Just as food seems to taste better when cooked outdoors,
so does the act of cooking in an open environment seem to be more fun,
more adventurous, and more family-friendly. The outdoor kitchen has
become a popular gathering place during the summer months and, in many
areas - all year long.
The Design Phase
During the design phase, you'll need to determine how
you want the kitchen work areas to flow. If you want a dishwasher, how
close is it to the sink? What about counter space? Do you have plenty
of countertop area between the sink and the built-in grill? You can
choose from a selection of all-weather materials, including tile, marble,
& stucco or stone siding.
When you're ready to custom design your own, an array
of outdoor appliances to meet every cooking need awaits. Wine coolers,
built-in pizza ovens, refrigerator with ice-maker, and dishwasher can
be additional luxuries designed into your island. It's all waiting for
you, so first you need to decide on a budget and a design. For a few
thousand dollars, you can purchase a grill island that has all the basics.
Picking a Location & Setting the Mood
If you're not going to add all the bells and whistles,
then think about convenience. Your indoor kitchen should continue working
in tandem with the outdoor space. Consider an outdoor location in close
proximity to the indoor kitchen for the inevitable back and forth errands.
People gravitate toward fire and cooking areas
and you do not want them underfoot. You may want to add a bar
area to the back of an open cooking island or an offset free-standing
counter island where guests can watch the chef, the fire, and
still munch on foods and chat. Finally, think about lighting.
Now that you are spending more time outdoors in a new kitchen,
you want to be prepared for shorter days and longer evenings enjoying
the fire, the grill, and a tasty meal.