Outdoor kitchens are becoming a regular upgrade in most homes. Adding an outdoor kitchen certainly has its advantages and benefits, but it can turn out gaudy or shabby if not done right. Make sure your outdoor kitchen stays classy and elegant, with maybe a touch of luxury.
Traditional Wooden Decking
Bare lawn won’t do, and outdoor tiles can make your kitchen seem less hygienic. Ceramic tiles seem more fit for an office than an outdoor kitchen, so your best bet is wooden decking. Sometimes, traditional is the way to go, and wood will bring a sense of warmth to your outdoor kitchen. Opt for a few inches of elevation to separate the decking from the lawn.
Cedar and redwood are excellent choices, but composite wood also works if you have a tight budget. Seal your deck for an additional layer of protection from the elements. Sealed decks are also easier to clean, and you won’t have to worry about stains from food or wine tarnishing the floor.
Immediately add elegance to your outdoor kitchen with stone countertops. Quartz and granite are popular choices, but you should stick to quartz if you want your kitchen to last more than ten years. Granite tends to break and crack when exposed to varying temperatures, especially if it isn’t sealed correctly.
Quartz countertops require no sealing. This material is non-porous, making your countertop stain-proof and waterproof; sunlight and UV damage can be an issue, especially in elevated cities. Quartz countertops can fade from UV exposure, so opt for light colors or use an awning to block direct sunlight.
Stone countertops are easy to clean. A wet rag should be enough to deal with most messes, allowing you to join the party almost immediately. Make sure your stations are fixed and not mobile. While mobile stations are more efficient, they can also seem a bit cheap.
If you want to serve more than barbecues, burgers, and steaks, you’ll need a proper stove. Preparing for parties and gatherings can be messy, especially if you have kids around. Fires burning in the background can lead to accidents and injuries, potentially spoiling the fun with trips to the hospital.
Induction stoves have none of the risks of traditional gas stoves. Touching the surface won’t lead to nasty burns, making it safe for kids and clumsy guests. Spillovers are no significant problems, as a swipe of a rag can clean them up easily. Induction stoves require particular pots and pans, so make sure your cookware is compatible.
A Cocktail Bar
Serving cocktails to your guests will add an opulent feel to any gathering. Have a few spirits handy, along with a variety of mixers, syrups, and bitters. Be more authentic by collecting different glassware to match the drinks you’ll be serving. For important gatherings or when you want to impress your guests, hire an actual bartender to mix drinks with a few flairs.
A Modern Fire Pit
Fires brighten up any gathering. Go for a modern gas fire pit instead of traditional wood-burning ones. Some states regulate the use of wood fire pits, and the smoke might not fit well with more formal gatherings. Wayward sparks and embers also pose accidental fire risks, and there’s the pile of lumber that you have to store somewhere near your home.
Modern fire pits produce no smoke or particulates. They are safer and easier to use. You can connect them to your regular gas line, and fuel costs are immensely lower than using lumber. You can even add colored fire stones to set the mood however you like.
Add LED string lights or cantina lights to make your yard look like a proper outdoor dining venue. Candlelight only works on couples; using them with larger gatherings will seem tacky. Decorative lighting sets the tone of the evening.
Opt for ones with adjustable brightness levels so that you don’t have to switch lights to match the mood. Encourage conversation with dim or colored lights or use bright lights if you have kids around. Use ground lights in places where the elevation changes like steps or slopes to prevent accidents.
If you want to play music, opt for a couple of wireless speakers that you can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Opt for soothing and light music like jazz or acoustic music. Any louder might warrant a noise complaint from the neighbors unless they’re already in your party.
Don’t just build an outdoor kitchen — create a great one. Mix traditional and modern elements, but make sure to keep it classy and elegant.