(Family Features) There are few better ways to gather and enjoy the outdoors than in a beautiful backyard kitchen. Backyard kitchens allow you to entertain and dine outside with ease. They also add value to your home, encourage healthier eating, lower spending on eating out and save energy.
Whether modest modern or full-service functional, consider these ideas for integrating or updating backyard kitchens from the experts at Best Pick Reports.
Pick the Right Location
The location of your backyard area should be relatively flat and easy for you and your guests to access. It should also be large enough to include a cooking area and comfortable seating.
Another aspect of your backyard kitchen’s location is its distance from a power source. If you aren’t sure which area of your backyard would work best, reach out to a professional. He or she can help you pick a safe space and aid you in design.
Protect Your Space from the Weather
Perfect weather is never guaranteed. Don’t count on it, especially when you have plans. Ensuring you can still use your backyard kitchen even if it rains is important. The sun can also be a mood killer for you and your guests on scorching days. Having a shaded space can make everyone more comfortable.
The ideal backyard kitchen should include a screen or shelter against the elements, whatever the weather may bring. This may be as simple as installing large umbrellas. A more substantial option is a fully screened gazebo or room. Be sure to keep the temperature in mind as well. Fans for air movement can help increase everyone’s comfort level.
Ensure There’s Enough Seating for Everyone
When enjoying your backyard kitchen, you and your guests will want someplace to relax. A few questions to ask yourself:
- How many guests do you want to seat?
- What type of seating would you prefer (bench, stone, cushioned)?
- Do you want the seating to be secured?
- Will the seating be outside and exposed to the elements year round?
One idea is a rustic outdoor bar with bar-style seating. Another is a sturdy wood or stone picnic-style table. You might also consider combining your outdoor kitchen with a comfortable outdoor living room, which can be done with cozy yet durable outdoor sofas and lounge chairs.
Choose the Right Appliances
A backyard kitchen isn’t complete without a collection of appliances. From the grill to the refrigerator, it’s important to choose the right options for your family based on budget and usability.
- Grill – Whether it’s gas, charcoal, electric or a hybrid model, a good grill is often the focal point of the outdoor kitchen that keeps your guests coming back for more. If you’re not much of a griller, a smoker or wood oven will work just as well.
- Refrigerator – If there’s one thing that lets bugs into your house, it’s guests going in and out to grab a drink from the fridge. Outdoor fridges are convenient additions to backyard kitchens. Available in freestanding or built-in options, they come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and capacities.
- Sink – If you’re grilling, chances are you’re handling raw meat. Aside from using it as a handwashing station for guests, a sink in your outdoor kitchen can help keep you and your workspace clean and sanitary.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images