Design Your Ideal Outdoor Kitchen

  • Added:
    Jul 31, 2014
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Design Your Ideal Outdoor Kitchen Photo by Nick  Willson

With summer here, you probably can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. There are several ways to do this, of course, but none compare to an outdoor kitchen. It makes your home ideal for neighborhood parties, having family over, or just enjoying a nice meal with your loved ones. Plus, if you ever sell, nothing is going to wow a buyer like showing them your outdoor kitchen. As your starting fresh with its design, you have plenty of options to consider. Here are some important tips to keep in mind.

Include Everything You Need
Many people with outdoor kitchens also use their indoor version to prepare meals. This makes plenty of sense, but you should ensure that your outdoor space also includes enough that you don’t need to run back and forth constantly. A lot of homeowners install a refrigerator in their outdoor kitchen. That might be too much for the budget right now. But you should still include surfaces for preparing food. A sink is also a good idea, otherwise you’ll be without a water supply and even an outdoor kitchen needs one of those. Depending on the types of meals you usually prepare, having appliances or at least outlets for them is generally a good idea too.

Don’t Forget the Light
If you have patio lights that will hit your patio kitchen, that may be enough. But take time to consider where your new kitchen is going to go and whether more light is needed. You don’t want to be preparing cutlets by flashlight, after all.

Add a Roof
Just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean your new kitchen doesn’t need some kind of roof or canopy. This way, if it rains, the party doesn’t have to be over. Enjoy the cool weather from the comfort of your patio kitchen and keep on cooking. A roof also makes it easier to:
• Add lights
• Hang a chandelier
• Install speakers

Go Beyond an Oven
With an outdoor kitchen, you have way more options for cooking than you do indoors. Adding an oven makes plenty of sense; if nothing else, it works for food preparation. However, there’s no reason to stop there. A grill is the obvious choice and definitely has its place. But why not add a smoker to go along with it? One especially fun option is a wood burning pizza oven. These days, you don’t even need the wood. Go with propane and you can still make delicious pizzas from the comfort of your own backyard. Choose stone for the exterior and no one will know your classic pizza oven is running on a modern design.

Keep Cooking Social
Most backyards include a grill and one of its many benefits is that the cook still has a clear view of everyone and is able to interact and partake in the party. When you design a kitchen outside, however, it’s easy to put the cooking space somewhere off in the corner. That’s hardly any way to thank the chef for all their hard work. Instead, make sure they are able to maintain contact with where the rest of the people in your backyard.

Consider Your Architectural Options
Conventional wisdom is that your outdoor kitchen should blend in with the rest of the home. If you have a house with a brick exterior, your patio kitchen may look a bit odd if it has a Mediterranean feel to it.
However, if you separate your kitchen far enough from the rest of the home, giving it a different aesthetic may increase the appeal. Going from your traditional house to a tiki bar-themed kitchen, for example, is a fun idea if you can pull it off. At the end of the day, it’s your kitchen; allow it to reflect your style.

Include a Dining Space
This may seem like odd advice, but don’t forget that your kitchen should include a dining space and preferably one that’s nearby. Spend an equal amount of time designing it as well. No matter how great your kitchen looks, if people don’t like the dining room, your investment is going to suffer.
Nothing is better in the summer months than having an outdoor kitchen at your disposal. It makes everything from simple dinners to block parties that much more fun. Just remember to keep the above in mind so your design is everything you imagined.

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Outdoor kitchens are one of the best ways possible to enjoy the nice weather while it’s here. While they share many similarities with the indoor kind, you have a lot of other options to consider. Before you design your outdoor kitchen, be sure you know what’s possible and what it absolutely must have.

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