Tips for Designing the Best Outdoor Kitchen
Perhaps you’re enchanted with the idea of building an outdoor kitchen, and you have some ideas in mind for designing it yourself. You know you want your outdoor kitchen to be amazing, but maybe you haven’t yet connected the dots on how to go about pulling the project together quickly and easily. With these 6 tips, we’ll help you nail down a plan to make your outdoor kitchen design a reality.
1. Imagine the Backyard Kitchen of Your Dreams
Designing your own space allows you to make it exactly like you want it, but pinpointing exactly what you want can be more of a challenge than you might think.
Allow your imagination to lead the way in helping you get started. Which of the following elements would be included in your dream space?
- Table and chairs
- Pergola, gazebo or awning
- Built-in refrigerator or other appliances
- Kitchen island
- Counter space
- Cabinets or other storage space
- Fire pit
- Heat lamps
- Beer tap
- Warming drawers
The following points are also important to consider:
- How do you envision using the space?
- Should you incorporate your dream kitchen into a patio, deck or other structure?
- What elements would it take to make your outdoor kitchen feel complete?
- How much storage would be satisfactory in your dream kitchen?
- Are there elements from the living room that you might enjoy having to make your outdoor kitchen feel more comfortable?
2. Write Down the Features You Want
Now that your imagination has all your best ideas firing up, it’s time to put pen to paper and get them written down. Then prioritize your list. It will be helpful to have everything written down when the time comes to discuss your ideas with contractors and local authorities in your area. You’ll also need the list for budgeting and planning purposes.
3. Plan Your New Outdoor Kitchen’s Location
Take into consideration your home site, usual traffic patterns and typical weather conditions when planning where to build your outdoor kitchen.
If you’ll be needing to hook up utilities from the main house, you might wish to locate the kitchen close to the home to minimize expenses.
It’s beneficial to pay close attention to your neighborhood’s prevailing wind patterns at this stage in the planning process. It’s ideal if you can direct the smoke from the barbecue in a direction that would create the least disturbance. For example, you probably don’t want smoke blowing right at your kids’ swingset. You also don’t want smoke blowing at the picnic table or into the main house.
Keep the sight lines and views in mind as you plan your kitchen’s location. You might wish to avoid placing the kitchen directly in view of your neighbors’ home; you probably also want to avoid obstructing any amazing views from the windows of your own home.
4. Map Out a Tentative Floor Plan
You can apply basic kitchen design principles when creating an outdoor kitchen. Many kitchen design experts recommend using a working triangle layout. For an outdoor kitchen space, this might mean that the grill, refrigerator and sink are arranged in a triangle configuration.
5. Find Professional Help
You’re likely to need professional assistance with some aspects of designing, planning and executing your outdoor kitchen. You may wish to arrange consultations with one or more of the following professionals:
- Kitchen designer
- Landscape architect or landscape designer
- Concrete contractor
- Deck installer
- Patio contractor
Be sure these individuals have the proper licensing and expertise that may be required to do business in your area.
6. Pull It All Together
There are other important details to consider when planning an outdoor kitchen. Ensure that all building codes are met, and make sure that proper permits are obtained.
Be sure to get feedback on your ideas from trusted family members and friends who will be sharing the space with you. Seek opinions from the contractors you’ll be working with. Drawing on their expertise can save you money and frustration. Their job is to help you design and create the best possible outdoor kitchen for your family’s needs.