Local Outdoor Oasis Inspiration

These alfresco rooms from across Broward County showcase just how well you can extend your living areas for optimal enjoyment

This Southwest Ranches home is ideal for both relaxing and entertaining outdoors. Photo by Troy Campbell
This Southwest Ranches home is ideal for both relaxing and entertaining outdoors. Photo by Troy Campbell

Made for Entertaining

Creating a private sanctuary was paramount for the family who resides in this Southwest Ranches gated property. Alene Workman (of Alene Workman Interior Design Inc. in Fort Lauderdale) was tasked with designing a space to fit the homeowners’ relaxed lifestyle. “Home entertaining was an important consideration with small groups being invited into their world, often with other close family or high-profile guests,” she says. She placed contemporary twin, double-wide chaises on discreet casters with 12-foot umbrellas for shade to “infuse a practical yet romantic element at each side of the open pool deck.” Colorful flowerpots at the end of the pool turn into round fire pits when the weather cools off. The outdoor space also features additional nooks including a covered kitchen (completed by the builder). Workman accessorized with bar stools and a teak dining table and chairs for the ultimate grilling station.

Pelican Isle outdoor space by Alicia Weaver, Photo by Catalina Lackner Photography
Photo by Catalina Lackner Photography

Garden Retreat

Since 2005, Alicia Weaver and her eponymous Fort Lauderdale-based design group have churned out high-end residential interiors and commercial designs. For this Pelican Isle home, Weaver says the homeowner wanted a garden oasis paired with the feel of an Italian bistro. “In Florida, we are outside year-round, so it is important to create an extended living space,” she says. “We like to create a private oasis that is functional but fits the style of the home.” She removed the existing stone pavers and hot tub to create an outdoor sitting area, and brought in gumbo limbo trees strung with bistro lights to achieve the feel the homeowners sought. New stone pavers with faux grass created a more colorful space and helped reduce dirt and bugs, allowing for a cleaner, low-maintenance eating area. The grass extends around the firepit to soften the hard stone, creating a focal point that brings the spaces together.

Las Olas Isles Twilight pool by Katia Bates of Innovative Creations, Photo by Danny Petroni Photography
Southeast exposure to the ocean offers scenic views at every angle. Photo by Danny Petroni Photography

Sunset Stunner

The inspiration behind this southeast point lot off of Las Olas Isles in Fort Lauderdale was a resort-style outdoor space that allows for large-scale entertaining. In fact, the area behind the pool isn’t a usual jacuzzi; it’s an entertainment platform that can hold a band or a DJ, says Katia Bates of Innovative Creations, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale. With exposure to the ocean and scenic views from every corner, this property has several design highlights, including unfinished travertine, anti-slip flooring around the pool and the surrounding decks, and Jerusalem pavers. The pool is clad in royal blue custom tiles, while the furniture is custom powder-coated in flat black and features cushions in antique gold fabrics made for the outdoors. “On the best view corner, there is a gas fireplace to sit around during the chilly winter nights and enjoy the boats passing by on the New River,” says Bates. A round gazebo structure with a roof matching the main house in the backyard is complete with a barbecue and bar that function as an outdoor kitchen.

A swimming pool with waterfront views and in-water lounge seating is the perfect place to recharge. Photo by Ron Rosenzweig

Waterfront Escape

Though not designers by trade, David Milus and his wife, Jenniffer dreamed up a design for their waterfront point lot in Lighthouse Point with proximity to the Hillsboro Inlet. They tore down the existing home to build something “truly unique and  architecturally significant,” says David, who was senior vice president for Starwood Hotels & Resorts before retiring from a 32-year career in hospitality, and led groups that focused on operations, development, architecture, construction, and design management. “We wanted to build something different—both unique and timeless—with a contemporary and modern edge,” he says. “We didn’t want to do anything cookie-cutter or follow the coastal or Mediterranean themes typical of South Florida architecture.” So, they developed an airy retreat that connects the inside with the outdoors. The 800-square-foot space is complete with self-watering planters, a gas barbecue, a two-burner stovetop, a unique ocean blue stone feature wall, a swimming pool with in-water lounge seating, an outdoor living area that seats up to 10 people, and a summer kitchen featuring porcelain countertops.

Pompano Beach outdoor space by Perla Lichi, Photo by Courtesy Perla Lichi design
Natural decor touches outdoors complement the home’s interior design. Courtesy Perla Lichi design

Neutral Nuances

Known as “the multicultural designer,” Perla Lichi is the founder and CEO of her namesake design firm in Pompano Beach. “Your home is a personal sanctuary, and with today’s new way of living, the outdoor spaces provide a way to have peace and quiet, and sometimes make you feel like you’re transported into another place,” says the residential designer. Her work is on display at this West Broward County residence, which fused the home’s interior to the outdoors to keep the style consistent. To achieve this, she brought in elements of gazebos and hanging chairs that look like they’re “growing out of the ground.” Architectural elements such as columns and lighting also play a part in this design. “I prefer to work with earth tones, so it ties into all the natural outdoor elements,” says Lichi. “This way, it looks like it naturally belongs there, such as the natural stone flooring and matte finishes.” 

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