Outdoor kitchens are no longer outdoor side projects. They are extensions of the home. From colossal grills to grandiose brick ovens, outdoor kitchens are often more elaborate than their indoor counterparts. And why shouldn't they be? Increasingly, homeowners are discovering that outdoor kitchens make the lawn more than just a chunk of grass.
With the multitude of variables that go into creating an effective outdoor kitchen it is difficult to know where to start the planning process. Functionality should be the primary goal. After functional capabilities are determined, the outdoor kitchen design should follow. The design will influence what materials go into installation and the accessories that will be included in the final space.
Outdoor Kitchen Functionality
Outdoor kitchens should be convenient and easily accessible. Ideally, the outdoor space would reflect the indoor space. No appliance would be neglected. The end user would have not only a grill, stovetop, and oven, but also a sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator. However, for most homeowners this is out of the construction budget. Therefore, before installation begins, homeowners should prioritize the conveniences that they want incorporated into their final outdoor kitchen design.
Homeowners should always plan ahead. Uprooting flooring and installing new plumbing and electricity is expensive. If the plans include future development, the groundwork for changes should be laid from the outset of construction.
Don't short spend on appliances. Although it seems counterintuitive, more expensive appliances will actually be cheaper in the long run after maintenance is taken into consideration. Invest in the proper framework in order to avoid unseen future costs.
Outdoor Kitchen Design
An outdoor kitchen design should incorporate all functional components under a common theme or concept design. Typical themes include contemporary, Tuscan, tropical, and old European. The theme will affect the choice of the overhead shelter, the flooring materials, and the shape and exterior of the outdoor kitchen fixtures.
The center piece of an outdoor kitchen design is usually the grill. Depending on the size of the family or the number of frequent guests, a grill top can range from 27" to 48". Other elements that go into outdoor kitchen design include channeling the flow of foot traffic, separating distinct spaces with aesthetic accessories, and influencing mood through outdoor lighting.
Outdoor Kitchen Accessories
Thematic accessories enhance the livability of an outdoor kitchen. The most ornate spaces are furnished with full dining room sets, upholstered furniture, and wall-mounted televisions. Of course, those are not necessities. To save on outdoor accessories consider crafty alternatives. Try constructing a fire pit and finding unworn used furniture at resale venues.
The only limit to constructing a functional outdoor kitchen is the homeowner's imagination. Nearly all designs can be installed on a budget. Do-it-yourself kits and personal installation reduce labor costs. Natural stones can be collected with a little effort to reduce material costs. It only requires a little planning and dedication.
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