Adding a backyard kitchen to your home can turn an average space into a gorgeous oasis.
Not only will it increase your personal enjoyment, it often adds significant value to your property. A recent study found that 51 percent of homebuyers consider outdoor space one of the most appealing qualities of a home.
When it comes to outdoor kitchen design there are literally thousands of options, spanning across a range of personal tastes and financial budgets. These six tips will help you create your ideal setting for outdoor entertaining and relaxation.
1. Plan Your Layout
The layout of your backyard kitchen is what defines it as a separate space. Make sure you choose a style that fits with the rest of your landscaping. The appliances and other features you want to include in your kitchen will help you determine the proper layout.
L-Shaped and U-Shaped layouts are usually the most popular. For a more economical option, you may consider a simple stand-alone counter or island.
You’ll also want to plan out the placement of your appliances. For maximum efficiency, take care to keep heat-producing appliances like gas grills and pizza ovens away from refrigerators and coolers.
2. Choose Your Essential Appliances
Appliances are the cornerstone of a great backyard kitchen. Choose the highest-quality appliances you can afford to avoid costly future repairs and replacements. Some of the most popular options include:
- Outdoor grill (gas or charcoal)
- Built-in refrigerator
- Wine cooler
- Ice maker
The appliances you choose are a major factor in the overall cost of your project. You can stick to your budget by picking a few of the key pieces to start with. If you think you’ll want to add some upgrades in the future, try to make sure you incorporate enough space in the initial layout design.
3. Decide on Hardscaping Options
The materials you use, also known as hardscaping, can seriously impact the value of your outdoor kitchen. Choose quality materials designed to withstand the weather conditions where you live.
Your hardscaping may include features like pavers, concrete patios, and raised planter boxes. Balance our your hardscaping with natural landscaping like flowerbeds, trees, and plenty of greenspace.
Backyard kitchen hardscaping should be waterproof and slip-resistant. The best materials are tough and durable, while still maintaining visual appeal. Stainless steel, tile, and natural stone are all excellent options.
4. Pay Attention to Detail
A stunning outdoor kitchen requires acute attention to detail. Adding potted plants, well-placed landscaping, and trendy outdoor seating sets the tone for your space. This is your opportunity to let your personality shine.
Make sure any fabrics you include in your design are water-resistant and the colors won’t fade in sunlight. Add durable and classy copper barware, a cozy fireplace, and flameless candles to really set the tone.
Make your outdoor kitchen useful year-round by planting shade trees to block out the summer heat and purchasing propane patio heaters for the cooler months. Add televisions, a music system, and surround-sound speakers for the ultimate entertainment experience.
Consider hiring a professional outdoor kitchen design team. They’re likely to have ideas you hadn’t thought of. Together, you can take your vision to the next level.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Lighting
Lighting plays two important roles in backyard kitchen design. First of all, you need sufficient light to complete your cooking tasks. A bright source of light over the primary cooking and food prep areas is a must.
Secondly, good lighting design creates a sense of ambiance and comfort within your outdoor space. Accent lights, string lights, and tiki torches are some of the best options.
Choose solar-powered lighting where appropriate and add some citronella to help keep pesky insects away.
6. Mix in Some of This Year’s Hottest Trends
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, consider jumping on the bandwagon with some of the year’s most popular design trends. Here are some of the best upgrades people are currently adding to their outdoor kitchens:
Adding comfortable seating to your dividing walls helps ensure you’ll have room for everybody at your next large gathering. If you can situate the seats close to your fire pit, that’s an added bonus.
Stainless steel cabinets are both functional and beautiful. They’re weather-resistant, easy to clean, and will stand up to insects and rot. The stainless steel blends well with quality appliances and creates a striking contrast against softer natural decor.
If your outdoor kitchen doesn’t already include a bar, consider adding one. Not only does it create a fun atmosphere, it allows everybody to congregate and enjoy their meals in a central area.
Stand-alone pizza ovens are one of this year’s hottest trends. You can create an economical gas-burning version or go old-school with a built-in wood-fired oven. Either way, this addition will make your neighbors green with envy.
Fancy chandelier lighting isn’t just for indoor settings anymore. Incorporating this into your outdoor kitchen design is a fairly inexpensive and simple way to add a major dose of elegance and upscale ambiance.
Planting fresh herbs is a great way to decorate your outdoor kitchen area. Not only will it look great, your guests will love the taste of fresh herbs added to your cooking.
Do you love to read? Add a corner with a relaxing hammock or comfortable lounge chair. Make the space even more relaxing by planting some flowering bushes and milkweed to attract butterflies.
Additional Backyard Amenities
Consider the activities your family enjoys the most and look for ways to incorporate them into your new outdoor living area.
Make your yard your own by adding children’s play equipment, pet-friendly areas, or even a splash park. Use your imagination and the possibilities are virtually endless.
Want Some Professional Help Designing Your Backyard Kitchen?
At J&S Landscape, we pride ourselves in designing and building unique outdoor spaces that will turn your home into a gorgeous, tranquil retreat. If you’re considering adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard, we can help you make sure it’s stunning.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.