Summer’s here, and it’s the perfect time for entertaining your guests outdoors. But before you drag out the rusty old barbeque for a traditional helping of burnt sausages and undercooked burgers, think again. Whole kitchens in Liverpool and across the nation are moving outdoors for a complete al fresco cooking, dining and entertainment experience. Even though we don’t currently provide outdoor kitchens ourselves, we always like to provide our readers with information on the latest trends so they are aware of what can be achieved.
So if you’re looking for something unique, then here’s how to create the perfect outdoor kitchen, for summer nights to remember!
Plan your layout carefully
The size and shape of your garden or yard will determine the best kind of outdoor kitchen layout for you. Take your measurements accurately and work out a layout based on these. It’s essential to have a clear idea of which appliances will fit where, while still leaving room for the all-important dining area.
Don’t forget, your outdoor kitchen won’t power itself – you’ll need to think about the positioning of gas and electricity lines and water supplies when you’re planning your layout in order to make your kitchen fully functional.
Make the most of your space
The functions you’ll need from an outdoor kitchen are exactly the same as those indoors – areas for food preparation, cooking and dining. If possible, it’s also handy to include facilities for cleaning up afterwards! With a bit of creativity, you can pack all these functions into even a small space.
If you have a small yard, it’s amazing what results you can achieve with careful planning. A stand-alone island, for example, can double its function as a food prep space and eating area – add some contemporary stools for a relaxed, informal atmosphere. You can also save space by positioning cupboards or even a small fridge underneath it. When the plates have been cleared away, it can become the perfect outdoor bar!
If your outdoor space is roomy, there are really no limits – we’ve seen whole fitted kitchens in Liverpool created outside. Fixtures and fittings are generally arranged in either an L-shape or a U-shape. These layouts provide ample room for food preparation, cooking and cleanup, while the eating area can extend as far as you choose – many people opt for “beer garden” style dining areas with benches, although if you prefer there are many options of contemporary and traditional outdoor dining tables and chairs available.
Choose the appliances you need
It’s important that you choose appliances that will fit into the available space. If the room is tight, a single outdoor grill and fridge can often suffice – combined with an island eating area, this simple method gives a touch of sophistication that a barbeque just can’t provide.
For larger outdoor areas, many people are opting for complete kitchen solutions with an oven, grill, hob and sink, as well as kitchen worktops and plenty of storage solutions such as cupboards and drawers. This offers you the convenience of not having to run inside for anything while your guests are enjoying themselves outdoors! Some particularly creative cooks are also choosing to include additional appliances such as a pizza oven and tandoor, enabling them to offer their guests a wide variety of cuisine from all over the world!
Select your materials carefully
Where an outdoor kitchen really differs from its indoor counterpart is that it has to deal with the British weather! It’s important to choose materials that won’t rust, decay or be damaged by wind and rain. Stainless steel is the most practical choice for appliances, although brick is ideal for a pizza oven. For outdoor kitchen worktops that are built to last, choose a natural material such as stone or granite.
Remember also that your dining area will need to be paved or tiled if you don’t want your guests to end up in a mud bath! Again, choose natural, hardwearing materials that will stand the test of time and plenty of foot traffic.
Consult a professional kitchen designer
Any kitchen, whether indoor or outdoor, requires extremely careful planning, expert design and precision installation. Mistakes can be time-consuming, costly and even dangerous. An experienced professional kitchen designer will save you time and money by creating a safe, practical and beautiful outdoor kitchen environment that you can continue to enjoy for years to come.