Gone are the days when an outdoor kitchen had only a grill, side burner, and maybe a fridge. These days, homeowners can transform their outdoor space into a gourmet cooking spot that can appeal to any chef. Depending on your finances, you can have a simple or a high-end outdoor kitchen.
Besides adding value to your home, an outdoor kitchen lowers your energy utility bills because cooking from outside won’t increase your indoor temperatures, eliminating the need for an AC to keep the house cool. It also extends your overall living and entertaining space while keeping your indoor kitchen clean and cool. Below are tips for designing the perfect outdoor kitchen.
Find the Right Contractor
To get the best out of your outdoor space, find a top landscape architect to help design and build the outdoor kitchen. The ideal landscape architect will design your kitchen as per the ideas and elements you discuss with them, come up with an estimate for the entire project then construct it to meet your desired specifications.
To find the right landscape contractor, look for referrals or do an online search for designers near you. Be sure to conduct a background check on them by visiting their Google My Business Account, website, and other platforms to read reviews and testimonials. Don’t forget to look at their portfolio to see their past projects to help you decide if they are a good fit.
Know What You Want
Do you have a vision of how you want the final product to look? If not, carry out research to help you identify the features you’d like to see in your outdoor kitchen design. For example, if you want your outdoor kitchen to have a cooking and dining area, focus on appliances and enough counter space for meal preparation and serving. Knowing what you want in your outdoor space helps you effectively communicate your needs and desires to the contractor.
Choose the Materials You Need
If you are building a permanent outdoor kitchen, go for materials like stucco, bricks, concrete accompanied by metal details. For a portable kitchen, consider granite, glass, and some polymer materials. The materials you choose will also be influenced by the size, budget, labor, availability, and your outdoor kitchen’s scope. Go for long-lasting materials that will give you value for money.
Get the Perfect Flooring
Besides facing wear and tear from excess moisture and grease or oil buildup, foot traffic, and debris, outdoor kitchens also face extreme weather elements. If you are building your kitchen on an existing patio, plan for paving underfoot. The flooring options you may consider are stone which will give your outdoor kitchen a natural, elegant look, and concrete, which has a variety of looks and is versatile and durable. You may also consider tile designs which are available in ceramic and porcelain and are also affordable.
Select the Ideal Outdoor Appliances
The appliances in your outdoor space will depend on your tastes and preferences. When looking for outdoor appliances, consider a knowledgeable source as they’ll advise and help you choose according to your needs. Go for quality stainless steel products that won’t easily rust and corrode due to the element’s effect. Consider getting appliances with a lifetime warranty because an outdoor kitchen is expected to last.
Consider Storage Space
Storage space can affect the functionality of your outdoor kitchen. Having storage space for your essentials gives you more convenience as you don’t have to keep going back and forth to get items from your indoor kitchen. Types of an outdoor kitchen to consider include drawer units for storing flat items and access doors or panels for hiding plumbing connections, propane tanks, and gas hookups. You may also consider storage doors and shelving units to store cookware and serve ware, paper towel holders, and trash and recycling pullouts.
Besides providing the lighting needed for outdoor kitchen tasks, lighting creates the ambiance and mood for entertainment. Ensure the lights shine in your cooking area. If you have an overhead structure, hang a light above the space. Consider using dimmers, string lights, or solar-powered accent lighting ambiance.
Consider a Proper Maintenance Plan
Since your outdoor kitchen is always exposed to extreme weather conditions, develop a maintenance plan to care for it even when you’re using it. Consider the time and effort you’ll need to maintain it. Are you alone, or do you have help? This will help you choose an outdoor kitchen design you can easily maintain to make it easier on yourself.
Having a perfectly designed outdoor kitchen can be fun, especially when hanging out with family and friends. Consider using these tips the next time you want to achieve the perfect outdoor kitchen experience.
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