Outdoor living and kitchen areas are growing in popularity. They’re an excellent way to utilize your backyard space and make entertaining guests more manageable and more enjoyable.
Here are ten essential tips for designing the perfect outdoor kitchen and living area:
1 – Understand Kitchen Styles
Decide what type of cooking you’ll be doing and whether you need a fully functional kitchen or something more simple. Is your home climate conducive to permanent structures, or will you need a portable setup that you can store during the off-season? A basic outdoor kitchen can consist of just a grill and countertop. A fully functional kitchen may include an oven, sink, refrigerator, or stovetop with cabinets and more counters for storage and food prep.
2 – Determine Purpose of Area
How do you plan to use your outdoor space? You’ll need a different setup for small family meals than you would for entertaining large groups. If it’s just your household, setting up a table and chairs will suffice most of the time. Yet, if you’re planning parties, you may want to add an outdoor couch and lounge area to the mix.
3 – Assess Available Space
The size of your yard plays a big part in your design choices, but you should also make a note of existing spaces. You want your plan to be cohesive through the entire outdoor entertainment area. Dining, cooking, lounge, and pool areas should all complement each other and allow for a logical traffic flow.
4 – Plan for Utilities
When considering layouts, remember to map out the most practical placement of any gas, water, and electrical lines. The more aspects you have, the more electric and plumbing lines are needed. Check with a professional to ensure you can install everything legally and safely.
5 – Evaluate the Climate
If you live in a mild climate, you’ll spend more time in your outdoor kitchen and living space which justifies building a larger and more permanent structure. Yet, suppose you live in a place that experiences weather extremes. In that case, you may want a smaller area that you can pack away in the winter or that’s partially covered or enclosed to regulate temperature better and provide some protection from the elements.
6 – Consider Durability
Keep in mind, even in mild climates, your outdoor area will be exposed to weather events. Choosing building materials and appliances that can withstand wind, rain, or high temperatures is key to a successful space.
7 – Outline Essential Equipment
More is not always better. Having an idea of what is necessary and laying that out first could be the difference between an oasis and an overwhelming disaster. Consider how your indoor and outdoor areas will interact: Will they share furnishings? Do you plan to prep food inside and cook it outside, or will the two kitchens be independent?
8 – Incorporate Proper Lighting
Appropriate lighting is an essential part of your outdoor space. You’ll need adequate lights around your cooking, food prep, and serving areas. It’s also best to include lights along stairs and walkways to avoid tripping. You’ll also want to incorporate ambient lighting in your lounge areas to make them feel cozy and relaxing. Fire pits are suitable for lighting, heat, and even roasting.
9 – Set a Budget
Create a budget and stick to it. Figure out how much you have to spend, and plug in the essentials first. Get estimates for materials, appliances, and labor. Be mindful of additional costs such as permits, tools, and specialists.
10 – Hire a Good Contractor
A lot goes into creating an outdoor kitchen and living space. So it’s best to have someone manage it for you. It’s always a good idea to have a few consultations and get some quotes before choosing a contractor or company to remodel your home. Using a professional will save you time, money, and a headache. Finding the right fit is vital, so shop around until you discover someone who shares your vision and suits your budget.