Outdoor Kitchens have become incredibly popular and currently more financially approachable than ever before.
Building custom outdoor kitchens with stone or brick buildouts, granite counter tops and built in appliances is not inexpensive and often limits some of the homeowners desires in the space due to cost. This all then added to a patio or deck project adds up quickly.
Homeowners now have more options than eve before: Standalone Grill-stations, roll-up smokers, tabletop pizza ovens and incredible weekend coolers are readily available to purchase in store or on-line. When all designed into an appropriate dining and/or cooking space can now bring success to the residential setting for a much more affordable price tag. An experienced Landscape designer with good understanding of their clients’ gourmet objectives can bring the Outdoor Kitchen to life for less!
If you are afraid of the cost to create an outdoor kitchen, don’t worry, you CAN make it happen – even if you are on a budget. In this blog, we’ll explore some easy and stylish ways to start your outdoor kitchen and ways to add on, to eventually create an outdoor kitchen oasis.
1. Define the Size of the Space:
Before you dive into any design, envision how you’ll use your outdoor kitchen. What kind of space will you need? Will it be a small, intimate space for family meals or a larger setup for hosting parties? Understanding your needs will help you determine the size, layout, and features of your outdoor kitchen.
2. Choose the Right Location:
Selecting the right spot is crucial for your outdoor kitchen’s functionality. Consider factors like proximity to your indoor kitchen, prevailing wind direction, and access to utilities such as water, gas, and electricity.
Ideally, your outdoor kitchen should blend seamlessly with the natural flow of your backyard. If you have used a landscape architect to design your yard, it may be a good time to reach out and ask for their help in determining the layout of your outside kitchen setup.
3. Essential Elements:
While outdoor kitchens can be as elaborate as you wish, you really just need to get started with the essentials. You can always add elements, and seating, or build brick or stone walls around the area at a later time.
- Grill: A high-quality grill is the heart of any outdoor kitchen. Choose one that suits your cooking style—whether it’s a traditional gas grill or a charcoal grill.
- Big Green Egg – While not “essential” for everyone, the Atlanta area has tons of BBQ enthusiasts who would claim a smoker is a mandatory element for outdoor cooking!
- Prep & Storage: If you have the space (and funds) you can build cabinets for storing utensils, cookware, and accessories. You will want a durable top for the cabinets to double as a prep area and maybe as a serving area. Materials like granite, concrete, or natural stone are both functional and stylish; although some types of wood could be considered as well.
- Lighting is important: You probably don’t want to overlook lighting in your initial plan. Strategically placed lighting is important for safety and, when planned correctly, can add charm or a touch of drama to your outdoor kitchen. Overhead lights, task lighting around cooking areas, and, if you have an outdoor dining area, using ambient lighting, can make your outdoor space inviting during evening gatherings.
4. Shelter and Shade:
To make your outdoor kitchen usable in various weather conditions, consider adding a covered area such as a pergola. This not only protects you and your equipment from rain and sun but also adds a cozy ambiance to the space. Again, this could also be added on at a later stage.
5. Outdoor Appliances:
Depending on your preferences and budget, in addition to a grill and simple cabinetry, you can expand your outdoor kitchen with various appliances:
- Sink: A convenient outdoor sink simplifies food preparation and cleanup.
- Refrigerator: An outdoor fridge keeps beverages and ingredients within arm’s reach.
- Pizza Oven: If you’re a pizza lover, a pizza oven – either electric or wood-burning – can be a fun and functional addition.
6. Personalize with Design Elements:
Make your outdoor kitchen an extension of your personal style by adding design elements such as outdoor artwork, colorful tiles, or decorative planters. These touches can transform your outdoor space into a true reflection of your taste.
Creating an outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to break the bank. Start with the essentials and gradually add features as your budget allows. Prioritize quality over quantity, as durable materials and appliances will save you money in the long run.