Ideas for Outdoor Kitchens
Outdoor kitchens provide tremendous square footage and opportunities for entertaining. If you love spending time outdoors, these types of kitchens provide you with the perfect opportunity to share your love of cooking and the outdoors. Many options are available today to choose from when determining your appliances, materials and configuration of the space.
Appliances for an Outdoor Kitchen
Many outdoor kitchens are built around the appliances. Some homeowners opt for large barbecue grills. Others opt for an entire functioning kitchen, including a stove, range and refrigerator. Other items may include a wine cooler, sink or microwave. These items can be installed in a similar manner as the appliances that are located indoors, or they can be installed with rocks or other decorative pieces around them.
Materials for an Outdoor Kitchen
Other materials that may be added to outdoor kitchens include countertops and cabinets. Many homeowners like to have nice countertops for their outdoor kitchens. While granite countertops are the current trend, concrete countertops are another good option. They are functional and decorative, and they can certainly hold up outdoors. Storage units are also frequently added to outdoor kitchens to avoid having to constantly reenter the main home.
Layouts for an Outdoor Kitchen
The layout of outdoor kitchens will depend on the amount of space that you have and the needs for the area. Some outdoor kitchens can benefit from a wrap-around approach that looks like a diner. You may want to use this look in conjunction with a stone facade. Guests can see you as you cook and will likely dine on a bar. Other outdoor kitchens replicate the layout that is featured indoors. It may include a large preparation area, a kitchen island and ample seating. Some outdoor kitchens feature a built-in barbecue and provide seating that is distinct from the cooking area.
A galley style may provide a higher degree of efficiency when space is limited. Bar stools may be placed near the countertops to double as a seating area. If you are using a wood burning oven, this feature may dictate the design of the outdoor kitchen due to its large stature. You may want to include a split-level counter so that you can prepare food at one height and use the other portion for a bar area.
An outdoor kitchen must also take into consideration factors that do not affect indoor spaces. For example, you may want to plan your kitchen around the normal direction of the wind.
Design Ideas for an Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen lends itself to a rustic and natural design. You want to be able to enjoy your guests and the outdoors simultaneously. Stone facades, plant boxes and retaining walls add architectural details that look natural in the space. You may want to add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to the space so that the kitchen can be used year round. Adding a roof to the space can also help prevent rain from interfering with your enjoyment of the space. A pergola achieves a similar look and provides some shade, but it does not offer the same amount of protection as a complete roof. You may want to create different areas for your outdoor kitchen if you have a large space. For example, patio furniture and bright pillows can create a conversation area, a bar counter and stools can create a space for adult entertainment and a grassy area can be used for children’s activities.
Outdoor kitchens add value to your home and will increase your enjoyment of your outdoor space. With a well executed design plan, you can create the kitchen you always wanted.