Outdoor kitchens have become one of the hottest design trends in home improvement over the past few years. Inspired by the integration of indoor living and al fresco entertaining, pool owners especially are investing in all-weather systems to spend more time entertaining outdoors with their guests instead of getting stuck in a hot kitchen.
In turn, kitchen manufacturers have responded to the increasing demand for materials that are durable enough to withstand the elements, and with features that mimic the functionality of indoor cooking appliances.
From pre-fabricated grills to fully customised cooktops, this new breed of outdoor kitchen is transforming the way we entertain at home and around the pool deck. Combining cutting edge technology with sophisticated construction, they’re not only easy to operate but also easy on the eye.
Here are a few tips to help you create a stylish outdoor kitchen:
An outdoor kitchen typically includes several components and styles, so it's important to choose the right set-up for your home. Do you have space for a fully equipped kitchen or just a small grill? Do you and your family entertain regularly or do you only plan to use your outdoor kitchen on special occasions like Christmas? When it comes to seating styles, do you prefer stools or dining chairs? Our advice is to do your research and map it out before you invest in anything.
Ideally, you need to select sturdy and durable materials that can stand up to year-round weather changes, especially if your outdoor kitchen is going to be open to the elements. Materials need to withstand wind, rain, salt spray if you live near the beach, and Australia's harsh summer sun without rusting, warping and absorbing moisture. Consider using ceramic tile, granite, marble, slate and other natural stones for your countertops, and marine-grade stainless steel for the structure.
Cleaning and maintenance
Regularly maintaining stainless steel surfaces and gas cylinders; sealing natural stones and timbers; and lubricating hinges, locks and drawer runners will protect your investment and ensure it stays looking good for years to come.
Lighting can significantly influence the ambiance of your outdoor kitchen, not only in a functional way, but also aesthetically. There are many types of lighting to choose from including uplights, downlights, LEDs, and solar lights that can be charged during the day and turn on automatically at night.
Not only will a shade system protect your outdoor kitchen from the elements, it will also create a more comfortable space for guests who may not want to sit around your newly constructed kitchen island if it’s too hot.
If you don’t have the space or budget to install a fully functional outdoor system, there are a number of alternatives that will inspire you to entertain outside. From portable barbecues and wood-fired pizza oven kits, there are plenty of ways to express your culinary skills outside the confines of your indoor kitchen.
Photo Courtesy Beefeater Discovery Outdoor Kitchen
Photo Courtesy Flint Luxury Outdoor Kitchens