Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen

Legacy Models 064If you plan to cook and entertain outside it’s important to make your outdoor space work for your specific needs. The outdoor kitchen shown photo above, from the Legacy community is just one example. Here are some issues to consider when planning an outdoor kitchen space.

Grill: Do you want a stand-alone grill or one built into a counter? Would you prefer the convenience of gas or do you like the flavor provided by charcoal? How much do you want to invest in your outdoor grill? How large a grill will you need to cook enough for all of your family and guests when you entertain?

Electricity: Are there other items you would appreciate in your outdoor kitchen that would require electricity? Maybe you’d like a blender to mix icy drinks for parties, or a coffeepot for an outdoor brunch? Think about the possibilities.\

Water: Would a sink come in handy so that you could rinse dishes and pots before taking them inside? What about being ready to rinse off countertops and tables before eating outside? If you think you’d need more than a hose, consider an outdoor sink.

Lighting: Are you likely to entertain and even cook after dark? Some well-planned task and ambient lighting can create a wonderful atmosphere for entertaining and enable you to keep on grilling long after the sun goes down.

Counters and Seating: Some outdoor kitchens feature counter seating, allowing you to cook and chat with family and friends at the same time. Those counters can also serve as a buffet when it’s time to serve.

If you think about how you will use your outdoor space, you can make sure that your outdoor kitchen is everything you want it to be.

Cook Outdoors with Barbeque Options

Outdoor barbeque from the Fulton Homes Cascade model.

Outdoor barbeque from the Fulton Homes Cascade model.

Your outdoor entertaining options can be greatly expanded by installing a backyard kitchen with built-in grill. There’s no juggling of platters and raw versus cooked food when you have this kind of counter space.

Add a few outdoor bar chairs and you can cook and feed quite a few people right from the grill. Having the counters made from the same stone as the patio helps keep everything connected from a design standpoint.

Courtyard DSC_0301 w barbeque and fountainsThis backyard – from the Fulton Homes Cascade model – also brings in a triple fountain, creating a three-sided integrated space that is ready for a table and chairs or outdoor sofa and loveseat combo. The earth tones of the tile and coordinating stone allow you to choose from a variety of cushion colors and patterns.

A finished space such as this one makes finishing touches easier. The raised beds are ready for bedding plants – or maybe a collection of herbs could combine with tomatoes and peppers to create your own kitchen garden.

From a simple family dinner to a more elaborate entertainment for a larger group of friends, this outdoor space provides the impetus for bringing your yard into the party. With a relatively low-maintenance choice such as this one, you’ll have plenty of time to plan the perfect outdoor brunch or dinner. Just have fun and make the space your own.