Outdoor Kitchen Design
Whether it is summer evenings entertaining around the pool or enjoying the opportunity of a rare warm winter afternoon outdoors, dining alfresco doesnt have to be an event where the hosts are schlepping back and forth between the indoor kitchen and outdoor entertainment area while everyone else relaxes. For the entertainers who have incorporated an “outdoor kitchen” into their homes, the possibilities abound. Whatever your style, there is sure to be an outdoor kitchen design to suit your lifestyle.
An outdoor kitchen may be constructed on an existing patio or it can be a free-standing island completely separate to the rest of the house. Weather and sun patterns need to be taken into consideration when deciding on the location for protection from extreme conditions. Choices of roof coverage vary from full or partial roofs, to pergolas or outdoor umbrellas. Design and structure vary largely according to personal taste but there are a number of common features that appear in all the top styles. The framework can be constructed from concrete, brick, stone, water-resistant wood or steel. Flooring needs to be easy to clean while having a non-slip surface in wet conditions.
With the framework and roof in place, outdoor kitchen designs need to adopt the practical aspects of an indoor kitchen. Electrical points and water supply need to be professionally installed and weather-proofed. Lighting needs to be given ample consideration for evening entertaining and suitable waterproof lights installed. Layout is important for optimal functionality – practical layout would include a preparation area, cooking area, serving area and an entertainment and/or dining area. Popular trends seem to lean towards stone or tiled counters with stainless steel appliances and fittings. A noteworthy tip is to keep surfaces a light colour, as dark colours retain heat from the sun and can get rather hot in the summer months.
There are ranges of appliances and furniture specifically for outdoor use. Beginning with the preparation area, essential items would include a sink with running water, a waste bin, chopping boards and enough counter space for preparation. In the cooking area, built in gas grills and ovens are a popular option, with stainless steel fitted cabinets for storing gas bottles safely. The serving area could be fitted with warmer drawers and built in, stainless steel cupboards for storing plates and cutlery. Other available outdoor appliances include refrigerators, ice-makers, wine-coolers, pantries for food items and cabinets for cleaning products, amongst others.
The entertainment areas also vary depending on individual tastes and entertainment styles. The countertop layout can be extended to include a bar counter with bar stools as one option. Other styles include a full dining table and chairs, often in the form of wrought-iron furniture. Infinite variations on dcor can be applied once the basic structure and layout are complete.
Fireplaces, fire pits and pizza ovens are lovely finishes to the basic outdoor kitchen design and add a cosy touch to extend a late afternoon lunch into an evening of conversation and laughter around the fire. The end result: happy guests and relaxed hosts.
More outdoor kitchen designs and design tips coming soon!!!