As summer approaches we increasingly get requests from clients about outdoor kitchens. With an outdoor kitchen you can create a fully functioning food preparation and dining space or choose some targeted wish list items like a pizza oven or refrigerator and bar area.
Planning your outdoor kitchen can be a lot of fun. The key is to plan using the same best practices used for designing an indoor kitchen. You will want to think about function, space-planning, traffic patterns, wishlist items, as well as maintenance. Outdoor kitchens may also require safety precautions for instance if you have a pool. The challenge is to make the most of your space to meet your needs and desires!
Let's look at some of the considerations to include in your planning:
1. Should the outdoor kitchen be fully equiped or will your indoor kitchen supplement? If your going to use your indoor kitchen to supplement outdoor dining think about location. Don't separate the cook from the party, make sure site lines from the interior of the house allow a clear view of the entertaining space if possible. Is there a clear path to carry items outside? This part might take some planning and creativity. for instance a pass-through from an indoor kitchen window can make a big difference.
2. Think about the overal space and plan out functional areas. For instance, if you have a play areas (pool or grass), dining and cooking. Consider the flow of traffic and site-lines for the entire space. In the food preparation space think about wet space, dry space, cool spaces and how you like to cook.
3. Another important consideration is utilities. Do you need running water? Natural Gas, or fireplace? What makes the most sense for running these lines while maintaining your overal design.
4. How much maintenance do you want to have in your new space? Remember everything in your outdoor kitchen is potentially subject to weather conditions and the elements. Choose appliances and materials that will withstand the elements and avoid porous materials that need to be re-sealed or regularly maintained.
5. Lighting and entertainment options are really important and should be considered from the beginning. Make sure cooking areas can be well lit and if outdoor TVs or screens are part of your plan consider the effect of sunlight during the day.
6. Heaters or a firepit/table are wonderful relaxing and inviting additions for evenings outdoors. When considering firepits remember that burning wood directly can cause a lot of smoke. If wood firepits are a preference condier locating them away from cooking and dining areas. Portable propane heaters come in all shapes and can be a great addition in a few locations around the space.
Of course every project is different and your project depends on your space, your lifestyle, and your wish list. A successful space will incorporate all of these things.
Call us at GMT Home Designs and we can get started on your new space!