Collins Builders Blog


Living in Florida, we are blessed with year round sunshine, mild winters, and some of the most beautiful sunsets anywhere in the world. With such a paradise all around, it makes sense to have an outdoor living space as the perfect place to take it all in. Below are our top 5 tips to help you create a retreat in your own backyard.

  • Create a comfortable, covered seating area
    A large covered porch with deep outdoor furniture is an attractive spot to relax after a long day. Thinking about how much seating you need will help you to determine if you need to expand any areas of your lanai. Consider placing an additional fan over the seating area for extra comfort during the summer months. Adding an electrical outlet up high with a switch allows you to hang cafe or string lights for nighttime ambiance that you can turn on instantly. Stained or painted wood planks on the ceiling create a beautiful focal point that warms up the porch. Brightly colored pillows add an element of fun, and small side tables make sure everyone has a spot to place their drink. Almost anything that you would put in your interior living room has an outdoor counterpart that you can use on your back porch to create an inviting space to relax outside.
  • Bring the fire
    There is nothing quite like sitting around a fire on a cool evening with family and friends. An outdoor fireplace can be integrated into your exterior to create a focal point of the back porch. You can add built in seating with a large hearth, and you can choose from gas or wood burning fireplaces. An alternative to the outdoor fireplace is a fire pit. These can be shaped in a circle or rectangle and can even be integrated into a coffee table configuration. Gas fire pits are accented by translucent colored glass rocks that create a beautiful effect in the evening.
  • Make a Place for Outdoor Cooking
    With gorgeous weather all year long, almost every Florida home has some type of grill. A built in kitchen is a great way to incorporate your grill into the design of your outdoor living space, as well as expand your options for cooking and clean up. Side burners allow you to cook beans or sauce right next to the burgers, while outdoor refrigerators keep the drinks and condiments cold. A bar sink does double duty as a place to wash up but is also a great spot to fill with ice and drinks during a barbecue. Stainless steel hoods can vent out all the smoke, making the grilling process much more enjoyable. You can even integrate ceramic egg grills right into the outdoor kitchen, and pizza ovens are also a great addition outdoors for the perfect slice.
  • Add an Outdoor Shower
    An outdoor shower can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire, but no matter what it looks like, they make life much easier. An outdoor shower is the perfect spot to rinse off before or after swimming, or to wash away dirt and grass after working in the yard. The shower head is attached to the exterior wall, and can include a simple concrete pad to stand on, pavers, or a full wall surround of stone. Having a dedicated spot outside to rinse off keeps the inside of your home cleaner and your friends and family cool when outdoors.
  • Outdoor Lighting is the Finishing Touch
    Now that you have created an amazing outdoor living space, you want to be sure it is well lit. Just as lighting inside your home is important for setting a mood and providing correct light for tasks, outdoor spaces need illumination that fits the activity. Consider adding recessed can lighting for the outdoor kitchen area to make sure night time grilling is as easy as day time. Can lighting in the soffits along the rear porch provide a good way to light up the back of the house without having the light shining into your eyes. Low voltage landscape lighting creates ambiance throughout the backyard to truly make you feel like you are at a resort. If you have a deck or a dock on your property, outdoor LED tape lighting is available to line the handrails for both safety and beauty. Decorative fans can accentuate the design by adding a nautical, coastal, or exotic flair. Lighting the space is the finishing touch to a gorgeous living room outside.