Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Outdoor Kitchen: An Orientation

            Outdoors kitchens have been gaining in popularity and are a great way to take entertaining to the next level.  As summer swings into high gear, I’m sure we all like the sound of taking a dip while the burgers sizzle on the grill nearby.  Outdoor kitchens offer an exciting space where cooking, dining, socializing, and swimming go hand in hand.  But, creating your own oasis of course doesn’t happen overnight and takes lots of careful consideration. By asking yourself a few preliminary questions, you can begin to build your dream outdoor entertaining destination!

How do you use your indoor kitchen? How would you like to use an outdoor kitchen?
Consider how you use your existing kitchen and how you would like to use an outdoor kitchen.

How often do you entertain?  How many people do you usually entertain?
Determine the best scope and size for your needs to create the best fit.

Do you cook at parties or hire a chef?

Photo Credit: Harold Liedner Landscape

            After considering those key points, an idea in your head is starting to form about your needs.  Then, you’re ready for a few helpful guidelines to further create that image in your head.

Architectural and Landscaping Harmony
To ensure that your outdoor kitchen enhances the overall appearance of your property, consider the existing house and landscaping for stylistic inspiration.  Selections for the outdoor kitchen can complement pre-existing elements of your home and bring the backyard the splash of fun you’re looking for.

Plan Outdoor Space As One Location
Consider the pool, dining area, and outdoor kitchen area all as one interdependent space, where cooking, socializing, and swimming are all simultaneously occurring.  This allows you to consider issues like how you and your guests will use the space, if it is sufficient in size, and where people will walk.  And don’t forget to include the cook in the heart of the social areas!

Extend The Use of Your Outdoor Kitchen
Are you absolutely thrilled by the idea of an outdoor kitchen and want to use it everyday?  Consider incorporating a few things to maximize the amount of time you can enjoy in your kitchen.  By simply installing a heating and cooling option and proper lighting, you will extend the hours and seasons for outdoor entertaining. 

Photo Credit: Ann Johnson Design

Plan Ahead
By creating a full vision of the functions you would like your outdoor kitchen to provide, you can eliminate adding things in the future.  Specifically, music and other entertainment options are worth considering, as installation after construction has finished is not the most cost effective.

Stay tuned for more exciting topics in creating you dream outdoor kitchen.  In my coming posts, I’ll be exploring the best materials and finishes to weather the elements, the latest and greatest in outdoor appliances, beautiful and durable outdoor furniture, and everything you’ll ever want to know about outdoor rugs. I'm interested to hear what image you envisioned for your perfect outdoor kitchen! 

Have a great day,

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