Outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular in many homes over the last few years due to the many benefits they offer. Not only do they increase your home’s resale value, but they also add to its square footage. They are also a great place to enjoy the outdoors with your family and guests while cooking and eating together.
Besides choosing the best low voltage deck lights for your outdoor cooking area, a lot more goes into designing a comfortable and functional outdoor kitchen that meets your unique needs. Here are a few design tips to help you create the outdoor kitchen of your dream:
1. Choose the Right Material for Your Outdoor Kitchen
Be sure to choose weatherproof materials for your countertops, cabinetry, and floors to ensure they can withstand the harsh weather elements. Brick, concrete, and stone are excellent options for your flooring since they can stand up to the weather and can be washed down faster. Concrete tiles also make great flooring materials due to their beauty and high durability.
Consider stainless steel for your storage units since it’s not prone to rust and can match the color of your appliances. Granite can make a great choice for your countertops due to its incredible durability, striking looks, and gives the natural look of stone. Avoid tile or marble floorings since they don’t hold up to food and grease spots and can get slippery and slick when wet. If you install your kitchen on a deck, be sure it’s in the best condition by painting or restaining it to give it a fresh, brand-new look.
2. Choose Appropriate Appliances
There are hundreds of appliances that you can add to your outdoor kitchen. However, most outdoor kitchens typically include a grill, oven, smoker, and refrigerator. Choose the right appliances for your outdoor cooking space based on what you’ll be cooking most often and how you cook. For instance, you may need to get a mini-refrigerator if you always prepare a signature cocktail when you’re cooking. Be sure your chosen appliances are durable and require no maintenance to ensure they can withstand extreme weather conditions. Additionally, depending on what you’ll be preparing the most, you may install specialty appliances such as warming drawers and a beer tap.
3. Design a functional layout
A typical cooking area consists of four parts: dry for prep, cold for ice and refrigeration, wet for the sink, and hot for cooking. However, the amount of available space and your working area will determine the layout of your outdoor kitchen. A simple layout comprising a single cabinet and a grill can provide the much-needed functionality for smaller spaces. This way, you forego the wet and cold zones by installing your outdoor kitchen closer to your indoor kitchen, so you can use its sink and refrigerator.
An L-shaped or linear kitchen layout can make a great choice if you have a larger deck since it will create a functional space and leave enough room for entertaining your guests. You may also consider including a peninsular unit or an island. This way, you can have an outdoor kitchen island with bar seating, allowing you to enjoy the sunset while cooking or easily interact with guests. Be sure to consider other factors such as utilities like water, electricity, and gas when designing your kitchen layout.
4. Incorporate an Eating Area
The main purpose of having an outdoor kitchen is to entertain, so ensure your cooking area has enough seating for your family and guests. Consider adding a custom-piece dining table that’s sturdy and large enough to hold your tasty foods for a hungry crowd. If your deck is large enough, consider creating a nook with a couple of loungers or plush armchairs where you can enjoy after-dinner cocktails or morning coffee. For added ambiance and extra warmth on cold nights, consider installing a fireplace or a fire pit on your deck.
5. Plan for Storage
Storage space is one of the most overlooked aspects of outdoor kitchens. However, planning for storage is important for ensuring the functionality of your outdoor kitchen. Include a couple of shelves and cupboards for your dishes, cookware, and other items you’ll regularly use while cooking outside. This also creates enough room to fit your outdoor kitchen appliances without the space looking crowded. You can also add a rolling cart with shelves for your root vegetables, tools, or spices and racks to hang towels and utensils.
Use the tips mentioned above to design a beautiful-looking yet functional outdoor kitchen for entertaining your guests and family while you cook. From coming up with the kitchen layout and installing deck lighting to selecting appropriate appliances and materials for your countertops, be sure you design an outdoor kitchen that best serves your unique needs and those of your guests.