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Outdoor Kitchens

Creating A Functional
and Stylish Outdoor
Cooking Space

introduction image

Outdoor Kitchen Guide: Creating A Functional and Stylish Outdoor Cooking Space

  • Building a functional and stylish outdoor kitchen offers plenty of benefits. Not only does it extend your cooking space and provide an entertainment area, but it also adds value to your home. In fact, according to Zillow, outdoor kitchen spaces can increase the value of your home by up to 30%.
  • Designing the perfect outdoor cooking space may seem like a daunting task, but with the proper planning, it doesn't have to be. To help make the process as simple as possible, we've created this comprehensive guide to building a top-notch outdoor kitchen.
  • In this guide, you'll find helpful tips on choosing the right materials, designing a space that fits your lifestyle and budget, and picking out appliances that will make your outdoor cooking experience enjoyable. Let's get started!

Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen

Before you start moving dirt and hauling furniture around, you need to come up with a plan.This will save you a lot of time and
energy in the long run. Here are the main points you should consider when planning your outdoor kitchen space:
Determine Your Budget

To determine your budget, you should make a list of all the items you plan to buy and then separate them into must-haves and optional extras. This will help you narrow down your choices and determine what is within your budget.

Once you’ve established your must-have items, it’s time to start shopping around for the best deals. Look online and in stores to compare prices before making a purchase. Remember that quality is important too – don’t be tempted to buy cheap, low-quality materials just to save money in the short term.

It’s also a good idea to consider the cost of installation and labor if you plan to hire someone to do the work for you. This can add up quickly, depending on the extent of your project, so make sure you factor this in when calculating your budget.

Decide on a Location

The next step is to decide where you want your outdoor kitchen space. If you already have a patio or deck, this should be the logical choice, as it is already set up and ready to go. However, if you don’t have an existing space, then you may need to create one.

It’s important to consider how your outdoor kitchen will fit the existing landscape. For example, are there any obstructions, such as trees or bushes, that could limit your design options? Is the area level or sloped? These are all essential questions you should address before committing to a location.

Finally, you should think about how close you want your outdoor kitchen space to your home. The closer it is, the more convenient it will be for you to use. However, if you build it too close, you may feel like it's encroaching on your existing living space.

Consider the Use of Utilities

When planning your outdoor kitchen space, it’s also important to think about the use of utilities. This includes things like water, electricity, and gas.

You'll need to ensure that the proper plumbing and fuel lines are installed in order to power your appliances. If you're starting from scratch, you may need to hire a professional plumber or electrician to install the necessary lines. They should also be able to advise you on any local regulations or codes that may apply to your project.

Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen Space

Once you've taken care of the practicalities, it's time to start designing your outdoor kitchen. This is arguably the most exciting part of the process, as you can finally start to get creative and bring your vision to life.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you design your outdoor kitchen:

Measure Your Space

The first thing you should do is measure the space where your outdoor kitchen will go. This will give you an idea of how much room is available and help you create a realistic design plan. Be sure to take into consideration any obstacles that could limit your design, such as trees, bushes, or other features.

By measuring your outdoor kitchen space, you'll be able to determine where your dining area should go, the size of your appliances, and how much counter space you need. This will help you narrow down your design choices and create a layout that's perfect for your needs.

During the measuring process, it's also important to think about the number of people you plan to serve in your outdoor kitchen. If you want to accommodate a large number of guests, you'll need to make sure your kitchen is large enough to handle it. Leave plenty of room for people to move around without feeling cramped or overcrowded.

Create a Blueprint

Once you have a basic idea of how much space you have, it's time to start drawing a blueprint for your outdoor kitchen. This will be your guide as you start to construct the actual kitchen, so it's important to get it right.

Your blueprint should include all the components of your outdoor kitchen, such as countertops, appliances, seating, and more. It's also a good idea to draw in any trees or bushes that may be in the area so you can plan around them accordingly.

When drawing up your blueprint, make sure it's detailed and accurate. This will help you avoid mistakes during the construction process and ensure that your outdoor kitchen looks exactly as you envisioned it.

It may prove beneficial to consult with a professional designer during this step of the process. They can help you create a blueprint that maximizes your space and makes sure all the components fit perfectly together.

Layout Your Foundation

After you've finalized your blueprint, you can start laying out the foundation for your outdoor kitchen. This will involve marking off the area where you plan to build and ensuring everything is level.

You'll also need to consider the type of material you plan to use for your outdoor kitchen. A popular choice is concrete, as it's durable and long-lasting. However, some people prefer to build their outdoor kitchen on a deck or patio. In this case, you'll need the area properly reinforced to support the weight of your appliances and any guests.

Whichever material you choose, ensure the foundation is properly laid out and leveled. If you cut corners here, you risk compromising the integrity of your outdoor kitchen. Again, it's a good idea to hire a professional if you're unsure of the process. They will help you get the foundation right and provide valuable advice on other aspects of your outdoor kitchen's construction.

Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen

Choosing Your Outdoor Kitchen Counter Components

Once you've laid out your foundation, you can start to add in the components of your outdoor kitchen.Perhaps the most important of these
being your kitchen counter components. After all, this is where you'll be preparing your meals and entertaining guests.

The most popular counter components for outdoor kitchens include:

Outdoor Kitchen Islands

Islands are becoming more and more popular for outdoor kitchen spaces. Not only do they provide ample space for cooking and serving, but they also help to break up the space and create a more inviting atmosphere.

The simplest kitchen islands typically come equipped with cabinets and/or drawers for storage and broad countertops for prepping food. Other, more elaborate options will include additional features like built-in grills, sinks, and fridge space.

Additionally, outdoor kitchen islands come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. This allows you to truly customize the look of your outdoor kitchen and create a unique space that suits your needs. For instance, if you plan to host large gatherings, you may want to go with an L-shaped kitchen island for more counter space.

Outdoor Kitchen Modules

Kitchen modules are another great option for those looking to create an outdoor kitchen. Unlike islands, which are typically one large piece of furniture, kitchen modules come in separate pieces that can be pieced together however you'd like. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of your outdoor kitchen.

Modular pieces can come in any shape or size, so you're sure to find something that fits perfectly with your outdoor space. Keep in mind, however, that these kitchen counters usually have no built-in features. Instead, they're meant to serve as a blank canvas for you to add your own cooking tools, appliances, and accessories.

Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

In addition to selecting which types of counters to use, you'll also need to choose the material for your outdoor kitchen countertops. This is an important decision as the countertop material will affect both the look and durability of your outdoor kitchen.

Some of the most common outdoor kitchen
countertop materials

kitchen stone

Natural stone is a great choice for outdoor countertops, as it's durable and resistant to heat and moisture. It also comes in a variety of colors, so you can find something that fits with your home's exterior design.

kitchen concrete

Concrete countertops are a popular choice for outdoor kitchens, as they offer a modern look and can be shaped to fit any space. It's also easy to keep clean throughout the year.

kitchen tile

Tile countertops are great for those looking to add a pop of color and pattern to their outdoor kitchen. Weather-resistant tiles also come in an array of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you can be sure to find something that meets your needs.

Selecting Your Outdoor Kitchen Appliances

After you've chosen the counters for your outdoor kitchen space, it's time to pick out some of the appliances. This is where things can get a bit tricky,
as there are so many different types of outdoor kitchen appliances to choose from.

Depending on the size of your outdoor kitchen, you may want to consider adding any of the
following appliance options:

  • Grills
  • Sinks
  • Side Burners
  • Refrigerators
  • Other Appliances

Grills are the cornerstone of outdoor kitchen appliances. Not only will they allow you to cook delicious meals for your family and friends, but they also serve as a great centerpiece for entertaining.

When selecting a grill for your outdoor kitchen, consider how often you plan to use it. If you're an avid griller, then investing in a high-end model with all the bells and whistles might be worth it. However, if you only plan to use it occasionally, something more basic may suffice.

You'll also need to decide which type of grill will best suit your needs: charcoal, gas, or a smoker. Charcoal grills are great for cooking up classic BBQ flavors, while gas grills are typically easier to control and cook with. Smokers, on the other hand, let you cook food at lower temperatures over a longer period of time (perfect for slow-cooking large cuts of meat).

Finally, you'll need to choose between a built-in or freestanding grill. Built-in grills can make your outdoor kitchen look seamless, while freestanding models can be moved around if needed.

kitchen grill

Selecting Outdoor Furniture

After selecting your appliances and components, you'll need to look for furniture that will help bring the design of your outdoor kitchen space together.
You'll want to look for furniture pieces that are comfortable, stylish, and cohesive.

So, what type of furniture should you choose? Here are some pieces to consider for your outdoor kitchen:

Dining Tables and Chairs

Choosing the right dining table and chairs for your outdoor kitchen space is essential. Not only do they provide a place to gather and enjoy meals, but they also serve as an extension of your living area.

Your dining furniture should complement the overall look and feel of your outdoor kitchen area. For a classic outdoor feel, opt for wooden tables and chairs. If you want something more modern and contemporary, metal and wicker furniture can be a great choice.

When selecting dining furniture for your outdoor kitchen, make sure to choose pieces that are weather and UV resistant. This will ensure that they look their best for years to come. Additionally, it's important to consider comfort when shopping for chairs; high-quality cushions can provide extra support and comfort while eating or lounging outdoors.

Finally, think about the amount of space you have available. If your outdoor kitchen is small, a round bistro table with two or four chairs can provide an intimate meal setting. On the other hand, if you have plenty of space to work with, a larger oval or rectangular table can accommodate more guests.

Dining Tables and Chairs
Outdoor Bar Sets

An outdoor bar set is a must-have if you plan to entertain guests with drinks and cocktails in your outdoor kitchen space. Outdoor bar sets typically include a bar table and stools, making them perfect for enjoying drinks with friends and family.

When selecting an outdoor bar set, you'll want to pick stylish and durable pieces. Look for bar sets that are made with weather-resistant materials, such as aluminum or teak wood, to ensure they hold up against the elements. Additionally, you'll need to decide on the type of bar stools you prefer – either backless or with a back for extra comfort.

Outdoor Bar Sets
Accent Furniture

Don't forget to add accent pieces to your outdoor kitchen space. Accent furniture, such as side tables and outdoor benches, can provide extra seating and storage while also enhancing the overall look and feel of your area.

When shopping for accent furniture, opt for pieces that match both the style of your outdoor kitchen appliances and dining furniture. If you want something a bit more unique, consider modern outdoor pieces with eye-catching colors or patterns.

Other great accent pieces to consider for your kitchen include hanging chairs, outdoor rugs, and potted plants. These items can help bring life and color to your outdoor kitchen while also making it a more inviting and cozy space.

Accent Furniture
Umbrellas and Shade Structures

Outdoor shade structures, such as umbrellas and pergolas, are a great way to add some much-needed protection from the sun. These structures can provide relief from the heat while also creating a more comfortable environment for enjoying your meals outdoors.

When shopping for umbrellas and shade structures, consider the size of the area you're covering. For example, a large patio umbrella can provide plenty of coverage for a dining area. But if you have a larger patio, investing in a pergola or gazebo can provide an extra layer of protection from the sun's rays.

Finally, think about color and style when selecting these shade structures. Choose something that coordinates with your other outdoor kitchen pieces for a seamless look.

Umbrellas and Shade Structures
Fire Pits and Fireplaces

Having a fire feature in your outdoor kitchen space can add a cozy ambiance to the area. Fire pits and fireplaces are perfect for chilly nights, providing warmth and light for gatherings with family and friends.

Some homeowners even prefer to install a fireplace in their outdoor kitchen for a more permanent option. But if you want something smaller and more portable, fire pits are an excellent choice. Firepits also allow you to sit around roasting marshmallows, which makes for a fun evening with family.

When selecting firepits and fireplaces, look for products made from durable materials that can withstand harsh elements. Firepits and outdoor fireplaces come in a variety of styles and sizes, so you'll be sure to find something that fits your needs.

Fire Pits and Fireplaces
Decorative Accents

Decorative accents, such as outdoor wall art, can be the perfect finishing touch to your outdoor kitchen space. Look for pieces that reflect your personal style and bring out the unique characteristics of your area.

You can also add string lights or hanging lanterns to your space for a cozy, inviting atmosphere. This can be a great way to enhance the mood of your outdoor kitchen and provide subtle lighting for nighttime entertaining.

At the end of the day, it's important to choose outdoor kitchen pieces that suit both your style and budget. With a bit of patience, you can create an inviting outdoor space that you'll enjoy for years to come.

Decorative Accents
Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

  • As you can see, there are many pieces to consider when creating an outdoor kitchen space. From outdoor dining furniture to accent pieces, there are plenty of options to choose from. Consider your budget and space available when selecting the right items for your area. With some careful planning, you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor kitchen space that serves as the perfect backdrop for entertaining friends and family.
  • Do you need help creating the perfect outdoor kitchen space? At Family Leisure, we offer a wide array of outdoor kitchen products. From counter components and bar sets to patio umbrellas and decorative accents, we have everything you need to create the perfect outdoor kitchen area.
  • To learn more about our outdoor kitchen products, visit our website today. We are here to help you create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that will be the envy of all your guests!