Outdoor living is perfect in Australia, especially in summer. There is nothing fun about slaving over a hot stove in a stuffy kitchen, so outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular. Entertaining outdoors has never been as popular as it is now and outdoor kitchens help the host and hostess to prepare the meals whilst still being part of the party.
When planning your outdoor kitchen, there are a few things you need to take into consideration:
What is the Purpose of the Area?
Seems like a strange question, but you need to determine what exactly you want out of the area. Do you want to be able to cook a three course meal or simply be able to mix drinks and wash dishes?
Perhaps you just want an outdoor BBQ area. or maybe a full kitchen. It all depends on what the purpose of the area is.
What Elements of the Kitchen do you want?
Again, this ties into the purpose of the room. Do you simply want somewhere to keep food warm or reheat it? Do you want somewhere to wash up? Do you need an oven, a microwave, a fridge? What about a hob?
Food Preparation and Serving
The next thing to consider is food preparation. Are you going to prepare the food in your outdoor kitchen or prepare it inside and simply cook it outside? For the former, you will need a surface to prepare the food.
You will also need to decide how most dishes will be served. Will everyone help themselves and sit where they can find a seat, or is there going to be a formal dining area? You will need somewhere to serve the food.
Do you need cupboard space? Consider whether or not there are going to be items that need to be stored. You will certainly not need as much cupboard space as you do in your normal kitchen but you are likely to need some. This can easily be built into the counters to keep the space uncluttered.
For your outdoor kitchen’s aesthetics, you will have to decide on what material your work surfaces will be made out of. Granite is a good option as it is easy to clean, durable and good looking.
If you are going for cupboards, then you need to make sure that they match with the surfaces and the floors. (Walls here are not as important as the kitchen is open to the outdoors.)
The flooring is one of the most important elements as it creates the flow between outdoors and indoors. The idea is that the outdoor kitchen looks like an extension of the garden, rather than an extension of your home and so the lines should be clean and natural.