“Design is coming to grips with one’s real lifestyle, one’s real place in the world. Rooms should not be put together for show but to nourish one’s well-being.” —Albert Hadley
You own more property than the square footage contained within the walls of your home. For most people, they have a backyard space. Whether it’s small or large, this is a wasted space if you aren’t using it to its full potential.
Adding on with a new covered space may be a good option. There are many names for these rooms or areas; lanai, porch, patio, or veranda. No matter the name, they all have one thing in common: They help you create a livable space outside. These lanai ideas will get you inspired to build and decorate your outdoor space.
1. Enclosed Pool Lanai Room Ideas
If you live in Florida, then you know the struggle with bugs and mosquitoes is real. Building a screen around your entire patio and pool deck is one way to keep them out. Plus, you get the added benefits of a cleaner pool and some sun protection. For some shelter from the sun, look for a screen that has UV blocking capabilities. The denser the weave, the more sun it will block.
When building your screen, you’ll have three basic options, white, black, and brown for the frame. White looks bright and clean but is a pain to actually keep clean. Black looks sleek, but over time can fade in the sun. You’ll then need to decide how large you want the screened portions. It’s smart to work with a professional for this step. The structural requirements of your screen may limit you.
Less frame means there’s less blocking your view. However, the larger your screened portions are, the more you’ll need to replace when one comes loose or gets torn. You should also consider the type of trees around you, as their leaves will fall and land on your screen. Pine needles are especially a pain as they get stuck in the tiny grid.
2. Tropical Lanai Room Ideas
Feel as though you’re walking into your own tropical oasis every time you step out to your backyard. Choose tropical woods for the roof, decking, and overall construction of your lanai. Ipe, cumaru, tigerwood, Brazilian Oak, Brazilian Redwood, and cambara are all tropical woods that make perfect choices. These woods not only look beautiful, but they’re hardy, so your lanai will be durable.
Once you have your structure built, it’s time to add plants. Choose lush, green, and colorful plants. Ones that grow large with fan style leaves or have vibrant flowers are perfect. This will create a tropical feel. Finish the space with comfy seating and even a fire pit. Your furniture should be metal with plush cushions, rattan, wicker, or made of teak.
3. Small Lanai Room Ideas
If the available outdoor space that you’re working with is small, don’t worry. You can still create a cozy space. Instead of large chaise loungers and full daybeds, you can place a compact love seat and chairs. Instead of the large coffee table, you can place one or two small side tables.
Hang string lights above the space to give it a nice glow. Because the area is small, you can easily string them from one side to the other and back. Then you’ll have multiple rows of lights covering the patio.
Since the area is small, tile becomes much more affordable. Go for something with a bold pattern or is colorful. This will liven up the small space. Because the space is smaller, you can use the patterned tile without worrying about it becoming overwhelming.
4. Pool Lanai Room Ideas
If you have the space for a large pool, then you need a private lanai to go with it. This space will be a covered area where you can escape from the sun. You could also screen in the entire space for a large enclosure that protects the entire area.
However, if you want a hotel experience, skip the screen and build private covered lanais that feature a chaise lounge and other amenities that you would find at a resort. You could build multiple lanai rooms and assign a different use to each one. One could be open with chairs for lounging. Another could have a table and chairs for eating breakfast or a quick snack. Then another could be an enclosed room with a shower for rinsing off.
For more ideas on what you can do around your pool, check out The Top 47 Best Above Ground Pool Deck Ideas .
5. Outdoor Lanai Room Ideas
The modern trend is to turn outdoor spaces into livable areas. This could mean turning your backyard into a second living room, lounge area, kitchen, or even mini-spa oasis. If you have a large outdoor space, then you could create different zones.
Create multiple terrace levels for your decking. Then you can have a large space where you place a long table and chairs. You can serve restaurant-style meals on your veranda from your outdoor kitchen. Then you could place an outdoor king bed on another level for the perfect place to layout and lounge while you soak up the sun.
6. Florida Lanai Room Ideas
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enjoy the outdoors without actually being outside? If this sounds like heaven to you, you need a Florida room. You can typically find these sunny separate living rooms on the backside of Florida homes. They let as much light inside as possible without you having to deal with being outside. Many people enclose an existing porch or patio with windows or large panes of glass for easy conversion into their Florida room.
Florida rooms are better than screened-in patios or open lanais because the solid roof provides some structural integrity. They also have more functionality because the enclosed glass helps to insulate the space for year-round use.
If you have an older Florida home, your sunroom probably has Terrazzo tile and windows to crank open. Give it an update by replacing those old crank windows with energy-efficient modern windows made from one glass sheet. These windows eliminate all of that metal blocking your view. Spread a large colored rug over the tile and place a couch and a few chairs. Then add a flat-screen TV and microwave for the perfect hang out room.
For other ideas on what you can do with your patio without breaking the bank, check out The Top 54 Patio Ideas on a Budget .
7. Porch Lanai Room Ideas
You have more freedom with a porch because it could be attached to any part of your home. While a lanai is typically off the rear of your home, a porch could be on the front or sides. Your porch is the perfect place to create an outdoor space to relax and socialize.
Measure the amount of space that you have. If you have a small balcony, then a cafe table and chairs may be all that will fit. These pieces of furniture work well if your porch is off of the master bedroom suite or guest room so you can wake up with a cup of coffee and appreciate the views as the sun rises. Hopefully, you have something beautiful to look at, like the beach or ocean view.
If your porch is larger, then consider creating a living room feel. Lay down on an outdoor rug with a couch and a couple of armchairs with a coffee table in the middle. Finish the space with some comfy decorative pillows and lush green plants.
8. Indoor Lanai Room Ideas
Look for ways you can bring the outside in. Many modern homes embrace open floor plans and flex spaces. You can create the same effect in your home with large sliding glass or French doors. Then you can open them all to create an open flow from the interior of your home to the exterior. This way, you only have to commit to the outdoors when you want to.
If you plan to do this often, try to bring the outside in with your interior decor. You could have the same tile flooring extend from inside to out. It’s probably best to skip the laminate flooring as the moisture from outside will cause it to swell and warp over time.
You could also use more outdoor-inspired furniture inside. This could be furniture that has a wood frame with cushions.
9. Contemporary Lanai Room Ideas
Contemporary interior design is a mixture of modern and traditional. It’s warmer and cozier than modern, but also fresher and sleeker than traditional designs. You can create this effect with your patio enclosure or screened lanai by using lighter woods, white textiles, and lots of neutrals.
Choose upholstered furniture that gives you the feeling of sinking into it. This will create a sense of warmth and make the space welcoming. Then add modern statement lighting to help to update the room and give it a sense of creative edge. You could choose sconces or a chandelier that features angles and sleek metal.
For other ideas on what you can do with modern patios space, check out The Top 70 Best Modern Patio Ideas .
10. Screened Porch Lanai Room Ideas
If you want to enclose your patio, but turning it into a sunroom, conservatory, or Florida room is too expensive, consider turning it into a screen porch. What’s nice about this idea is that you can carry the design into your front porch’s design as well.
Screen lets you enjoy the space and the fresh air. At the same time, you’ll have some protection from the elements. You could then use the space as your outdoor kitchen or second outdoor living room. The screen also helps to create a space that’s safe for small children and pets. You can let them enjoy the outdoors without fear of them wandering off or encountering anything dangerous.
For more screen-in room ideas, check out The Top 100 Best Screened-In Porch Ideas .
Lanai Room FAQs
What is a lanai room in a house?
The word “lanai” is Hawaiian for patio or balcony. A lanai is an open-sided patio or veranda. They typically have a roof to protect you from the elements. A lanai will have a finished floor that’s typically an extension of the concrete slab under the house. They’ll have tile or wood flooring over the concrete. The roof is also a more solid structure and could be an extension of the roof on the rest of the home.
What’s the difference between a patio and a lanai?
A patio is an extension of the exterior of your home. The flooring will be at the same height, so you can easily walk from one to the other. A patio may or may not have a roof. A lanai is less well-defined but typically has a more permanent roof structure.
What is the purpose of a lanai?
Having a covered outdoor space attached to your home gives you a living area outside. This is an ideal space for having a container garden, outdoor kitchen, pool, or dining table and chairs. The space will have a roof and often be screened to protect you from the elements and insects.