7 Quick Summer Kitchen Design and Organization Tips

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If you have the space and budget, an outdoor kitchen might be just what you need to enjoy the warmer weather. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you're considering an outdoor kitchen:

#1 Are you in the right climate?

Depending on where you live, it might be hard to take advantage of an outdoor kitchen. This is especially true if you live in areas with fluctuating temperatures and conditions like snow, ice and hail. If you live in a climate that is moderate throughout the year, an outdoor kitchen is a good investment. Just make sure that whatever kind of outdoor kitchen you build can withstand the elements.

Photo courtesy of Habify in Miami, FL

#2 Location matters.

There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing a location for your outdoor kitchen:
  • Make sure that smoke from the grill can't get into your home.
  • Place your kitchen near the entrance of your house for less back and forth.
  • Place the outdoor kitchen at an angle to maintain a view of the yard.
  • Keep your kitchen away from high-traffic areas.

If you aren't sure about placement, you can always ask an outdoor kitchen builder for suggestions.

#3 Appliances determine the kitchen size.

Kitchen designers will ask what kind and how many appliances you want. You can keep it simple with a grill and a refrigerator, or you can get complex with a full kitchen setup. Factor your backyard space into your decision. If you're short on space, you might have to compromise on the appliances. For larger backyards, feel free to install a full-sized outdoor kitchen.

Photo courtesy of the The Garden Path in Orange, CA

#4 Get quality materials.

The average cost to build an outdoor kitchen is $7,600. A large portion of that cost is for materials. Always choose high quality materials. This is especially true if you plan to use your outdoor kitchen frequently. Think about which materials will withstand your climate. Weather- and use-resistant materials will help you keep your kitchen in great shape for years to come.

Photo courtesy of Valley City Supply in Valley City, OH

#5 Choose furniture wisely.

It's important that your furniture can withstand the elements. You also might want to invest in furniture that doubles as storage. That way you can stow things like pillows and smaller accessories during inclement weather. Placement is also key. Keep your furniture away from grills and high-traffic areas to avoid accidents and cramped cooking spaces.

Photo courtesy of Construction Works in Fort Worth, TX

#6 Remember to have lots of storage.

Include room for cooking utensils and dishes in your outdoor kitchen design. Unlike your indoor kitchen, outdoor storage options must withstand the weather. Metal and plastics won't warp, crack or stain as easily as other materials. It's important to also choose weather-resistant countertops. Stone, concrete and tile are easy to maintain and hold up well in most climates.

#7 Think about indoor comfort and safety.

The weather is your main challenge when it comes to outdoor kitchens. Consider adding a pergola or arbor to protect your kitchen. Adding outdoor lighting for evening dinners can also decrease your likelihood of accidents. Make sure your kitchen meets electrical and plumbing standards to avoid a major mishap.