Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen Layout

If you read our article last month, Outdoor Kitchen Design:  Location and Placement Tips, you’ve decided where to place your new outdoor kitchen. Step Two is to think about what your new backyard kitchen will look like.  Don’t break out the appliance catalogs, countertop samples and cabinet style guides yet. Before you can focus on those things, you’ll need to choose an outdoor kitchen layout.

Balancing Function and Form
Building an outdoor kitchen requires balancing form and function. To manage this trick, you’ll need a floorplan that considers how cold areas, hot areas, wet areas and dry areas work together. You’ll also want sufficient counter space in the right places so that you’re never scrambling for a place to put a hot plate.

Depending on the size of your new outdoor kitchen design, storage may be another concern. Some kitchen tools and accessories will travel between your indoor and outdoor kitchens.  If a larger outdoor kitchen is an option, there will be items that you’d like to keep outside, and you’ll need a place for them.

Do you want to offer seating around the outdoor kitchen area.  Will you incorporate it into your layout and encourage guests to pull up a stool while you cook? Alternately, would you prefer to establish a separate seating area away from the sizzle of the grill?

Outdoor Kitchen Layout Ideas

When sifting through the possibilities for outdoor kitchen designs, it makes sense to check out popular outdoor kitchen layout ideas. These include:

  • Island kitchens. The most common layout is an outdoor kitchen island.  When you build an outdoor kitchen island, it places all of your appliances in one central, free-standing space. It’s a simple, cost-effective design. It offers easy access from any direction, creating a natural gathering place in your outdoor living space.
  • Straight-line kitchens. Installed against a wall, a straight-line outdoor kitchen makes efficient use of a small space. It’s best suited for situations where a single cook will reign supreme. Are you planning to use the side of your house as the wall? Don’t forget to take steps to shield your home’s siding with noncombustible materials.
  • L-shaped kitchens. Like straight-line kitchens, L-shaped outdoor kitchens make efficient use of space. It’s easy to fit one in alongside existing feature like walls and fences. In fact, while it’s possible to create a freestanding version, most of these kitchens are framed by a wall or fence. This layout keeps the features that you need close at hand while still providing enough room for a cook to prepare delicious dishes. It also makes including space for serving, socializing or entertaining simple.
  • U-shaped kitchens. If you love to cook and have the space available, a U-shaped outdoor kitchen should be a strong contender on your list of outdoor kitchen layout ideas. This type of layout provides ample room for one or more cooks to work. In addition, it can easily accommodate the various features that committed cooks want at their fingertips as they perform their culinary magic.

When you’re ready to make your outdoor kitchen dreams a reality, count on American Backyard Concepts. Our experienced designers will listen intently to your outdoor kitchen ideas and help you craft the perfect outdoor kitchen design for your lifestyle. Since we handle everything from design and permitting to installation, we make it easy to have the outdoor living space that you’ve always wanted. Contact us today at 407-847-9322 or fill out our online quote to schedule a free in-home design session.