Designing a Desirable Outdoor Kitchen

Summer is fast approaching which means that it will soon be time to take the entertainment outdoors. If you want to impress your friends and family with the standard of your barbeques, brunches and garden parties, the one thing that you should consider doing is building your own outdoor kitchen.

For a lot of people, an outdoor kitchen is the height of luxury and the perfect way to entertain when the weather is good. I mean, imagine sipping a cocktail on the deck while the birds sing, the flowers bloom, and your dinner cooks over an open fire. Bliss, right?

If you decide that an outdoor kitchen is for you, there are a number of things that you will need to consider to ensure you get it right, but if you pay attention and think carefully about your wants and needs, you’ll be able to build the perfect outdoor kitchen in no time at all.

Patio Cover, Outdoor Kitchen, Tile, Copper, Patio

[Photo courtesy of toddpharistx/pixabay.com]

An Extension of Your Living Space

First and foremost, you should think of an outdoor kitchen as an extension of your living space. A well-built outdoor kitchen will add value to your home if it is able to offer shelter, shade and comfort. This means that you will need to locate it in an area that is near trees, or where you can easily erect an awning to keep the area cool when you’re cooking in the hot summer months, and you’ll probably want to install an outdoor heater for the cooler months., This might be starting to sound expensive already, but you can get a loan quickly, and if you do the job right, the value of your property should increase as a result.

Think About the Surroundings

As I mentioned above, your outdoor kitchen should be an extension of your indoor space, but it also needs to fit in with its outdoor surroundings. Ideally, you should locate your kitchen as close to the house, on a patio or decking, as possible, so that there is a seamless flow from indoors to outside, and you should try to incorporate as many of the same colors and materials in your outdoor kitchen as you would find outside.

Additionally, you should take a look at the colors and textures present in your garden and try to incorporate some of them into your design too. For example, if you have lots of plants and trees in your garden, using bamboo or other natural-looking woods would be a good idea, and if you have lots of bold, bright flowers, incorporating pinks, oranges and yellows into your kitchen and awning will help everything mesh together in spectacular style.

Planning the Layout

You probably spent a lot of time planning the layout of your indoor kitchen, and you should do the same with your outdoor space. Of course, there are some further considerations to make when you’re planning the layout of an outdoor kitchen. After all, there are no walls, windows or doors to work around. Most of the best outdoor kitchens tend to be designed a simple ‘L’ shape, which leaves adequate room for all of the necessary appliances, with plenty of space left over for dining.

When it comes to outdoor kitchen appliances, you should always try to plan your layout so that hot appliances like fire pits and grills are separate from cold appliances, such as the refrigerator.

Finally, you will want to create your design so that there is ample space for you to chop, peel and prep with ease.

Which Appliances Do You Need?

Of course, in order to adequately design your outdoor kitchen, you will need to decide on which appliances you want to have in your new kitchen area. There are a mind-boggling number of appliances you can use outdoors from a basic gas grill to a wood-fired pizza oven and from a standard refrigerator to a kegerator made specifically for keeping beer cool. Take some time to explore your options and pick out the items that will best enable you to cook, relax and entertain your guests in style.

Choosing Materials

We know that, when we build an indoor kitchen, we must choose materials which are hardworking and able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear, and this is even more important when designing an outdoor kitchen. After all, your new kitchen will not just be contending with your messy cooking style – it’ll need to hold its own against the elements too! That means that you need to choose tough materials that will hold up well and which are easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel is a good option because as well as being very strong, it will reflect the colors of the garden back, for an attractive look. Another great material to use in an outdoor kitchen is tile. You can buy tiles in a vast range of colors and styles, so you can easily choose something to match your current style, and you can wipe them clean.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Once you’ve planned the location, layout and materials you’re going to use to create the ideal outdoor kitchen; it’s time to start thinking about all those little extras which make a space feel prettier and more personalised.

One of my favorite ways to decorate outdoor space is with simple solar powered lanterns or fairy lights. They will add a bit of sparkle to evening parties and ensure that you can see what you’re doing when you’re cooking.

Of course, you will probably want to install some more powerful lights, so that you can still see what you’re doing when it’s really dark. You could buy battery powered wall mounted lights if you need to save money, but if you have the budget to spare, wiring up some outdoor lights on the wall closest to your outdoor kitchen would probably be a good idea.

Potted plants and flowers make a great addition to any outdoor kitchen space, helping it to blend in with the rest of the garden, and adding little points of color and interest too.

Furniture

Of course, furniture is the most important part of any outdoor kitchen (apart from cooking apparatus). After all, there is little point cooking up a storm on your gas grill if you have nowhere to enjoy it afterwards. In an ideal situation, you should choose outdoor furniture which is moisture resistant and which can stand up well to the sun. Rattan furniture with waterproof cushions is always a good choice, as it’s hardwearing and attractive, but visit your local garden center and see what catches your eye.

No matter what furniture you choose, you will want to install an awning or gazebo over your seating area, so that if it does start to rain, your food won’t be ruined and you won’t be drenched by the downpour.

Citronella

If you want to be able to enjoy your spare ribs and a cool beer without having to swat away all manner of bugs, you will need to invest in some citronella candles and incense. These smell perfectly pleasant to the average person, but insects really do not like their scent and will give any area where they are burning a wide berth.

Party Time

Once the hard work is over, and your perfect outdoor kitchen has been designed and built, it’s time to enjoy yourself. Invite a few of your best friends over and celebrate the new addition to your home by cooking a backyard banquet that blows last year’s barbeque straight out of the water. After all, an outdoor kitchen should be enjoyed!


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