A new outdoor kitchen could become the hub of your Lexington, MA, backyard. When building your ideal outdoor kitchen, keep these tips from a landscaper in mind to ensure your design expectations become reality.
Determine Your Style
The first and most obvious tip is to choose an overall style for your patio kitchen area. This can be a continuation of your home’s design or a separate style entirely. If you are overwhelmed by the amount of options, then think about the photos that attract your attention when you’re going through home renovation magazines or portfolio pictures supplied by your landscape contractor. For example, if you find yourself drawn to accents of stainless steel and cool-toned limestone, then perhaps you are leaning toward a modern design. If most of the projects you tag as favorites have prominent wood involved, then a rustic design may be appropriate for your project. Let your contractor know about your preferences, and they can work with you to create a custom design.
Picture the Layout
You could start by choosing the appliances you would like to include in the outdoor kitchen. Adequate counter space should also be considered, and your landscape contractor can help you decide on how much makes sense for your needs. The layout can also depend greatly upon the size of your backyard patio. An outdoor kitchen situated along the back border of the patio, for example, could offer full functionality and convenience when space is limited.
Take time to envision the various situations when you will use your outdoor kitchen. You may want it to feel intimate on weeknights but also welcoming to more guests if you’ll be entertaining often. You can include seating in the design in a few different ways. Bar-style seating, seat walls, and built-in picnic tables are all great options to choose from.
Give Thought to Lighting
Lighting can be an underestimated aspect of an outdoor kitchen design. By placing lights in a few different areas around your outdoor kitchen, you can drastically affect the mood and appeal. You’ll need task lighting to keep the cooking going no matter what time it is. You could also have LED strips placed beneath countertop overhangs, above footboards, and along the backsplash for a small but bold source of lighting.
An outdoor kitchen covered by a pavilion has even more lighting options. Fixtures can be hung from the pavilion, placed on pillars or recessed into the pavilion ceiling for a sleek look. If you are using your outdoor kitchen after sundown, walkway and stairway lighting will be essential. If your patio has an exterior wall, then use it to your advantage by lighting it up with wall lights.
Consider Extra Special Additions
An outdoor kitchens can include a few extra additions to take the design to the next level. An outdoor fire pit can be a source of warmth and glow, but it can also double as extended cooking space. Fire pits can be purchased with attachments such as grill pads and smoke filters to make your outdoor cooking experience that much more enjoyable. Another special addition is a pizza oven.