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Outdoor Ideas for Designing Your Backyard Kitchen

Backyards are for enjoying and using outdoor ideas like building a summer kitchen for your home can only up that enjoyment factor exponentially. If you’re a guru on the barbecue, it’s time to support your grilling habit by creating a proper outdoor kitchen area. From ideas on the cheap that you DIY to extensive improvements completed by contractors, you can enhance your outdoor cooking opportunities no matter your budget.

Creating the Plan

Sometimes, outdoor kitchens happen by accident. Various implements accumulated over the years can turn into a rudimentary cooking space. That’s not usually the fastest, most cohesive, or budget friendliest way to design your outdoor kitchen, though. Instead of piecing together your outdoor ideas, piece together a plan.

To create your backyard kitchen plan, begin by taking inventory of what you already have that will remain a part of this space. Next, look at the room you have available to plan your kitchen. Then, it’s time to realistically look at your budget — what can you spend without breaking the bank. After that, look for inspiration from others who have already completed their kitchens so you can expertly design your own. Finally, you can begin shopping for those items you can afford that will bring your plan to fruition.

Power and Water and Gas, Oh My

One of the bigger decisions you’ll make while planning your outdoor kitchen is whether or not to use stand-alone, self-powered implements — like a gas grill that relies on an enclosed propane tank — or running power and water and gas to this space. Although running any of those three utilities to your space, let alone all three, to your backyard can be costly, they can improve usability and enjoyment over time.

Before you nix these utilities as being too expensive, get quotes from several different contractors. You may be pleasantly surprised, particularly if nearby portions of your property already boast these utilities and can be tapped into for new runs to your backyard. If this simply isn’t in your financial cards, all is not lost. For instance, you can provide as-needed electricity through extension cords, continue to use portable propane tanks, and use outdoor sinks that hook simply to your hose.

Storage and Seating

Bringing your kitchen outside for the many months of the year that your area enjoys pleasant temperatures also depends on storage and seating. While you may have plenty of kitchen cupboards, will you really want to run back inside every time you need an extra tool or need to put something away? As you design the layout of your outdoor cooking and eating area, incorporating adequate storage is a must. Storage that works indoors may not translate well to outside use. Ensure that any storage solutions you use are both water and air tight. This will ensure that items do not have to be cleaned repeatedly between usage and will also extend the life of your tools.

Seating is also a must. After all, your family and guests will likely want to sit and chat with you while you’re cooking outside. Plus, you’ll all need adequate seating to enjoy your fresh cooked meal. Begin by evaluating the outdoor furniture you already have. Does it suit your final outdoor kitchen plan? If not, now’s the time to upgrade. Comparison shopping can ensure that you find great outdoor seating solutions at a cost you can afford. In addition, you can look for seating that doubles as storage, a true backyard win-win.

You’re well on your way to planning your outdoor kitchen. You’ll soon be enjoying your new space with those you love.

Image Source: Flickr/Andrew Czap

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