With mouthwatering options for every budget, it’s time to light a fire under your outdoor kitchen plan.
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and reported in trend-watching Forbes Magazine, “Outdoor kitchens are still in high demand. Among those planning outdoor areas, 60% plan to upgrade existing spaces for more functionality and better aesthetics. Outdoor kitchens, not surprisingly, were the top project, with 76% of those surveyed planning these areas.”
A kitchen may be the heart of the home, but since the coronavirus pandemic, we’re wearing our hearts on the outside, gathering and socializing safely in all kinds of weather. But even prior to 2020, outdoor kitchens were quickly gaining popularity. Like any kitchen remodel or installation, there are a lot of moving parts that a professional should handle, including wiring, gas and plumbing.
A trusted design/build contractor like Crystal Remodeling can also help homeowners with the softer side of an outdoor kitchen—materials, fixtures and decor—combining it seamlessly and safely with your house and yard. As you begin the process, ask yourself these crucial questions:
How will you use your outdoor kitchen, really?
You might have visions of lavish moonlit dinner parties where scores of A-list guests arrive for a dine-under-the-stars experience. For some, this could be the reality. But having a vision for day-to-day use will make your kitchen a truly smart investment. Think about whether there will be kids and pets running around and underfoot. Will you need to create a barrier between the kitchen and dining space, or between the dining space and yard? Consider built-in brick seating that doubles as a clear divider between play and dining spaces.
Or, will it be mostly dinner for two on the back patio with the occasional birthday party or anniversary get together? Build a kitchen and dining space that easily converts from cozy and romantic to spacious and inviting. Modular countertops that double as bar seating help maintain flexibility. A farm table for guests could double as a gardening workspace when not in use for dinner parties.
Will your outdoor kitchen be an extension of your indoor kitchen, or will it stand alone?
For some, cleaning two bathrooms is a lot. Maintaining two full kitchens might put you over the top! If your outdoor space is meant to be an extension of your indoor space, talk to your contractor about seamless access to the indoor kitchen and pantry, including pass-throughs and wide patio doorways. Keep a full set of flatware, silverware, napkins, serving dishes, pot, pans and utensils outdoors for ease -- which means a full set of outdoor cabinets. If you plan to use your indoor oven for basic cooking, think about a specialty cooking device for the outdoor kitchen like a custom-built wood-fire pizza oven or a top-of-the-line smoker. Either way, ample counter space with an integrated gas grill will make an enticing everyday experience, while refrigerated drawers like these help your outdoor kitchen stand on its own, especially if it’s not on the same level of the house as the indoor kitchen.
What is your outdoor aesthetic?
Despite their exposure to the elements, the scope of materials available and appropriate for outdoor use is vast, and there are options for every budget. Do you prefer a look that is rustic and anchored like stone, or modern and sleek like stainless steel? Does farmhouse style with cedar cabinetry and open shelving complement your home’s style? What about a modern industrial mix of brick and metal for an urban patio? Crystal Remodeling can work within your budget to source materials that are both durable and attractive and that match your home’s style, or your outdoor living space.
With Crystal Remodeling, the distinction is clear. Call or click today to begin your journey to the great outdoors.