In Australia, our outdoor lifestyle is synonymous with BBQs, parties and dining outside on balmy nights. This is why outdoor kitchens are becoming a natural extension of the home and why we’re finding ways of creating a seamless integration of our living spaces with our outdoor areas.
Especially with house prices going up, smaller block sizes, little time for maintaining a garden and less opportunity to have two indoor living zones, we are seeing a massive trend in people extending their open plan living area into a functional alfresco area for all year enjoyment.
Speaking to our friends at e&s, and some tips from e&s co-Managing Director, Rob Sinclair, we share with you the five essential considerations for a super outdoor kitchen.
It’s important to think about kitchen design principles when designing an outdoor kitchen. With an indoor kitchen being defined by walls, doors and windows, the outdoor kitchen has rules of its own. However, still being a working kitchen, the same working triangle used in the kitchen should be applied to the outdoor kitchen, especially if you have more than one cook in the house.
Consider how you can create a space that is warm and inviting, but seamlessly integrate inside and out. The effortless flow between your indoor and outdoor living space, not only increases the living space, but increases the value of your property. Obviously styling will help with the feel of the space, and creating the ambience you’re after. Plants, furniture, cushions and blankets are all ways to style your outdoor kitchen and add to the next level of ‘wow’ factor.
With so many appliances available to create the full outdoor kitchen, there are lots of considerations when selecting products. Also, it is important to think about the kind of things you cook, and what appliance ‘add-ons’ to go for.
‘My advice is to have a clear idea of how you plan to use the space and its appliances and only buy what you need’, says Rob. ‘If you don’t cook with a wok inside then chances are, you won’t outside, so don’t opt for the wok burner,’ he adds. ‘If the main use for your barbecue – like mine – is to cook fabulous cuts of meat and sausages but less fish and vegetables, then you won’t need a plate, only a grill,’ Rob continues.
Some appliances Rob recommends are the Capital 40”
Built In Open BBQ with Solid Flat Plate, Husky Triple Door Back Bar Fridge and a BeefEater Artisan Outdoor Fridge & Sink Unit, all available from e&s.
One of the great benefits of an outdoor kitchen is that it extends your living and entertaining space. Make the most of this additional space by planning for shade, shelter and warmth. To enjoy your outdoor kitchen during cooler months, you may opt for propane-fuelled units like patio heaters, gas logs, space heaters, or go with something more aesthetically pleasing such as custom fireplace. For those times when you need some relief from the harsh Australian heat, there are portable air coolers, misting systems and if you have a roof over your kitchen, ceiling fans that are designed to keep the atmosphere cool and comfortable.
Protect your appliances
Before you build your outdoor kitchen, consider the types of cooking surfaces you will want to use, and how they will handle the external elements, then design your kitchen with those elements in mind. ‘If you spend the money on a barbecue, make sure it’s stainless steel and that it comes with a cover, particularly if it’s being kept outside and not under a roof of any sort,’ Rob said. This is especially important if you live near the coast. Invest in a fully stainless steel barbecue and good shelter, otherwise it will become rusty very quickly.
Visit your closest e&s showroom for more tips and ideas on how to create the ultimate outdoor kitchen in your home.
For more outdoor area inspo check out these five hot alfresco design tips, outdoor living trends for 2017 and smart tips for buying patio furniture that’ll last.