The sunshine is on its way… and just in time for 30 of our nearest and dearest being welcomed back to our gardens for gatherings! Now’s the time to create a outdoor kitchen and Will Lyne, co-owner and master designer of Christopher Peters Kitchens and Interiors, explains how.
Assess the space
A fundamental component of an interior – or, in this case, exterior – design is having a real understanding of the space you’re working with and the function you need it to fulfil.
So, if you’re blessed with acres of land, then go wild with your garden plans – you’ve got the freedom to be as creative as you want.
But if your outside space is more of a standard 15 by 8 metres – as is the norm for most British properties – then I would advise clients decide what they’d like and really need from an outdoor kitchen.
A well, thought-out set-up could combine a pizza oven, BBQ and smoker in one or a built-in unit to fit appliances.
One thing we always advise our clients do is zone the area – so one area for food preparation, another for cooking equipment and a separate social gathering area where guests can congregate.
Embrace shady spots
One of the best things about installing an outdoor kitchen is the area doesn’t need to be blessed with natural sunlight or warmth.
In fact, with hot coals and slate ovens gathering heat rather rapidly, it’s best to opt for a shady spot.
Make the most of the unused corner at the foot of the garden or the cooler patch behind the garage. But ensure any equipment is kept well enough away – at least one metre – from any structure.
We would always recommend building somewhere at least five metres from any entrances to the property.
This is for both a safety precaution and for the protection of your client’s soft furnishings. Smoke filled curtains and sofas are expensive to replace, no matter how much fun was had at their family BBQ!
Add ample seating
Now it goes without saying that even the smallest outside spaces benefit from some well thought-out seating.
I personally think the best gardens combine formal dining areas and more relaxed lounging options, so try and design the area to combine both.
If the garden is blessed with a large, built-in outdoor kitchen, make sure the seating is just as impressive!
Long, solid dining tables truly bring the inside out and are just as inviting as any indoor dining area.
Position the table as close to the kitchen space as possible – without risking smoking guests out! – allowing your clients and their friends to help themselves to the last hot dog on the BBQ.