Outdoor kitchen designs have gradually transcended the typical backyard barbecue to become expanded living spaces that range from the leisurely to the luxurious. Immaculate stone, steel, and concrete configurations can create an ideal spot to eat, escape, and entertain, and preparing meals outdoors will keep your home free from heat, smoke, and the lingering scent of food throughout the warmer months.
While gathering the ingredients for your customized outdoor kitchen design, be sure to keep the following five must-have features in mind:
- Appliances: Reliability is the key whether you’re cooking, cooling, or cleaning in your outdoor kitchen. The main attraction for any outdoor kitchen design, of course, is the gas or charcoal grill, which can transform homeowners into top chefs serving up dishes from hot dogs to haute cuisine. A built-in refrigerator can keep beverages and side dishes chilling while you get things cooking, and a weather-resistant, stainless steel sink allows for swift wash-up after the party winds down. Before installation, consider how you your tools and utensils will fit into your layout. Keep in mind that both your refrigerator and sink will require the use of your home’s utilities. Seek the assistance of professionals, such as plumbers and electricians, to safely complete your setup. Built-in outlets will allow for quick access to your blenders, carvers, and more.
- Space: Sufficient room to maneuver is integral to a successful outdoor kitchen design. Keep in mind that an outdoor kitchen’s prep area is in use constantly, as much – if not more so – than the grill, and plan ahead for ample work surfaces and countertop space, as well as water and temperature-proof cabinets and storage.
- Lighting: Outdoor landscape lighting not only aids in setting a desired mood, it allows for entertaining long after the sun goes down. Lighting also serves as a safety component, guiding guests along walkways, decks, patios, and staircases. LEDs are a long-lasting, eco-friendly option for homes of all styles and setups. However, if a more natural glow is desired, an outdoor fireplace can accommodate, while keeping things toasty on cool summer evenings.
- Seating: Your outdoor kitchen design, while entirely functional, may also become the social fixture of your outdoor environment. Once the food has been prepared, make sure you have provided a place for your guests to relax and converse by populating your kitchen area with cushioned patio furniture, comfortable – yet stackable – chairs, and wooden stools lining a high bar or half wall. Opt for a dining table large enough to both serve and seat your guests.
- Shelter: Protect your friends – and your food – from the elements. Consider adding a custom pergola or even combining your outdoor kitchen with an Italian-style loggia to add a bit of shade and solitude.
A landscape design-build firm can help you get started on the ground floor, helping you to choose the stonework that will serve as the foundation for your outdoor kitchen design.
McHale Landscape Design excels at planning outdoor living areas for family meals, social gatherings, and simple neighborly conversation. Let’s cook up some great concepts together. Call us today at 301-599-8300.