Planning for your new outdoor kitchen is an exciting time, but also one filled with a number of considerations. Much like the design of a home’s indoor kitchen, you want a space that is built for both functionality and style, with your unique needs and preferences guiding those choices.
Ask yourself these five questions to help plan for and realize your ideal outdoor kitchen layout.
1. What Size Do You Want Your Outdoor Kitchen to Be?
Cooking in an outdoor kitchen should be an enjoyable experience for chefs and amateur grillmasters alike. But when its layout is overcrowded in smaller backyard spaces or not large enough in more expansive spaces, the design easily takes away from the experience. Whereas a straight-line kitchen may be ideal for accessibility and entertainment in smaller spaces, a U-shaped or L-shaped kitchen is optimal for larger yards that can nicely accommodate the extra space.
2. What Are Your Must-Have Outdoor Kitchen Features?
While a grill is a staple in any outdoor kitchen layout, consider other cooking styles you prefer. Maybe you like the convenience of a smoker (a feature that might be built into your grill), or you like the idea of a wood-fired oven to save time cooking for your family’s weekly pizza night. Choose appliances that support your preferences, while also thinking about storage features to save steps back inside the house, from a built-in mini-fridge to drawers for grilling utensils.
Source: Green Impressions
3. What Kind of Materials Do You Want to Utilize?
Every homeowner wants their backyard kitchen to look beautiful, but the space also needs to be built to withstand outdoor exposure. From a foundational standpoint, paver materials serve both purposes, combining durability with stylish designs that mimic natural stone, old-world brick, and more. Meanwhile, granite or bluestone countertops and stainless steel appliances create a luxe feel while preserving your outdoor kitchen investment.
4. Have You Accounted for the Climate & Environment?
Residents of Northeast Ohio are no stranger to those rainy spring days and cool fall evenings. To this end, many outdoor kitchens are outfitted with pergola structures that provide some degree of coverage from the elements. Not only does this layout extend the use of your outdoor kitchen, but it also functions like an expanded living space that can accommodate a dining area, lounge space, and more.
5. Does the Outdoor Kitchen Complement Your Landscape?
At the end of the day, an outdoor kitchen is an extension of your landscape and it should neatly fit into the overall context of the space. You’ll want to opt for materials that align with colors and textures used elsewhere in your landscape, as well as account for the positioning of additional features. For instance, while many outdoor kitchens are located directly off a house, you might consider moving it away from the home if you have a pool area where guests will want snacks and drinks.
As a Northeast Ohio landscape designer and installer, Green Impressions pairs the needs and preferences of homeowners with industry expertise to create the optimal outdoor kitchen layout. Let us help get your project started — request a landscape consultation today.