Outdoor Kitchens and Entertainment Areas: Merging Functionality with Design

May 15, 2024

It’s normal for homeowners to want to extend their living spaces outdoors. For some, it’s a way to maximise space. For others, it’s a great way to limit the mess outside. Regardless of the reason, you should be able to enjoy your backyard however you want. To enhance the area and improve its functionality, consider making some upgrades. But how exactly do you do that? Read on to find out!

Step 1: Defining Your Vision

First, you need to consider your lifestyle. Do you like having a big group over, or do you prefer more intimate gatherings? Do you enjoy cooking or hosting events? The design and style will depend on how you intend to use the space. Next, make sure to evaluate your space. Do you want to get a little less sun? Do you have big trees that contractors will have to work around? These factors will influence your outdoor entertainment area design choices. Lastly, what are your non-negotiables? Do you absolutely have to have large couches, a fire pit, and a grill? These are the things that you absolutely have to tell your chosen landscaper.

Step 2: Picking Out Kitchen Area Essentials

Now we’ll discuss kitchen and entertainment area must-haves. Note that you can always add more or get rid of some of the items on this list.

The Grill: This is almost always the star of the show and is often requested by homeowners to be the focal point of the entire space. Make sure you choose a model you enjoy using (gas, charcoal, etc.). If you want something permanent, consider built-in grills. Just note that replacement may be costly and time-consuming. Freestanding grills offer flexibility but the moving parts are more susceptible to wear and tear over time.

The Storage and Preparation Area: Countertops are useful, but don’t forget to add cabinets and shelves for cookware, spices, and utensils. Make sure they are secured and protected in case of harsh sun or heavy rains.

The Sink: You wouldn’t want to travel all the way from the indoor kitchen to your outdoor space carrying all your freshly washed ingredients. Not only is this a waste of time, it’s also a safety risk. So make sure you have a sink installed outside should you decide on an outdoor kitchen.

The Fridge: A refrigerator can seamlessly turn your outdoor kitchen from ‘nice’ to ‘everything you need and want’. Now cooking outdoors won’t require multiple trips to and from your indoor kitchen.

The Dining Area: A dedicated dining table or a simple bar-style counter provides comfortable seating for family and guests while you enjoy wonderful dishes together. The best thing about all this? You keep any food mess outside your home!

Step 3: Picking Out Entertainment Area Essentials

You can choose to have a separate entertaining area from the kitchen or have them side by side so everyone gets to see every section at all times. You need to visualise how people are likely to navigate the area. A good flow prevents confusion and helps keep all areas organised ( you wouldn’t want guests eating sticky ribs in the lounge area where you have your throw pillows and sofa, right?). When it comes to essentials, it will have to be highly specific since it will depend on your lifestyle and what you consider entertainment. We do recommend having several lounging chairs and appliances that will keep your guests warm or cool depending on the weather.

Step 4: Choosing Materials and Finishes

It goes without saying that whatever style you choose needs to complement your home’s architecture as well as any existing structures in your outdoor space. Since the area will be exposed to the elements, you should consider weather-resistant materials like natural stone, stainless steel, treated wood and other composite materials designed for outdoor use.

When it comes to lighting, you can choose solar-powered ones with dimmers. This can help you create a cosy atmosphere without using too much power. For the finishing touches, there are various options, such as rugs and planters, or you can simply go with natural or artificial grass. You can find more outdoor entertainment area ideas on websites like Pinterest, Houzz or Architectural Digest.

Step 5: Construction Considerations

A common dilemma for homeowners is whether to DIY their outdoor kitchen or work with professionals. Ideally, if you have a smaller project, DIY is feasible. But more complex kitchens with additional utilities will require help from experts.

As previously mentioned, utilities such as water, gas and electricity should be sourced from experts to ensure compliance and safety. These processes normally require permits that will be easier to complete if you don’t DIY. 

Lastly, ensure the base of your entire outdoor space is durable and non-slip. When it comes to flooring, seek advice from paving contractors for the best options. Depending on your location and the local climate, you may need to acquire specific materials.

Modern kitchen located in the backyard

Get an Outdoor Makeover With Green Oasis

Remember, creating your ideal outdoor space is a journey.  Start with the essentials, and let your space evolve over time.  Most importantly, have fun making it a place you’ll love to gather with friends and family! Get in touch with Green Oasis Landscaping today for a personalised consultation.

Bring nature in your home.

We don’t cut corners to maximize our profit.
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