An outdoor kitchen is definitely one of the best investments you can make for your home. It becomes an extension of your living space by serving as an additional cooking and entertaining area. Outdoor kitchens come in a variety of styles and designs—it can be as simple as a grill area with table and chairs or as elaborate as a fully outfitted kitchen complete with appliances and a dining area. No matter what your preferences may be, designing and building an outdoor kitchen requires careful thought and planning.
Many homeowners think that outdoor kitchens are only for summer cookouts and barbeque, but a truly efficient outdoor kitchen is one that can be utilized at any time of the year (providing the weather permits of course). Investing in such an outdoor kitchen will require money though, and to make your investment worth it, you’ll want to keep these design considerations in mind as you plan your outdoor kitchen.
Finding the Right Spot
Not because it’s an outdoor kitchen means you can build it just anywhere in your backyard—you’ll have to carefully choose the perfect spot for it to be built. There are several factors that you should consider when choosing the right spot for your outdoor kitchen.
For instance, you’ll want to place your cooktop or grill a bit farther from the house. This is so that the smoke that comes out while you’re cooking doesn’t waft into your living room or any other area of the house. You wouldn’t want your living room sofa to be smelling of smoke the next time you lie on it, would you? Besides, the smoke can stick to your curtains which can not only make it smell but turn it darker as well.
Also, you’ll want to position it in such a way that you get to enjoy sunlight as you cook (if you’re having lunch or an afternoon cookout). Difficult lighting can make it a challenge to cook or grill, or even prepare your food for cooking. Of course, you can remedy this by installing task lighting, but still, nothing beats those gorgeous beams from the sun.
In most cases, the dining area of your outdoor kitchen is best situated near the entrance to your indoor kitchen. This is because you may need to carry certain items and bring them out from time to time. By putting your dining area close to your indoor kitchen, you won’t have to travel long distances to get those plates, glasses, or whatever item you may need.
Lastly, don’t forget to choose a safe location. For instance, there is usually high traffic at the entrance to your doors or backyard gate. As such, you’ll want to keep hazardous items and appliances like your grill a little farther away. This way, you won’t have to worry about children crashing their bikes on hot grills and causing burns and other unfortunate accidents.
When designing your outdoor kitchen, be sure to take into account all the other items or structures that are present or you intend to have in your backyard. For instance, if you want to build a swimming pool sometime in the near future, be sure to allot a sufficient portion of your backyard for it. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to demolish a part of your outdoor kitchen just to make way for the pool.
Planning for Appliances
If you want a fully functional outdoor kitchen, then you’re going to need more than a barbeque grill and a table, and some chairs. You can consider having refrigerators and ovens installed, or have some kitchen cabinets under an island built. As such, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the right type of appliances—the kinds that are truly suitable for an outdoor kitchen.
Unless you plan to have a roof installed over your outdoor kitchen, chances are that your appliances will be exposed to the sun, rain, and a host of other outside elements. As such, you’ll want to invest in appliances that can withstand such exposure. For instance, stainless steel appliances tend to fare much better in the outdoors as they are more resistant to rust and corrosion.
In addition, be sure to know exactly what appliances you will need and plan how much space it will need. For example, if you’re mostly into grilling and barbeques, you may want to avoid buying that lovely oven you saw at the store. Sure, you may want to bake a pizza every once in a while, but if you’re not going to use it very often, then maybe you should just do your baking in your indoor kitchen.
Enhance the Ambience
Outdoor kitchens are extensions of your living spaces, and as such, you’ll want to make sure that they are truly fitted for entertainment and comfort. So aside from cooking appliances, you can have other items that can make this space one that you, your family, and your guests will love to chill and hang out in.
For instance, you can have cushioned chairs or outdoor sofas instead of plain metal or wooden chairs. Keep in mind though that such furniture will require more maintenance and upkeep, so best prepare yourself for some work if you want to keep them looking great. You may also want to have ambient lighting installed. This is perfect for setting the mood, especially during evening cookouts and parties. They’re also perfect for lighting pathways and other areas of your backyard.
Aside from that, and if you have the budget for it, why not take it a notch higher? How about installing a pond and filling them with aquatic plants and ornamental fish? Or maybe you could have a small fountain built next to the outdoor kitchen if you want to. Does it get really cold in your place? What about installing a fireplace for those chilly nights? The possibilities are endless—you’ll just have to get creative.
Another way of enhancing the ambiance and comfort levels of your kitchen is by having shades built. A slight rain or the scorching sun is one of those things that can ruin an otherwise perfect cookout. By having a tall roof or a pergola built over your outdoor kitchen (or dining area at least), you will be able to better enjoy your cooking and dining experience.
Have Storage Spaces Built
As it is with your indoor kitchen, you also need to have kitchen cabinets and storage spaces for your outdoor kitchen to keep cooking utensils and ingredients at hand as you cook. You don’t want to have to constantly run into your indoor kitchen to get spices or a tong or anything else you may need while you’re cooking nor grilling outside, do you?
There are several ways to have storage areas built in your outdoor kitchen depending on your desired style and design. The most popular though is by installing kitchen cabinets or drawers under the countertop or an island.
You’ll have to keep certain things in mind when planning and designing storage spaces for your outdoor kitchen. For one, choose materials that are weatherproof, or at least have the contractor seal and weatherproof them. Second, coordinate the storage spaces with the flooring or countertop for a cleaner and more seamless look. Lastly, you may want to choose materials that are easy to maintain and clean since they’ll be constantly exposed to grease, oil, and dirt.
Planning to Build an Outdoor Kitchen? We Can Help
Having an outdoor kitchen built is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Not only will it provide you with additional space for cooking and entertainment, but it will also help to enhance the market value of your home should you ever decide to sell it. However, you will only be able to truly enjoy these benefits if your outdoor kitchen is built right—that is, with the right design, the right appliances, and the right materials. If you’re not sure about your design or need some help in choosing the appliances to be installed and materials to be used in the construction, we can help.
Here at Dream Kitchens, we specialize in constructing custom-built kitchens using the materials that you choose and the color or theme you select. This is the best way to ensure that you are getting a kitchen—whether that be indoors or outdoors—that meets your requirements. And we don’t just design the layout of your indoor or outdoor kitchens; we also offer plumbing, electrical, tiling, and a host of other services and products like kitchen cabinets and more. We aim to be your one-stop-shop for all things kitchen.
If you are interested in working with us for your indoor or outdoor kitchen construction or renovation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can call us up at 02 9484 3464 or leave a message on our contact page, so you can view our extensive range of custom kitchen cabinets and home furniture style and at the same time talk to one of our staff about your requirements.