Adding an outdoor kitchen can be a fun and functional way to expand your indoor living space into the great outdoors! Summer is the time for enjoying the outdoors with backyard BBQ’s, gathering friends and family to relax and enjoy the sunshine. A well designed outdoor kitchen can help you enjoy cooking outside practically all year long.

The best outdoor kitchen should be as functional as your indoor kitchen. You could go simple, with just a table, chairs, and a grill. Or you could go the elaborate route with a fully outfitted, hardscape kitchen, complete with built-in appliances and relaxing seating. It’s all up to your creative vision and budget!

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Any homeowner can set up a simple outdoor kitchen. If you’re considering something more elaborate, you may want to hire a landscape designer or architect. Depending on the complexity and amenities, you may want to have your outdoor kitchen professionally planned and in some cases permits may be required.

Whether you choose to work with a professional or do it yourself, here are some tips to help you get started.

Work from the ground up.

Establish a floor plan before you start. Consider your flooring material, it’s the foundation of your space. If you’re building a stone patio, take into account the weight of any structures such as a built-in grill or appliance. Flooring like marble or tile can become slippery when wet and may not hold up well to grease spills or dropped food. If you’re putting on a raised deck, make sure it is properly built. Proper flooring can not only offer a great look, it can add durability and value to your space.

Choose your location carefully!

The location of your kitchen is important. Nothing is worse than setting up the grill or smoker for a long, low, and slow roasting and having the smoke blow into the house! Be sure the grill is oriented so that any smoke or smells blow away. Outdoor entertaining can mean carrying heavy trays of food from inside your home to your outdoor kitchen. If you need access to your indoor kitchen, be sure to build your outdoor space nearby. Finally, it is important to consider the flow of your outdoor space. Placing a hot grill where the kids play catch might not be the best idea!

Create plenty of workspace.

Just like your indoor kitchen, your outdoor kitchen should include convenient storage and ample counter space that allows you to work effectively and keep your workspace clutter-free. Be sure the materials you choose are waterproof and will stand up to seasonal temperature changes. Consider installing concrete countertops as well as appliances and storage made with materials like stainless steel.

Your outdoor kitchen should serve as a place to enjoy cooking and entertaining during the warm summer months. It’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy the outdoors and should offer the same comforts and amenities of your indoor space. Make it the center of your summer! Add chairs, tables, and decorative objects as well as specialty lighting. Consider adding overhead coverage such as a pergola, awning, or umbrella for the days when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate. When it comes to creating your space, you’re only limited by your budget and vision!

If you need advice or are looking for materials stop by Old Station Outdoor & Landscape Supply. We sell everything you’ll need from pavers and pergolas to grills and stainless steel accessories. We carry hardscape materials from top manufacturers like Unilock and Techo-Bloc. Give us a call or stop by. We’re always here to help!