Spending more money on outdoor areas has become much more of a popular way to develop a property in recent years. It has been the case for longer in areas consistently warm, but even in places like the UK, additions to the garden like hot tubs, yoga spaces and luxurious orangeries are desirable in the current property market.
This could be for a number of reasons, including the increasing evidence that we are wired to be outside or perhaps the increasing popularity of Swedish decor and how it flawlessly links the outdoors and indoors together. Outdoor accessories and additions are also much more affordable now as more companies sell products for the outdoors. Prices really have come down and so a lot of products aren’t just left for the super rich.
Add this growing love of our own outdoor spaces to the expansive and exciting foodie culture that is taking over the world, there is one particular outdoor addition that is becoming more and more popular and that is the outdoor kitchen. An exciting al fresco space to be creative and entertain, cooking up delights outdoors right in the fresh air and a few strides away from your comfy, convenient outdoor seating area. With millenials spending around 5 hours a day scrolling through pictures on Instagram, and around 30% avoiding a restaurant because the food isn’t insta-worthy, the kudos of outdoor kitchen pictures and the potential for food prepared in them is a instagrammers dream!
Are you considering creating an outdoor kitchen space in your garden? Do you love the idea of al fresco cooking but you don’t know where to start? Let these great outdoor kitchen ideas inspire you and help you prepare:
The Practical Stuff
Before you can get carried away with amazing designs and kitchen additions, you have to consider the practical side of creating an outdoor kitchen. Your budget should be a prime consideration because it lets you know what sort of kitchen space you could have. According to statistics affluent Americans will annually spend between $500 and $1000 dollars on their outdoor kitchens (per household). But you may want to spend more or less than that depending on what you want. The sky is the limit with your design and your accessories, and there are also amazing budget options if you don’t have much money to play with. The important thing is to know what you do have to play with. Other important practical considerations should be:
- Where? – where you place it will have a big impact on how practical it is and how aesthetically pleasing it looks
- Weather protection – whether you get a lot of sun or a lot of rain, you will want some sort of weather protection for your surfaces
- Safety – you’ll be cooking using fire and electricity, and no doubt you will have kitchen tools like knives to hand, keeping everything safe and easy to lock away is important
- Practical stuff – you will want to ensure you are able to have everything you need for it to be a functional kitchen. Do you need electrics or will a diesel generator do? Do you need a gas plumbed grill or can a standalone grill work in the space? Can you fit a plumbed in sink?
- Planning permission – in some countries you may need planning permission for an outdoor kitchen depending on how you want the space to be
- House to kitchen – it is important to think about how the kitchen will work in relation to your home. Will it be a seperate space at the end of the garden? Or will it be like an extension of your indoor kitchen?
There is a lot to think about, but planning is essential if you want a truly beautiful outdoor kitchen to compliment your home and your garden.
The Best Seats In The House
The seating is not just an area to eat, it should also be incorporated into the kitchen so there is space for showmanship! Ideally your guests can sit at a counter to drink and chat whilst you prepare and cook food.
Gadgets And Accessories For Show Stopping Cooking
Accessories are the most exciting part of an outdoor kitchen because they bring the WOW factor to your al fresco cookery. Do you add a pizza oven? A sit around swivel hot plate? A barbeque fire pit? A smokehouse? There are so many amazing options, the best thing you can do is:
- Prioritise what you want the most and what you could do without
- Consider portable units for anything you won’t use much
- Research all the different options so you know what is available
- Think about what you would love to cook the most. There is nothing wrong with having a focus on a particular way of eating, ie preparing salads and grilled meats, if that is how you plan to use the space. You don’t need to be able to cook every type of dish in your outdoor kitchen!
If you’re having trouble deciding, look around for inspiration. For those on a budget, this budget outdoor kitchen ideas video is ideal. Or if you want some general inspiration, this outdoor kitchen ideas video and this outdoor kitchen gadgets video will help you with some cool ideas to look into.
Do You Have Enough Counter Space?
Don’t make the mistake of adding tons of accessories with no space to prepare food. Think about how you use your indoor kitchen and how you use different space for preparing and plating up, and try to echo that outdoors.
Make Sure You Focus On Lighting
Your Instagram pictures in the day might be great but your food won’t look good without decent lighting in your outdoor kitchen. In fact, the space won’t be very practical at all to cook in or to spend time in without a good lighting setup. Make sure you include plenty of different lighting options when designing your outdoor kitchen.
Have Fun With The Details
The details of your outdoor kitchen are what will make it stand out. Cool colour schemes, designer tiles, beautiful fireplace designs, or innovative space layouts could all be what makes your outdoor kitchen excel in design and practicality. Whilst you should have a solid design and consider the practical aspects of your design carefully, don’t be afraid to add your own details and ideas so the space has very much got your stamp on it.
Get Into The Zone
How a space is used is often dictated by how it is zoned. Any open plan spaces need subtle details to guide the user to use different areas in different ways. Something as simple as a focal point for social times like a fireplace, or a lowered seating area adjacent to the kitchen will help to zone the space and provide various uses for your kitchen.
The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift. – Laurie Colwin
An outdoor kitchen can be an incredible asset to any home, particularly if you love entertaining, cooking or simply want more reasons to spend time outdoors. Do take your time, and do plan it out well, and the result is likely to be an amazing addition to your home that enhances your life so much that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before.