With summer just around the corner, there’s nothing quite like a nice al fresco meal while enjoying the pleasant weather alongside family and friends. If you already have an outdoor kitchen and dining area, now is the perfect time to jazz up the space in time for the warmer months. Here are a few tips to help you out:
Set a budget
The first step is to establish a budget that accommodates your goals. If you’re planning to stay in your home long-term, then investing in your outdoor kitchen’s ambiance, such as building a new patio or upgrading your decking is a smart move. You can also start with a few budget-friendly appliances and cooking equipment, and then just upgrade over time.
If you plan to relocate sometime in the near future however, consider investing in top-shelf portable equipment, so you can easily take it with you when you move.
Design the layout
The best outdoor kitchens have designated areas for cooking, setting up a meal, eating, and socializing. Take a look at your outdoor kitchen’s current layout and see if you can set up five functional areas: a hot zone (for cooking), cold zone (for drinks/frozen goods storage), a wet zone (for rinsing and washing), a dry zone (for food preparation), and an area where guests can eat and socialize.
Invest in low-maintenance, weatherproof materials and equipment
The easier your outdoor kitchen is to clean and maintain, the more you’ll be able to enjoy your investment. The material you use for decking, counters, and patios should be resistant to stains and able withstand harsh temperatures. If you’re purchasing new appliances, high-quality stainless steel models are the best choice, as they’re corrosion-resistant, not to mention very easy to clean. For flooring, materials such as concrete, sealed pavers, and natural stone blocks with low porosity like granite are all great options.
Complement your home’s architectural style and landscape
Create a more seamless look by anchoring your outdoor kitchen’s design on your home’s architecture and landscape. For renovations, go with compatible materials and try to incorporate a few subtle architectural details that complement your home’s style.
Fixtures such as a fireplace or built-in stone hearth can make excellent focal points, while open-air or roofed structures such as arbors or pergolas can make the space feel warmer and more inviting.
Enhance your outdoor kitchen for other seasons
The outdoor entertaining season doesn’t have to be limited to the warmer months! Equip your space with heaters, outdoor-rated vent hoods, rain shelters, and awnings so it can stay fully functional year-round.
You can make use of natural gas or portable propane patio heaters to keep your outdoor kitchen and patio warm, and is safe for areas shaded by eaves or pergolas. If you have the budget for it, you can equip your entire patio and countertops with radiant heat so you can stay warm and toasty outdoors, no matter what time of year.
Looking for the finest Lambertville, NJ homes for sale? Work with the top agents in the area today by getting in touch with David DePaola & Company Real Estate at 609.731.0581, or send an email to david(at)depaola(dotted)com