Outdoor kitchens have a universal appeal. With its natural allure and pristine beauty, the great outdoors beckons. In the United States we have a long history of recognizing Memorial Day with the traditional cookout. And so, begins the summer and fall for enjoying the outdoors. But designers and homeowners are finding ways to extend the outdoor cooking season and to improve its functionality. Running back and forth between the kitchen and the barbeque can be problematic. Designers have begun to take a serious look at how to take a favorite American pastime and enhance the experience for both cooks and guests alike.
Perfect for family gatherings and unwinding with friends, outdoor kitchens are an extension of your family’s living space. This new attention to the outdoor kitchen is having an impact the design arena. Having a deck, porch and patio combined offer stunning solutions to how to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year. These often-tiered spaces, some open to the sun and some covered, offer varying degrees of exposure or protection from the sun. Propane heaters and fire pits can provide that extra degree of warmth when the temperatures dip.
When designing your outdoor kitchen give some thought to whether your guests are welcome to mingle with you while you cook or is the intention just to eat out doors because the amount of space required will vary accordingly. The head cook doesn’t have to remain isolated anymore! Also, allow enough room for either a built-in grill with cabinet and counter on each side or a free-standing grill with burners for cooking, possibly even a griddle for frying fish. Stainless steel cabinets are perfect for outdoor kitchen and are resistant to damp, rot or contamination by insects. Outdoor wine coolers keep your adult beverages handy and within reach. Pizza ovens and outdoor stoves are all the rave and don’t seem to be going away any time soon. If your budget allows plan for an outdoor sink for ease of prepping and cleaning.
Finishing touches include the rock-solid options of either granite or quartz countertops. Quartz was limited in options but in recent years has provided a wide range of natural stone patterns and elaborate designs. With patio and deck combinations, coordinated masonry features provide an earthy and cohesive design element. And don’t forget the lighting. LED lights can be arranged to create the perfect ambiance complete with multi-colored lenses for special occasions. So, step out, and embrace the great outdoors.