With households keen to embrace more time outside now that spring has sprung, specialist outdoor living space firm Outdoor Kitchen Expert has shared its tips on what not to do when it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen.
“We see many families at this time of year getting excited about the potential of an outdoor kitchen to become the heart of their home as the weather warms up. But designing the perfect outdoor kitchen – one that is functional and durable, as well as attractive all year round – needs careful consideration.”
Jo Aird, Client Liaison, Outdoor Kitchen Expert
#1 Choosing the wrong location
Just as with a property purchase, with an outdoor kitchen it’s all about location, location, location.
“The best location for an outdoor kitchen is unique to each garden. The north/south orientation, any surrounding buildings or trees that block the light, how much direct sunlight the client wants on the space and the suitability of the groundworks all come into play. Many clients want to use something that’s already in place, but it can often be better to start again rather than trying to shoehorn an outdoor kitchen into an unsuitable location.”
Duncan Aird, Founder, Outdoor Kitchen Expert
#2 Not having the right foundations
Having the wrong groundworks, patio or decking as a base for your outdoor kitchen is a disaster in the making. Outdoor Kitchen Expert recommends undertaking pre-planning with an expert and getting drawings before any work begins, to ensure the foundations are large enough and strong enough for the proposed outdoor kitchen as well as sufficient space for seating and eating.
#3 Having too much clutter
It’s essential to consider from the outset what you want from your outdoor kitchen and then balance the space accordingly. Do you need a bar area, a cooking area or both? Where will you store crockery, cutlery, glassware, cooking utensils, food, cloths, napkins and more? Mapping out all of this from the start can ensure your outdoor kitchen space feels calm and uncluttered. It can also mean you don’t have to keep running back into the house to grab things that could better have been stored outside.
#4 Forgetting about soft landscaping and planting
It’s easy to focus entirely on appliances, materials, seating, lighting and heating when designing an outdoor kitchen. But overlooking soft landscaping and planting can have a detrimental effect on the finished space. One of the joys of cooking and eating outdoors is feeling connected with nature, so it’s important to think about how to incorporate that into the design. This can have a particularly big impact when it comes to creating a space that is enjoyable to use year-round.
#5 Buying non-outdoor products
From appliances to furniture, everything that’s going to be part of an outdoor kitchen needs to be specifically designed for outdoor use. Buying cheap products that aren’t suitably weather resistant is unlikely to end well. The materials used to build the kitchen and everything that goes within it all need to be fit for purpose.