With gorgeous vistas and near-perfect weather year-round, Florida is just right for living outdoors.
Although it’s winter in the beautiful Sunshine State, the livin’ is still easy. While the rest of the country battles snowstorms and frigid temperatures, Floridians can throw on a light sweater and still enjoy the outdoor lifestyle this state epitomizes.
Having a great outdoor space year-round is essential for many people in Florida. Lanais often become an extension of home — or even a conveniently located home away from home. Dr. Richard and Julie Held find their 911-square-foot lanai is the perfect place to relax with their children or entertain friends.
“We added this space to our house about a year and half ago because the outdoor patio we had before wasn’t even large enough to fit a table,” says Julie. “My husband and I love to entertain, so we decided it was time for our outdoor space to match the rest of our house.”
With only a few ideas jotted down on a piece of paper, the Helds enlisted the architectural skills of their friend Judd Dickerson of John S. Dickerson Architect Inc. in Leesburg and contractor Richard Ortengren of Advanced Construction in The Villages to spearhead the project. The expansion of their Harbor Hills home also included an entertainment room, basement, spacious food pantry, and exercise room.
Though the style and color scheme of their lanai conjures up feelings of Tuscany, Julie coyly admits she and her husband had no particular theme in mind when they built the lanai. She is a fan of neutral colors, which explains the use of muted browns, grays, and reds. Richard loves to cook, hence the impressive outdoor kitchen area. Julie says they focused more on making sure the area had features they would use and that the expansion would blend seamlessly with the rest of the house.
“The best compliment we’ve gotten is from our home’s previous owners who said they couldn’t tell where the old part of the house ended and the new part began,” says Julie. “This outdoor space has really brought everything together, and we couldn’t be happier with it. The kids love it, we love it, and our friends love it. In my wildest dreams, I would have never thought of having this… but I’m very thankful that we do.”