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3 Simple Strategies for Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have become one of the best-selling projects in America’s home improvement industry. A 2005 survey by the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association found that nearly $150 billion was spent on home remodeling in America. The surprising part was that a third of this amount went to outdoor living areas.

An outdoor kitchen can cost anywhere from $2,000 to about $30,000. The design of these kitchens depends on your requirements, your budget, and how often you would use them. Whether you go for pre-made outdoor kitchens or plan to build an outdoor kitchen yourself or have a contractor do it, be sure to set aside a few hours to do proper planning and assess your needs.

There are three basic design strategies that you can consider when designing an outdoor kitchen.

basic island layout

A basic island outdoor kitchen features a grill, sink, and a small space to shop or store supplies. This layout works for occasional light cooking, but becomes limited if you plan to cook elaborate meals or make recipes that require a lot of chopping and prepping simultaneously.

L-shaped island design

In this design configuration, the grill island is L-shaped. There are separate spaces for cooking and preparing food. The seating arrangement is usually next to the grill island.

u shaped center

The third design style is the U-shaped kitchen island. The 3 different lines of the ‘u’ shape provide different areas for cooking, preparing and eating food. An advantage of this layout is that you can serve food straight from the grill while still having a jovial conversation. Chairs and stools are placed by the grill island for eating food on the grill counter.

If you feel confused about which style suits you, take a look at some photos. You can also hire a designer. Many designers now also offer an option to design your outdoor kitchen using computer aided design (CAD). Just let your ideas flow and the designer will create your dream kitchen step by step on your computer screen.

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