Clifton Outdoor Kitchens

The Overlooked Essentials of Outdoor Kitchens

As our understanding of the importance of mental health deepens, there’s a growing trend among homeowners to pivot towards outdoor living, not just as a summer luxury but as a conscious lifestyle choice. Our customers don’t just want a BBQ spot for the warm months. They want an authentic and consistent connection with the outdoors, an escape from the confines of indoor spaces.

This shift has led to the transformation of the outdoor kitchen from a seasonal trend to an essential extension of the home. It’s not just about style or a fad based on aesthetics but embracing a shift towards outdoor-centric living. With this in mind, these valuable spaces need to be designed with attention to detail, ensuring they genuinely reflect the holistic requirements of what the outdoor space means to the person using it.

To help you consider some areas of outdoor kitchen life that are often forgotten in all the excitement and design, we’ve got our 5 top points that are often overlooked when creating that perfect outdoor haven:

1. A Safe Bin for Waste: The Unsung Hero in Pest Control

One of the most overlooked items in outdoor kitchen designs is a safe and secure bin for waste. That’s because it’s not exciting thing to think about. It’s purely functional and not aesthetically valuable. While it’s easy to underestimate the importance of ‘a bin’, remember: an outdoor kitchen also means exposure to the outdoors and all its critters.

An open bin or improperly sealed one can attract pests like rodents, birds, and insects, making your delightful outdoor experience a nightmare. Investing in a robust, sealed bin that’s easy to clean, access and empty will play a vital role in maintaining the enjoyment of your kitchen. You may want to consider hiding it in a cupboard, around the rear of the kitchen or have easy access to your big black waste bin directly. Whatever you choose must work with the size of your outdoor space, flow of cooking and be considered during the design phase and not as an afterthought.

2. Never Enough Drawers: The Storage Dilemma

We’ve all experienced the frustration of a lack of storage space when it comes to indoor kitchens. Oddly enough, this lesson often doesn’t translate to our outdoor counterparts. Many homeowners realise, too late, that they need to incorporate more drawers or storage spaces into their outdoor kitchen design.

Remember, the outdoor kitchen is about more than just the grill or oven, especially these days. Work out what you want to have easy access to outside. Consider your utensils, plates, glasses, seasonings, and other cooking essentials. Ensuring you have ample and varied storage options will make your outdoor cooking experience smoother and help organise and declutter the space.

3. Lighting: The Winter’s Essential

While many people envision using their outdoor kitchens during sunny summer days, they often forget about the shorter days of winter. As daylight dwindles, the importance of adequate lighting rises. To get full use of your outdoor kitchen year round, lighting needs to be an essential part of your design. Retrofitting electrics is always more tricky and costly than thinking about it early on.

Plus, lighting in an outdoor kitchen is about more than just visibility. It’s also about creating the right ambience and ensuring safety. Consider a mix of task lighting for cooking areas, ambient lighting for general visibility, and decorative lighting to set the mood. Also, remember that outdoor lighting should be weatherproof to withstand the elements.

4. Weatherproofing and Material Durability

Outdoor kitchens are exposed to various elements: from blazing sunlight to heavy downpours and snow. That’s why we love the UK though, right? Many people underestimate the importance of weatherproofing and end up with kitchen materials that degrade quickly or appliances that malfunction after exposure.

Cabinets: Choose materials like granite, concrete, or dekton that can handle the fluctuations of outdoor conditions.

Appliances: Ensure that the appliances you purchase for your outdoor kitchen are rated for outdoor use. This will guarantee they have the necessary durability to handle varying weather conditions.

Protection: Consider installing an overhead structure or awning to shield against direct sunlight and rain. Always buy and use protective covers for items like pizza ovens and BBQs. These will help maintain your products and protect them from the extremes of weather!

Ventilation: An outdoor setting doesn’t automatically mean optimal ventilation, especially if your outdoor kitchen is set up in a semi-enclosed space or under a pergola. Smoke from grills and the heat from cooking appliances can accumulate, making it uncomfortable for anyone in or around the kitchen.

Grill Placement: Ensure your grill is placed where smoke won’t directly blow towards dining or seating areas. Be mindful of prevailing wind directions.

Install Vent Hoods: If your setup is more enclosed, consider adding a vent hood above your grill or cooking area to remove smoke and prevent it from bothering you or your guests.

Keep Air Moving: Consider the type of pergola that would suit the job. Louvre options are perfect for opening to release smoke and get air flowing around.

While the appeal of outdoor kitchens lies in the charm of cooking under the open sky and amidst nature, ensuring functionality aligns with aesthetics is a fundamental part of the design. By remembering to incorporate these aspects into your plan, you can guarantee a seamless and enjoyable outdoor culinary experience throughout the year.

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