6 Tips for Designing the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen
There’s no better place for summertime entertaining than an outdoor kitchen. Here’s how to create an inviting exterior space that will impress your guests and remain durable over time.
Decide on what you want
Determining the best type of outdoor kitchen will depend on several factors including your lifestyle, budget and available space. If you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors or have limited funds at your disposal, a grill, store-bought outdoor bar and some mood lighting can do the trick. On the other hand, if you entertain a lot and have a big enough budget, you can create a fully functional kitchen, complete with appliances, exterior stainless-steel cabinetry and extravagant pizza oven. Start by differentiating essentials from amenities and go from there.
Choose a Design Plan
Outdoor kitchens can be prefabricated or custom designed. Prefabrication reduces your costs but limits your choices. If you want something distinctive, you should consider hiring a company that specializes in designing and installing outdoor kitchens. If you don’t require a unique setup, you can purchase a modular design, which consists of interlocking blocks that allow you to assemble the kitchen space yourself. Whatever you choose, you will be happier with your outdoor kitchen if you focus heavily on creating seamless indoor-outdoor style continuity.
Settle on a Style
You should view your outdoor kitchen as an extension of your interior living environment. Your exterior design should consist of patterns and themes that fit the style and décor of your home. You could also integrate with your local environment to help it blend harmoniously; outdoor kitchens in Arizona and New Mexico should look different than kitchens in Seattle or New York.
Choose Appropriate Flooring
When selecting flooring for your outdoor kitchen, you need to think about function along with design. The layout of the flooring often determines the overall design of an outdoor space. That said, you also need to think about who will be using your kitchen. Will there be a lot of guests? Will small children be in and out of the kitchen? Is the outdoor space located near a pool? Whether you choose stone, concrete or tile for your kitchen, you will want to make sure it will blend with your design theme and remain durable over time.
Select your Amenities
When choosing appliances and amenities for your outdoor space, you really need to consider your budget and needs. If you travel a lot and only plan to use the outdoor space for small gatherings, you should consider sticking with the bare essentials. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to create an impressive outdoor space for entertaining, you might want to go all out by installing higher-end exterior cabinetry, wine refrigeration, beverage dispensers, pizza ovens, grills with connectivity, fireplaces, televisions and speakers. Whatever the case, be sure to select appliances and amenities that are specifically made for outdoor use and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper maintenance.
Consider the Elements
A good outdoor kitchen balances beauty with durability. While concrete, soapstone and granite make striking countertop surfaces, ultra-compact surfaces such as Dekton countertops are more suited for exterior kitchens, which are exposed to ultraviolet light, wind and rain. You should also be careful to select outdoor seating that is treated to resist fading due to UV light.
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