Outdoor kitchens drive us away from the confined space of the four walls and closer to nature. The whole purpose of building outdoor kitchens is to do what we do inside but outside. And so, the first priority is function.
A functional outdoor kitchen is designed as per the lifestyle and needs of the household in question and includes everything a family needs – counter space, storage room, cooking sources, dining area – the whole nine yards.
Now, while all the above is a top priority for you – for the outdoor kitchen builder too, you need to take some additional steps to create an atmosphere. And since some things must be considered when you first start talking with your outdoor kitchen contractor, it’s best to take a look now to be certain what you get is what you dream.
Outdoor kitchen layout – proportion and scale
One of the first things outdoor kitchen contractors check is the size, shape, and possible inclination of the backyard. What does that have to do with creating a perfect backyard living space and a great atmosphere? It’s all about scale and proportion.
To feel good in a place – even if this is your backyard, everything around you must be harmonized to your size and all elements must be harmonized between them. And so, you must focus on geometry. Sounds odd? It’s not. The size of the structure must be proportional to the size of the backyard. An oversized outdoor kitchen island and table in a tiny backyard won’t only be inconvenient but will create a claustrophobic feeling. You must feel comfortable when you step out into your backyard. You must feel that you belong there in terms of size and in regard to the outdoor kitchen’s layout.
Outdoor kitchen materials – the right combination
Brick, wood, stucco, stone, and stainless steel are some of the materials used for outdoor kitchens, cabinets, and countertops. And while your first priority will be to choose materials, which can hold well under the weather conditions in your location and thus, stand the test of time, you will also need to see that they blend well together. Also, you need to choose based on your taste to give personality to your backyard and create this little something that will make you feel like you cannot get enough of your own outdoor environment.
For example, if you like stainless steel but want to downscale the austerity and coldness of the material, combine it with wood. If you want to take a more minimalistic approach, stick to one material – preferably concrete with strict lines.
Color schemes and color combinations
Natural colors are always an excellent choice, for two main reasons. First, they can be matched with any other color. Second, they create a serene environment. And so, you can easily relax but if you like to add accents, you can do it without worrying about the backdrop.
The color of the outdoor kitchen countertop, the cabinets, the furniture – everything, usually follows the home style. But overall, whites and greys are your best allies if you want to create a base on which you can build colorful corners (or not).
Outdoor lighting for the needed ambiance
Outdoor lighting fixtures are needed in various spots in the backyard for safety alone. Then, you need to consider lights over the oven or any other cooking source and over the counter or island. Now, apart from task lights on all strategic spots (counter, table, kitchen area, etc.), it’s best if you have lights that can create a warm atmosphere. So, it’s best if your lighting fixtures are dimmable. Since they are portable and beautiful, lanterns can be added to the scenery too.
Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits create a warm environment
Even the best environment won’t make you feel good if you are cold. And so, consider building an outdoor fireplace close to the dining area. Alternatively, you can get an outdoor fire pit. The advantage of such heat sources is not only that they warm up the space but also make a very romantic atmosphere.
The surroundings – deck, pergola, landscape
To create a perfect ambiance around the outdoor kitchen, the surroundings must be equally neat and beautiful. If the landscape resembles a jungle and there’s not a patio or wooden deck, your project is ruined before it even starts. These things are basics. Start from there. And while you are there, see if you need a pergola or another cover if the outdoor kitchen is exposed to the elements. The rain is romantic only when you are not getting wet. Plus, a beautifully decorated deck and a wooden pergola with fabrics add to the airy feeling that you try to bring outdoors. Don’t they?