Dreaming about a new outdoor kitchen is great fun, and we want your dreams to become reality, without the disappointment that comes with design afterthoughts. To help you create an outdoor kitchen design that ticks all the boxes on your list, here are 7 things to include in your Mohegan Lake, NY outdoor kitchen.
The Right Appliances
What foods are important to you? Is grilling part of your family traditions or do you sit down for family-style Italian meals? Do you ever experiment with deep-fried options or smoking meats? Do you need a sink to wash veggies? Consider your drinking habits and whether you need a wine fridge or beverage cooler with an ice maker.
Consider how you want to use your outdoor kitchen on a regular basis. Determine which appliances are must-haves, nice-to-haves, and luxuries. Design your kitchen around the must-haves, which may leave room in the budget and the design for your nice-to-haves. Splurge on quality stainless steel, which is durable and easy to clean.
Enough Work Space and Storage
The whole point of cooking outside is being around your friends and family, not running back and forth because there’s not enough space or utensils available at the grill. Considering your cooking style, how much work space and storage do you actually need? Countertops should be easy-to-clean and durable. Many people choose granite or sealed poured concrete for that reason. Avoid tiles, as cleaning grout is no fun and freeze-thaw cycles aren’t kind to grout.
A bar is a convenience that everyone will appreciate. It’s the perfect place to serve appetizers and keeps everyone gathered while the cook prepares something delicious. The bar top can be the same material as your work space and kitchen base, or it can express its own personality through a different material selection.
A fireplace or fire pit really make an outdoor kitchen feel like “home.” Although freestanding, a fireplace can be integrated into the kitchen using a seat wall (which will also come in handy during parties); and both fireplaces and fire pits can be constructed using the same materials used for the base of the outdoor kitchen. Unilock Estate Wall is a versatile choice for any vertical application, including the kitchen’s base, fireplaces, fire pits, and seat walls.
It’s no fun for everyone to have to grab their plates and scurry inside if it starts to rain. You can solve this by covering the kitchen, bar and dining area with a permanent roof. A pergola will provide protection from harsh sunlight and is an elegant solution for fair-weather outdoor living.
Related Read: Design Ideas for Poolside Outdoor Kitchens
Task lighting is essential, but also consider ambience. Ambience lighting is soft, providing just enough illumination without harsh glare or stark shadows. A mix of overhead string lights and retaining wall-mounted downlights is one way to create a romantic atmosphere without lighting up the whole neighborhood.
A convenient vegetable or herb garden can make outdoor cooking even more delightful. If you’re short on space, go vertical! Incorporate mini-gardens into a terraced retaining wall or a masonry planter, or build a privacy wall and add hooks for hanging potted herbs and tomatoes. For a modern look, try Unilock Lineo Dimensional Stone – another Unilock wall product that has many uses!
The title image features an elegant Estate Wall outdoor kitchen with Beacon Hill Flagstone and Town Hall pavers underfoot.