Creating an outdoor oasis seems to be at the top of everyone’s wish list these days. Along with comfortable seating and attractive landscaping, adding an outdoor kitchen heats up your backyard space. Today’s Transitions wanted to check in with a local expert to find out what you should include in your outdoor kitchen plan.
Jeremy Curran, owner of Cornerstone Kitchen & Bath, has seen the demand for outdoor kitchens increase. “With the pandemic, we’ve definitely seen an uptick in people looking to transform their outdoor space to provide better cooking options so they can enjoy family dinners and entertaining,” says Jeremy.
To get the most out of your outdoor kitchen design, Jeremy says there are several things to consider. He recommends creating a Pinterest or Houzz page to provide inspiration and serve as a starting place. Add pictures or ideas that you like and then when it’s time to begin designing your outdoor kitchen, these inspiration pages can guide you.
In addition to your inspiration page, you should consider what type of kitchen you want based on your needs and expectations for the space. The appliances and features you desire will dictate which type will work best for you. From a small serving cart to a full kitchen with all the amenities, an outdoor kitchen can turn your outdoor space into a useful extension of your home.
Top trends in outdoor kitchens:
• Weatherproof features to protect against the elements.
• High-grade resin cabinetry designed to look like wood, in painted and stained styles, offering a similar look to indoor cabinetry.
• High function outdoor kitchens that allow for full meal prep.
• Islands that offer functional cooking, storage, and gathering space.
• Built-in or free-standing pizza oven to complement other cooking appliances.
Types of outdoor kitchens:
• A kitchen extension flows into your outdoor space, providing additional cooking elements, like a pizza oven or grill, to supplement the main interior kitchen. For convenience, they are often situated right outside the indoor kitchen for easy access.
• An independent kitchen includes prep space, sink, storage, and refrigeration, as well as cooking elements, so it can be used independently of the indoor kitchen.
• A grilling station provides cooking options, with prep space and storage for grilling tools, ingredients, and other must-have grill gadgets.
• A simple bar cart can serve as a functional mini-kitchen, offering storage for all of the drink-making essentials, or it can double as a snack serving area, with additional storage space for outdoor kitchen gadgets.
Regardless of which way you go, an outdoor kitchen can upgrade any backyard, creating an outdoor retreat for dining, entertaining, and relaxing. Knowing what you hope to get out of the space is an ideal place to begin for anyone considering an outdoor kitchen. For Jeremy, he let his passions guide him. “I love to cook outdoors so a grill and smoker were must-haves for me, along with a refrigerator.”
Depending on size of space and appliances, an outdoor kitchen can range from $15,000-18,000 on average.
By Lindsay McDonald | Photos submitted