Outdoor Kitchens Ė Simple and Sophisticated
by Beverly Marshall
Description: Tips for creating an outdoor kitchen.
After September 11, many of us decided to stay closer to home. We are
electing to remodel our existing homes instead of buying new and
moving. We are also entertaining in the backyard more than ever, so it is a
natural progression to take what we love about our hearth and home and
put it all outside creating the perfect outdoor room. If you have
never thought of installing an outdoor kitchen before, it is time you start
thinking about it. You donít need a backyard the size of Southfork to
create an efficient, fun outdoor kitchen of your very own.
When it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen, the skyís the limit.
Everyone can have gas or charcoal grill at any price in their backyard.
When you think about adding a wine cooler, outdoor sink, appliances and
bars, you are talking about something altogether different. You are
only limited by your imagination, and for most of us, the budget. What
type of entertaining do you enjoy? Do you have a large family? What is
your favorite method of outdoor cooking? Is food preparation more of a
priority or do your friends like to sit around the bar and socialize?
Do you have a pool or hot tub that you want to incorporate into the
area? Would you like to build around a focal point such as a fieldstone
fireplace? If music is a consideration, what about an outdoor sound
system? If you live in a hot climate such as Arizona, should outdoor
misters to be part of the plan? If ease of cleanup is an issue, do you want
something that can be cleaned with a garden hose? Would you l!
ike a gazebo or some type of partial screening for privacy and weather
protection? As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about
during the design process. You want to consider all of your options
before you make decisions because things may not be the easiest to change
An Outdoor Kitchen Northwoodís Style
My husband and I live on a lake in the north woods so the outdoor
kitchen plans started with how our guests could best enjoy the beautiful
lake view as we were cooking and entertaining. We have a boathouse and
many tall pines and white birch trees that must be considered in the
plans. I wanted a dramatic entrance of well-lit timbered stairs leading
from my home down to the outdoor kitchen area which encompasses a patio
of cut flagstone. We donít have room for an outdoor fireplace, but
every lake home needs a fire pit, and ours is set in another section of the
yard that we use more for fun and late night conversation. We have a
copper fire pit on the patio for warmth and ambiance on a cool Wisconsin
evening. We decided to take advantage of the boathouse and extend it
out as partial protection from the elements for the cooking station. My
husband prefers cooking with gas so we installed a built-in grill with
warming burners. We have a sink and refrigerator close at hand, also protected by the extension of the boathouse.
My patio is filled with Adirondack style patio furniture. We have a
rope hammock swinging between two tall pines. A wonderful bistro table
and chairs sits close to the cooking area so we donít have to carry the
food very far and an outdoor bar is near the refrigerator so itís close
to ice and drinks. We have a gentle slope down to the lake that is
terraced with perennials for color and foliage. More split timbers were
placed for extra seating as part of the patioís backdrop. We installed
lights below the trees so our yard would be lit in the evening,
creating a festive mood for parties. Our guests enjoy waving as the boaters
go by, or finding out how the fishing is for the day. There is so much
entertainment on the lake; even if it is just watching the mallards or
loons swim by for an occasional visit.
You donít have to live in the Northwoods to have a beautiful outdoor
kitchen. You can install something right next to the house or close to a
pool. You can make your outdoor entertaining experience as elaborate
or simple as you wish. Just think about how nice it would be inviting
your friends over to enjoy your famous barbecue ribs under the stars or
relaxing on a warm summer day realizing how good life can get.
Beverly Marshall is a successful freelance writer offering guidance and
suggestions for consumers buying patio furniture, gas grills, picnic
tables and more. Her many articles give information and tips to help you
save money and make informed buying decisions.
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