Now that the icy grip of winter has loosened, you’re probably looking forward to cooking and sharing meals outdoors. If your old outdoor cooking area was inconvenient, lacked amenities or just didn’t appeal to you, a new outdoor kitchen will add significant value to your home and provide an enjoyable space for the family to gather. Here’s how landscapers near me might craft the perfect outdoor kitchen in Harrisburg, PA.
The first question a good landscaper will ask is how you like to cook. Most people enjoy grilling and don’t need a full outdoor kitchen - often, a stylish grill station with a few special amenities can be all you need. If you entertain a lot and want to minimize traffic in and out of the house, you’ll want a full kitchen with specialty appliances. You may have specific features on your wishlist, or just a general idea of what would make the experience pleasant. The main focus will be on everyday cooking: amenities and conveniences that center around how you actually cook.
One popular feature is a wood-fired pizza oven (which may see a lot more use than a cooktop). This can be a custom-built masonry feature that fits in with your patio decor, or a stainless steel unit that fits right in with a smoker, grill, and refrigerator.
Once you’ve settled on how often you will actually cook outdoors and what type of cooking you will do, the next step is to fit the necessary appliances into the kitchen’s footprint. The most common and practical kitchen shapes are workstation (straight), L-shaped, or U-shaped. A workstation kitchen is the simplest and usually centers around a grill. L-shaped kitchens are likewise open and spacious. One section of the L may be dedicated to cooking, or serve as a bar where everyone can be in on the action without getting in the cook’s way. A U-shaped kitchen will have plenty of space to house all the must-haves including a bar, but it does require a significantly larger footprint to comfortably accommodate the cook(s).
Seating and Dining Surfaces
More homeowners are choosing bar-type seating at their outdoor kitchens. This makes the kitchen itself larger (an L-shape or U-shape as opposed to a linear workstation design); however, it’s a stylish look that minimizes clutter on the patio if the bar is the dining hub instead of a dining table.
Walls and Work Surfaces
The kitchen walls integrate your outdoor cooking space into the patio. They’re a great opportunity to add a little spice to your patio using various materials, textures, finishes, colors, and sizes. Your landscape designer can help you create a beautiful kitchen that fits in, yet has its own character.
Countertops often complement the patio pavers. Popular materials include granite and poured concrete (that can be stained). Both give your outdoor kitchen a stunning custom look.
Fire (a fireplace, fire pit, or fire table) will make your outdoor kitchen feel especially cozy, finish the look, and create an inviting place for everyone to gather.
If you rarely cook outdoors except in perfect weather, you’ll still want a shady pergola. If you don’t want to move the party indoors because of rain, a pavilion will provide additional protection from the elements. Pergolas and pavilions can be just big enough to shelter the kitchen, or spacious enough to cover the dining and lounging area.
A landscape contractor will merge function and beauty, to deliver an outdoor kitchen that works perfectly for your family!