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Creating an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor living is more than a trend. It’s a way to approach green living and embrace all that your home has to offer both indoors and out. Creating an outdoor kitchen is a powerful step that can help you transition a basic back yard into a functional extension of your home.

Step One – Assess Your Space and Identify Priorities
The first step to creating an outdoor kitchen is to measure the space you have and create a plan. What do you want to include in that space? What items are must haves and what items are wants? For example, maybe you must have a pizza oven and you want a refrigerator and sink. As you assess your priorities it also makes sense to create a budget and begin evaluating the price of the items you want and need.

Step Two – Create Your Counter Space and Layout
The next step is to begin designing your countertops, countertop material and how your outdoor kitchen will fit within the confines of your back yard deck or patio. Consider food preparation space as well as the space you need next to your cooktops. For example, it’s recommended that you have about 15-18 inches next to your grill so you have room for serving dishes and utensils. Also consider the storage cabinetry that you want to have. If you don’t have much room for cabinetry, consider a rolling storage cart for supplies.

Step Three – Plan Your Outdoor Seating
No outdoor kitchen is complete without a place for people to sit and eat. Before you get too busy adding appliances and choosing countertops and cabinets, plan your seating. Do you want a more traditional table and chair setting, or would you prefer a modern circular setting with a sectional and a center table? Another option is to create a bar with barstools for a more informal setting.

Step Four – Choose Your Amenities and Lighting
Don’t overlook the lighting and electricity you need for your outdoor kitchen. You’ll want power outlets for the appliances. You’ll also want extra outlets for lighting and additional accessories. For example, you might want an outdoor fountain and will need energy to power the pump. Some amenities include curtains or sun protection, a ceiling fan, and outdoor carpeting. You might also consider an outdoor fireplace or chiminea for ambiance.

Keeping Your Outdoor Kitchen Green
As you’re planning your outdoor kitchen you can embrace green living by being aware of environmentally friendly materials and systems. For example, you might use renewable materials to build your outdoor kitchen. You can also purchase previously owned outdoor appliances to save money and landfill space. Take your time creating your outdoor kitchen and create a space that you not only feel proud of but are happy to use for years to come.

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