There is a highly desirable and modern trend sweeping through the housing industry lately: Outdoor kitchens. An outdoor kitchen is a kitchen that is outside of the house. But it’s so much more than that: Outdoor kitchens offer so many benefits for the homeowner, such as accessibility, efficiency, and safety.
Before we get into designing your own outdoor kitchen, let’s look at some of these benefits.
Outdoor kitchens are a wonderful addition to the outside of your home. Not only do they look amazing and work so well for outdoor gatherings, but they help conserve energy. This is because the heat caused by the oven, stove, or pizza oven is kept outside. You won’t need to worry about cooling your house down when you’re using it.
Basically, being able to cook and prepare meals in the warmth of the outdoors allows you to keep your air cooler inside and reduces energy bills. This is especially nice during the summer months, as you can keep your air conditioner at a comfortable temperature instead of cranking it up when you’re cooking a wonderful meal.
It Keeps The Smells Outside
Just like how outdoor kitchens keep the heat outside, they keep the smells there too. That means you won’t have to worry about airing out your kitchen for a few hours after sautéing onions or opening pre-cooked jars. While some smells are pleasant and bring your family to the dinner table, others can deter sensitive noses.
Cooking outside means all of the smells stay outside and are naturally swept away by the wind. Better yet, the smells from your garden, flowers, or rain may completely eliminate the smell of what you’re cooking.
It Is A Great Place To Entertain
Picture this: you’re hosting an outdoor gathering and everyone else is outside while you’re cooking inside. You won’t miss a single moment of the festivities if your kitchen was outside, nor would you risk burning your delicious meal if you stepped away from the stove.
Outdoor kitchens can be used for so much more too. It’s a great place for canning foods with your family or friends without being crowded inside.
It’s Efficient and Clean Up Is a Breeze
When you’re outside, there is so much less to clean up. If you spill on the ground, just grab your hose and wash it away.
Additionally, an outdoor kitchen means taking fewer trips in and out of the house to set up all the food. Most people have grills outside but still have to go inside to make sides and get items out of the refrigerator. Not to mention that feeds back into the energy conservation aspect! You’ll be opening doors less often, which will help retain the cool air in your home.
Let’s Design An Outdoor Kitchen For You
Designing an outdoor kitchen is different than creating an indoor one. This breakout space is meant to be versatile to fit your needs.
The first thing you need to ask yourself when designing an outdoor kitchen is how will you use it? If you’re going to use it for outdoor parties, then think of what you’ll need to fuel those parties and how you’ll be using them — a fridge, a wine cooler, a grill, stove, or maybe a pizza oven? Do you want smaller appliances for more frequent cooking or baking and smaller hors d’oeuvres or large appliances to make grand meals?
If you’re wanting to use it more for gardening, canning fruits, or homemade activities, think of what you could use outside to make that easier for you.
Outside of the kitchen appliances, think of how many people you’ll want over on a regular basis and make sure you have enough seating for it. Maybe a bar seating will be sufficient, or maybe you’d like to design your kitchen around a large table that sits up to 20 people.
That’s why planning the design is so important — you’ll want your outdoor kitchen to fit your needs and the needs of those around you.
Weatherproofing Your Outdoor Kitchen
Here in Arizona, the weather can be extreme. You’ll have to battle dust storms, monsoons, and high winds. You’ll want everything to be weather-proof and protected as possible to prevent fading from the sun, chips from dust storms, and damage from monsoons or high winds.
If you are purchasing larger appliances and countertops, make sure they’re durable! Oftentimes, what you buy for the inside of your house will not be the same as what you put outside. Talk with an experienced architect like us at Urban Design Associates to figure out exactly what your outdoor kitchen will need to be the perfect entertaining space for years to come.