Outdoor Kitchen: The Latest Trends

Fall is upon us and the beautiful weather is begging us to come out and play. Your pool designer is hard at work creating your luxury, outdoor oasis in time for summer use, but your backyard entertaining space isn’t yet complete. You still need to plan your outdoor kitchen so that you aren’t stuck in the house mixing drinks and grilling hot dogs while everyone else lounges by the pool. If you’ve decided 2019 is the year you’re going to transform your dull backyard into a destination, it’s time to consider some of the latest trends for your outdoor kitchen.

Drink Station
If the plans from your pool designer sparked visions of sipping mai tais while you dangle your toes in the water, the first thing you should consider adding to your outdoor kitchen is a drink station. Plenty of people install outdoor fridges for food, but you could put in a fridge with shelving designed to hold bottles and cans, not to mention counter space or cabinets made to house your barware.

With a sink in place, you could even have an entire wet bar setup, complete with everything you need to whip up blended margaritas or get crazy with the old-timey mixology trend. Outdoor entertaining in summer practically demands a few brews, but you can always go the extra mile when designing your outdoor kitchen.

More Than a Grill
These days it’s not enough to have a grill and a griddle for your outdoor kitchen. Consider adding cooking options like a rotisserie or even pizza oven for nights spent dining outdoors. One of the most popular additions of late is a full-on smoker setup, where you can leave meat slow cooking for hours before guests arrive.

In addition to enhancing the visual appeal of your backyard, your pool designer will put together a plan that ensures the pool and the space around it are conducive to swimming, lounging, entertaining, and generally enjoying the leisure space. The same principle applies to your outdoor kitchen. It’s only natural to want the space to be attractive and inviting, but it also has to be functional.

This means setting up zones in much the same way as your indoor kitchen. If you’re going to have a cooking surface, a fridge, and a sink, make sure they’re in a triangle configuration instead of all in a row, for example, since this is the most functional setup.

If you have multiple cooking or food prep areas, think about how you plan to use the space, whether you’re cooking on your own or you anticipate multiple cooks or even a hired staff for events, for example. This will ensure the greatest functionality.

Cohesive Outdoor Living
It’s always a good idea to get designers on the same page so that the end result is a cohesive space. Ask your pool designer for references for general contractors and see if they’re all willing to coordinate an overall design that turns your backyard into the calming retreat or swanky entertaining space you’ve been dreaming of.

Visit our outdoor living page to learn more.

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luxury outdoor kitchenA freeform zero entry pool with a raised spa against a tropical landscape in a residential backyard.