The demand for inside-outside living spaces has risen exponentially in the last few years, driving homeowners to explore new ways of connecting their inside and outside spaces with ease, design flair, and convenience.
From sofas to rugs, bench seats and practical tables and surfaces, it seems as if the majority of furnishings designed for domestic use are now suitable for both inside and outside use, as buyers look for versatile finishes and durable, weather-proof materials.
But with so much of your downtime, relaxation, and hosting bridging the interior and exterior of your home amid this new trend, there are things you need to think about. One of these is food prep and the presence of a useful and hygienic surface on which to prep and serve different dishes and nibbles. Which is where outdoor kitchens come into play.
Compact outdoor kitchens combine a small footprint with excellent attention to detail – boasting a sink, fridge, hob, and additional work surfaces and storage cabinets in a coloured unit of your choice. Here’s how to perfect the design of your outdoor kitchen to maximise usage, enjoyment, and presentation.
1. Consider placement in terms of weatherproofing
Before you can crank the temperature of the hob up or run the tap in your outdoor kitchen for the first time, you need to decide on the perfect location for your unit. Typically, we recommend that customers opt for a location which has a roof structure but plenty of open space surrounding it to maximise airflow while still protecting the unit from adverse weather and rain. With outdoor kitchens often considered an add-on to BBQs and pizza ovens, it follows that you want coverage and protection as well as plenty of airflow.
2. Do you want your outdoor kitchen to be a focal point or background space?
Sticking with placement and the location of your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to consider how you use your outdoor space and whether you want the kitchen to be a focal point in your seating and entertaining area, or somewhere on the outskirts of the action.
This is where layout comes into play, as you look at how the kitchen unit balances with your other outdoor furniture. If supplementing an outdoor BBQ and cooking station, your unit will likely be a background addition while if you select a unit to act as your own outside bar and drink prep area, you’ll want it to become more of a central feature.
3. Will colour enhance or hinder your overall design?
One of the benefits of a modern outdoor kitchen is the versatility in terms of design – with customers able to choose which assets are built into their unit and control the aesthetic finish with their choice of coloured cupboard doors. Of course, the look you go for will depend on how you want your outdoor kitchen to look – with options spanning a bright green, red, soft neutral pink, grey, or a richer brown tone.
When deciding on the best colour for your kitchen unit, look at the surroundings. Is your kitchen going to be in a wild garden or set on a neutral and modern patio? Is your outdoor furniture colourful and eclectic, or muted in its design? And do you want your furnishings to stand out or blend into the surroundings?
Answering all of these questions will help guide you towards the compact outdoor kitchen that best suits your functional needs and design preferences. For more advice, get in touch with the Elfin Kitchens team, who will be able to talk you through the different options and get the ball rolling on your perfect outdoor kitchen.