An outdoor kitchen is a perfect place to have friends and family gather, and to enjoy the natural beauty of your own backyard. Outdoor kitchens blend the best of the indoors with the best of the outdoors, which is why they have become so remarkably popular in the United States over the course of the past year.
By working with an outdoor kitchen design firm, you can create a unique space that also satisfies all your cooking needs. Finding ways to incorporate outdoor cooking appliances, a dining area, and the aesthetic features of your choice will make it much easier for you to maximize the total value of your property.
As you might expect, there are currently many different types of outdoor kitchens available to choose from. While some people simply want a designated place to put their professional grill, others will want a comprehensive outdoor cooking space that rivals the kitchen they have inside.
If you are planning on building an outdoor kitchen—whether this year or any other—you are probably looking for some creative ways to make your space unique. In this article, we will discuss twelve unique outdoor kitchen ideas. By taking the time to consider these options, you can create the perfect outdoor space for you.
1. Incorporate Some Colorful Cabinets
Including some colorful cabinets is one of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to add some color to your outdoor dining area. Currently, outdoor kitchen cabinets are available in almost any color, style, and shape you can imagine. Choose a color that matches a bold natural feature in your outdoor area, such as colorful flowers.
2. Add a Bar Next to the Preparation Area
With a bar near the preparation area, your guests will be able to enjoy the smell of barbeque without needing to end the party. Being able to seat your guests while you finish the final entrees helps create a social environment where even the cook can be involved. Additionally, using a countertop for both serving and preparing can help reduce the amount of space your outdoor kitchen requires.
3. Build an Island
Over the past twenty years, the kitchen island (or in some cases, the peninsula) has gone from being an afterthought to being one of the most important elements of the modern kitchen. Islands are extremely adaptable and can be used throughout essentially every step of the food preparation process, including serving.
4. Include Plenty of Places for Cold Drinks
When people design an outdoor kitchen, they’ll typically think about all the things they need to prepare a meal. But one thing that some outdoor kitchen designers tend to overlook is the active need for refrigeration. Incorporating a drink cooler, an outdoor fridge, and other features for cooling drinks will help keep your guests enjoy their libations as long as they are outside.
5. Install a Convertible Awning
A convertible awning makes it easy for you to adapt your outdoor kitchen to different types of weather. If it’s raining, a closed awning will help keep you dry while you still enjoy your outdoor space. At the same time, being able to retract the outdoor awning will help make it easy for you to catch some rays.
6. Create a Bold Overhead
Though some outdoor kitchens are completely open-air, most have at least some type of overhead. Having an overhead helps make it much easier to protect your appliances from the elements and keep your outdoor kitchen clean. The overhead is a great place for you to go big—colorful features, complex woodwork, artistic fans, and other details will make it easy for you to fully express yourself.
7. Make Every Chair Unique
For both indoor and outdoor kitchens, chairs are typically sold in sets. However, if you’re really trying to get creative, consider making every chair unique. Visiting an antique furniture store will help you create a one-of-a-kind seating area, even on a budget.
8. Don’t Forget the Pizza Oven
Installing a brick pizza oven adds a lot of character to your outdoor cooking area and—perhaps most importantly—also makes it easy to continually create some delicious meals. Depending on your outdoor kitchen designer, the brick pizza oven can likely be integrated directly into the preparation area.
9. Use Repurposed Materials
Repurposing used materials makes it easy to simultaneously create a unique outdoor area and also reduce your total carbon footprint. Reclaimed barn wood, for example, has become extremely popular among both indoor and outdoor kitchen designers. Repurposed materials help create a rustic look that is still very functional.
10. Grow Some Natural Decorations
There are several ways to cleverly (and safely) incorporate live plants into an outdoor kitchen. Controlled ivy, for example, creates a classic look that requires minimal maintenance. Flower pots, vines, and other decorative plants can also help make the space feel a bit more natural.
11. Get Cozy by the Fire
Even if you live in a winter-prone state like Colorado, you’ll still want to use your outdoor kitchen as much as you can throughout the year. One of the best ways to keep your guests warm throughout the colder months is to add an easy-to-access outdoor fireplace. When combined with the amenities of an outdoor kitchen, you can create the perfect October night.
12. Be Bold with Art
To help really make your kitchen memorable, be bold and install some art. Whether it is a statue, a modern art piece, a fountain, or anything else, you will want to look for opportunities to make a creative statement. A single installation can truly go a long way.
When designing an outdoor kitchen, you’ll find you have countless different options available. Whether working with an experienced design team or trying to DIY, be sure to keep these twelve ideas in mind.