Designing an outdoor kitchen can be incredibly fun, and extending your living space can be exciting, too. If you are building an outdoor kitchen to use during the warmer months, it’s important to design it in such a way that it’s just right for your wants and needs. Here are five different questions to ask yourself during the design process to ensure you get the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.
What Will It Look Like?
First things first, you will want to make sure you like the way your outdoor space looks, and you will want to make sure it doesn’t “clash” against your home’s existing exterior design elements. Think about all the materials available to you, the colors and textures, and even the amount of maintenance that goes into each one. For example, while wood is popular, there’s a lot of maintenance that goes into it, so stone and masonry may be your better option. This should help you narrow down just the right materials for your outdoor space.
How Do You Want to Cook?
Next, ask yourself how you will want to prepare food while using your outdoor kitchen. A grill could be all you need if you prefer this method of cooking, but you can also install a more traditional cooktop or a wood-burning oven. Think about which of these options you would most enjoy and consider whether you would be more likely to use one piece of equipment over another. This will help you narrow down your choice of appliances.
How Many People Will You Entertain?
Another important consideration is the number of people you are likely to entertain at any given time because this will ultimately dictate the size of your outdoor kitchen. Though you can always extend festivities out into the yard, having a space large enough for everyone to gather comfortably is ideal. Think about the number of people, then decide whether you want to purchase patio furniture or perhaps create extra seating out of masonry half-walls. Be sure there’s ample room for guests to enter and exit the outdoor area, too.
What Kind of Storage Do You Need?
Storage is important in outdoor kitchens, and this is true whether you want to store only the basics like charcoal and grill tools or a complete set of dinnerware, silverware, pots, and pans, and even food. It’s possible to add a full-size refrigerator to an outdoor kitchen; in fact, it can be built right into the masonry for a perfect fit. You can also add cabinetry, drawers, and other storage spaces depending on your unique needs.
Will You Use Your Outdoor Space during the Cooler Months?
Oftentimes, homeowners believe that outdoor kitchens are really only beneficial during the summer months when nighttime temperatures are still warm. However, if you install the right elements, you can use your outdoor kitchen on chilly nights, too. A masonry fireplace situated centrally to where guests gather can provide outstanding heat as well as aesthetic appeal, and this can keep the gathering going long into the night – and long after summer has gone, too.
Designing an outdoor kitchen to fit your summertime goals is all about asking yourself how you plan to use the space once it’s finished. The questions above will go a long way toward simplifying the design process, ensuring that the outdoor kitchen you end up with is the one that will best suit your needs and goals.