Outdoor kitchens have become the modern frenzy. People have always been fascinated with the outdoor kitchen therefore, the invention of the grid for the little kettle grill to large outdoor grill with all the bells and whistles. Modern outdoor design takes the elegant style of your interior living space and continues it into the yard, creating the same functional living space on the outside. Because the kitchen is an integral part of entertaining at home, many people prefer an outdoor kitchen or sometimes referred to in the cooler climates as a ‘Summer Kitchen’ for convenient cooking and dining in the beautiful outdoors.
Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen
Designing an outdoor kitchen landscape design requires careful planning. Today’s kitchens are much more elaborate than the traditional outdoor grill near a picnic table and there are many things to consider to ensure a living area that is both functional and attractive.
Heavy wooden beams with detailed corbels are perched on rustic stone columns providing shade over head for this Tuscan styled outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliances
Outdoor kitchen landscape design can be as simple, or as grand, as the homeowner desires. Many design plans for these functional outdoor living spaces recreate the modern conveniences of the indoors with outdoor plumbing, elegant counter tops, cabinets for storage, and refrigeration.
The size and number of your outdoor appliances and accessories will depend upon your budget, as well as the space available for your kitchen and the number of people it will typically be used for.
An outdoor grill or barbecue is the most basic component of your design. There are a variety of styles and types of appliances designed for the outdoors including the Viking outdoor cooking equipment shown in this photo.
Choosing Your Outdoor Grill
There are a wide variety of barbecue grills available. The right one for your outdoor kitchen will depend on the number of people you typically entertain in your home. A large cooking surface or double rack design will allow you to prepare bigger meals, but a compact model will be sufficient for more intimate gatherings.
Today’s outdoor grills feature a number of accessories and add-ons as well. Side burners are the best way to prepare a full meal without the inconvenience of being trapped indoors.
Choose from simple models with one or two burners or large barbecue grills with full sized cooking surfaces for the feeling of an indoor kitchen. Cabinets and storage areas are also popular options.
The Best Materials for Your Outdoor Kitchen
Because your outdoor kitchen will be open to the elements throughout the year, it is important to select materials designed for outdoor use. Polymer is a strong, weather-resistant material preferred by many landscape architects because of its ability to not peel or crack with changing climates. Brick is another long lasting material for outdoor use that has a luxurious appearance in your landscape design.
Counter tops and surfaces are typically finished with natural stone for a sophisticated look similar to your indoor kitchen design.
Granite, marble, and slate counter tops are common in high-end outdoor kitchen designs and ceramic tile is also an option hat can be found in several colors.
The final touches to any outdoor kitchen landscape design, regardless of how simple or elaborate, are outdoor accessories that enhance the overall style of your home. Dining furniture, decorative accents like sculptures, throw rugs, or potted plants, and the right outdoor lighting design can help unify your outdoor kitchen with the rest of your outdoor design as well as with the interior of your home.