Renovating or adding on to a home is a common way that creative people channel their energy. It gives them the opportunity to utilize their talents in a way that their daily work routines or other activities may not permit.
Additionally, it gives them a fantastic upgrade to their home. Whether it’s new floor coverings, a change in colors, or construction of a new wing, these well-planned projects help them add character and life to their homes, giving them an easier and more pleasant home routine as well as additional value, should they ever place the home on the market.
For the most creative, though, there is a strong desire to innovate. They want to develop a project that not everyone is doing. Given the confines of four walls (and a roof!), it can be difficult to think outside the very physical box of a home.
But outside is just the place to go! One of the most exciting new choices in home renovation is an outdoor kitchen. It’s unique, it’s functional, it adds value, and it’s fun.
If you’re one of those people who always has a few paint samples or a tablet of graph paper around, you may choose to go with an outdoor kitchen as your next project. Here are some things to consider before you break ground.
Plan For Independence
When you have assembled a complete space for cooking outdoors, don’t neglect the related requirements like storage space and preparation areas. You will quickly grow to hate your outdoor kitchen if you must constantly run back and forth from it to the indoor kitchen to be able to retrieve ingredients, gather utensils, or prepare foods for cooking.
A good outdoor kitchen should be very similar to the indoor one in terms of base cabinets, wall cabinets, countertop space, and even refrigeration. Making provisions for those parts of kitchen functionality will ensure that the outdoor cooking experience is pleasurable enough to encourage future use. If you feel like you’re making extra steps and wasting time, you will skip the outdoor cooking and do the work indoors where everything is more convenient.
Coordinate With The Home
While the outdoor kitchen should be functionally independent from the house, it should not be stylistically separated. Just as your bedrooms should mirror your living room and your living room should resemble your foyer, the designs you choose for your outdoor kitchen should share a thread of continuity with your indoor kitchen.
Of course, the outdoor space will require durable materials like stainless steel and ceramics, but the color palette and the theme can still evoke the indoor space. The psychological effect of this coordination is pleasing in that it makes the outdoor kitchen feel like a real extension of the indoor one.
Do It Right
When you add an outdoor kitchen, you may feel like you are duplicating what’s going on inside the interior kitchen. And to an extent you are. But where this can go wrong is when it steers you toward going cheap with things just because you already have one indoors.
Don’t fall into this trap. Outdoor kitchens have two unique characteristics that demand you invest in quality components. First, they are out in the elements, where durability and proper insulation are vital, and second, they are less likely to undergo a renovation in the near future, so nothing should be considered a short-term item.
If sticker shock is in effect, create a plan to do the project in phases so that you can get the right items on the first time around and ensure long-term value and function.
Outdoor kitchens can really help you satisfy your yen for a creative project, and once they’re done, they can be a great source of enjoyment and value. Like any project, take it on with careful planning and an eye toward the final result.
Sources: 1: Molly Wood Garden Design. 2 & 3: Fredman Design Group. 3: Molly Wood Garden Design. 4 & 5: Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors.
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