5 Tips for Designing the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Davie realtorMemorial Day is almost here and I know a lot of people are going to be gathering with friends and family to share traditional “start of the summer” meals, that often include outdoor cooking and grilling.

Outdoor kitchens are popular in places where the climate encourages outdoor living.  That’s the case here in Davie, Florida.  An outdoor kitchen makes outdoor entertaining a snap, and you may end up having family meals outside, too, to keep the house much cooler on sizzling summer days.

There are lots of ways to design an outdoor kitchen, but here are some tips that will start your planning in the right direction.

1. Start with the Basics.

The layout for an outdoor kitchen should follow the same rules as a regular kitchen.  L-shaped outdoor kitchens are popular because they create a place for the “kitchen triangle.”

And, if you’re building a kitchen on an existing deck, make sure you understand how much of a load your deck can handle.  Installing a kitchen is a much different undertaking than setting out some tables and chairs.

Plan adequate storage.  To avoid messes, don’t forget that you’ll need a pullout trash bin, and storage for dishes, silverware, glasses, napkins, spices, cleaning supplies and more.  You’ll want to limit the number of times you have to leave the party to go back to the main kitchen for supplies!

Don’t forget the sink.  You’ll need a convenient place to wash hands, prepare vegetables, rinse dishes and more.  In a simple installation, you may be able to feed the sink with a hose, but extending your home’s plumbing to the outdoor kitchen is also an effective approach.

2.  Design for Light & Ventilation.

To extend the time you can use your outdoor kitchen, you may choose to put it under cover.  If that’s the case, use can lights or pendant lights to allow for cooking after the sun goes down.  Consider using a ceiling fan to keep a semi-enclosed space well-ventilated.  And, if your grill is under cover, you’ll need to include vent hood.

3.  Use Outdoor-Friendly Flooring.

Don’t make a bigger mess outside than you do inside.  The flooring in an outdoor kitchen should be easy to clean, and it needs to repel outdoor elements like grass and garden debris.  And, especially if you have a pool, make sure the flooring isn’t a slipping hazard.

4. Coordinate the “Rooms” in Your Outdoor Living Space.

When you commit to outdoor living, you’ll end up with a kitchen and a dining area, and perhaps a bar, separate living/entertaining area and a pool.  Make sure that all of your outdoor living spaces flow nicely and work well together, both in style and functionality.

5.  Equip Your Kitchen to Suit Your Lifestyle.

Don’t worry about being like everyone else.  Design your outdoor kitchen to fit your lifestyle.

You may want to include a beer, wine or soda cooler, for example.  Most outdoor kitchens are equipped with a grill, but you may also want a smoker.  If you’ll be entertaining large groups of family or friends, consider a warming drawer.  It’s great to have a place to keep burgers, hot dogs or steaks warm while you finish grilling for a crowd.

Pizza lovers have a lot of fun including a pizza oven in their kitchens.  If you love frozen drinks, make sure you install electrical outlets that will allow you to bring a blender outside, or you can include a built-in blender to give your kitchen a streamlined look.

If you’re ready to open the doors wide to outdoor living, a well-planned outdoor kitchen may be just what you need.  If you need a Davie REALTOR® to assist you in your home search, or if you’re selling Davie real estate, contact us at 954-242-8030 or send an email.  As local real estate experts, we’ll make sure you get the quality service you deserve!


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