Although often very simple, an outdoor kitchen can add so much enjoyment to your garden, and is a great drawcard when it comes time to sell, too. Here are some tips and ideas to help you design your dream alfresco cooking space.
Where to start
First of all, think about your space and light. Do you have a veranda or patio you can upgrade, or do you need to start from scratch? With either option, the most important factor is the light – ideally, you want some shade from the elements, and in Australia northern light will always be most pleasant year round, so if you can position your outdoor space to take advantage of this, even better. Have a look on Pinterest or homes websites for inspiration and ideas to suit your home.
Some of the best outdoor kitchens are very simple – just look at this beautiful one in Puglia, Italy – so don’t feel you have to go overboard with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and an entire built-in kitchen – you already have that inside.
Essentially, you need your choice of cooking equipment – a barbecue, plus any other additions, somewhere to assemble food, some shelving, somewhere to sit, and good lighting.
Also think about your flooring – if the space is sheltered, timber decking is great, as are paving stones. Otherwise, look for something that’s robust and dark so that it won’t show up every speck of dirt.
Choosing your cooking equipment
It’s worth thinking about power and gas when choosing your equipment. Can you connect a gas outlet to your house, or will you need a bottle? And what size barbecue should you go for? If you entertain a lot, buy a bigger one. For a family of four, a four- or five- burner barbecue will allow you to cook for a crowd, when needed, and you can just use one or two burners for family barbecues. Winning Appliances in Brookvale has a fantastic range of barbecues and outdoor kitchens to choose from.
While an electric barbecue won’t require much ventilation, a charcoal or solid fuel one will, so get advice on this when choosing your equipment.
Other useful additions to an outdoor kitchen
– Additional appliances, such as a sink or bar fridge, can work well if you want something more like an indoor kitchen.
– A ceiling fan is good on warm evenings and can help keep away mosquitoes
– Think about what you like to cook. If you’ll be cooking seafood, a teppanyaki grill is a great addition, and if you like barbecuing for a crowd, a rotisserie is great. Other specialised equipment, such as smokers or wood-fired pizza ovens, are great for keen cooks.
– A dishwasher is fine if you have a very sheltered spot, but by no means essential.
Furnishing your space
Choosing outdoor materials is a good idea, particularly in our climate. You don’t want furniture that will fade or warp over time, and there are many well-designed outdoor couches, tables and chairs to choose from. Teak, stainless steel, and stone for benchtops will all look good over time if you have a sheltered alfresco area.
For a more rustic outdoor kitchen, keep it simple with a bench for your cooking equipment and a table for dining, perhaps under a tree in the garden.
Selling in 2023? Talk to us
When you’re looking to sell your home in 2023 with an independent agent in the Northern Beaches area with extensive local market experience, look no further than the team at JDH Real Estate.