Before COVID, homeowners started showing an increased interest in creating the ultimate outdoor kitchen. Then, at the start of the pandemic, people focused on improving areas of their homes where they spent the most time. Remember the surge of people who upgraded their indoor kitchen appliances?
COVID is taking people outdoors – and no one is complaining about the al fresco dining
Now, as quarantine guidelines are starting to lift and people are starting to get together again, there’s an increased interest in eating outdoors. People want to spend time together, and eating al fresco is a safer alternative than cramming around an indoor kitchen table.
Even as we move toward a post-COVID world, the demand for outdoor entertaining will remain popular – especially for people who have dreamed about and invested in the ultimate outdoor kitchen.
Transform your existing patio into the kitchen
If you already have a paved area in your backyard, that may be the perfect space to upgrade to the ultimate outdoor kitchen. For smaller budgets, start by upgrading your seating area and adding countertops around your grill. If you have more money to work with, add a pergola, outdoor lighting, and a few gardens.
Create the ultimate outdoor kitchen from scratch
If you don’t already have a deck or patio, your options are unlimited. With a bit of landscaping, you can add a pergola, stone countertops, outdoor appliances, and a firepit. And once you have the foundation built, you can flesh it out with fun seating options, surround sound, and a TV.
To make the space perfect for chilly nights in spring and fall, consider adding patio heaters inside the pergola.
BBQ, pizza ovens, open-flame cooking, and smokers: What’s your style?
One of the best parts of planning an ultimate outdoor kitchen is creating possibilities that don’t exist indoors. Cooking a rotisserie chicken over an open flame is delicious – but cooking over an open flame isn’t possible in most residential kitchens. Same thing with cooking tender ribs in a smoker.
If your budget or space doesn’t accommodate every appliance, think about which one complements your preferences the best. A high-end barbeque might look fancy, but if you always choose pizza, an outdoor pizza oven might be the way to go. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong if it fits your style.
Give your kitchen some breathing room
Traditional kitchens can be monolithic. There’s one large countertop that sweeps the perimeter of the room, and appliances get tucked in between cabinets. One trend we recommend for the ultimate outdoor kitchen is adding space between areas.
Create one station for the outdoor pizza oven, another station for the bar, another for food prep, and a separate space for appliances. Each station needs enough counter space to be functional, but breaking activities apart gives everything a bit of much-needed breathing room. The extra space makes it a more enjoyable place to cook and gives everyone more room to work.
Ready to plan your ultimate outdoor kitchen?
Are you thinking about upping your al fresco dining game and dreaming about the ultimate outdoor kitchen? Contact McDonough to discuss your ideas and design the perfect outdoor kitchen space. We’ll have you dining outdoors by summer.