When the weather is warm, and the sun shines, there are few places better to spend an afternoon than an indoor-outdoor transitional area. A lanai is a screened-in porch, patio, or deck. If you live in a colder climate, it may not be something you are familiar with.
This Hawaiian architectural classic could be the perfect addition to your home if you want to bring the outside in or host friends and family. Learn more about the history and use this room in your home.
What is a Lanai?
The term originated in Hawaii and referred to a rear porch that extends above a foundation made of concrete, stone or pavers. Tammy Weir, Lanai Guy, explains. It’s not surprising that lanais are a common feature of residential and commercial architecture in Hawaii. A lanai usually has at least one wall, even though it may have walls.
What is a Lanai?
A traditional Hawaiian structure, the Lanai, attached to an apartment, house or hotel, is a private space. It typically has at least one wall that is open to the elements. It is often found in warmer climates and can be used as a second living space.
It’s easy to get confused when deciding between a lanai or other indoor-outdoor structures. You can learn the key characteristics of each.
- A porch is a covered area near the building’s entrance. Although it is covered, it is still an open space. There are no screens, windows or walls. The most similar to a Lanai is a “screened in” porch.
- A patio. An area outside that is usually paved, may or may not be elevated by steps. It does not have any coverings or roofs.
- A Veranda is Similar to a patio, a veranda usually only has a partial cover. A veranda is somewhat like a porch or patio. It is slightly larger than a patio to allow for more furniture.
The Lanai is a combination of all the above, but it is unique in that it can be all of these things at once. It is covered like a porch, veranda or porch. A lanai can also be elevated like a balcony but it is most commonly found on the ground level of a house. Although it is private, it does not have to be at the entry-level. It is often made from concrete, but can also be made of other materials.
Although Lanais may vary in size and style, they can all serve a purpose. However, most will have enough room for furniture and can be used as an additional living space.
Why not add a Lanai to your home?
Weir explains that a screened enclosure, screen room or Lanai is an outdoor living space that can be used for entertaining and relaxing outdoors.
The Lanai is a Hawaiian symbol that allows you to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Many designers, architects, as well as design enthusiasts, have fallen in love with the modern Lanai’s effortless charm, which continues to reflect a variety of international influences. Traditional Hawaiian culture uses the Lanai at both the beginning and end of the day. This encourages relaxation and peace with nature.
No matter where you live, whether it’s in Hawaii or somewhere else, anyone can understand the desire to create a space that reflects the traditional Hawaiian Lanai.
Even if you don’t live in a tropical climate, a lanai allows you to enjoy the outdoors all year. You can make your own tropical oasis by filling it with plants
How to make the most of your Lanai?
There are many reasons to love a Lanai, whether you live in one or another. These are our top tips for using a lanai to get the most from it.
- Start an outdoor garden. A lanai is a great place to grow herbs and flowers. Even if your Lanai only has enough space for one table and one chair, you can make it look lush to create a relaxing atmosphere. Weir suggests adding an “indoor water feature”, which can be used to relax.
- Create an outdoor meditation den. To connect to the natural world, make your Lanai a meditation area by adding candles and comfy poufs. You might also want to keep some floor pillows handy for when it is warm outside. However, outdoor options are more water-resistant.
- Your Lanai can be enjoyed all year. If you live in a less tropical climate, a few well-placed outdoor heaters, or a firepit (if it is open to the elements), can transform your Lanai into a comfortable place to enjoy nature even during the winter months.