Kitchens are undoubtedly the heart of the home, where everybody gathers, mingles, and lingers during parties. But to accomplish this type of appeal outdoors means expanding your outside living area. To attract a crowd and keep them entertained requires more than simply buying plastic chairs and tables.

1. Apply good kitchen design concepts for a functional kitchen

If you’re not a kitchen design professional, make sure you partner with one or at best understand good kitchen design concepts. Cold areas (refrigeration), hot areas (grills and cooktops), wet areas (sinks) and dry areas (prep counters and storage) must all interact effectively in proper proximity, with each allotted enough space.

2. Think about the relationship between your indoor kitchen and outdoor kitchen.

How self-sufficient would you like the outdoor kitchen to become? How can they be used together when cooking or entertaining? What’s the traffic pattern together?

3. Choose low-maintenance materials made to withstand the rigors of an outdoor kitchen. High-quality stainless steel supplies a sanitary surface, is easily washed and corrosion-resistant in harsh conditions. Natural stone counters work nicely, however, many require sealing regularly. The densest granites, for example ‘absolute black’ are probably the least porous natural stones but might not be that well suited for your design aesthetic.

Consider how hot counter materials could get under constant sunlight. Some materials stay naturally cooler than the others, also it is not always a light-versus-dark color problem. The easiest method to test would be to leave a sample under the sun.

Counters and patio/patio decking material (especially close to the grill along with other kitchenware) ought to be highly resistant against grease stains. Never be afraid to combine patio materials.

4. Compliment the appearance of the home.

The outdoor kitchen design should compliment the architecture of the house and also the landscape. Use compatible materials and incorporate subtle architectural details.

5. Plan the whole outside entertaining space as part of a single plan

Dining areas, lounging areas, cooking areas and pool areas frequently exist together. Think about these as outside rooms and think about the flow of traffic together as part of the design. Try not to isolate the outdoor chef from the rest of the party. Try to create opportunities for interaction and conversation in the outdoor kitchen and between the outdoor kitchen and other areas.

6. Arrange for utilities.

The position of the outdoor kitchen and equipment in the kitchen can greatly affect the installation or positioning of the necessary gas, water and electrical supply.

7. Extend the outdoor entertaining season with heaters, shade and rain shelter.

Shade from pergolas and awning both in the dining and cooking areas can make a big difference to the homeowner’s enjoyment of the space.

Appropriate rain shelter for the outdoor kitchen can help keep the chef dry and comfortable even if the guests move indoors. Don’t, however put a combustible ceiling or awning above an outside grill. If required, use an outdoor-rated ventilation hood.

Gas patio heaters are fine to be used effectively under eaves and pergolas. Under-patio and counter top heating has been used in outdoor kitchens where cash is no object, and portable gas patio heating units make the perfect solution for additional modest budgets.

Fire places and hearths are possibly the nicest looking option for adding warmth to an outdoor entertaining area.

8. Incorporate music along with other entertainment.

You will find several choices for high-quality outdoor speaker systems. Incorporate music into your design therefore you will not need to tackle this job later on. Video monitors and televisions can be integrated into the outdoor entertaining area if properly protected from the elements. In addition to shelter it is good to note that not all equipment works well in sunlight, this is a good point to consider in your specification process.

9. lighting.

Supplying sufficient task lighting in an outdoor kitchen could be a challenge, but it’s essential to keep your kitchen working at night. Ambient lighting and lighting for the dining area is also important to create the ambiance for your guests and safety lighting is a must on paths and steps etc.

Expanding a living space to incorporate an outdoor kitchen is a great way to bring the outdoors in and it can also add value to a property. The outdoor kitchen takes cooking and entertaining to levels that far exceed the stand alone charcoal grill. An outdoor kitchen is now able to perform the duties of a professional chef’s kitchen, all while being steps from the pool area or fire pit.