When you’re spending the day poolside or entertaining in your backyard oasis, the last thing you want to do is press pause on the festivities to step inside and prep a meal. An outdoor kitchen lets you keep the good times rolling with everything you need to whip up a full, gourmet meal or arrange a tantalizing charcuterie platter.
Outdoor cooking areas complement dining and lounging zones and complete the resort-style feel of the quintessential luxury Florida home. But before firing up the grill or restocking the wine cooler, there are certain factors to weigh out when creating a functional and sophisticated space. The following are three essential steps to take when planning, designing and building your outdoor kitchen according to our team of designers and architects.
Plan location and layout
An important point of consideration as you are planning your outdoor kitchen is its location. In custom outdoor kitchen design, the where is just as significant as the what.
First, you will want to think about your new kitchen’s proximity to your main space. As you are planning, ensure you will have convenient access to everything you may need to master your culinary skills outdoors. Setting up a dream outdoor kitchen in a far corner of your property may be a tempting way to make use of sprawling grounds, but it means you will have to transport food and drinks across a greater distance.
Next, it’s time to blueprint your outdoor kitchen’s layout. There are four main areas in kitchen planning—cold (refrigeration), hot (grills, stovetops, ovens), wet (sinks, dishwashers), and dry (food prep and storage). While your outdoor space may not include an oven or dishwasher, each area must work with the next to ensure a seamless and safe experience with every use.
Choose materials designed for outdoor kitchens
Armed with an initial plan for your outdoor kitchen, it’s time to have some fun. From incorporating the latest kitchen design trends to creating a look that is uniquely your own, choosing materials, finishes and appliances for your brand new kitchen is one of the most exciting steps in the entire process. It’s when your vision of a functional outdoor entertaining space like no other begins coming to life.
However, there are special considerations to make when designing an all-season outdoor area. Your kitchen will be exposed to the elements year-round and in Florida that can include extreme heat, humidity, hurricanes, hail and more. Because of this, durability and easy maintenance are a must in outdoor kitchen materials.
“For outdoor cabinets, we have found lines by Danver and Brown Jordan absolutely unmatched in quality, design and craftsmanship. With distinctive color selections and realistic wood grain powder coat finishes, Danver and Brown Jordan are the top of the line when it comes to durable, stunning outdoor kitchen cabinets,” shares Phil Kean.
“When it comes to countertops, Dekton is our choice,” continues Kean. “They have truly redefined the standards of excellence for outdoor surfaces with their unique application of technology. Dekton’s ultra-sophisticated surfaces are sure to elevate the appearance of any outdoor kitchen.”
Make comfort a priority all year
At a cool 75 degrees, sitting under a sunny sky feels like a treat. But as temperatures fluctuate and weather conditions change, ensuring your outdoor kitchen and entertaining space is comfortable year-round requires some planning.
Even in Florida, temperatures can reach frigid lows during the winter months. However, the cold shouldn’t confine you indoors. Incorporating heating elements like fireplaces, firepits and heating towers allows you to entertain and enjoy your warm and cozy backyard sanctuary.
Like heating, cooling should also be a priority when planning outdoor areas and kitchens. At the height of a Florida summer, even a splash in the pool isn’t enough to cool down and escape the heat. Having a shaded area to retreat to or enjoy meals under can make all the difference when the sun is shining bright. Consider locating your outdoor cooking and dining space under a lanai or covered deck, which offers shade and shelter from both sun and rain. Ceiling fans and misters are also welcomed additions to keep you cool.
“Outdoor kitchens have been picking up in popularity in recent years,” points out Phil Kean. “We have been seeing families prioritizing spending time outdoors and individuals who love to entertain, making their backyards the focal point of their homes. In any case, having a gorgeous, well-designed kitchen within arm’s reach makes enjoying more of the great outdoors comfortable and delicious.”