Whether you are refurbishing your home to improve its resale value or for your family’s continued use and pleasure, the addition of an outdoor kitchen is an excellent way to spice up your yard and embrace an outdoor living space.
A well-designed outdoor kitchen can transform your yard into an awesome location for entertaining and relaxing. It is a surefire way of extending your indoor living space into the outdoors.
Whether you are designing a summer outdoor kitchen for the warmer months or an all-season kitchen for a Mediterranean type of climate, there are several things you must get right if you want to have a beautiful and functional outdoor kitchen.
In that light, we explore four essential steps into designing an awesome, functional kitchen in your yard.
Choose a Proper Location
Where to locate your outdoor kitchen will depend on a number of factors. First, you don’t want smoke from the grill to waft back into your house. So, you need to understand the general wind pattern in your ward. Then, orient the grill accordingly.
If you normally entertain, consider locating your outdoor kitchen relatively close to the entrance to the indoor kitchen. This will ensure that you don’t travel a long distance from the indoor kitchen to the outdoor entertaining area.
Moreover, if you’re looking to keep the outside view you currently have from inside the house, consider placing the outside kitchen at an angle to avoid obstruction of the view. Something else you need to consider is your yard’s overall traffic flow and your family’s general safety.
You should realize that outside kitchen is just as hazardous as the indoor kitchen. So, it is imperative that you place it accordingly, away from children play areas.
Choose a Good Layout
There are several considerations you need to make when planning a layout for your outdoor kitchen. It is worth noting that, while the layout of an indoor kitchen is defined by the walls, windows, and doors that surround it, its outdoor counterpart normally defines the space on its own.
In the light of that, L-shaped kitchen designs are popular choices for the outdoors. This is largely attributed to the fact that they provide a sense of room division to the space. You also need to think about appliance placement.
Consider the most suitable locations for your hot and cold zones. For instance, it is not a good idea to place a gas grill right next to a fridge. Also, remember to allow sufficient space for food prep.
What Appliances Do You Need For Your Outdoor Kitchen?
Once you’ve had your layout decided, you need to think about the kind of appliances you would like incorporated into your outdoor kitchen. There is a vast selection of appliances to choose from. So, you need to go for what you know you’ll utilize to the maximum.
Let’s look at some of the most popular outdoor kitchen appliances to inspire you:
Grills and Smokers
You can use a grill as the kitchen’s focal point, and then add other appliances around it. There is a wide variety of grills available for outdoor kitchens. So, you should take the time to choose what best suits your needs.
A small built-in fridge is a common element in outdoor kitchens. You need to have beverage bottles and juice boxes conveniently placed for your guests. Besides making things easier for everyone, this also prevents people from always going in-and-out of your house.
Do you think you will often need a lot of ice? If yes, consider investing in an ice maker for your outside kitchen. There are several options to choose from, depending on design. You can go for a built-in icemaker. However, you may be limited by space if you have already installed a refrigerator. So, why not invest in a portable ice maker, which continuously makes ice, but can be kept away when not needed?
Consider installing a kegerator in your outdoor kitchen if you and your guests love beer. A built-in kegerator with at two taps can be a great choice. It will allow you to offer several types of beer.
You should always go for appliances designed for the outdoors. Indoor versions may not work well for you and their lifespan may be significantly reduced as they cannot stand the outdoor elements.
Add a Touch of Ambiance
The outdoor kitchen normally acts as a place to enjoy cooking and dining while entertaining guests and family. It allows you to enjoy the outdoor environment while having the luxury of your indoor living space.
You should add features that will make your outside kitchen space a comfortable summer retreat. Tables, chairs, and decorative elements can complete the look. When it comes to furniture, invest in hard-wearing pieces with cozy outdoor cushions.
The table you choose should be large enough so you can use it as a buffet and a dining table. Consider going for stacking chairs as they can help save space during the winterizing periods. You can also create a water feature, like a small fountain, to add to the soothing ambiance of your outdoor kitchen.
Don’t forget to add some lighting. This will serve two main functions. First, it will provide the much-needed light for kitchen activities. Additionally, it produces a soft ambiance and sets the right mood for entertaining. You should include both types of lighting for maximum effect.
An outdoor kitchen is a wonderful addition to a home. It is a great way to upgrade the ordinary barbecue experience to something a little more stylish and comfortable. Outdoor kitchens can be used not only as the main attraction at outdoor parties but also for everyday cooking, with the whole family enjoying a meal in the open while having the comfort of indoor living space. With the tips outlined above, you can be able to create your own magnificent outdoor kitchen.