While your exterior construction work is probably slowing down for the winter, fall is an excellent time to start planning for spring projects. If your State College, PA, clients are interested in adding an outdoor kitchen in the New Year, why not start the design process now? Ensure your designs look fresh by incorporating these outdoor kitchen trends for 2019.
As outdoor kitchens increase in popularity, designers are starting to think outside the box. Instead of prefabricated kitchen kits, clients are looking for custom designs that make their outdoor living space stand out. Since space can sometimes be limited in outdoor kitchens, there’s a growing interest in flexible kitchens that suit the individual needs of the user. Add an extra grill if your client plans to serve large parties. Or incorporate removable countertops that cover cooking surfaces to allow for extra prep-space.
As full-service outdoor kitchens become more common, manufacturers are creating a variety of new and innovative appliances. Cooling options have expanded significantly and now you can include features such as refrigerated drawers, ice bin coolers, beer dispensers, wine chillers and freezers in your designs.
But specialty cooking appliances are really the most requested features. Pizza ovens are a popular addition, along with smokers, deep fryers, and warming drawers. You can even add a breakfast prep area with a burner and large griddle for cooking breakfast outdoors.
And with the focus on outdoor living, new conveniences are becoming the norm in outdoor rooms. Add speakers and surround sound so your clients can have music throughout their outdoor spaces.
An outdoor kitchen should look great during the day, but it also has to be functional at night. Cooking and clean-up in the dark require adequate lighting. In addition to wall sconces, outdoor kitchens are using more creative and less-conspicuous forms of lighting.
LED strip lighting helps illuminate awkward spaces and creates visual interest by accentuating architectural details. Install strip lighting under upper cabinets to help light work surfaces and on the underside of counters to illuminate lower cabinets. Consider adding strip lighting under benches and the ledges of permanent seating to make seating space easy to find in the dark. They can also be used on steps to increase safety and provide a cohesive look.
Chandeliers are another hot item for covered outdoor kitchens. A statement chandelier will create an impact and add style while illuminating an outdoor room. Ensure the fixture has the appropriate damp and temperature ratings, and then look for options that complement the style of the kitchen.
Outdoor kitchen designs often focus on cooking and may not include space for seating. But having seating on hand will increase both comfort and convenience. As the trend toward outdoor living grows, clients want outdoor spaces that are inviting and inclusive. That’s why incorporating seating in the design is so important.
Including an oversized counter as a bar is a great way to include seating without significantly increasing the footprint of the kitchen. Adding comfortable stools that pull up to the counter will create an extra place to eat and provide room for company for the cook.
Low walls can be used to help define an outdoor kitchen. With the addition of smooth coping, they can also provide additional seating. Decorative masonry is another popular trend to watch for in the new year. Create a coordinated look across outdoor rooms with striking masonry banding.
Image courtesy of Unilock.