Summer is still in full swing, and that means barbecues and pool parties.  We love to make the most of these summer months by spending time outdoors, weather permitting of course (there’s always the chance of summer storms!).  If you really love cooking outside, take your barbecue area to the next level with an outdoor kitchen design that has everything you need for al fresco cooking, dining, and entertaining.  There are excellent options for all-weather cooking facilities, kitchen cabinets, countertops, seating, and more.  Here are a few ideas to get you started or contact your kitchen design specialist to find out more.

Look at your location and available space.

Just like any other kitchen remodel, you must examine your location, how much space you have, and whether you are willing and able to expand or change the location of the kitchen.  For an outdoor kitchen design, you must consider several additional factors.  Does your chosen spot have the privacy and view you want?  If you have a very large back yard, this may not matter, but if you live close to your neighbors carefully consider where you place your seating and entertainment space to allow more privacy while using your outdoor kitchen design.  Enjoy the best possible view while sitting outside, by making sure your dining table and seating is positioned to maximize the view (or facing the swimming pool or play area if your priority is to keep an eye on the kids).

outdoor kitchen seating area

Also, even the most robust outdoor kitchen design will still require some food and cooking supplies from your indoor kitchen.  Make sure they are easily accessible to each other, so you don’t find yourself running between the two to get ketchup, burger buns, and drinks.  Or, if your outdoor kitchen is away from the house, situated with an outbuilding, or perhaps near the swimming pool, make sure you include a refrigerator and enough storage to house all the essentials.

What is your outdoor cooking priority?

Are you a master at the barbecue?  Do you prefer to eat light with summer salads?  Or perhaps you love creating custom homemade pizza?  Of course, there is always a requirement for cool drinks during the summer, from water, juice, and sodas, to cold beers, wine, or summer cocktails.  Think about what you love to cook outdoors, how you plan to use this space, and then create your outdoor kitchen design to meet these needs.  If pizzas are your thing, install a custom outdoor pizza oven and let the rest of your design fall into place around it.  If you love to have parties outdoors with summer cocktail creations, include a bar, beverage refrigerator, and bar seating as your outdoor kitchen design centerpiece.

outdoor kitchen design with beverage center

How often do you entertain outdoors?

Like any kitchen design, you must consider how and when you plan to use your outdoor cooking and dining space.  Think about how often you entertain.  Are you the weekly hot spot for your friends and neighbors?  Or do you plan to use this area for a 4th of July barbecue, Labor Day, and only the occasional outdoor event in between?  This will help you decide how extensive your outdoor kitchen design should be.  The occasional barbecue may only require a grill with some countertop space and seating, while more regular use may call for a full outdoor kitchen set up.

outdoor kitchen grill and cabinets

What is your style?

Just like any other space in or outside your home, your outdoor kitchen remodel should complement your own personality and style.  At the same time, the outdoor kitchen is a standalone area that could have a unique style that differs somewhat from the rest of your home.  For example, give your outdoor oasis the atmosphere of a beach retreat, while the rest of your home has a traditional or contemporary style.

Outdoor kitchen with brick and stone arch

Weather proofing your outdoor kitchen design.

While it is possible to create a fully functioning outdoor kitchen, remember that the facilities you create will still have to live outdoors full time.  Use robust materials that are meant to withstand the elements, purpose-built outdoor grills and cabinetry, and all-weather seating and dining furniture.  Luckily there are an array of options available that are both robust and stylish to meet both requirements.  Concrete, stainless steel, stone, and treated wood are all ideal choices.

outdoor kitchen cabinets