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It is the perfect time of year to start envisioning and planning for your dream outdoor kitchen! As the temperatures start to warm up, and your family gravitates towards the backyard, you can already imagine the amount of use that an outdoor kitchen would get. Bringing the indoors outside can be a daunting thought, but with so many options available to fully customize your outdoor space, you can rest assured that your outdoor kitchen will perfectly fit your family’s needs. Below we will cover some of our top tips for planning an outdoor kitchen and some of our favorite features so you can add them to your outdoor kitchen plans. 

1: Measure Your Space

Before you even start considering the possibilities, it’s important that you know what you’re working with. Whether you have a space already picked out for your outdoor kitchen, or you’re still trying to decide, measuring your backyard – and different areas of your backyard – will ensure you choose the best space for your outdoor kitchen. Of course, you want to plan for a grill, but you also may want space for a sink, refrigerator, or smoker. Most likely you’ll also want to measure for a patio or deck and shade coverings, like a pergola. While a lot of the measuring can be DIYed, if you’re hiring a contractor to install your outdoor kitchen, or various teams to tackle its different elements, they will also have their own placement suggestions and measuring processes. 

2: Consider Your Essentials

Have you asked yourself what are your must-haves in your outdoor kitchen versus your nice-to-haves? Creating a list that highlights the essential elements of your kitchen will not only help you stick to your budget, but it will also give both you and your contractor an idea of the best placement for each element. Common outdoor kitchen elements are: 

  • Patios or decks made from natural or composite materials
  • Grills, smokers, refrigerators, and other appliances
  • An area for seating and socializing
  • Fire pits and surrounding seating
  • Counterspace to prepare food and hold essentials
  • Mounted televisions with waterproof cases
  • Pergolas for added shade and a more finished feel

Once you’ve decided on your outdoor kitchen elements, you can design various zones for the space. For example, the fire pit and television might be in the “entertaining zone” and the grill and counter space are in the “cooking zone”. Creating different areas like this will bring the feel of an outdoor living space and give your home a true outdoor extension. 

3: Choose Your Finishes

With the bulk of your design complete, now all you have left is the fun part – picking the finishes! You have a lot of decisions to make, picking everything from patio and deck options to stains for your pergola, but once you nail down an overall aesthetic design, the decisions will be easier. Determine if you prefer a modern, traditional, colonial, or ranch style and if you want your outdoor kitchen to match your home or stand out on its own. Keep the functionality of the space in mind, but still choose finishes that complement your backyard and make you happy with your decision. 

For a completely finished outdoor kitchen, choose Austin Outdoor Living for your patio, deck, and pergola needs. Our experienced teams can make any outdoor kitchen dream a reality with just a phone call. Contact us today!

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