For many homeowners, an outdoor kitchen is their pride and joy and the height of entertainment luxury. The ones who still don’t have it, they keep imagining themselves enjoying their time outdoors flipping burgers, sipping drinks and having a laugh with their friends.
However, that dream isn’t so far-fetched today with such a great choice of materials and designs, but once you set your mind on designing your dream outdoor kitchen, it does take some planning. You’ll need to consider the best layout, location, appliances and ways of making it all function well together. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Extension of your living space
The best advantage of an outdoor kitchen is that it actually extends your living space. To maximize its potential and make the space functional in all weather, plan for good shelter and shading in the hot summer months and for cooler periods, you might consider adding a cosy fire pit or an outdoor heater.
Depending on your budget, you could opt for more: build a pergola and add radiant heat all over the patio area. All these comfort features will ensure your outdoor space is enjoyable, snug and inviting no matter the season.
Plan the layout
Your outdoor kitchen layout is as important as your indoor one but you do need to have some extra considerations in mind. Outside you don’t have any walls to provide definition so an outdoor kitchen layout defines itself. Therefore, it needs to be well-thought of. For instance, L-shaped designs prove to be very functional as they divide the area into two separate sections. Moreover, clever placement of appliances can help you create hot and cold zones, so don’t put your grill right next to the fridge. And don’t forget to provide ample prep space.
Pick your appliances
After you had your layout configured, another key factor is picking out the right appliances. With a wide range of contemporary appliances available today, you should consider the ones you believe will be mostly in use.
The most popular choice is a built-in fridge that is often accompanied by a kegerator. A small built-in fridge will keep your cool water bottles, juices and sodas within easy reach and if you and your friends are huge fans of beer, installing a kegerator will be a jackpot.
In hot summer months, you’ll need ice so an ice-maker is a great investment, whether you go for the built-in type or a portable one. And finally, the grill and smoker is for many the number one choice for the outdoor kitchen and often its focal point.
An outdoor kitchen needs to be both hard-wearing and hard-working, so the choice of materials really matters. Select the ones that are tough and can withstand elements, durable and low maintenance. For instance, if you go with comfy teak furniture, you’ll have strong elements that are also modern and sleek so they give your outdoor kitchen a touch of elegance.
As for the appliances, stainless steel is the best option and for the countertops, you may also consider tile or granite that come in a great variety of designs and texture so they can easily fit into any decor.
Go into details
Once you’ve got your outdoor kitchen all configured, it’s time you go into details to give it a personalized and authentic look. Add some flower pots, colourful cushions and rugs and garden decorations.
Also, don’t forget the lighting as this is a powerful tool to help you set the mood outside and transform the whole look. Make sure your prep area is well lit so you avoid any injuries. As for the seating and lounging area, you could go with overhead string lights, accent lights on the sides and lovely, scented candles on the tables for a truly warm and cosy setting. Having various light sources will help you maximize its effect and adapt it to any situation.
Once your outdoor kitchen is all set up, the outdoor fun and games can start! After a long time of tedious planning, building, calculating the budget and designing, celebrate your accomplishment by throwing a fabulous party with fine drinks, gourmet dishes, great music and your favourite crowd!