An outdoor kitchen is a sizable investment of both time and money for most people. However, it’s worth it! Setting up an outdoor entertaining area gives you endless possibilities for parties, business gatherings, or even family nights in the backyard.
But before you can start enjoying your new outdoor cooking space, you need to decide how you want it to look, what you’ll be using it for, and what you’re willing to spend. Still in the brainstorming stage? Here are a few key considerations to help you figure out exactly what you want out of the newest addition to your backyard.
Like any type of home design, outdoor kitchen trends change with time. But certain stylistic choices, like stainless steel appliances, never quite seem to go out of style. And a refrigerator works just fine no matter what it looks like!
Two of the best recent trends for outdoor kitchens are built-in ice makers and kamado-style grills like Big Green Egg, grills that close completely over the cooking food to produce a deep, smoky flavor. And of course, the convenience of having freshly made ice right next to your outdoor fridge can’t be overstated. These trendy choices do more than just make your kitchen look great! They can also make your whole experience more convenient and simpler.
Of course, appearances aren’t everything. Since you’ll be cooking and hosting in your outdoor hangout space, you have to consider how well your design choices will work with what you’ll be doing. For instance, consider your outdoor kitchen’s countertops. Materials such as marble may look gorgeous, but without expert sealing and ongoing maintenance, they could be ruined by Houston rain or humidity. Most designers also don’t recommend them for kitchen use because marble is extremely porous, making stain prevention difficult. (Marble tiles, on the other hand, are specially formulated for kitchen use and are fine for an outdoor kitchen. Talk to your designer for details.)
The bottom line is simply that your kitchen must be equally functional as elegant. While you can certainly go for both–a completely utilitarian kitchen is boring, after all–you must take the time to consider how well your choices will work in an outdoor setting.
Pro Tip: As you design your outdoor kitchen, consider any potential future renovations you want to make and how to make them easier. You won’t want to have to pull up your new tile floor to install new pipes for a pool, for instance.
Finally, it’s time to look at your budget. This will vary depending on the materials you choose, the appliances you need, the square footage your outdoor kitchen will cover, and more. Consequently, you can’t simply estimate the base cost of an outdoor kitchen without a semi-detailed plan of what you want. The best approach to budget planning is browsing our gallery for inspiration and bringing your ideas to an expert to discuss cost options.
Enjoy Your New Outdoor Kitchen!
A lot of planning goes into designing the perfect outdoor kitchen and party space. But all that time will be worth it in the end. You can look forward to enjoying a brand new custom outdoor kitchen and making your friends jealous!
Join the conversation to find inspiration and more outdoor kitchen ideas.