Nothing could be more welcoming to summer guests than an invitation to dine al fresco in your Warwick, NY, outdoor living space. Today’s homeowners have unlimited choices in designing the outdoor kitchen of their dreams to feed many a guest. To get you started, here are six landscape design ideas for a new outdoor kitchen.
1. Think Through How You’ll Use It
Before you decide on a layout and before you choose materials and finishes, think about what kind of kitchen will really work for you. Are you a cook who loves to be surrounded by friends while cooking, or do you prefer to have guests on the other side of the counter? Do you grill, or prefer serving rounds of appetizers? Would you enjoy a built-in bar?
2. Use Stone to Anchor Your Kitchen
Not only is stone durable and beautiful, it provides a sense of permanence and elegance—an old world feel that says, “Welcome!” Natural or manufactured stone accents and walls now open up the possibility for a later expansion if you decide to add features such as an outdoor fireplace later.
3. Choose Outdoor-Ready Cabinetry and Countertops
Storage is essential in a great outdoor kitchen to keep cooking and serving utensils, dishes, and cleaning supplies easily accessible. Traditional wood cabinets may not stand up to the elements, so try stainless steel cabinets for a trendy industrial look that is low-maintenance, weatherproof, and extremely durable. Interesting countertop ideas include cast concrete, tile, granite, or soapstone. In outdoor applications, it’s best to avoid butcher block countertops and use portable cutting blocks or boards instead.
4. Offer Gathering Spaces
We have all experienced this: No matter how tiny or awkward the kitchen, it’s the place where everyone wants to gather. Design your outdoor kitchen for as many people as you want sharing your kitchen space. Provide ample, centrally located seating. Built-in seating (on top of low retaining walls or stone seating built into walls) keeps the space clutter-free while allowing greater flexibility in the number of guests you can comfortably entertain.
5. Research the Right Appliances
Cater to your individual cooking style with carefully chosen appliances. What type of cooking will you do? Is a grill enough or do you also need a cooktop or a smoker? Think about your bartending and food storage needs—options include a kegerator, mini bar, wine cooler, sink, and refrigeration.
Related: 3 Must Haves in Your Outdoor Kitchen
6. Prioritize Beauty
High-quality materials add to the attractiveness of your hardscape features, but you also want to find ways to accentuate it. Properly placed landscape lighting can bring attention to your gorgeous new kitchen, and task lighting can help you see what you’re doing.
Dreams Are Made of This
Outdoor kitchens can be completely customized. Add amenities that showcase your personality. A pizza oven, outdoor fireplace, fire pit, built-in seating, a mini herb garden, or a water feature are all options for making your kitchen match your style and become a go-to spot for cooking and dining. It is possible to turn the kitchen you’re envisioning into one you’ll use often.
The kitchen has always been the focal point of casual entertaining. More people are opting for a fully functional outdoor kitchen with the same amenities as their indoor kitchen, to create memorable experiences and add significant value to the home.