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The backyard is one of the hottest parts of the home to remodel – today’s homeowners are hungry for outdoor living spaces. One of the trendiest uses for outdoor space is to create an outdoor kitchen where you can barbecue, feast and entertain with many of the conveniences of an indoor kitchen.
An outdoor kitchen design can be as simple or elaborate as your budget permits. Whether your outdoor kitchen is a DIY project or you decide to hire the help of a landscape design service, the following tips will help create a successful transformation.
Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips
Know your budget. Between contracting services, landscaping your yard and purchasing appliances, your budget can grow wildly out of control if you don’t have a plan. When you set a budget, remember to add or dedicate 20 percent of the funds for unexpected events (for example, repairing the part of the deck that has fallen victim to rot). Your budget is ultimately your guide when it comes to creating an outdoor kitchen design.
Plan the kitchen space before you start spending money. When you don’t plan a space properly, it’s easy to prolong a project unnecessarily or spend money on non-essential items. When planning an outdoor kitchen design, first consider the goal of your kitchen. (For example, how many people do you want to be able to entertain?) Draw the space to scale and map out the best places to add a grill, sink, table, chairs, lighting fixtures and other items you want to include. Don’t forget to think about the hookups you’ll need, such as plumbing for a sink, gas for the grill or outlets for electronic appliances.
You’ll also need to consider the foundation of your outdoor kitchen. For example, do you prefer pavers, stone, poured concrete or a deck? This is also a good time to think about the addition of a cover over the outdoor kitchen and dining area so you can use the space throughout the year.
Plan for organization and safety. A safe kitchen is designed well and placed out of the way of foot traffic. A landscape design service can help you plan a space that will make it simple for you to get your food from the grill to the patio table safely and effortlessly. Safety considerations include protection from the weather, the use of a grill pad, fastening and locking appliances to prevent theft, fire prevention, the addition of smoke alarms, adding burglar alarms and the addition of an easily accessible fire extinguisher. If you are going to design the kitchen on an older deck, you may need to reinforce it, as well.
Consider your kitchen style. The style of your kitchen should match the theme of your landscaping or your home. Small details such as concrete, masonry, glass or tiles can help make your outdoor kitchen design look like it is part of the landscape. Add touches of your own style to an outdoor kitchen with weatherproof outdoor accents such as fountains, decorative pillows, the incorporation of color, art made of metal or wire, small statues, potted plants and the design of the nearby landscape.
By taking the time to plan ahead, consulting with landscape design service experts, knowing how much DIY work you want to do and making a budget, you can create an outdoor kitchen design that accommodates both your wallet and your desires. When the space is complete, you’ll wonder why you didn’t add an outdoor kitchen sooner.
Guest post provided by Landscape East & West, an award winning full-service landscaping design and maintenance company based in Portland, OR specializing in outdoor kitchen design .