Outdoor Kitchen Ideas to Spruce Up Your Outdoor SpacePublished: 31/10/2022 | Updated: 29/03/2023
Creating the ultimate outdoor kitchen is a dream for many homeowners, and you can make it happen! The key is to start with a clear vision of what you want for your space and then create it piece by piece.
This guide will walk you through all the steps involved in planning your outdoor cooking area and give you some tips on how to make it as attractive as possible.
Plan Your Ideal Outdoor Kitchen
To create the perfect outdoor cooking space, you need to ask yourself two questions:
1. How much yard space do I have?
2. How big do I want my outdoor kitchen to be?
How much space you have is going to determine the shape and size of your outdoor kitchen. It’ll also give you an idea of which kitchen equipment and accessories to add and which ones to avoid.
If you’re one of the homeowners blessed with a larger outdoor space, then congratulations! You don’t really have to think hard about what to include because your options now are much more varied.
In addition to having more options such as adding stoves or grills, having a large outdoor space also means that creating an outdoor cooking area won't require any major changes to your existing space. Instead, you can simply pick out some outdoor countertops and cabinets that match your yard design and strategically place them.
Small outdoor kitchen ideas and tips
The real challenge comes when you don’t have enough outdoor space, or a small yard because now you’d have to plan your kitchen accordingly and get creative.
Here are some tips to get you started:
If you have a small space right in front of your house, you can expand with a covered structure. When you do so, be aware of window placements, or you might end up doing more work than needed.
If your aim behind creating an outdoor kitchen is to be able to grill all seasons. Then, you can simply waterproof your deck or create a small, sheltered area anywhere near your house’s door.
When planning your outdoor kitchen, always remember that thinking outside the box would get you unexpected and pleasing results.
If you want to merge your outdoor kitchen design with a unique and beautiful living space, while also sticking to a strict budget, then you might want to give our landscaping services a go.
Here at Shrubhub, it’s our mission to help you create the best outdoor space possible at an affordable price.
Outdoor kitchen design ideas:
Choose Your Cooking Area
Most of the time, choosing the best location for your outdoor kitchen space will depend on the space you have at hand and how it flows with the rest of the features you have. If your indoor kitchen faces the yard, your landscape designer might recommend locating it in the same direction so it would feel like an outdoor extension.
Once you've chosen your ideal location, it's time to consider what type of cooking area you want.
From outdoor bars and a fireplace to a grill and outdoor ovens, the sky's the limit. However, considering the limited space that many people have, most people are going to seek out a fire pit and a grill.
There are a few things to do to save up as much space as you want, while still getting a fireplace, a grill, and all the kitchen equipment you want.
Firstly, avoid large-sized grills and instead install a built-in charcoal grill or any small-sized grill. We have done a whole about that. You can check it out over here!
Another pro tip is if you’re thinking of adding a fireplace to your outdoor kitchen, you carefully place it either near the grill or far away from all the other kitchen equipment and walls.
Make sure that there are no power lines near your fireplace. You don't want sparks flying into any kind of wires or cables!
One more thing that will save you time and space is implementing a small ice cooler for drinks.
Prepare the workspace & Seating Area
Now that you know the basics of outdoor kitchen design and have an idea of where you want your kitchen to be, it’s time to start creating! Before you begin, there are a few things to consider.
First and foremost, make sure the area around your outdoor kitchen is level. If it isn't already level, adjust it accordingly so that your sink and grill will drain properly. You don't want water leaking all over your deck or patio!
For a functional outdoor kitchen to work its magic on family barbecues and get-togethers alike, make sure there is plenty of room for everything involved in its operation. This includes not only how much space is needed for cooking but also where people will sit.
Any space, no matter small or large, can work as an outdoor living space if planned properly. By expanding part of your deck or patio, you can add a small bar or a small kitchen table.
Select Your Seating Area
Selecting the right seating area is crucial to creating a well-rounded outdoor kitchen. Whether you’re building it yourself or hiring a contractor, there are several factors you should consider when selecting your seating options:
Comfort: This may seem like a no-brainer, but you don’t want to have uncomfortable chairs or stools next to the grill.
Safety: Your outdoor kitchen should be built with safety in mind at all times; if there are sharp knives inside or hot barbecue grills nearby, make sure that they’re placed safely and away from the seating area.
Set Up the Countertops and Cabinets
You’re going to want to set your countertops and cabinets up so that they are easy to clean. This is important because you will be eating outside, and food will get everywhere. The last thing anyone wants is the hassle of cleaning up a mess when they should be relaxing in their backyard oasis.
Luckily, there are plenty of materials that meet these requirements. Here are some suggestions:
You can get granite countertops. They are durable and scratch-resistant and will last you for a lifetime.
Another great material to consider is stainless steel. Stainless steel appliances and cabinets can withstand the natural elements and will look great on any outdoor kitchen design. A stainless-steel grill is very durable and is granted to stay in great shape for a very long time.
Another useful countertop material is cork. Cork is lightweight, waterproof and heatproof, and easy to maintain.
If you’re unsure about which material works best with your yard design, then you can always consult the experts at Shrubhub!
Select The Right Bar to Complement Your Kitchen
The outdoor bar is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen. It's where you gather with friends and family to enjoy your delicious grilled meals.
There are many factors to consider when building an outdoor kitchen, but the most important is selecting the right bar.
To create the perfect bar, make sure it fits in with your yard and outdoor kitchen design. Choosing a bar that fits the style of your home is essential if you want to get the most out of your new outdoor kitchen.
For example, if you have a modern home with clean lines, then a sleek black bar will look perfect. However, if your home has more traditional or rustic features, then you might want to consider something more classic like wood or metal instead.
Depending on how much space is available in your yard or patio, different types of bars work best for certain areas.
If you want something large enough for entertaining large groups of people, then consider buying an island-style bar with plenty of bar seating around it.
However, if you just need something small enough for two people at most times but still want it to be comfortable, then semi-open outdoor kitchen bars are a much preferable option.
Install Good Lighting
The outdoor kitchen is the ultimate man cave, but unless you’re willing to spend most of your time in the dark, you’ll need some lighting.
There are many options for lighting your outdoor kitchen and patio space. You can choose from lamps or ceiling lights, and there are even solar-powered options that don’t require any wiring or electricity.
Your cooking space should be well-lit at night, so you can enjoy grilling with friends and family into the evening hours without straining your eyes.
There are many styles of lights to choose from, including:
Pendant lights and hanging fixtures that hang above dining tables and bar-height counters.
If you’re looking for something more dramatic or artistic, try chandeliers that hang from trees or overhangs above bar tops.
You can even install string lights along walkways or around trees for a romantic effect at night
With these options in mind, ensure that the lighting is directed toward all areas of your new backyard oasis: cooking surface, seating area, bar area, and overall space.
You could install track lights above your countertop or under cabinet lights along the perimeter of your countertop. That will allow each area to receive equal attention from its own dedicated source of illumination.
Create an extension of your indoor space.
There are many ways to create a social space in your outdoor kitchen. Think about what you like to do when you entertain and make sure that your outdoor kitchen has all the features that make spending time with friends and family enjoyable.
Here are some ideas:
Add a fireplace or fire pit that can be used for both cooking and entertaining, especially during the colder months of winter.
Include an area where friends can gather to watch TV on game day or relax after dinner while watching a movie together.
Offer plenty of seating options so everyone feels comfortable—from bar stools at the countertop bar to comfy chairs in front of the fireplace, maybe even some benches leading up to an outdoor grill so guests don't have far to walk if they want another beer or glass of wine! A couch could even fit nicely into this space if it's large enough (or consider adding one later on).
Consider adding greenery such as flowers or potted plants around seating areas for added color and warmth; these also serve as great conversation starters! If there's room, include small tables where people can set their drinks down without having them too close at hand when sitting down for dinner—you'll avoid any spills!
Incorporate the kitchen into your landscape design.
It's important to consider how you want the kitchen to be a part of your outdoor space. "You want it to be visible from both inside and outside," says Robert A.M. Stern, architect and dean of the Yale School of Architecture. "The more ways you can see into it, the better."
A good place to start is by thinking about what is visible from each room in your house—whether it’s the kitchen or not—and then working backward to determine where that space should be positioned on your property. For example, if you have a pool area, then you should place your outdoor kitchen where it has a direct view of the water so that guests will know where they can grab snacks or cocktails when they go down there for a dip.
If you have an expansive lawn with lots of seating options (like chairs), then consider putting your cooking station near one side or another so people don’t end up standing around awkwardly while waiting for their food (or drinks).
Pick out stylish furniture.
When it comes to outdoor furniture, there are a few things you'll want to consider. Your furniture should be durable and easy to clean. You may also want to consider how comfortable it is, especially if you will be using the space for long periods. Finally, make sure that the style of your outdoor kitchen fits in with the rest of your house so everything looks cohesive and coordinated.
Purchasing new patio chairs can be an affordable way to update your deck or patio without breaking the bank by replacing old ones entirely (especially if they're still structurally sound). There are many different styles of seating available from which you can choose based on how much money you want to spend as well as aesthetic appeal - including wood-frame chairs with canvas seats; heavy duty plastic folding chairs that fold up flat when not in use; sling back rockers made from metal frames with cushioned seats made out of synthetic materials like plastic or foam rubber; wicker rocking chairs which offer comfort while maintaining their classic look year after year even after repeated exposure to sun damage over time; etc.
Light up the night with outdoor lighting.
Outdoor lighting is a great way to make your outdoor kitchen feel cozy and inviting. It can be used to highlight certain areas, add a special touch to your space, create ambiance and even help you feel safe and secure if you're working or entertaining at night.
Enclose the outdoor kitchen for entertaining year-round.
You can create an outdoor kitchen that is both functional and beautiful by incorporating a variety of patio enclosure ideas. The most basic patio enclosure consists of a table and stools, but you can take it a step further by adding some extra features such as a fireplace or TV. If you're looking for something even more extravagant, consider adding windows or doors to your patio enclosure so that you can enjoy the view from the inside year-round.
You may also want to consider incorporating sinks, fridges, and bars into your outdoor kitchen design if it's going to be used frequently. For example, some people prefer having their sink outdoors because this makes cleaning dishes after cooking much easier than having them brought indoors (and it helps prevent cluttering). Another common feature of outdoor kitchens is a refrigerator so that drinks stay cold without being stored in ice chests or coolers outside of the house (which can get messy over time). Finally, many homeowners love having bar areas near their kitchens because they allow friends who are coming over again to grab drinks while they prepare dinner together!
Add an island with a prep area.
Add an island with a prep station.
Is that impossible? I think not! This is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to add an island to their outdoor kitchen but doesn’t have room for one. It’s also great for folks who don’t want to spend a ton of money or time on building out a full kitchen island. The best part: it can be customized to fit your space and needs perfectly!
Islands are so versatile because they provide storage, work surfaces, and seating areas all in one compact package (which makes them super-efficient). Your home chef will love being able to chop veggies while talking with guests or keeping watch over kids playing outside—and you won't have to worry about making any sacrifices when it comes time to entertain friends & family during warmer seasons!
Install a built-in grill.
If you're building a new deck, consider installing a built-in grill. This is especially useful if you already have a gas line running to the house.
A cooker that's built into the deck makes for easy cleanup, as well as easy access to tools and supplies like charcoal or wood for burning. If you prefer grilling over an open flame (or don't mind venting your kitchen to the outdoors), opt for either a gas or charcoal grill with electric ignition. There are many different kinds of grills on the market today; find one that suits your needs best!
Another great way to make sure your outdoor kitchen stays clean is by providing a place where people can wash their hands after eating or preparing food—ideally inside the house so it's out of sight but still accessible in case anyone needs it during dinner prep time. You could also install an outdoor sink near where people will be entertaining guests since this area might get crowded during parties!
Incorporate storage and mini fridge space.
Incorporating storage and mini fridge space is an important step in the process. It's a great way to ensure that you'll have enough room for all of your food preparation needs, as well as keep everything organized.
Mini fridges come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They can even be built into your outdoor kitchen's design if you choose to go down that route! In terms of size, it should be small enough to fit on top of one of your cabinets without taking up too much space but large enough to hold several days' worth of produce for easy access.
Your mini fridge will also need its power supply so make sure it has an electrical outlet nearby, so you don't need extension cords running throughout your whole yard just because someone forgot their lunch in there again (which happens all the time). If you want extra control over how cold or warm things get inside the fridge itself, then consider getting one with adjustable temperature controls or even an ice dispenser where it dispenses crushed ice cubes instead of cubes themselves!
Add a gas grill.
While you’re in the process of building your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to consider what kind of grill you want to have. The most popular option is a gas grill because it offers many advantages over charcoal grills.
Gas grills are easier to clean and maintain than charcoal grills. You just need to wipe off the grates with a damp cloth, rather than having to scrub at caked-on charcoals or ash. They’re also more efficient: since heat is generated from natural gas rather than from burning wood/charcoal, your food will cook faster and use less energy!
There are two main types of gas grills: infrared and non-infrared (also called traditional). Each type has its pros and cons but they both have one thing in common: they can be used year-round! While charcoal grills require an extra step before using them (e.g., lighting the coals) during cold weather months, infrared grills don't need this step which makes them simpler overall; additionally, they're safer because there isn't any open flame involved during operation either so there's less risk involved when using this type as opposed to other styles like propane or electric models which could cause accidents while preparing meals outside during colder seasons when temperatures drop below freezing levels outdoors where we live here.
Install a wood-fired pizza oven.
As the name implies, wood-fired pizza ovens are used to cook pizzas. But they can also be used to bake bread, roast meat, and vegetables, or even bake cakes and pastries. The result is a delicious meal that is made with minimal effort.
The best part of cooking with a wood-fired oven is how efficient it is. Wood-burning features require no gas or electricity; you simply add some firewood and get ready for the fun part—the cooking! When using a gas stovetop or electric oven, most of your heat goes up into the sky instead of into your food. This means that you must use more fuel (gas or electricity) for your food to cook properly. *
Wood fires are different: as most people know, when you put logs on top of each other inside an enclosed space like an oven or fireplace chimney, they will eventually catch fire because there isn't enough oxygen available for combustion. *
In this way, burning wood produces lots of heat but releases little smoke—so much so that many people choose these types of models due to their indoor air quality benefits over other types like charcoal grills which produce significant amounts of both carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). That's why we recommend choosing one over any other kind when it comes down to making choices about what type would work best at home!
Make sure the overhead lighting is perfect.
You'll want to make sure that there's plenty of overhead lighting in your outdoor kitchen and dining area, so you can better see what you're doing while cooking and cleaning up messes. There are lots of ways to do this: recessed lights (which can be installed on the ceiling), pendants (which hang from the ceiling), hanging lanterns, or other types of lighting fixtures. You may even want to consider installing some dimmers so that you can adjust how bright or dim the lights are depending on when it is outside to create different moods.
Use multiple seating areas in the design
Add a dining table.
Add a bar.
Add a fire pit.
You can also add the following items:
A bench, which will be useful to sit on while you enjoy your outdoor kitchen.
A lounge area, where you and your friends can relax after dinner or when you're just hanging out with each other. This area could include a hammock chair and flip-flop storage for easy access in your favorite summer months!
Bistro table, so you have somewhere to set down drinks and plates of food outside of the kitchen itself (though of course, this is not mandatory).
Patio swing—you deserve it!
Wood-fired pizza oven
Wood-fired pizza ovens are an essential part of any outdoor kitchen, and they can be built in just a few days. If you want to make your wood-fired pizza oven, here's how:
First, you'll need the right materials. You will need bricks or stone to line the base of your oven and firebricks for the inside of it; these can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online through retailers such as Amazon. Also buy large quantities of kindling wood (such as oak or maple) and logs (like hickory).
Build an oven frame out of heavy-duty lumber about 12 feet long and 3 feet wide, then fill it with rocks along its perimeter until just below ground level. Place several layers of brick over this area so that there are at least 2 inches between each layer—more if possible—and spray them down with water so they won't crack later during construction.
Add another layer above this one up toward the top edge; when you're done building up four layers total (including both sides), cover all exposed edges with insulation such as foam board insulation sheets cut into pieces large enough to fit snugly around each edge without falling off when placed side by side vertically against one another horizontally across them as shingles do on roofs!
Add some shade to your space.
The shade you add to your outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a few trees or an umbrella, but it's also possible to get more elaborate with a canopy or awnings that stand above the space.
Wood-fired pizza oven
The design of your outdoor kitchen can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. If you have an existing patio or deck, consider adding a wood-fired pizza oven to create an exciting focal point and focal point for entertaining at your home.
For those who don't want to dig into the concrete, consider using pavers with some decorative accents like those from Terrazzo Paving Stones for the flooring of your new outdoor kitchen. The pavers are made from recycled glass tiles that have been cast into powder form and then pressed back together into their original shape, giving them durability and strength while maintaining their color and texture. You can choose between three different color palettes: Earthly Tones (brown tones), Coastal Tones (blue tones), and Riviera Tones (green tones). And because they're made from recycled materials, they're also environmentally friendly!
While sinks are not a necessity in an outdoor kitchen, they can be a great addition to any outdoor area. Here are some things to consider when purchasing or installing an outdoor sink:
Outdoor sinks are easy to install and come in a variety of styles and materials. They can be used for washing dishes, hands, utensils, or fruits and vegetables as well as other items that need cleaning.
Outdoor sinks have many benefits over conventional indoor ones: they're more durable because they're not exposed to extreme temperatures; they're easy to clean because there's no plumbing involved; you'll waste less water from the tap since you won't need it running constantly when you're washing your hands or utensils (though there is still some water consumption); if you don't like having a drain at all times then this might be your best bet!
Patio flooring can be a good way to add personality to your outdoor kitchen. The best patio flooring is durable and easy to clean, but it also has other important qualities. The right kind of patio flooring should be:
Durable – Your patio should be able to withstand the elements while staying level and consistent throughout its lifetime.
Easy to clean – You're going to have spills on your stone countertops, so they must be easy (and safe) for you or anyone else who might use them.
Versatile - You want something that looks good with all types of furniture, whether it's wood or metal chairs and tables or wicker furniture sets.
Patio Kitchen Storage
Add storage space. A kitchen island is a great place to add extra storage, especially if you're using your outdoor area as a second living space. A cabinet with sliding doors will also help keep clutter out of sight while providing easy access to ingredients, utensils, and cookbooks.
Use a mini fridge. If smaller is better when it comes to your new outdoor kitchen design, consider adding a small refrigerator or wine cooler instead of one that's large enough for family-size gatherings. This can help keep things looking sleek and uncluttered while still offering plenty of space for beverages and food items like cheese or condiments that require refrigeration in warmer weather (but not during baking).
Add a sink and faucet combo unit with drainboard—ideally one that's stainless steel so it won't rust—alongside the range so water from cleaning up spills doesn't get into the grates on top; this helps prevent grease build-up over time between regular cleanings too! A dishwasher would be another nice addition here since cooking tends to produce more than just grease splatters from sauteing vegetables--there'll be oil splatters from frying meatballs too! Plus having both will mean less time spent scrubbing pots by hand when there are better uses of their time elsewhere: like enjoying life outside instead :) That said...if you don't plan on doing much cooking yourself then maybe skip these options altogether!
The outdoor refrigerator is a great way to keep food cold.
You can use the outdoor refrigerator for parties and barbecues.
If you want your drinks to stay cool in the backyard, an outdoor refrigerator is a great option!
If you want to create the ultimate outdoor kitchen, you need to have a plan. It can be fun to dream about how it will look and what kind of appliances you'll use, but some things are important to consider before you get started.
How many people will be using your outdoor kitchen? Will it be just for family and friends, or do you want something big enough for entertaining large groups?
Do you have space for an outdoor kitchen in your yard? If not, perhaps an island would work better for your needs. Or maybe there's room under cover on your patio or porch area!
Once you know what size works best, think about what style would fit into your home's existing design aesthetic (or contrast nicely with other elements).
Now that you know how to create the ultimate outdoor kitchen, it's time to get into action and create the outdoor space of your dreams!
Check out Shrubhub’s affordable landscaping design services and let the experts create the perfect yard for you and your family!