Function + Dining Area + Privacy + Entertainment Space
When planning an outdoor kitchen a designer must consider four main components of outdoor living: function, dining area, privacy, and entertainment space. By addressing each of these components and by tailoring them to the needs of the homeowner, you can ensure an optimal outdoor kitchen experience.
How exactly do we reach this perfect balance? Take a look at these tips provided by our Landscape Specialist, Alan Drane.
- Assess Needs: This is a natural first step in planning an outdoor kitchen. Be sure to ask the number of people the kitchen should accommodate for day-to-day use and if the space will be used for entertainment purposes. All preliminary questions should center on the functionality of the space—what should you be able to do in your outdoor kitchen?
- Pinpoint location: Outdoor kitchens can either be constructed as an attachment to the house or as a separate entity. If you choose a kitchen attached to the house, you receive benefits such as shelter from existing walls and easier, less expensive utility connections. Attached outdoor kitchens also enable easy indoor-to-outdoor transition. This ease of transition becomes important for structures that are not equipped for food preparation and cleanup. However, a “freestanding” outdoor kitchen provides greater opportunity to customize size, design, and placement as attached outdoor kitchens are not restricted by architectural limitations of the home.
- Evaluate Functionality: This step requires a discussion of living habits. Will the homeowner use the kitchen space for cooking and cleanup? If so, the design needs to include amenities such as sinks, storage, and an outdoor cook island. If not, time, money, and effort can be reappropriated in a way that best suits the lifestyle of the homeowner. Likewise, an outdoor kitchen will require open space and seating if its main function is entertainment.