If you’re like most homeowners who have decided to add an outdoor kitchen to your exterior amenities, you’re undoubtedly looking forward to spending many happy hours preparing meals and enjoying al fresco dining with family and friends. However, you may have questions about how to design your outdoor kitchen.
Although each outdoor kitchen will be unique to meet the needs and preferences of individual homeowners and their families, there are a few universal design tips that can be applied across a wide range of outdoor kitchen projects to ensure optimal aesthetics and functionality — following are six of them:
1- Start With a Quality Foundation
Your outdoor kitchen will only be as good as its foundation, so start with good, solid materials and have them professionally installed on a level surface. Quality, stain, and moisture-resistant pavers are among the most highly recommended surface materials for outdoor kitchens.
2- Create a Functional Layout
Just like with indoor kitchens, the general layout of outdoor kitchens should promote efficiency and functionality. The classic kitchen work triangle that comprises the three main elements of any kitchen — the stove, sink, and refrigerator placed in close proximity to each other is the most effective way to streamline the meal preparation process.
3- Provide Shade and Shelter Options
Few things ruin an al fresco meal more quickly and thoroughly than a sudden downpour, so consider having retractable awnings installed so that you can quickly provide shelter for your kitchen and dining area. Awnings also make it more comfortable to enjoy an outdoor meal on a hot summer day.
Pergolas offer a more permanent shade and sun solution and are especially good for those who want to use their outdoor kitchen throughout all seasons. This option also has the added bonus of creating a sense of definition to the area.
4- Provide Adequate Storage
Preparing meals in your outdoor kitchen may start to seem like more of a tedious chore than a pleasant pastime if you find yourself constantly running back and forth to retrieve cooking equipment and ingredients from your indoor kitchen. You can alleviate this issue by planning for adequate storage and making sure that it’s well-stocked with everything you need prior to starting your outdoor cooking sessions.
5- Add a Fire Feature
An outdoor fireplace or fire pit brings a cozy ambiance to the picture and generates heat for those times when temperatures dip on cooler evenings. You can also use it to create dessert items to serve as a grand finale to your al fresco dining experience. Campfire pies, roasted fruit skewers, and s’mores are just a few of the ways that you can use your fire feature to create desserts.
6- Install Outdoor Lighting
Proper lighting is essential for both safety and ambiance in your outdoor kitchen and dining space. Install task lighting for cooking and ambient lighting for dining. The addition of decorative outdoor lighting such as fairy lights and outdoor lanterns adds to the atmosphere.
With careful planning and attention to the above design tips, you’ll be ready to create lasting memories.