Whether you’re starting from scratch and building from the ground up or you’re planning a sweet renovation, outdoor kitchens can be a great way to bring some community and utility to your outdoor space. There are so many ways to build an outdoor kitchen, and just like each home is unique, each outdoor living space will be unique, too.
If you love the idea of an outdoor kitchen but aren’t sure where to begin or you’re in the midst of your planning process, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind as you make your way through. No matter your style — of cooking or design — you can make an outdoor kitchen that’s perfect for your family and your home.
1. Consider Your Cooking Style
If you consider your cooking preferences when building an indoor kitchen, the same makes sense for an outdoor kitchen. Do you need more countertop space, or are you partial to a bar? How many burners make sense for you? Would a conventional oven work best, or a pizza oven for your dishes? These are all factors worth thinking about.
2. Adjust for Weather
Outdoor kitchens can exist anywhere from Alaska to Florida, and each place will offer its own unique challenges and advantages when it comes to the weather. Making sure to weather protect your surfaces and weatherproof your space for whatever conditions may come is a great idea.
3. Offer Shade
Whether your area offers plenty of sunshine or buckets of rain, shading options can be a total lifesaver if the conditions outside aren’t exactly up to your gathering or events of the day, an awning or pergola can come in handy.
4. Get Creative With Appliances
The appliances you use in your outdoor kitchen can be so much more than their utilitarian purposes — in fact, you can get creative with your appliances. In conjunction with your aesthetic and cooking style, your appliances are the main fixture that takes an outdoor space to a true kitchen, so going for high quality appliances that work with your space is a must.
5. Stick to the Budget
Much like with any renovation project, setting a budget early on and keeping to it is one of the best ways to stay on track with the cost of the project. Be realistic, even if there is some room for a stretch in there.
6. Don’t Skimp On Seating
Even if the appliances and the build is your main priority, a kitchen and outdoor seating area needs to be comfortable in order for people to want to spend time in it. Go for comfortable couches, cushions and chairs with a few options. You can even get creative with your chairs if you have an outdoor dining space.
7. Keep Up With Maintenance
This one may come a bit after the fact, but it’s no less important. Between the appliances, floors and seating, it can be easy to forget about cleaning, replacing fixtures and other small forms of upkeep. Keeping an eye on any maintenance your outdoor kitchen needs can help it last much longer so you can enjoy it long into the future.
8. Use Lighting as Decor
Don’t let the party stop when the clouds roll in or the sun goes down! As a finishing touch, you can add a bit of extra lighting like string lights and fairy lights for a touch of extra warmth and hominess with a purpose. They’re reasonable and easy, but they can make a big difference.
Creating Your Outdoor Kitchen
Creating an outdoor kitchen is all about keeping your eye on the details while you figure out what works best for you and your family. When you do that, you can make the space that’s bound to keep everyone coming back for seconds.