Florida Living: How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

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As the Florida summer approaches, time spent inside is often spent daydreaming about sunny days and balmy evenings outside. If your backyard’s beckoning you, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to making the most of your summer. First, create the perfect outdoor area (we can help with that!) Then we’ve got a guide for the best way to pick out furniture and recipes that will complement any outdoor plans.

71 Breezy Porches and Patios

The summer months beg for an outdoor haven to enjoy nights eating, entertaining and enjoying the Southern weather that makes Florida living so appealing. Before you light up the grill or call your friends, you’ve got to have a beautiful outdoor space. Looking for some inspiration for your remodel? Here are 71 patio and porch ideas, courtesy of Southernliving.com, that range from stunning garden patios to unusual garage to patio transformations.

Ideas for Outdoor Living: Furniture Guide

The right furniture plays an integral role in designing your perfect outdoor retreat. Lots of factors go into selecting the right furniture: is your outdoor space a solo hangout where you can escape with your favorite summer read? The accent on the floral landscape you’ve spent weekends carefully pruning? Or will you be regularly hosting backyard bashes? However you plan to enjoy your patio, Coastalliving.com suggests some tips for choosing the right outdoor furniture. One of the most important? Working your space! You don’t need a huge outdoor area to make the most of outdoor living, just make sure that your furniture is comfortable and welcoming.

Bright Ideas for Outdoor Dining

Now that you’ve designed and decorated your dream outdoor space, check out some delicious menu ideas to make the most of balmy summer nights. For a refreshing appetizer, delight your friends with a simple, seasonal Strawberry Agua Fresca paired with baby artichokes and creamy horseradish dip. Myrecipes.com created an enticing menu of appetizers, entrees and desserts that are perfect for enjoying outside. Alfresco dining lends itself to easy to prepare meals that limit your time in the kitchen, so you can spend your evenings enjoying company in your outdoor refuge. If cooking outside appeals to you, you can always upgrade your patio to include an outdoor kitchen.