One of the biggest trends in home design these days is having a finished outdoor space. Instead of a separation of “inside” and “outside,” it provides a flow that allows homeowners to utilize patios, yards, and gardens to their fullest advantage. One element people have focused on the past few years is the outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen not only is a perfect spot for entertaining, but also an area families can enjoy throughout the year. If you are looking at ideas for what to include in your outdoor kitchen, here are some essential features and tips to get you started.
Begin with Design
The first step in adding an outdoor kitchen involves research, planning and design. Every person has a different space and requirements. By planning you can fine-tune a vision to best serves your needs. Here are some steps you can take during the design process.
- List your needs and wants. Are you pizza fanatics that need a wood-fired oven, or do you prefer a grill? How often will you use your outdoor space, and how much prep area will you need? Some aspects to consider include seating, storage, appliances, and materials that work in your region’s climate.
- Look at complementing the design of your home. You don’t want people to feel as though they’ve entered an entirely different home when they visit your outdoor space. Look at ways to mimic style and color and bring the aesthetic of your home to the outdoor areas.
- Create an outdoor flow. Consider your outdoor kitchen as a part of the overall outdoor space. If you have other areas like a pool, deck, or garden, you’ll want to establish a natural flow. Think about traffic, utilities, and where structures will make the most sense.
- Add features that extend your outdoor season. If you want to get the most out of your outdoor kitchen thinking about adding a fireplace, heaters for cold weather, and shade for warmer weather. Learn more about our other outdoor construction services here.
- Remember lighting. Lighting is just as important outdoors as it is indoors. Optimize your lighting choices for both ambiance and tasks.
- Use good kitchen sense. Just like your kitchen inside, your outdoor kitchen should make sense and be designed to work seamlessly. Make sure your cold storage, counters, wet areas and cooking appliances all make it easy to move around and get the job done.
What to Include in Your Outdoor Kitchen
Once you have the design nailed down, it’s time to start the exciting part—choosing what to include in your outdoor kitchen. Many designers suggest starting from the ground up. Begin with what’s on the ground beneath your kitchen. Since the area is outdoors, something that holds up to weather and foot traffic is essential. It’s important to thing about safety and anti-slip surfaces as well.
Next, look into appliances. Typically, the size of your appliances will determine the size of your outdoor kitchen. Most people want a refrigerator, stove or grill and even a dishwasher. Other common features are sinks, fireplaces and cooktops.
The last design features are counters, storage and work spaces. After all the base elements are in place you can add pergolas, shade trees, heaters, lighting, decor and anything that ties the area together.
An outdoor kitchen adds an incredible feature to your home that will let you appreciate your yard in a whole new way for years to come.