How do you cook inside? Outside? Do you do your own cooking at parties or do you hire a chef? How many people and how often do you entertain?
Those are some of the basic questions I ask my clients when meeting at first and before designing. It is important to understand how people live and what their needs are for both indoor and outdoor living areas. Outdoor kitchen are a hot segment in many parts of the country but need to be designed correctly to create the best experience for yourself, family and guests.
1- Apply good design principles for function:
Good kitchen design principles include an understanding of where to place cold areas (refrigeration), hot areas (grills & cook tops), wet areas (sinks), and dry areas (preparation counters and storage). They must all work together efficiently in proper proximity, each with enough allocated space. A good designer can help you with this.
2- Indoor and outdoor kitchens similar approach:
A few differences with the indoor kitchen include exposure to the elements and more difficulty in running utilities such as water. Since there are no outdoor walls, the kitchen equipment usually defines the room boundaries and it is important to consider the relationship between the indoor and outdoor versions.
3- Select low-maintenance materials:
You want to select equipment designed to withstand the rigors of an outdoor kitchen. The easier the kitchen is to clean and maintain, the more you will use and enjoy it. High quality stainless steel provides a sanitary surface that’s easily cleaned and corrosion-resistant. Counter and patio or deck materials should be highly resistant to grease stains and able to withstand high temperatures.
4- Plan for utilities:
When planning layouts, keep in mind the best practical placement or installation of the necessary gas, water and electrical supply.
5- Plan the entire outdoor entertaining space as part of a single functional plan:
Dining, cooking areas and pool areas often coexist. Think of these as outdoor rooms and consider the flow of traffic as part of the design. Don’t isolate the cook from the party.
6- Incorporate music and other entertainment:
You want to make sure you do not face the design challenge of adding music and entertainment later. Remember, TVs need to deliver good picture in bright sunlight.
Finally, provide adequate task lighting as well as an ambient lighting to accommodate after-dark cooking and entertaining. After all, it is all about having fun!