You might have already smelled the neighbors grilling during the past few weeks, as the weather becomes nicer and everyone wants to spend more time outdoors. This is a perfect time to start thinking about what your outdoor living space will look like, from seating and flowers to how you will prepare and eat food outside.
You might already have some ideas, or you might be clueless on how to proceed. Here are a few design styles to consider as you make your choices and gather materials for an outdoor kitchen.
Mortared brick and stone are classic for the base of your kitchen area. You will want to tie it in with the house, so use one material or design that complements or is similar to the foundation or chimney. Create a built-in base for your grill and stovetop, and insert some cabinetry below to store your grilling must-have items.
Brick and stone will require careful preparation, as they might need to be cut to fit properly. If you have basic masonry skills, this will be a good project. Otherwise, hire a professional.
Consider adding umbrellas or an awning over the seating area, to keep shade over you and your guests as you eat and enjoy the outdoors.
If your style is more modern, you will be looking for sleek lines and polished finishes, such as granite countertops and stainless steel cabinetry.
Stainless steel is weatherproof and durable, and granite will also stand up to the elements, including the hot summer sun.
Also, get creative with the shape of your living space, such as a U island with built-in countertop seating. Splurge on a sink and a small refrigerator; you might need to run extra lines from the house to accomplish this.
If you want a lived-in look, add texture and matte finishes. You can add stucco on the built-in base that is tinted to mimic terra-cotta, which is hard-wearing and has a flameproof finish. Also consider a rough-stone counter, as the earthy colors blend with your plants. Pair this right next to your outdoor stone fireplace and pizza oven.
If you install concrete or tile countertops, be aware of the annual maintenance to keep it in good shape. Concrete must be resealed annually. Tile is better in areas that doesn’t have harsh freezes and thawing.
A cedar or pressure-treated wood pergola offers shade and comfort with an old-world charm. A slatted or lattice roof offers ventilation, but if you want more coverage from the summer sun, top the pergola with clear acrylic or galvanized metal.
Other items for any space
When the weather gets stifling and humid, you might want to bring out a fan or two so you won’t miss the beautiful weather but stay cool at the same time. This also will help repel the bugs that are sure to join the party.
Lighting is key for your outdoor living space. Add in all-weather string lights, or consider solar LED lights so you don’t have to fuss with an outlet.
Are you ready to upgrade your outdoor living and add a kitchen to that space? Contact AES Hearth and Patio if you live in Camp Hill, Carlisle & Central PA to create a delicious space.