Here in Southwest Florida, we enjoy the kind of climate year round that most of the country calls “Spring” and “Summer.” When building your new custom home, don’t leave out an awesome outdoor kitchen. As you plan your outdoor living space, there are some things you’ll definitely want to keep in mind.
Consider how you’ll use the space, what appliances you’ll want to include, and how it will realistically hold up to the Florida weather. Follow these helpful tips to get started creating an amazing outdoor kitchen!
Creating Outdoor Living Space
Outdoor kitchens extend your living – and entertaining space beyond the walls of your home. Making the most of your outdoor space in our subtropical climate means planning for shade and shelter from heat and sun.
A covered lanai will provide your outdoor kitchen with shade and shelter from the elements, and will allow for ceiling fans to move the air, keeping you comfortable even on the stickiest of August afternoons. If a fully covered lanai isn’t an option for you, consider a pergola or an awning, and planting shade trees nearby for added coverage.
Making Good Appliance Choices
Consider the appliances you’ll want built in to your outdoor kitchen. There’s a huge variety of appliances you could go with, so take into consideration how you will realistically use the space, and choose what you feel you’ll get the most out of. Here are a few to consider:
- Grill & Smoker—What would an outdoor kitchen be without a grill? There are many different styles and types available, so be sure to research what will work best for you before getting too far in planning to buy. Same point goes for smokers – if you feel you’d use one frequently enough to build in to your kitchen plan, be sure you research which will work best for your space and your needs.
- Refrigerator— Have soda, beer, water, and juice boxes cold and ready for guests, conveniently stashed in your built-in refrigerator. Not only is this easy and convenient for you and your guests, it also stops your backdoor from becoming a revolving door – a constant stream of folks in and out. We consider a built-in refrigerator as essential to a well-planned outdoor kitchen as a grill!
- Outdoor Sink and Ice Maker- Instead of constantly going in and out of the house to use the indoor appliances, have it right outside at your fingertips. The sink will also help to keep everything clean and tidy outside.
As you shop, remember that you’ll want to select outdoor specific models – indoor versions will work, but they are not built to withstand the elements and may not last nearly as long as their outdoor specific counterparts.
Choosing the Best Materials
As you are designing your outdoor kitchen, opt for materials that can stand up to the heat, heavy rain and wind, and whatever else mother nature might throw our way – while still being easy to care for. Stainless steel is a popular option because it is durable, looks sleek, and is easy to clean. Ceramic tile is another popular choice for outdoor countertops. It’s durable, and with many styles and colors to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits you.
Light Up the Night
As with your indoor spaces, you’ll want to plan for both functional task lighting and ambient lighting for setting the mood for entertaining. You’ll want plenty of light for grilling and prep work, so having a light installed over your work area is ideal. Accent lighting can be as simple as strings of lights over seating areas, or as elaborate as an outdoor chandelier with LED candlelights. Don’t forget the citronella candles, they provide some soft, flickering ambiance along with their mosquito repelling ability.
Time to Party!
After all of this researching and planning, your outdoor kitchen is complete! What better way to break in the new digs than inviting over a handful of your friends and family for a delicious outdoor dinner!
Ready to make this outdoor kitchen dream a reality in your new custom home? Contact us today and let the pros at SC Homes take care of you every step of the way!