For many homeowners, having an outdoor space with a kitchen has become an essential element of entertainment and relaxation in their own backyards. An outdoor kitchen represents a unique extension of your living space and place where many pleasant memories are made. Whether you fancy firing up your stainless steel grill or making a pizza in the wood burning pizza oven, times spent outside, enjoying great food and company, make the best of outdoor living.
When you’re planning your outdoor kitchen space, there are several things you need to bear in mind. The end result and your satisfaction will depend on the clever use of space, location, outdoor appliances and how everything will eventually endure the elements outside.
Here are several easy and practical tips to get you started on designing your dream outdoor kitchen.
Extended living space
The biggest advantage of an outdoor kitchen space is that it can substantially extend your existing living space and offer you the opportunity to enjoy family time in nature. Therefore, make sure it’s comfortable and pleasant, well sheltered from the heat of the sun. Use nature to your benefit and plant trees and tall grass or bushes nearby. Incorporate a lovely pergola with vines or simply use a patio umbrella.
For cooler temperatures, build a fire pit so everyone can cosy up by the fire, or get an outdoor heater where you can choose among three types: a stylish table top heater perfect for intimate settings, a free-standing heater that covers a wider area or a wall-mounted unit that stays out of your way but still provides heat efficiently.
Just like indoors, a clever layout is very important and requires careful consideration. Unlike indoor kitchens, outside, you are free from limitations of structural walls, doors and windows so you can be free to define the space as you wish.
L-shaped floor designs have been very popular lately as they give a sense of separation of the cooking and seating area. You also need to consider your appliance placement accordingly. Avoid positioning your grill next to the fridge and don’t forget to leave enough food preparation space.
Your outdoor kitchen needs to be functional and long-lasting so make sure you use the best materials. It must withstand the influence of strong winds, heavy rain, extreme cold and heat. So choose materials that are strong and durable but also low maintenance. For that reason, stainless steel is the best choice for the appliances, and tiles on countertops will also add warmth and texture to the whole space.
Finally, bear in mind that your entire outdoor kitchen lies on a surface that must also be strong and durable. Good protection and low maintenance is what most homeowners look for so your best choice would be using premium concrete floor sealers. You’ll have a waterproof coating that will endure the elements without compromising its aesthetics.
Just like all the other design items of your outdoor kitchen, the appliances also need to be designed so they can survive the influence of nature. There’s a variety of appliances to choose from, ranging in size, price and quality, but most people would agree the following are the essentials: a grill as a focal point, a built-in fridge to hold and cool your drinks, built-in kegerators so you can indulge in more than just one type of beer and an ice-maker since your fridge usually proves to be small for all the different types of drinks your guests desire.
Style and design
When you are done with the layout, appliances and materials, move on to personalizing and styling the space. Add details such as flower pots, garden decorations and colourful cushions. And, don’t forget good lighting. You’ll need it over the food prep and cooking areas but also in the seating section to create a pleasant atmosphere. Put some overhead string lights on your pergola, add some accent lighting at the sides and scented candles on the tables for a warm and inviting setting.
Once your outdoor kitchen is set and spruced up, the good times can start. After a long period of planning, building and designing, celebrate your achievement by throwing a party with gourmet dishes, fine drinks, great music and your favourite people!