Everything you need to know about planning an outdoor kitchen for 2021

With winter fast approaching, you’d be forgiven if thinking about your outdoor space isn’t currently top of your list – but in actual fact, the winter months are the perfect time to start planning so that you can have your transformation ready to enjoy by the time spring arrives.

Outdoor kitchens are becoming an increasingly popular trend, particularly in the era of Covid, where much of this year’s socialising has had to be done outdoors. From barbecues and garden parties to sophisticated soirees, having a functional outdoor space that caters seamlessly to gatherings of all types will help you get the most out of the warmer months – and enjoy all of the al fresco dining you want to yourself, too.

Perfect for social occasions, you’ll never have to disappear indoors to the kitchen again and miss out on all the great conversation during dinner. And, with a range of modern and exciting smart features available to make sure your outdoor kitchen works for you – not against – it has the potential to upgrade your lifestyle in more ways than one. Check out yoursmarthomeguide.com for some great ideas.

So, if you’re sold on the idea of an outdoor kitchen, then look no further – because we’ve pulled together the ultimate guide to planning yours.

Outdoor kitchens are becoming an increasingly popular trend, particularly in the era of Covid, where much of this year’s socialising has had to be done outdoors

Designing your outdoor kitchen

Before you get started with designing your outdoor kitchen, it’s wise to outline your budget and project scope. There are often hidden investments you’ll need to make, and something like the cost of an injector pump, for example, might well take you by surprise – so be sure to allow some extra funds to ensure that any surprises don’t result in your plans coming to a grinding halt.

But once these important steps have been taken care of, the fun begins.

The process can be a complicated one, with many highly technical processes that must be taken into consideration – such as plumbing, electrical wiring and fuel lines – but choosing the look and feel and later seeing it come to life more than makes up for the headache.

If you’re inexperienced in projects like this, then hiring a contractor is recommend to help you ensure your final outdoor kitchen is a resounding success.

Take dining al fresco to a whole new level by adding a cooking station outside in the garden

Measure Up

The first step in designing your kitchen is to measure up. It’s important to get a good idea with the space you are working with and the dimensions your design will need to consider.

Create a blueprint

Creating a blueprint of your outdoor kitchen is the first step in bringing it to life. Map out the space that’s available to you using the measurements you’ve taken, then create an outline of the components you visualise incorporating and how they’ll look and fit together.

Cook outdoors in style by transforming your backyard or patio into a unique outdoor kitchen for entertaining space surrounded by nature

Position your essentials

As well as mapping out the basic design, you’ll want to consider how your additional furniture and accessories will fit into the space. For example, if you envisage having a large table with plenty of seating for dinner parties, then where will you place this? Make sure to allow space for the important bits, then choose some of the fixed elements, like countertops, flooring, and any other built in features and design them in around this.

At this point, you’ll want to keep utility lines in mind and ensure that your planned appliances will have access to fuel or power lines. Be sure to leave a countertop space of at least 12” between any grills and stovetops as they should not be directly beside one another. Nor should they be placed below or above each other.

Get shopping

With the tricky bits out of the way, it’s time to have some fun, and now that the components of your kitchen have been laid out, the shopping begins. Work with your contractor to ensure you are purchasing the correct units and appliances for the space so that they will be ready and equipped to get to work!

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