All About Outdoor Kitchen Design

May 29, 2020

Beautiful weather in Gainesville means you can enjoy your backyard all year round, especially if you have a partially or fully enclosed outdoor living space. If spending time outside is your thing — especially for cooking, entertaining, and hanging out with family and friends — make sure your outdoor kitchen space can keep up. More than a luxury item, an outdoor kitchen design that includes an efficient layout, storage, and cooking space, plus a stylish environment, is essential if you spend a lot of time cooking outside.

Approach your outdoor kitchen design the same way you would an indoor kitchen, but with a few differences. Work with an experienced professional to create a kitchen design that provides a stylish and functional extension of your home living space.

outdoor kitchen design

What are the benefits of having a fully outfitted outdoor kitchen design?

  • Saves you from having to haul food and supplies outside from your main kitchen.

  • Offers ample storage to keep everything you need secure and organized.

  • Ensures you have the right set up for cooking, whether you like to grill family dinners a few nights a week or entertain friends with drinks and barbecues at the weekends…or both!

  • It extends your living space and creates a comfortable environment that your family can enjoy almost year-round.

What do you need?

Just like your indoor kitchen, the outdoor kitchen design must have the essentials like enough counter space, kitchen cabinet storage, plenty of seating, and ample cooking space. Also, just like in your indoor kitchen, you need to create distinct zones — cooking, storage, food preparation, and a well-set-up entertainment and dining space.

What you need for your outdoor kitchen depends on who uses it, how you plan to use it, and what type of cooking you like to do. Work with your kitchen design expert to define your requirements. Here are a few ideas of what you need to consider.

outdoor kitchen with large grill

Fire up the grill!

Cooking appliances are key to an outdoor kitchen design and what you need all depends on your requirements. If you grill occasionally then a basic gas grill may be sufficient, but if you love to cook you may want a larger, two-sided grill. Other cooking appliances could include a smoker, pizza oven, or rotisserie, plus side burners so you can do all your cooking for a full meal in one place. A warming drawer is an ideal addition, allowing you to keep items warm while you continue to grill for the rest of your crew.

A refrigerator is essential to your fully-equipped outdoor kitchen design, allowing you to store beverages, condiments, salads, and more while you cook.

Drinks are served.

Your beverage setup could include a separate beverage fridge, wine refrigerator, or refrigerator drawer depending on your preferences. A built-in kegerator, ice maker, and other specialized appliances may be an ideal addition depending on your preferred beverages. If you like to mix up margaritas consider having a place to keep small appliances like a blender, and don’t forget to include electrical outlets in key locations.

outdoor kitchen with beverage refrigerator

Super storage options.

Storage drawers and cabinetry ensure you have space to safely store your outdoor cooking tools, supplies, and perhaps a separate set of dishware used for outside dining. Countertop space creates a work area to prepare and serve food and drinks. Stick to materials that are durable and low maintenance for outdoor kitchen design. Stainless steel is very popular for countertops and kitchen cabinets, but other materials like granite, concrete, and tile work well for outdoor countertops and add character to your design.

Time for fun.

Outdoor dining goes hand in hand with entertaining so why not include a built-in television and sound system? This allows you to watch television while you cook, put on the big game or live-streamed concert for guests, or listen to your favorite tunes while you relax with a drink. Don’t forget charging points for electronics in safe locations.

outdoor kitchen design with pendant lights and television

Light it up.

Lighting is as important in your outdoor kitchen as it is in your indoor spaces.  In any outdoor kitchen design, even if it is enclosed, consider how natural light plays a role and then add light fixtures to complement it. Targeted task lighting is key wherever you plan to do food prep and cook. Led strip lighting and solar-powered lights are great options for your outdoor spaces. Light up seating areas, a pathway, steps, ledges, or anywhere else people will be walking or sitting. In covered areas, include a statement light fixture like a bold pendant light over your dining table. Add smart lighting options that are controlled from your smartphone so you can change the lighting scene as required. Our partners at HKB Electric can help you create the perfect outdoor lighting scheme.

outdoor kitchen design

A fireplace or fire pit also adds to outdoor light as well as provides heat and ambiance. Candles, including citronella candles to ward off insects, are a practical addition that enhances the atmosphere.

If it is time for you to create a new outdoor kitchen or update an existing outdoor kitchen design, the Haile Kitchen & Bath team is ready to help! Check out our kitchen remodeling gallery for more design ideas and contact us today. We are also available for online design consultations. Click here to schedule an online appointment.