Residents of both Florida and South Carolina enjoy warm weather almost all year long. One huge benefit of such moderate temperatures is the ability to utilize outdoor entertaining spaces for a large part of the year. Often, builders in these Southern states design homes to include distinctive outdoor entertaining spaces befitting the region. Here are examples of how outdoor spaces vary by area:

Tabby

What is it: mixing crushed oyster shells with concrete to pave the driveway, put in the stucco walls, walkways 
Benefit: pervious (meaning that water is more easily able to permeate. Great for areas that are prone to flooding); adding aesthetic appeal

Piazza

What is it: open-air porch that usually runs the length of your house and oftentimes has entrances to multiple rooms in the house from the piazza.
Benefit: entertaining, enjoying warm weather 
How to decorate: treat it like any other room in your home. Opt for more weatherproof materials, but things like a fan, seating, and relaxation space are very important.


Lanai
Seemingly every home in South Florida has a lanai.


What is it: a covered, usually screened or glassed-in area outside of the house that’s used as a living space. Especially found around swimming pools.
Benefit: keeps bugs, debris, and the occasional gator or other critter out of your living space.
Decorating: usually these include a pool, so focus on greenery/vegetation, seating area, dining area for al fresco dining.

Pools

With Florida being hot and humid for much of the year, most homes in the Southern part of the state include a swimming pool in the backyard (usually enclosed in a lanai) to help Floridians escape the summer heat.



Colors that Pop!
Opt for bright colors and whimsical patterns to add some pizzazz to your outdoor spaces. While the main pieces of furniture can be more muted, feel free to spice things up with bright pillows, throw rugs, and artwork to make your outdoor space feel like your own personal escape.

Throw in Some Shade
If it’s too hot to sit outside, you’re not going to want to take advantage of your outdoor space. Adding some shade is a great way to escape from the sun’s rays and also grant you a little privacy. Consider adding umbrellas, tall plants, or event a sun shade to keep you cool and protected.

String up Lights

Few things are more magical at night than string lights in a backyard! Find some outdoor-safe string lights with thicker bulbs (i.e. not your typical Christmas light-style string lights), to string up around the patio. These lights offer more light at night without the harshness of an overhead light.

Light that Fire Pit
Although you might not want the heat from the fire, a fire pit makes a great centerpiece for your outdoor space. Opt for gas fire pit with stones or glass rather than wood burning to add an extra touch of luxury to your space (just don’t put in an enclosed area). Then invite all your friends over for s'mores!

Go Green
A great way to add freshness and style to your outdoor space is to stock it with greenery. Big ferns, lots of ivy, or even a potted ficus helps add a touch of tropicality to your space and also helps keep your home’s air fresh and clear. Just don’t forget to water them!

Set up a Fine Dining Area
As long as the weather cooperates, there are few things more fun and relaxing than dining outside. Whether it be savoring a morning cup of coffee or planning an all out BBQ party, you’ll find yourself getting lots of use out of your outdoor dining space! Opt for comfortable chairs and tables with a nice finish to prevent splinters or rust!

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