightly… Super-hot, desert climates utilize this phenomena with outdoor misters.

Of course, don’t forget the water you drink! It’s always a good idea to have cold beverages on hand, especially water. It’s a good idea to alternate non-alcoholic beverages like ice tea, lemonade, and cold water in between the grownup drinks.

So, summer’s here, the living is easy, and the time is right for enjoying the outdoors! A little advanced planning may be in order to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.

The post Summer’s here and the time is right for outdoor living appeared first on ProTalk Blog.


Deryl Patterson

Author: Deryl Patterson

Deryl Patterson is an award-winning designer with more than 30 years of experience and the president and founder of Housing Design Matters, Inc., specializing in residential architecture. Deryl’s passion is creating better places for people to live and her goal is to constantly improve how people live in and use their homes. Prior to starting Housing Design Matters, she was a partner at BSB Design (Bloodgood Sharp Buster) for 15 years. Deryl is married with three grown children and applies her experience as a working mother to all of her home designs. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Architecture and is a registered architect in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Deryl’s memberships include the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, National Association of Home Builders and serves as a board member with the North East Florida Builder Association. She is a frequent speaker at national and local conventions.

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