This project can be as simple as a BBQ corner, to as grand as a sprawling open-air cusina with four different cooking zones, a bar, a sunken dining room and a veggie patch to the side. So, without further ado, let’s start sketching your dream outdoor kitchen!
Plan it out
All great projects begin with a great plan; consider the following when designing a space for maximum functionality:
Proximity to the kitchen
Make your life easier by positioning your outdoor kitchen close to your actual kitchen. This way, your preparation won’t be burdened with long walks through your house to retrieve extra utensils, or spur-of-the-moment ingredient additions; a successful indoor-outdoor layout is one that flows easily!
Try to keep your outdoor kitchen under cover, when possible. As a result, your al fresco cooking plans are less likely to be ditched due to a persistent autumn drizzle or the scorching summer sun. Plus, it’ll be easier to maintain your appliances and furniture if they aren’t completely open to the elements.
Outdoor seating Chairs, benches, stools, outdoor sofas and daybeds…the options for outdoor seating seems never ending. Find which option best suits your space, keeping in mind how you want the area to be used. Perhaps you prefer formal seating for dining, or you may want to look at sunken seating around a fireplace, to create a casual campfire experience. Don’t be afraid to play around with your seating design and remember to scatter some cushions to make it a comfortable space.
Your outdoor kitchen is in the garden for a reason! Just like another outdoor room, surround your space with natural elements and embrace the power of foliage.
Is your outdoor kitchen strictly for dining purposes, or do you want to create a complete entertaining area? In your designs, decide if and where you’d like audio speakers, lights, TV screens, lounging areas, water features, wall art, bars or fire pits. Also think about how the space will be used and how you want to move through it. Your design should leave ample room to cook without being cramped, with accessible and inviting living areas; and the beers in easy reach from both sides!
Electric, gas or wood-fire?
Ask yourself; what does outside cooking mean to you? Do you like the look of a rustic outdoor cookery that utilises flame and steam? Or would you rather a totally hooked-up kitchenette, with electric ovens and touchscreen stove tops?
Plumbing & lighting
This step falls halfway between the planning stage and the building stage; you’ll need to be sure of what services you need and where before you start building anything.
Consider questions like:
- Where will you need power, and for how many appliances?
- What sort of power do you want to use?
- What sort of outdoor lighting do you want to use?
- Are you going to need plumbing for a sink area?
- If so, where’s the closest water source? Does this affect where your wet and dry zones are?
Thinking ahead will save you a lot of time and effort down the track when you realise you’ve accidentally restricted access for laying pipes or running cables!
Outdoor kitchen designs
Some design decisions might include:
- What sort of cooking experience do you want to support?
- What sort of dining experience do you want to support?
- What appliances would you like to use?
- Where are your wet and dry zones?
- How big do you want your prep area?
- How much do you want to build yourself?
- How will you harmonise with the architectural style of your home?
- How will you connect this space to your interior design values?
DIY pizza oven
You can DIY the whole thing from raw materials, or you can purchase a handy DIY pizza oven kit from places like The Alfresco Factory or DIY Woodfired Ovens.
DIY fire pits
Chuck a few skewers over a grill, toast marshmallows or just retire to the dance of flames after a great meal!
Love that rich hickory smell? Include your very own smoker! This is a perfect outdoor entertaining idea for the cooler months, when the drift of warm smoke takes the bite out of the fresh winter afternoons.
There’s nothing like a sprig of rosemary on a spit roast or a scattering of marjoram and basil over a wood-fired pizza to add depth to your al fresco cuisine. Position your DIY edible garden near the sink for easy watering and washing, as well as away from hot cooking areas. Vertical gardens are great if you have a wall space to fill, while a benchtop trench would make a gorgeous backdrop for your prep space and promote easy garnishing! If you want to grow your own salad fillers as well, a DIY veggie patch next to the kitchen area would create a stunning rustic atmosphere.
Al fresco dining
So, the food’s cooked to perfection and ready to be served; where are you going to eat? There are traditional dining table designs, or more unique dining experiences; like a picnic-inspired daybed! Built-in seating is also an excellent use of space and a great landscaping hack for sloping blocks.
What’s dinner without a few drinks? Whether it be a tantalising aperitif, a perfectly paired wine or a full-bodied night cap (or two), having an outdoor bar effortlessly adds an air of sophistication and entertainment to your outdoor kitchen. Go for a fully catered bar with kegged beer and mini-bar fridge or an expertly styled bar cart in the corner; either way, you’ll appreciate it!
DIY or Titan?
If you didn’t want to do it yourself, Titan Sunrooms is here to help. Give us a call (850-733-7445) and let our factory reps give you and estimate and help you plan your backyard paradise.