Extending Your Living Space with Outdoor Kitchen Landscape Design
Outdoor kitchen landscape design is an increasingly popular trend in garden planning, not just in the year round warmth of southern California or Dubai, but in cooler climates as well.
Modern outdoor design takes the elegant style of your interior living space and continues it into the yard, creating the same functional living space on the outside.
Because the kitchen is an integral part of entertaining at home, many people prefer an outdoor kitchen or sometimes referred to in the cooler climates as a ‘Summer Kitchen’.
Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen
Designing an outdoor kitchen landscape design requires careful planning. Today’s kitchens are much more elaborate than the traditional outdoor grill near a picnic table and there are many things to consider to ensure a living area that is both functional and attractive.
One of the things that gets overlooked the most with outdoor kitchen landscape design is the direction of the wind.
It sounds very simple but if the various elements of the kitchen aren’t laid out correctly, it isn’t as efficient or as enjoyable.
Best Materials for Your Outdoor Kitchen
Because your outdoor kitchen will be open to the elements throughout the year, it is important to select materials designed for outdoor use. Polymer is a strong, weather-resistant material preferred by many landscape architects because of its ability to not peel or crack with changing climates. Brick is another long lasting material for outdoor use that has a luxurious appearance in your outdoor kitchen landscape design.
Counter tops and surfaces are typically finished with natural stone for a sophisticated look similar to your indoor kitchen design.
Granite, marble, and slate counter tops are common in high-end outdoor kitchen designs and ceramic tile is also an option hat can be found in several colors.
The final touches to any outdoor kitchen landscape design, regardless of how simple or elaborate, are outdoor accessories that enhance the overall style of your home.
Dining furniture, decorative accents like sculptures, throw rugs, or potted plants, and the right outdoor lighting design can help unify your outdoor kitchen with the rest of your outdoor design as well as with the interior of your home. Creating a unified look throughout your property is extremely important for a professionally designed appearance.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliances
Outdoor kitchen landscape design can be as simple, or as grand, as the homeowner desires. Many design plans for these functional outdoor living spaces recreate the modern conveniences of the indoors with outdoor plumbing, elegant counter tops, cabinets for storage, and refrigeration.
The size and number of your outdoor appliances and accessories will depend upon your budget, as well as the space available for your kitchen and the number of people it will typically be used for.
An outdoor grill or barbecue is the most basic component of your design. There are a variety of styles and types of appliances designed for the outdoors including high-end outdoor cooking equipment shown in this photo.
High-end doesn’t need to be high-priced. Many luxury homeowners save hundreds of dollars by purchasing their grills and accessories online through a company like Amazon who carry all the top brands like Lynx, OCI, TEC, Fire Magic and Weber.
Choosing Your Outdoor Grill
There are a wide variety of barbecue grills available. The right one for your outdoor kitchen will depend on the number of people you typically entertain in your home. A large cooking surface or double rack design will allow you to prepare bigger meals, but a compact model will be sufficient for more intimate gatherings.
Today’s outdoor grills feature a number of accessories and add-ons as well. Side burners are the best way to prepare a full meal without the inconvenience of being trapped indoors.
Choose from simple models with one or two burners or large barbecue grills with full sized cooking surfaces for the feeling of an indoor kitchen. Cabinets and storage areas are also popular options and will help to keep your kitchen well organized.
Outdoor Appliances and Accessories
Your outdoor kitchen can be designed to include your grill as well as several other outdoor appliances and grill accessories that make outdoor entertaining more convenient and enjoyable.
Refrigerators are extremely common elements of outdoor kitchen landscape designs.
Sinks, beer taps, wine coolers, pizza ovens, warming trays, cabinets and storage, and even dishwashers can also be integrated into your plans.
A custom outdoor kitchen design can provide unlimited possibilities for cooking outdoors.
Outdoor Barbecue Islands
A luxurious outdoor kitchen landscape design often feature a barbecue island to provide a functional, yet attractive, workspace for meal preparation as well as room for storage. Outdoor kitchen islands can be custom made from fine wood, polymer, or brick or can be purchased in prefabricated sections for convenient installation.
Custom outdoor barbecue islands are:
- Easily suited to the appearance of your home with matching brick or complementary wood.
- Built on site for permanence.
- Designed according to your specifications so your outdoor kitchen landscape design meets all your needs.
Prefabricated outdoor barbecue islands offer:
- A simple, ready made solution.
- More affordable prices.
- A variety of styles, materials, and colors to blend with your overall design.
- Several different options to personalize your outdoor kitchen.
- Packed full of extra features.
- Factory controlled quality.
The Importance of Shade When Cooking Outdoors
Unless you always barbecue at night, providing shade for your outdoor kitchen is a good idea to protect you and your guests from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.
Pictured above is a colored elevation of an outdoor kitchen that one of our Preferred Pros created for one of their clients. Heavy wooden beams with detailed corbels are perched on rustic stone columns providing shade overhead for this Tuscan styled outdoor kitchen.
There are a variety of structures that can be integrated into your outdoor kitchen area to provide shade along with elegance and charm.