An outdoor kitchen is your chance to bring indoor luxuries into the open air. Deciding where you stand on the spectrum—whether you want an extravagant extension of your indoors or you want to incorporate nature into your outdoor kitchen—is a uniquely personal process. As you go through it, consider these five important elements that need to be a part of your open-air cooking area in Kings Park, NY.
A quality grill is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen, but its soul is in the details. A refrigerator and side burners are welcome additions anywhere, but a griddle can turn your backyard into your breakfast nook. Alternatively, one surefire way to make your cookouts memorable is a wood fire pizza oven. Don’t forget practical concerns like access doors, trash bins, storage, and space for food prep.
Bars and Coolers
Adding a well-stocked bar guarantees your afternoon barbecue transitions smoothly to evening cocktail party. Go a step further with a kegerator or a wine cooler. An outdoor fireplace brings inside coziness outside, while a fire pit surrounded by wooden chairs accentuates the outdoor ambiance. The outdoor dining area is also a priority: How many guests do you need to be able to seat regularly? Adding mounted TVs and speakers give you the unique option of having outdoor movie nights.
Countertop and Flooring Options
Imagine countertops in bluestone or granite that’s beautiful to admire and easy to clean. You’ll want to consider what will go with the aesthetic of the rest of your landscape and perhaps even what you have in inside. You could aim for modernity with clean, sleek lines. And you’ll want to prioritize materials that can survive storms in style. Underfoot, you could opt for durable concrete pavers, natural stone, or tile such as porcelain. Concrete pavers are considered the more economic choice over natural stone, which it very closely resembles.
Optimizing the Best Aspects of the Landscape
If your backyard has a view to be proud of, emphasize it with your design. Let guests enjoy the sunset during dinner with thoughtful seating placement. Complement existing elements in your backyard. If you already have a pool, maybe it's time to add a pool house/outdoor kitchen combination together in one fell swoop. If square-footage is not an issue, ample seating and counter space can be a godsend. On the other hand, it may be necessary to temper your expectations if your workable area is limited. A simple grill island may be all you need to perfect your backyard.
Incorporating Nature—or Not
The outdoors can be majestic and freeing, but it does have its drawbacks. Nothing is worse than canceling a meticulously planned get-together due to rain. Putting your kitchen in a roofed gazebo can solve that problem, and adding screens to the sides will help keep your cooking area bug-free. If that seems like too much shelter for an outdoor space, a lattice-topped pergola can create shade while preserving the outdoors feeling.
In the end, the most important consideration is to create the right outdoor kitchen for you. A pizza oven is of no use to a family addicted to delivery, and sacrificing too much lawn space might not please your football-playing son and his friends. However, done properly, your outdoor kitchen has the potential to be the place where you, your family, and your guests create priceless memories together for years to come.