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Thinking of an outdoor kitchen?

Summer is finally here. Time to relax, unwind and spend a little more time outdoors. While many households enjoy the odd barbecue on a weekend or summer’s evening, this is the time of year when an outdoor kitchen becomes highly desirable.

Becoming more and more popular, outdoor living spaces, and kitchens, are a great way to enjoy the garden during spring, summer, and even early autumn – whether hosting get-togethers with friends or simply hanging out and cooking with family.

Whether you have a smallish garden or a sizeable one, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of your outdoor space. Firstly though, set a budget! It’s easy to get carried away. Prices can vary from a few hundred pounds for a basic kitchen set up to thousands for a custom-built outdoor kitchen and then of course it is highly likely that there will be plumbing, electrical and landscaping costs to add on top.

In terms of location, think carefully about the areas of your garden that get the most sun and at what time of day as well as being aware of protection from the rain and wind. Depending on the layout of your garden it may be possible to build decking or patio in a corner of area to denote the outdoor kitchen space.

Next, consider the style of your home and what type of outdoor kitchen design will work well with it – anything is possible – from modern contemporary to traditional farmhouse, warm Mediterranean to minimal Scandinavian. When it comes to materials, think about how resistant they are to British weather and where the outdoor kitchen area is located. Under a tree where birds rest and sap appear? Exposed all day long to sunlight? Near the coast and exposed to sea air? Choose the most appropriate materials for your location as the wrong choice of material could affect the lifespan of your kitchen.

Layout is key. No different to an internal kitchen, your outdoor kitchen will need a cooking area for your choice of cooking appliance ie BBQ, pizza oven, fire pit and/or grill, ideally a food prep and washing up area to accommodate a sink and worktop space, a fridge area or cooler for storing and chilling drinks and finally a seating area which should be the furthest area away from the cooking area. Depending on what areas you decide to incorporate will influence whether you require additional plumbing or electrics.

Make the outdoor seating area as comfortable as possible as, ideally, this is where you and your guests will be spending a lot of time – patio table and chairs, garden sofa set, swinging chair or even a hammock. Consider gazebos and parasols to offer protection from the sun as well as the rain!

You will need lighting and should consider a combination of options to provide varying ambiance – for example, wall lights, free-standing lights, fairy, festoon lights and candles. Consider solar lighting if you can’t get electricity to your outdoor kitchen area. Heating is also a sensible addition as even on the warmest evenings the temperature can suddenly drop so think about patio heaters, fire pits or chimeneas.

Finally, time to accessorise! Lanterns, plants, water features, outdoor mirrors, colourful cushions, and garden ornaments can all help create the perfect outdoor dining experience. Add stylish crockery, textiles, and a vase of freshly cut flowers and friends and family will find it hard to leave!

18th Jul 2022