Adding living spaces outdoors is a fantastic method to extend usable spaces around your home without having to invest in pricey home additions. Outdoor spaces for entertaining, cooking, and dining is usually a more affordable option compared to adding indoor spaces into your home and it also offers a more convenient and comfortable way to take advantage of more spaces on your property while spending time outdoors.
Outdoor dining spaces are actually rather common as many homeowners that have a backyard patio will also typically have chairs and a table where this space is used for family barbecues. This informal setup happens to be the ideal start in association with using an outdoor area for the activities that you usually do inside. Yet you can go a lot further in the way of creating a living space that can help you to bring these activities outdoors.
Outdoor kitchens and living rooms have increased in popularity over the last few years. The patio living areas with comfy sofas, flatscreen TVs, cocktail tables, and outdoor rugs, have become a common trend, especially in the higher-end residences.
With many homeowners who now have some form of an outdoor living room and dining setup that they frequently use, many have made the decision to extend these living spaces even further with the addition of patio kitchens. These range from a few basic features onto all-inclusive setups that would even impress some of the top world-class chefs.
This latest trend linked to backyard landscaping could add a lot more value to your house and impress any buyers if you ever decide to sell.
Tips On How To Plan Your Outdoor Kitchen
Begin From The Ground Up
Determining your floor layout along with the materials you plan to use for a kitchen outdoors is essential to build the foundation associated with this space. Keep in mind the type of weather climates that your region receives, along with the weight linked to the appliances you plan to install. Flooring options like marble or tiles can become slippery and slick once they are wet and might not be a great choice for food stains and grease.
If you are using a deck for your outdoor space it is a good idea to paint it or re-stain the deck so that it matches up to your new renovations along with improving the overall condition of this outdoor space. The correct flooring will complete your overall look along with adding value and resilience to the final product. It is also important to think about how you plan to use this space and how you will use the outdoor kitchen. Do you have small kids that will be running around? Will you be entertaining elderly guests that will need safe and reliable surfaces? The flooring type for an outdoor kitchen is an essential element to keep in mind.
Location, Location, Location
The position of your Outdoor Kitchen will depend on many factors. To begin with, you will want to ensure that smoke that comes off a grill won't float back inside your home. Try and figure out the general wind patterns in your backyard and then position the grill in an appropriate area. Secondly, if you entertain often, you may want to position the outdoor kitchen as close as you can to your indoor kitchen. Keep in mind that outdoor entertaining and cooking usually means having to carry heavy platters from your indoor areas to your outdoor areas.
Thirdly, if you would like to keep the view that you have currently from inside your home, your outdoor kitchen should be installed at either an angle or to one side to avoid blocking the view. Lastly, think about the safety of your family, guests, and the general traffic flow that this area is likely to receive. An outdoor grill should not be near an area where your kids like to play. Similar to kitchens inside homes, an outdoor kitchen can be hazardous when not placed strategically. Planning ahead will ensure that the outdoor kitchen is installed in the safest location for your back yard.
The Appliances That You Choose Will Determine The Size Of The Kitchen
Our expert Outdoor Kitchen designers will first ask you about the size of the appliances that you want along with how many. Many homeowners have different requirements when it comes to refrigeration and cooking appliances, and some have specific types of entertaining requirements in mind. It is important to think about how each appliance will fit into your design plan, the amount of space needed for each, along with how each will work with the other.
For example, there should be space on each side of your grill for tools and platters. It is also important that your appliances are not on top of one another. The working triangle that is used for indoor kitchens are also applicable for outdoor kitchens, especially when you plan to hire a caterer or more than one person will be cooking at a time.
Including different work surfaces and counter heights allow for more functions in your outdoor kitchen. The 36" high traditional counters work well for standing cooking and pre-work, while the 30" high surfaces work well for eating and sitting. The 42" high bar-tables offer the ideal spaces for resting beverages and food. Combining these three heights into an outdoor kitchen will make this space more flexible and functional.
Dedicate A Place To Store And Set
Similar to your kitchen indoors, it is important to have an area for different items, along with ample storage space. However, they have to be waterproof and resistant to changes in temperature. Cabinets and countertops are the ideal solutions to provide you with the space you need and to avoid clutter.
For a personalized appeal, make sure you coordinate your cabinets, countertops, and flooring, in the same way, that you would treat an indoor kitchen. One of the options includes steel and stone cabinets and counters to offer a modern and sleek appeal, like the image above. It is also important to consider the amount of storage space needed. Do you plan to use your kitchen throughout the year, or only in the months of summer? How many guests are you planning to entertain? Think about how this space is going to be used once completed, which will help you to make more informed decisions.
Go For Reliable Appliances
Most of the modern outdoor kitchens typically include a refrigerator, sink and a grill (both charcoal and gas). Luxury kitchens even come with a few specialty appliances such as smokers, beer taps, warming drawers, and hibachi grills. Make sure you choose the appliances that will stand up to the sun and rain.
Ceramic or stainless steel appliances are the preferred option for outdoor areas, as they require minimal maintenance and they are highly durable.
Sinks for outdoor kitchens range from limited uses for a quick hand wash onto others that can be used to wash larger quantities of dishes or food. Depending on how you plan to use your outdoor sink, keep in mind that it will need to connect to the water supply of your home or an outdoor hose.
Bring Indoor Safety And Comfort Outdoors
Weather conditions play a significant role when entertaining outdoors. Building a pergola or tall roof over the outdoor kitchen can ensure that you can carry on cooking outside even when it is really hot or raining. You can include different types of shelter. Some examples include a roof made from stone or even a basic patio umbrella. You can also think about using a fireplace, firepit or heat lamps to keep the area warm on colder days.
If you plan to entertain at night, outdoor lighting is another important consideration. Lighting ensures you can spend more time outdoors and provides safety for your grilling areas, staircases and walkways.
Yard Concepts are professional experts that can assist you with the design for your Outdoor Kitchen so that it matches up to your exact needs. We highly recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our designers so that we can plan the layout of the kitchen as there are usually several obvious and not-so-obvious considerations to think about. Call us today and we will give you more information on all the configurations and options you can choose from.
Are you dreaming about an Outdoor Kitchen, retaining wall, fireplace, or paved patio?
Text or call us at 763-286-0005, and we will provide you with a free quote.