Last modified: 2019-03-13 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
As the weather outdoors begins to warm up, there’s not much we’re thinking about other than finding ways to spend time outside. Maybe this is the year you’re finally going to build and install an outdoor kitchen in your backyard! When it comes to designing an outdoor space, functionality, practicality, and personality are very important traits. In the project planning process, be certain to keep your lifestyle in mind as you’ll be more likely to make use of the space if it works in accordance with your wants and needs.
When you begin planning and designing your exterior kitchen, you might need a little boost of inspiration. Luckily, we’re here to offer some gorgeous ideas so that you can get started on this backyard renovation, as soon as the weather allows for it!
If a rustic outdoor kitchen sounds like a dream, then this might be all the inspiration you need. A rustic kitchen is reserved for the homeowner that’s looking to enhance the natural elements of the backyard and keep things relatively simple in terms of decor and appliances. Consider ways to let greenery or landscaping shine, while keeping furniture in wicker, wood or other natural materials.
An excellent addition to a rustic outdoor kitchen is a fire pit. A fire pit will allow for friends and family to stay out well past daylight hours. It’s an excellent space to conjugate, enjoy a drink or even roast some marshmallows. This cozy enhancement can be relatively makeshift, with bricks surrounding the enclosure. If you're looking for something more official, you could opt for a professional or a specifically-designed fire pit. Looking for more of an upscale experience? You may consider installing an outdoor fireplace or even a wood-burning pizza oven with a classic brick enclosure. Keep some extra logs and scraps of wood lying around that can be used for both the pit and the oven!
If you’re building your outdoor kitchen with the thought of entertainment on your mind, then you’ll want to look for ways to make this space fun, relaxing and inviting. One way to do this is to bridge the gap between outdoor and indoor. If possible, create an opening between your real kitchen or dining area and your back patio. This service bar will offer an element of ease, as you won’t need to travel inside for a drink refill! Paint this area white or a light pastel, as this will open up the space and create the perfect atmosphere for lunch or dinner party. Consider accenting the space with teak, as this will offer a modern but quirky finish.
If you don’t have the space or design prowess to create an opening between inside and out, consider making your bar the central focus of your outdoor kitchen, complete with bar stools! This is especially true if you don’t have little ones running around and plan on consuming more drinks than food. You could even install a small two-drawer fridge to quietly keep all your drinks in close proximity.
For the foodies out there, you might be considering a backyard kitchen just for the simple excuse of getting to expand your grill setup. We’re here to tell you that’s totally justified. When picking out the pieces for your grill station, choose things based on your preferences and habits. If you want to go with a modern aesthetic, you may decide on a chrome barbeque or an aluminum countertop while dressing the rest of your outdoor kitchen in metal accents.
Bear in mind that if your kitchen is partly enclosed or situated under half a roof, it will be important for you to install a hood to allow for smoke and smells to be properly ventilated. Do consider that a heavy grill setup might require you to install additional forms of outdoor electricity. In most cities and municipalities, taking on any form of electrical work will require the help of a professional. With that in mind, take a look at our article that details when and why you’d need to hire an electrician for outdoor renovation project!
If you’re worried that you might not have enough space to support it- think again! Remember, you can work within your means even if that means cutting a few corners in terms of fancy, brand new appliances. Do bear in mind that any money you spend on your outdoor kitchen will only increase the resale value of your home.
So, an excellent idea for smaller spaces is to create a rolling arbor. This will allow you to roll out the structure when friends or family are visiting but tuck it away when extra space is needed. Another option is to create a kitchen-nook, a little minimalist countertop complete with a small grill. Consider a material like concrete or soapstone to create the countertop and surrounding shelving- it’s organic, durable and long-lasting.
When it comes to budgeting for your outdoor kitchen, this task may be daunting. However, finding clever ways to repurpose furniture, appliances or accessories can help this project remain affordable. There are plenty of DIY projects that will allow for some leeway in your budget. Don’t be scared to decorate the space with found art pieces, old antiques, or other oddities that might not have a place indoors. If you don’t have any weird and wonderful pieces lying around, take a stroll down to your local thrift shop. Putting in a little bit of time to salvaging interesting things for your backyard kitchen can go a long way, and you can spend the remaining budget on the necessary appliances.
Play with a variety of natural materials and textures, as even earthy elements can be made to appear modern and chic. Instead of installing a full-blown kitchen, consider a stand-alone shelving unit on your deck with all the necessary accessories for making drinks or snacking. When it comes to appliances, there are plenty of affordable, compact models which encompass all of the necessary pieces in one. Ultimately, it comes down to your aesthetic choices and creative ways in order for you to design the outdoor kitchen of your dreams, even on a smaller budget!
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