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Thinking About an Outdoor Kitchen? 5 Must-Have Elements

Designing your outdoor kitchen is a chance to create a truly unique space that you'll love to share and that will increase the value of your home. But before you can create your dream outdoor kitchen, you will need to understand how to design the best space possible within your budget. If this is your goal, here are five elements of the perfect outdoor kitchen.

The Right Spot

The right location is key for a great outdoor kitchen. Using the house's exterior façade as a main component of the kitchen allows you to easily tap into the home utilities. The exterior wall can also provide some protection from the wind and other elements. 

Test your preferred location to see how it fares with the elements by using it for some outdoor entertainment at different parts of the day or year. This will help you become familiar with the weather, privacy and accessibility aspects of the spot.

Place things like candles or fire pits in the area to determine if they are negatively affected by wind, snow or rain. If your spot doesn't meet all your entertainment needs, though, don't panic. You can often compensate with things like privacy screens and windbreaks. 

Good Access

An outdoor kitchen should be easily accessible from the main kitchen and dining room of the home. Not being able to move smoothly from inside to outside means that you'll use the outdoor entertainment area less than you hope.

If you can't build the outdoor kitchen right off the interior rooms, there should be wide and protected pathways from one to the other. The fewer obstacles between the two, the more you'll travel between them. 

In addition to close and easy traffic flow, you should also be able to access the necessary utilities that make kitchen work easy. These include all needed water, electric and gas lines. 

Lots of Storage

Kitchens in general require more storage space than most other rooms. The outdoor kitchen is no exception. At first, there may not be a lot of call for extra storage space, but that need will grow the more you use your outdoor kitchen. Between utensils, serving ware, bar items and different needs for different seasons, you will end up needing quite a bit of storage space.

Do yourself a favor and include built-in cabinetry, hanging shelves, wall-based cabinets and even an outdoor storage shed to complement the kitchen's basic space. For mostly waterproof outdoor storage, use cabinets designed to hold up, such as stainless steel. A local remodeling contractor like Roomscapes Inc. can suggest the best ways to incorporate storage into any space. 

Proper Lighting

To use the kitchen, you'll need various forms of quality lighting. In addition to sufficient overhead lighting, you may also want to include task lighting over the main work areas, including the sink, stove and prep areas. Another sort of "task lighting" is lights that keep pathways bright enough to encourage foot traffic.

The dining table calls for a different kind of lighting - often a hanging pendant lamp or even something fun like a fire table.

Perimeters should also be well lit. For example, consider using string lighting. 

A Great Environment

While it may be a kitchen first, this outdoor space is also an entertainment zone. It should have some quality ambience as well. This could mean taking advantage of a great view or a particularly private section of the yard. It could also mean complementing a built-in pool or spa.

Your outdoor kitchen may also benefit from simpler things like eclectic and artistic décor elements or inviting furniture that draws people in. 

The ambience of your space should reflect you and your personality. Think about what draws you to it, and build on that to create a space that you can be enthusiastic about.

No matter what your budget is, you can design a beautiful and functional outdoor kitchen by including all the right elements. Call on Roomscapes Inc. for help designing your dream outdoor kitchen.