The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s the one spot where everyone gathers for good food and even better times. Now, with spring nearly here, why not take it all outdoors?
Outdoor kitchens are wide-open yet intimate spaces where you can prepare anything from a family dinner to neighbourhood barbecue. Depending on your tastes and yard size, your kitchen can be a basic outdoor eating area or an elaborate setup that would do your local bistro proud.
So which should you choose?
How to Design an Outdoor Kitchen
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when designing an outdoor kitchen area.
Unless you’re going for a fully-equipped cooking and eating space, you’ll want your kitchen to be as close to the house as possible. This could mean building it on your patio, deck, or near your new pool build (hopefully designed by us). Just make sure that you choose an area that’s protected from the wind, as you don’t want smoke blowing into your home- or the neighbour’s yard.
This is where some strategically-placed greenery can help. White cedar, juniper, and De Groot Spire cedar all make excellent privacy screens and smoke barriers, so there’s little risk of dinner being interrupted by nosy neighbours or the smoke alarm.
If you’ve got a deck or patio already, you don’t need to worry too much about flooring. If not, brick, tile, natural stone, and concrete are all attractive, easy-to-clean options for outdoor kitchen flooring.
You can soften any hard edges by planting garden beds around the kitchen area. Culinary herbs like chives, basil, and oregano will be right at your fingertips while you cook while rose bushes, weigela, and hydrangea create a beautiful backdrop to a good dinner and great conversation.
The grill is the centrepiece of all outdoor kitchens. You can opt for a portable grill or have one built into your counter. Other elements that you might want to consider include:
- Sink with running water. You’ll need access to a water supply and drain.
- Cabinetry for storing plates, glasses, cups, candles, and other items. Bear in mind that they will need to be waterproof and weather resistant.
- Refrigerator to keep your drinks and hors d’oeuvres cold. Don’t repurpose that bar fridge in your garage- the ambient temperature range won’t be right and the electrical components aren’t weatherproof.
If you’re a huge fan of slow-cooked ribs, a smoker is a great add-on. So is a pizza oven, which can also be used to roast meats and vegetables and even make desserts!
With furniture, you can go for something compact, like a traditional island and barstools, or a full suite of patio furniture that lets your space double as an outdoor entertainment centre. Think about how often you’ll be eating outside and how many people you expect to entertain on weekends, and then go shopping
Why are Outdoor Kitchens Such a Great Idea?
There are a lot of good reasons why you might want to eat and entertain outside this summer. They include:
- Lower energy bills. Your stove or oven uses a lot of electricity, but most outdoor appliances run on propane. You also won’t be using a lot of light if you’re cooking outside, which adds to the electricity savings.
- Grow your entertainment space. When you entertain, your kitchen is always the place where people congregate. When the kitchen is in the backyard, you’ve got a bigger and more scenic space.
- Increase property value. Outdoor kitchens can help increase the value of your home, especially if you live in an area that isn’t prone to weather extremes. Ontario summers haven’t reached that point- yet.
Need Some Landscaping to Go With Your New Kitchen?
You’re going to need a perfect backyard to go with your new kitchen.
At Green Collar Landscaping, we offer services that can turn your home into the best-looking property on your block. In addition to lawn care and garden design and maintenance, we can add walkways, fire pits, outdoor lighting, and other modular outdoor features that take your outdoor kitchen area to a whole new level.