Love Your Landscape – May 2015

Outdoor kitchens are a great way to expand your overall living space. Outdoor cooking and entertaining can provide you with a summer “vacation” feel in your own backyard, and as a bonus, well-planned outdoor kitchens enable you to cook outside year-round!

Creating your outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a patio dining set with an umbrella and a barbeque grill, or as elaborate as a fully-functioning kitchen with appliances, countertop space, storage, and built-in dining and seating areas. When designing the right outdoor kitchen, there are many factors to consider such as, who will be using the kitchen (children, adults, senior friends and relatives) and how often will it be in use? What is the climate like in your area and what’s the proximity of the kitchen in relation to the house? What size is your space and what is your desired level of cooking and prep work functionality?

I suggest you purchase appliances that will make it through both rain and sun. Stainless steel and ceramic appliances work well for all weather conditions, are very durable, and require minimal maintenance. Since appliances in your outdoor kitchen will greatly impact the overall plan size, establishing the floor plan and flooring material of your outdoor kitchen is critical when building the foundation of your space. Proper flooring will not only complete the overall look, but add durability and value to the final product.

Another key component in a successful outdoor kitchen space is outdoor specialty lighting. Not to be overlooked, outdoor lighting provides ambience and enables safer cooking, day or night. Outdoor lighting is versatile and can enhance the feel and functionality of any outdoor kitchen environment.

All of these factors and considerations must be accounted-for when optimally planning your outdoor kitchen layout.