What’s available in outdoor fans?

What kind of outdoor fans are available for your gathering places? What type do you want? From overhead blades to cage fans, you've got a nice set of options to keep the air moving - even when you're outside. Just remember to make sure your pick is weather resistant. Then sit back and let a gentle breeze keep you cool.

• Overhead Blades and Paddles

Overhead fans are always popular and can move air in a large area. Take a quick trip to your local home improvement store or lighting shop and you're likely to find a number of fan varieties. You can select a wide fan blade that looks like a tropical wicker paddle or you can opt for metal blades in a more contemporary style.

Whatever your preference, here's the one thing you need to be mindful of - when it comes to outdoor fans, not all blades are create equal. You need to make sure your blades are made from materials that can withstand heat or humidity. Particle board paddle fans made for interior applications may be inexpensive and look like a bargain, but they'll be nothing more than an eye sore once the blades get infiltrated with moisture and start to droop. Make sure your pick is made from plastic or metal-based materials that will hold up best.

• Lighting Combos

Don't forget to include a lighting fixture in your fan to brighten up a nightly chat on the porch or dinner with friends and family. Outdoor ceiling fans can be purchased with a light kit for a combo that keeps you cool and in focus.

• Decorative Uprights

Remember those old upright oscillating fans your grandmother used to have in her house? Well, they've taking on a new life as decorative outdoor fans with embellished bases that make them a lot nicer to look at. You can also find upright box units to cool a porch or small outdoor space.

• Camouflaged Overheads

Hide an overhead cooling unit with a caged blade fan that's camouflaged with an artsy exterior side wall. The fan sits up inside a decorative enclosure and gives you both a light source and cooling in any room. Finished metal parts make them weather resistant and attractive.

Check out the pictures and the inspiration for this article in the Outdoor Fans ideabook on Houzz. You're sure to find a fan type that will complement your outdoor spaces.

Enjoy more home decor ideas from Terry Mulligan:

10 Tips to Take Your Next Decorating Project Over the Top

Fabulous Choices for Decorating with Throw Pillows

Budget-Friendly Dollar Store Finds Anyone Can Decorate With