What is a Lanai?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Premier Properties

Are you familiar with the word Lanai?  What is a Lanai ?  How do you say it?  

 belle tara

Here in Naples, Florida ( and other Florida towns) homes often have a Lanai.  If you are unfamiliar with the word according to Wikipedia  Lānaʻi (in Hawaiian pronounced [lɑːnɑʔi is a Hawaiian Island. Lanai (without the okina) is the Hawaiian word for a porch or balcony.

Since we are not in Hawaii, you guessed it the term is used here in Naples to describe a porch or living area. This area is often shared with a pool/spa and often (though not always )is enclosed by a large screen structure.  It may incorporate a roof (covered area), fireplace, or outdoor kitchen. This " living area" is not counted in the living area square footage of a listing but will show in the total square footage on the MLS print out. 

Beachwalkbeachwalk

I have some friends from New Jersey ( whom I love dearly) who refer to this area of the house as the LANN - I. They will tell you we pronounce it the same ... I'll say La/ nigh and they'll say that 's what we said... the LANN -I.  In order for most Neopolitans to understand what you are talking about I would go with the La/nigh pronunciation to be safe.  

So you say you have a home with a Lanai or you want a home with a Lanai?  Here are some examples of what you might find....  They come in all shapes and sizes....  

 

 belle taraBelle Tara Ranch

 

mooringsMoorings

Imperial Golfyesica

 

 

Often times outdoor living areas can be an asset.  Sometimes however a lanai can be neglected.  Some are simply amazing and sell the house; others are tired, bleak and need some tweaking.  

With a few simple and inexpensive pieces you can make your lanai fabulous. Better yet have it help sell the house !

  • Add Plants - a few plants go a long way.  Check out Lowes, Home Depot or a local nursery. Try mixing different varieties of palms, some simple shrubs like Crotons, or ixora.  Hibiscus are nice but always remember with flowering plants especially Hibiscus they drop their flowers daily and you need to clean them up. A nice potted plant can also add tremendously to the end tables or outdoor dining table. Hanging plants are also inexpensive and attractive .  Choose carefully - ask yourself how often do I want to water?  Does it need shade or love sun - ask an employee for help.   Already have plants?  Well are they in need of some fertilizing or repotting?  A nice decorative pot can also spice up the area. 

 

  • Patio Furniture - Now is a great time to flip the cushions (fading) or visit local shops to check out the end of season sales.  Several stores also have great outdoor throw pillows in some fabulous patterns and designs that can really add to your space.  You might also want to wipe down your furniture, clean off the spider webs, throw out the torn cushions. Ask yourself would you want to sit on it? with white pants? Check out places like Pier 1 they have some really cool candles, glass holders, place mats, etc   Make it inviting.  

 

  • Outdoor Accoustics & other Electronics -Maybe now is the time to install those outdoor speakers, upgrade your lighting or install the flat screen television.  This area of improvement for reasons I can't explain seems to get the attention of men, whether buying or selling most think it's a good idea. 

 

  • Surfaces - Is it clean? Do you have a nice doormat in place?  Have you considered adding an outdoor rug to an area that is out of the weather?  Is it time to consider resurfacing or having the flooring painted?  Are their cobwebs, dried leaves, holes in the screen?  Is it time to clean the glass doors? windows? Perhaps it's time to hire someone to powerwash areas you cannot reach?  Do you need to weed and mulch the area outside of your screens?

 

These are just a few tips on keeping your Lanai looking it's best.  Now go put your feet up and enjoy your outdoor space!  (Make mine with a lime ! )

For more information on schools, market areas, local events and real estate I can be reached here where I am At Home By The Gulf

Copyright © 2008 By Shannon Gilmore All Rights Reserved. *What is a Lanai? 9/29/08 

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Show All Comments
Rainer
42,690
Richard Mielke
RE/MAX Results - Gettysburg, PA
REALTOR, Gettysburg Pennsylvania Real Estate

My parents used to live in Hawaii and I have friends who used to live in Florida, so I am familiar with both terms. Of course growing up in the midwest, some homes had "Florida Rooms". Our house has a screened porch.

Sep 29, 2008 08:47 PM #1
Rainmaker
630,071
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes

I love visiting Florida and sitting out on the lanai of friends and family.  I thought for a while that one of the pics was my niece's home, then I woke up and remembered they don't live in Naples.

Sep 30, 2008 05:15 AM #2
Rainer
56,375
Shannon Gilmore Western Loudoun Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Premier Properties - Middleburg, VA

Richard  - isn't it funny?  I forgot about the whole Florida Room term. My grandmother lives in Massachusetts and has one.  Growing up we had a patio, a screen porch and a deck... I loved our deck!  It's interesting that the terms are different all over....  thanks for the comment!

Don  It is nice isn't it?  I like it especially in January when you can sit out and look at the stars ( without a parka) !   That is funny about your neices house , glad it reminded you of  visiting Florida.

 

Sep 30, 2008 07:14 AM #3
Rainmaker
910,358
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Hi Shannon - Interesting...I never knew the term Lani. I always think of those rooms as Florida or garden rooms. I guess different words for different areas of the US.

Sep 30, 2008 07:51 AM #4
Rainmaker
198,270
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI
Real Estate

I am familiar with it, up north it would be simply called a covered deck or screened in porch, Lania so much more exotic.  

Sep 30, 2008 07:58 AM #5
Rainer
56,375
Shannon Gilmore Western Loudoun Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Premier Properties - Middleburg, VA

Hi Bill,   When we first started looking at houses I was like a la- what?  What is a lanai?  It's so commonly used around here that I think we sometimes forget it's not common anywhere else.  I still love the LANN- I jersey pronounciation - LOL  

Sep 30, 2008 07:59 AM #6
Rainer
56,375
Shannon Gilmore Western Loudoun Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Premier Properties - Middleburg, VA

Mary  I agree - so much for fun and tropical to say  LANAI ... I love it best when we can open the sliders, shut the a/c off and let the cooler dryer air in -  that is when I love having a Lanai most :-)

Sep 30, 2008 08:18 AM #7
Ambassador
666,262
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Hi Shannon - My first lanai was the Hawaiian kind....and that one was a little deck (and I do mean little) off our hotel room, but it was pretty cool because we could see Diamond Head and other interesting stuff.  I think if I can't have Hawaii, I would love to have one of your lanais....very nice!

Oct 01, 2008 03:03 PM #8
Rainer
56,375
Shannon Gilmore Western Loudoun Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Premier Properties - Middleburg, VA

Ann  wow good going on your snake story and another star - woo hoo.  Oh yes Hawaii - havent made it there yet my brother is there... would love to do it for Christmas this year but... we'll have to see... Sounds nice  ....

Oct 02, 2008 02:19 PM #9
Anonymous
Anonymous
David

Thanks for the article.  I'm from Hawaii, and was suprised when I heard the term used in an episode of House Hunters (HGTV) that featured Florida.  I wasn't sure if the couple was orginally from Hawaii or if Floridians used it as well.  Looks like they do. 

My girlfriend is from Jersey, but luckily she pronounces it correctly.  Funny story though.

Aloha,

 

David

Jun 20, 2013 11:41 AM #10
Rainer
56,375
Shannon Gilmore Western Loudoun Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Premier Properties - Middleburg, VA
Thanks David. Yup you are right it's basically thrown around in Florida for almost any type of screen enclosed area:-). Glad your girlfriend has it down probably the Hawaiian boyfriend!
Jun 25, 2013 04:29 PM #11
Anonymous
Anonymous
Leslie
Some of the listings I have seen in various retirement communities in FL have said there is a lanai and an screened Florida room or just screened room - what would be the difference when one dwelling says it has both?
Feb 01, 2014 12:43 PM #12
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Rainer
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Shannon Gilmore Western Loudoun Real Estate

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