June 20, 2023

Designing Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Sawhill Custom Kitchen and Design
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An outdoor kitchen is more than just a barbecue on the patio. It’s a testament to a unique lifestyle, a statement of love for open-air dining, and an expression of culinary creativity. If you’re here, it means you’re ready to elevate your al fresco dining experience, and we’re eager to help you.

Designing an outdoor kitchen in your own backyard is an exciting endeavor that allows you to extend your living space and create a functional and inviting area for cooking, dining, and entertaining. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or someone who simply enjoys spending time outdoors, a well-designed outdoor kitchen can elevate your outdoor living space to new heights. Following are several tips and considerations for designing your dream outdoor kitchen.

1. Assessing Your Space

A covered outdoor kitchen and porch area with cabinets, dining, seating and grilling station.

Courtesy of NatureKast

Before diving into the design process, it’s crucial to assess the available space for your outdoor kitchen. Consider the size and layout of your backyard or patio area. Take note of any existing structures, such as trees, fences, or utility lines, that may impact the design. Understanding your space will help you make informed decisions about the layout and dimensions of your outdoor kitchen.

2. Defining the Layout

An L-shaped outdoor kitchen with weatherproof wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances and a stone backsplash.

Courtesy of NatureKast

The layout of your outdoor kitchen should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Begin by determining the primary focal point, such as the grill, sink, and countertops. These elements should be strategically placed to ensure efficient workflow while cooking. Consider incorporating a work triangle, with the grilling station, sink, and refrigerator forming the three points, for maximum convenience.

3. Selecting Appliances and Fixtures

An outdoor L-shaped kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Courtesy of NatureKast

No outdoor kitchen is complete without an outdoor grill. It’s the beating heart of your outdoor cooking space. Choosing the right appliances and fixtures is essential for creating a well-equipped outdoor kitchen. Opt for durable materials that can withstand various weather conditions. Stainless steel appliances are a popular choice due to their durability and resistance to corrosion. Consider including a built-in grill, refrigerator, sink, and storage cabinets to fulfill your cooking and storage needs. For pizza lovers, you might want to consider an outdoor pizza oven. Many homeowners also like the option of sitting in front of an outdoor fireplace or fire pit on cool Minnesota evenings.

4. Materials and Finishes

An outdoor kitchen with a decorative louver hood over the stove and grill.

Courtesy of NatureKast

Selecting the appropriate materials and finishes for your outdoor kitchen is crucial for both functionality and aesthetics. Look for materials that are weather-resistant and easy to clean, such as stone, tile, or stainless steel as opposed to wood. NatureKast‘s weatherproof cabinets can withstand the elements and maintain their high-quality craftsmanship. Incorporate finishes that complement your overall outdoor theme and blend well with the natural surroundings.

5. Lighting and Ambiance

An outdoor kitchen with string lights, bar seating and comfy couches.

Courtesy of NatureKast

Proper lighting is essential for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in your outdoor kitchen. Incorporate a combination of task lighting, such as overhead lights above the cooking area, and ambient lighting, such as string lights or lanterns, to enhance the overall ambiance in the lounge and dining area. Consider installing dimmers to adjust the lighting intensity based on the occasion.

6. Shelter and Shade

An outdoor kitchen with large windows, cabinets and appliances.

Courtesy of NatureKast

To ensure your outdoor kitchen is usable in various weather conditions, consider incorporating shelter and shade options. Install a pergola or awning to provide protection from the sun or light rain. This will allow you to enjoy your outdoor kitchen year-round, regardless of the weather.

7. Outdoor Dining and Seating

Contemporary outdoor deck with dining, seating and an outdoor kitchen.

Courtesy of NatureKast

An outdoor kitchen design is incomplete without a comfortable and functional dining and seating area. Choose outdoor furniture that is weather-resistant and easy to maintain. Consider the number of guests you typically entertain and ensure there is ample seating and dining space for everyone. Add cushions and pillows to make the seating area cozy and inviting for friends and family.

8. Incorporate Natural Elements & Greenery

Outdoor patio grilling station and cabinetry with greenery in the background.

Courtesy of NatureKast

The beauty of an outdoor kitchen lies in its connection with nature. Incorporate natural elements into your design. You might include a vertical garden or flower beds to enhance the ambiance, or even integrate your kitchen with a patio or deck, creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.  Plant herbs, flowers, or small potted plants around the kitchen area to add a touch of freshness and natural beauty.

9. Entertainment and Technology

A covered outdoor kitchen and lounge area with a pool in the foreground.

Courtesy of NatureKast

If you enjoy entertaining guests in your outdoor space, consider incorporating entertainment and technology features into your outdoor kitchen. Install outdoor speakers for music, a weatherproof television for watching sports events, or even a built-in sound system. Remember to select technology that is specifically designed for outdoor use and can withstand the elements.

10. Maintenance and Upkeep

Light gray weatherproof cabinets in designer outdoor kitchen.

Courtesy of NatureKast

To ensure your outdoor kitchen stands the test of time, proper maintenance is essential. Regularly clean and inspect your appliances, fixtures, equipment and surfaces. Cover or store any vulnerable outdoor elements and accessories during the winter season. Following manufacturer guidelines and performing routine maintenance will help keep your outdoor kitchen in excellent condition.

Let Sawhill Kitchens Elevate Your Outdoor Dining Experience

Designing your dream outdoor kitchen requires careful planning, attention to detail, and consideration of your specific needs and preferences. By assessing your space, defining the layout, selecting the right appliances and materials, and incorporating elements of comfort and ambiance, we can create a beautiful outdoor kitchen that enhances your outdoor living experience. Our experienced design and remodeling team has years of experience in building custom kitchens. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your outdoor kitchen design ideas.

 

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