When you’re working with homeowners who are thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen to their York, PA, landscape, there are quite a few choices you can suggest, but one that should be nonnegotiable is functionality. You want them to be able to use their kitchen with ease, while they enjoy time with family and friends. Here are some ways to ensure the functionality of an outdoor kitchen.
Placement in the Landscape
Most of the time, keeping the outdoor kitchen close to the home makes entertaining easier and more accessible. You could suggest adding it to an existing patio, or perhaps it would work to install the kitchen one level down from a deck.
The best kitchens have distinct work zones where it is easy for the cook to move from the cold area to the cooking area to the sink. Typically, this occurs in a triangular shape for these features, as this tends to be the most comfortable movement direction. Just like for an indoor kitchen, the work zone of the outdoor kitchen makes a difference in how much a homeowner will enjoy using it for entertaining and in deciding to cooking outside rather than indoors.
Consider a Cover
While the homeowners might not think having a cover over the kitchen area is important, you could remind them how hot the summer days can be or how cozy it can be to eat outside during a gentle rain—as long as they have coverage to avoid getting wet. A covered outdoor kitchen means that they don’t have to worry about the elements when they make plans to invite friends over.
The quality of the appliances matter more for an outdoor kitchen than for an indoor one because they are exposed to the elements. Stainless steel is considered easy to clean and keeps its integrity. It is also easy to keep clean and sanitized, while withstanding the high temperatures of grilling.
Having a refrigerator means that there are cold drinks and cold food items easily available for snacks, and also for when your clients are ready to cook. A nice cooktop limits having to cook any food inside, and keeps the preparation and cleanup outside.
Storage Is Important
Having adequate storage for pots, plates, and cooking utensils makes cooking outside a breeze. When they don’t have to run back and forth into the house for supplies, the homeowners can relax and enjoy the time spent with guests. Since everything they need is at their fingertips, entertaining outdoors will be easy.
A Bar Brings Out the Fun
Not only can a bar be a fun place to mix drinks for guests, but when it’s placed near the grill, the cook can share nibbles with guests. Bars can be customized with eye-catching stones and stone banding, or they can incorporate the elements of the homeowners’ favorite sports teams or match the style of the home’s exterior.
Add Lights and Music
Adding lights makes any outdoor kitchen space useful into the night hours, when homeowners would normally have to retreat inside. In addition to task lighting, great lighting choices for outdoor kitchens include sconces, a chandelier, and twinkle lights.