Expert Advice

How to Create an Inviting Outdoor Space in Hot & Humid Climates

Explore our top design features for southern climates inspired by the HGTV® Dream Home 2024.

November 30, 2023
HGTV Dream Home 2024 in St. Augustine, FL

Located on Anastasia Island near St. Augustine, FL, this year's HGTV® Dream Home was a master class in designing outdoor spaces that beat the heat. Discover the top ways designer Brian Patrick Flynn created outdoor spaces that are inviting, even in Florida summers.

Over the years, Flynn has crafted custom dreamy homes in nearly every climate for the HGTV® Dream Home Giveaway and his personal projects. Extra care is taken at each home to stay true to the local culture, style, and climate to create a space that blends modern design with the history surrounding it. Let's take a closer look at how Flynn curated an assortment of outdoor spaces at the HGTV® Dream Home 2024 designed to combat the top three deterrents to using outdoor spaces in hot and humid outdoor spaces: heat, bugs, and summer storms. 

HGTV Dream Home 2024 in St. Augustine, FL

Your Outdoor Space's Defense Against Summer Swelter

Knowing Anastasia Island is, in fact, an island, it is breezier than the average Florida town. However, during summer peak, it averages 82°F which, coupled with humidity, can be a touch uncomfortable outdoors. To beat the heat, Flynn took a four-pronged approach to ensure the outdoor spaces stayed enjoyable all summer long.

Incorporated Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans accent the back deck and the upstairs sunset porch. These simple additions keep the air moving and provide a needed reprieve in the afternoon.

Creating Shade

Two types of shade coverage are used on this year's HGTV® Dream Home. A large Trex Pergola creates a shady space for a large seating area to the right of the pool, while a striped umbrella offers protection from the sun in the outdoor kitchen.

Take the Plunge

A classic for any outdoor living space in the south, this home features a plunge pool with subtle water features. Perfect for a quick dip to cool off, this pool is a must-have for the summer months.

Built-in Heat-Mitigation

Looking at the home, this last cooling feature is easy to overlook, but it makes a huge difference in the dog days of summer. The composite decking used throughout the house is part of the Trex Transcend® Lineage™ collection and features heat-mitigating technology.* This unique decking reflects the sun and your sense of style while keeping your deck cooler, even on the hottest days.

HGTV Dream Home 2024 in St. Augustine, FL

Bug-Proof Your Outdoor Oasis

Run a Screen Defense

Movies love to show the picturesque views of outdoor living in the South but conveniently leave little nuisances like gnats and mosquitos out of the scene. Thinking ahead, Flynn opted to screen in the back patio area to keep the views of the outdoors while locking the bugs out to create a bug-free outdoor living space for the future homeowner.

Illuminating Solutions

The front porch and back deck feature subtle lights built into the decking, stairways and railings. These simple additions not only offer ambiance but can draw the attention of gnats, moths and a variety of other unwelcome guests, leaving you and your loved ones free to enjoy the evening pest-free.

HGTV Dream Home 2024 in St. Augustine, FL

Designing for Sunshine and Showers

Cozy Covered Retreats

Another trademark of southern living is the afternoon showers that crop up almost daily during the summer months. To keep the outdoor spaces dry and usable all day long, Flynn added a covered roof to the front porch and seating area off the primary bedroom. Plus, these covered areas offer protection on those scorching days when a spot of shade isn't enough to escape the heat. 

HGTV Dream Home 2024 in St. Augustine, FL

In crafting the outdoor spaces of the HGTV® Dream Home 2024 on Anastasia Island, Flynn skillfully blends modern design with the region's culture and climate. Addressing the challenges of heat, bugs, and summer storms, Flynn has created inviting and functional outdoor areas. From cooling ceiling fans and innovative heat-mitigating technology to bug-proofing solutions and shelter from sudden showers, the HGTV® Dream Home 2024 stands as a testament to design that transforms a challenging climate into a private retreat for one lucky winner.

*Although Trex Transcend Lineage is designed to be cooler than most other composite decking products of a similar color, on a hot sunny day, it will get hot. On hot days, care should be taken to avoid extended contact between exposed skin and the deck surface, especially with young children and those with special needs.

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