Green State Pro has had the opportunity to help many homeowners around our area create beautiful outdoor livings spaces to enjoy football, family, and friends. What more could you ask for? If you’re thinking about creating an outdoor kitchen to expand your entertaining options, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind to help with your design and planning.
Size it Out
Outdoor kitchens can be as big or as small as you want. A space as small as around 250 square feet, at 16X16, works well for a grill and seating for a family to enjoy. If you are planning on entertaining larger crowds or if you’re looking to do a lot of cooking outdoors, an area 500 square feet or more provides plenty of room for a nice sized kitchen, seating area, and perhaps a fire pit or other accessories.
Keep in mind when planning your outdoor kitchen that the materials you choose will need to withstand sometimes harsh elements. Site-built masonry products, whether brick or stone, provide a good, solid base that will last for years and are preferred over the pre-fabricated kits. Additionally, stainless steel appliances work well outside because they’re easy to clean and they’re also corrosion-resistant. Many people choose stainless steel cabinets or storage options also, but you can also go with wood, as long as it’s a species that will work well outside. Options such as teak and cypress can weather the elements exceptionally well. And of course, the countertops help set the tone for an outdoor kitchen just as much as they do inside! Stone counters make a great statement piece and are perfect for the outdoors. You can also choose granite, but keep in mind large pieces with minimal seams or joints are preferred.
One of the best things about creating an outdoor living space is that you’re not limited by walls and windows, the sky is the limit on where you can position things. It’s still important to work within some of the basic rules of design to end up with a finished product that you enjoy and can use efficiently. With kitchen design, it’s good to keep in mind the triangle philosophy, which means placing the functional zones — cooking, prep area, and storage — within a working triangle that’s in relatively close proximity. Rather than walls, think of your equipment as the boundaries for the area. And remember to think of the kitchen itself as just one more outdoor room, allowing for good flow with the other rooms such as the pool area and the yard or garden.
Over the past 20 years, we’ve designed outdoor kitchens with minimal cabinets and prep areas to fully stocked spaces with sinks and refrigerators, but in all of them, the grill certainly takes center stage. There are many options in today’s market that you can do almost anything you want with your cooking area, whether it’s a built-in gas grill, electric grills, or even an outdoor fire pit.
Most people focus on the big and most commonly used areas but let the finishing touches fall through the cracks. When designing your outdoor kitchen, be sure to keep the end in mind! Things like built-in planters and well-designed lighting help create the perfect atmosphere for relaxing or entertaining.
Benefits of a Contractor
Many landscaping and home projects are easy enough to tackle on your own, but when designing and building an outdoor kitchen it’s beneficial to enlist the help of a contractor. Green State Pro can help plan the site and grade it to reduce the risk of flooding or other potential weather damage. We will also plan for and install any utilities needed, such as electricity, water, or gas lines. With years of experience in building outdoor living areas, we can provide advice on the best materials and appliances to bring lasting beauty to your project.
If you’re thinking of adding an outdoor kitchen to your home, our experts at Green State Pro can help you create the space you’ve always dreamed of! Call us today for a free estimate.