You’re tired of marathon sprints between your indoor kitchen and your grilling area when hosting your friends and family for a party or an impromptu get together. You’ve decided to create the perfect outdoor entertaining area, complete with outdoor kitchen and seating for relaxing and dining. This way, not only are you increasing the value and attractiveness of your home, you’re making life a whole lot easier on yourself. Having an outdoor kitchen lets you join the party and stop the running back and forth.
Designing an inclusive outdoor kitchen is a matter of including elements of a functional indoor kitchen, as well as keeping your outdoor space and personal style in mind. While an outdoor kitchen can be as large and/or grandiose as your indoor kitchen, it doesn’t have to be to still be both functional and appealing. In fact, a smaller area can actually streamline all your usual kitchen activities, like prep work and serving. Including areas for basics, like storage and beverage coolers keeps all the essentials together for convenience.
One good way to start thinking about the design of your outdoor kitchen is to think about what you love and hate about your indoor kitchen. Duplicate the loves outdoors and improve on what drives you crazy. Keep the four major areas of any kitchen in mind: prep, cook, serve, clean. Include all four in your outdoor kitchen design and arrange their locations according to your cooking style and habits.
Not crazy about the idea of prepping and cleaning outdoors because you prefer to in the comfort (and air conditioning) of your indoor kitchen? No problem. You can skip adding the prep and clean stations. However, you might want to keep access to your outdoor kitchen close to your indoor one to make trips in and out easier, compared to installing the outdoor kitchen on the opposite side of your outdoor entertaining area.
Consider placing community access appliances, such as wine refrigerators, mini fridges and beer and water taps at one end of the outdoor kitchen space. This keeps the cook from having to stop and serve drinks as guests can grab their own. It also minimizes people from having to reach over, under or around cooking areas.
Keep your friends close and the party closer by including a bar top in your outdoor kitchen space. Friends and family can “belly up” while sitting out of the cook’s way. Plus, it allows for everyone to be a part of the conversation and involved in the action.
Along with bar seating, consider keeping the dining space close by the outdoor cooking area. Just like indoor kitchens, guests tend to gather in an outdoor kitchen area, too. With a dining area nearby, friends and family can still talk to the cook(s) without getting in the way.
If you’re a fan of community cooking, expand your prep and cooking areas to provide more room for more cooks. Make sure there is plenty of counter space to spread out. No one enjoys cooking outdoors in Kansas City summers shoulder to shoulder.
Once the space and elements are laid out, make your outdoor kitchen a beautiful focal point by using color, architecture style and materials. Talk to our outdoor kitchen designers to learn about all the possibilities for your entertaining space.