Topic: Outdoor Living Ideas

Date Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Posted by: Tanya Zanfa (Master Admin)

Southwest Florida outdoor living

Southwest Florida outdoor living

This southern belle adjusted when moving fromBossier City, Louisiana, to Bonita Springs, from traditional front porch entertaining to realizing the importance of outdoor living space in Southwest Florida.

Joy Gugliuzza, who is 53 years old and is married to Steve Engstrom, has been in the community for seven years and has gone through a few lifestyle changes, including joining the Young Team at Royal Shell Real Estate and having a house and an outdoor space built. Joy and her husband moved into their new home in Bonita Lakes in October 2014 and broke ground on their pool that same month. This past March, their outdoor haven was completed.

hen not selling real estate, you can find Joy on a golf course or involved in one of her many community activities, including serving on the Executive Leadership Board for the American Heart Association, a member of the Impact Initiative of Southwest Florida, or serving as a board member and facilitator at Valerie’s House.

Joy’s grand space in her home is the newly designed and created outdoor haven.

Scenes from the home of Steve Engstrom and Joy Gugliuzza

Scenes from the home of Steve Engstrom and Joy Gugliuzza in Bonita Springs. (Photo: Kinfay Moroti/

What inspired you to focus on creating an outdoor entertaining area? Our focus to create an outdoor entertaining area was inspired by the beautiful weather in Southwest Florida along with the beautiful landscaping and the ability to enjoy it all year round. We also love entertaining with friends and family.

What is your favorite part of your new outdoor space? Our favorite part about our outdoor space is watching our friends and family enjoy our space as much as we do. One of my favorite things is to lie on a float in the pool and watch the football games at the same time. We also love the view at night with the fire bowls going.

How did you determine overall design for space? We looked at numerous designs of pools online and in magazines of pools in California and the Arizona area. We culled through numerous pictures and drew up a rough draft of what we were looking for. Then I asked for some referrals on Facebook and met with several different pool companies. We decided on Mitch Hamilton, owner of KoolPoolz out of Naples. He just so happened to be the son of a good friend of mine. We met with Mitch several times over a couple of months showing him pictures and the rough drafts of what we wanted and he came up with a plan. The final plan approved and the ground breaking was on Oct. 13, 2014.

Describe your pool: We were trying to achieve a look from inside the house that showcased the tile work and the water/fire bowls. We have three 4-by-8 picture windows in the formal living room looking out at the pool area.  We chose glass tiles 1 inch by 3 inch with color for the raised walls and spa. Additionally, we used the tiles for the spillway for the spa. The screen cage has two picture windows for an unobstructed view of the landscaping outside the screen. We also have a sundeck that is 6 inches deep with water as you enter the pool.

Do you spend a lot of time in the new outdoor space? We do find that we spend time in our pool or spa almost every day and sometimes both. We enjoy jumping in after our afternoon workouts and topping it off with time in the spa, and then we usually get out and dry off in our lounge chairs in front of the fire pit.  Then, time for bed!

Scenes from the home of Steve Engstrom and Joy Gugliuzza

Scenes from the home of Steve Engstrom and Joy Gugliuzza in Bonita Springs. (Photo: Kinfay Moroti/

Does your outdoor space flow from your interior well? When we chose our color scheme, we wanted to make sure that we chose something that would flow well with the house because our front door is iron and glass and you can see the pool from the street so we wanted that to be a focal point. We went with a color scheme of subtle blues and grays and some brown.

Describe your outdoor space: We have a lounge area with a couch, loveseat and two matching chairs. We have the outdoor kitchen/bar area with built-in grill, refrigerator, sink and cabinet space. The bar has three chairs and TV for watching sports.

What would people notice first when viewing your outdoor space? During the day I would say the first thing people notice is the tile work on the pool and the sparkle of our Pebble Tec flooring which was done separately through Michelle Whitlock, owner of Siesta Pebble in Cape Coral.  The reason we chose the Pebble Tec flooring for our pool is that it is a natural stoned surface which creates a beautiful vibrant water color and provides a quality surface and lifetime warranty.

What about your outdoor space makes it your favorite space of your home? The comfort of the chairs and couches for lounging, either on conference calls or just relaxing after the day. The bar area for watching TV or entertaining. The beauty of the tile work, pool sparkle, water/fire bowls or the outside landscaping makes the outdoors area very relaxing.

What one word describes how you feel when you walk into your outdoor space? Describing how we feel when we walk into our outdoor space is “WOW” and totally amazed at the beautiful extension of our home. The pool colors and design, tropical background. It’s amazing to us after starting with drawings and small samples of things just what we have created. I think almost every time we get in and we look at everything we look at each other and say, “WE DONE GOOD.”

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