In the South, they call it the porch. In Southwest Florida, we call it a lanai. This elegant term originated in the lovely state of Hawaii. It refers to a roofed structure in the back of a house that is typically open on the sides and the front and is often built for luxury relaxation. These have become the equivalent of an entire extra room for a house. They are the perfect luxury touch for people living in the South who desire to “bring the outdoors inside.”

Unlike a traditional back porch, they are not just for simply sitting outdoors. They are multi-use rooms, containing things like grills, a stocked fridge, meal prep areas, upscale area rugs, ceiling fans that provide a constant breeze, and some even have entertainment centers designed for outdoor use. Many lanais that you find throughout Florida and in some parts of Georgia contain designated spaces that are designed to enjoy outdoor meals or an evening cocktail hour. Luxury homeowners enjoy a wide variety of design options to customize their covered outdoor space to meet their specific needs. Some people choose to make it a cozy area with a fireplace and couch-style outdoor furniture that lets people cozy up on some of the rare chilly Florida nights.

People in the South, especially in coastal regions, absolutely love to entertain family, friends and neighbors. An open porch on the back of the house is the perfect place to let the breeze roll in and enjoy the view. However, it also offers just the right amount of privacy to make it an intimate setting. It is the perfect place to host an outdoor party where you never have to worry about a little bit of rain ruining the event. Many people enjoy adding elaborate, creative touches such as a tiki bar or an entertainment center. In fact, many people in coastal areas of the South have been known to host the occasional “hurricane party,” serving the traditional hurricane cocktail as these lighter storms pass.

Many of these luxury patios often have some sort of full or partial screen enclosure. Many of them are completed covered by screens, making them complete living space. This makes them ideal for families with young children or pets who want to enjoy the outdoor weather while still focusing on the safety of the smaller members of the family, furry or not.

A popular extension of this open patio is a swimming pool inside the ground-level patio. Building a home with these upscale elements will not only greatly extend the variety of ways you can enjoy the warm weather in various locations, some that offer shade and some in full sunlight. A patio with a swimming pool and backyard view provides the ideal way to relax with a good book and a cup of coffee while watching the children play outside or in the pool, allowing you to enjoy some semi-alone time while keeping a constant eye on their safety.

It also should be noted that the addition of a luxury lanai adds a considerable deal of value to your home. It is the equivalent of an addition on the home, offering more space and an extra “room” that provides a wide variety of useful functions. The lanai’s positioning in relation to the sun should be something you discuss prior to completing the build. For example, many people choose southern exposure because of the all-day sunlight that doesn’t transition into the direct sun that can cause burning.

This elegant patio-style room is the perfect traditional Southern element to make give your home a truly luxurious style. If you have questions about the best plan for adding one of these stunning outdoor porches to your home in southwest Florida, we’ll be happy to discuss how both you and your home can benefit from having a place dedicated for indoor/outdoor enjoyment.