Creating an outdoor kitchen can make living in your regular kitchen much simpler and cooler. Instead of firing up the oven, you can fire up the grill. A warm night can be a reason to celebrate delicious food and wonderful company. Here are tips for creating the perfect outdoor eating area for enjoying family meals together.
Have Comfy Seating for the Whole Family
Everyone needs to have space to relax in your outdoor kitchen and dining area. If you have little ones, look for small chairs that they can easily relocate around your deck or patio. As the little ones grow, you can replace the chairs. Add a storage bench that will protect cushions you need to store outside. If you’re making your own cushions, be sure to make them waterproof. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time making cushions that will just get ruined the moment a storm hits.
According to Big Duck Canvas, there are many fabrics and fillings that tolerate sun and shed water that you can use. Put cushions away after each meal to avoid mildew and sun damage.
Add an Outdoor Kitchen
If you enjoy outdoor dining enough, an outdoor kitchen is a great investment. According to Keystone Custom Decks, when creating an outdoor kitchen, you should consider adding a built-in grill, pizza oven, griddles, side burners, and a refrigerator to make it feel like your own personal backyard restaurant. Having an outdoor kitchen can also make things way more convenient for cooking when you’re hosting outdoor parties.
When you create your outdoor kitchen, make sure that you have plenty of room for you to cook. You don’t want to accidentally burn yourself on the grill while you’re chopping vegetables on the counter. You can avoid these kinds of issues by making sure that you have enough open space available for you to move around in. An open design will also help you to make sure that you are able to still interact with your guests while you are cooking if needed.
Create a Custom Table to Eat At
A standard picnic bench is a great option for kids, but older members of the household may have a hard time getting on and off the bench safely. Consider adding a table that sits a bit lower to the ground, as many outdoor chairs are built for lounging low rather than dining. Another option is to invest in small folding tables that can be easily moved around your outdoor space. Whether you’re just enjoying a snack, a book, and a beverage or feeding a large clan, folding tables will increase your options.
Include Proper Lighting
If you have a motion sensor light on your patio, be ready to turn it off. Such light can be jarring and far too bright for a nice night on the patio. Instead, consider stringing twinkle or fairy lights around your patio. Add solar lighting to pathways and along the steps of a deck. If you have potted plants along the edge of your patio, add solar lights around the plants. Go for gentle lighting for a relaxing evening.
Be creative with your lighting so you can impress your guests. The lights are some of the first things that they will see when they arrive, so if you want to have a good impression, make sure to spend some time picking some that best fit your backyard’s aesthetic.
Beat Back the Bugs
You can brighten your outdoor dining and cooking area with beautiful plants and keep the bugs away at the same time. Plant basil to keep mosquitoes back. The pesto is a side benefit. Rosemary can also be counted on to repel pesky bugs. Mint is another option but be aware that mint can be invasive. Consider putting it in a pot. Lavender and lemongrass will also send the mosquitoes and flies scurrying away. Lavender can draw bees, so be sure to place it away from the dining area so everyone involved has the space they need. If you can’t put a screen on your porch, plant before you spray poison. According to Yard Surfer, certain tiki torches can also do the trick.
Set Up a Sun Shade
If possible, set up your outdoor dining area on the east side of your home so it’s naturally shaded by the angle of the sun. If this isn’t an option, consider adding an umbrella or sail cloth you can easily take down when the weather gets wild. An awning is another option to stretch over your dining area. Again, make sure you can manage the weight of whatever sunshade you choose to add so you can move it quickly when the wind comes up. Don’t leave the umbrella open on the patio without someone there to keep an eye on it if the wind is high.
Start With a Temporary Kitchen
Your first outdoor kitchen should be portable. According to Next Luxury, you should start with extension cords and a rolling grill until you’re ready to create a permanent structure to make sure you create the most effective layout. Again, if your family includes many small children, you may find that you need more seating or a bigger table. Let your design evolve until it suits your family and entertaining goals perfectly.
Define the Space
Your outdoor kitchen and dining area need to be their own space. Avoid setting up this area right outside the back door or too near the path from pool to house. You want everyone in the space to feel comfortable just sitting back and enjoying the setting, not moving out of the way to compensate for the traffic pattern. Whenever possible, set your dining space far enough away from the back door that everyone can get where they need to go easily.
An outdoor dining area can take the burden off your air conditioner and give you the joy of dining outside. To cook easily and dine well, start with a temporary setup until you know exactly where everything should go. Stay flexible so you can host both intimate parties and large gatherings.
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