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Patio Design in Franklin Lakes, Medford Lakes, Mount Laurel, NJ includes Outdoor Kitchens

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One of the hottest home design trends as of late is the addition of outdoor kitchens. By adding an outdoor cooking space to the patio design, homeowners instantly increase square footage and expand their current living space. Go beyond the typical grill and install a stunning outdoor kitchen to take an existing patio design to the next level. Here are some design tips to create a functional, beautiful outdoor kitchen on your back patio.

Find the Best Location

The location of an outdoor kitchen can vary from one property to the next, but there are a few guidelines that will help you enjoy maximum functionality. First, look for a space that is close to the entrance to the home’s indoor kitchen. This makes it easier to quickly grab platters and cooking utensils when needed. Second, consider the view from inside the home. Don’t place an outdoor kitchen directly in front of windows or it could obscure the view and actually take away from the natural beauty of the home’s landscaping.

Choose the Right Flooring

Before choosing appliances, countertops, or seating, it’s important to have the right foundation with proper outdoor flooring. Choices like tile or marble may be beautiful, but they also get slippery and won’t hold up as well in the elements. Concrete pavers are an excellent choice as they offer incredible design possibilities while also bringing a non-slip surface to the space. Natural stone is another fantastic option, especially now that Natural Stone by Unilock brings a lifetime guarantee to the table.

Learn more about Unilock’s concrete pavers and natural stone choices in the Design Ideas Catalog here.


Incorporate Storage

Once the pavers or natural stone is installed, it’s time to add appliances and a workspace. This is where each homeowner can tailor the design to personal taste with any type of cabinets and countertops that complements the rest of the home’s look. Just keep in mind that functionality will often trump appearance in a kitchen. That’s why it’s wise to add plenty of storage. From cabinets to shelves, to hidden storage beneath seating, every extra inch of storage will increase the functionality of your outdoor kitchen design.

Comfort is Key

Outdoor kitchens should focus heavily on comfort. This will likely be a favorite gathering place for friends and family. If the space will be used for frequent entertaining, take time to add enough seating to accommodate plenty of guests. Consider adding a shade sail or pergola over the top of the outdoor kitchen to avoid uncomfortable heat during mid-day gatherings. Ceiling fans are a smart way to keep the air circulating and in the winter months, heat lamps or a fire pit will help guests stay warm while they enjoy dinner under the stars.

Don’t Forget Lighting

Lack of adequate lighting is one of the most common problems for outdoor kitchens. Without added lighting, the space will be limited to use during daylight hours. Make sure to add extra lighting so guests can enjoy outdoor gatherings even late at night. Lighting should be carefully placed above the cooking area, near all walkways, and at the entrance to home.
Designing a functional outdoor kitchen is a smart way to add value to the home while also creating a fun new place to entertain friends and family. Whether you enjoy backyard barbecues with the extended family or you like to relax solo under the stars at night, an outdoor kitchen is the perfect way to take your patio design to the next level.
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