By NKBA K+B Insider Brian Patrick Flynn, Flynnside Out Productions, Atlanta, GA
An outdoor kitchen is an excellent way to create extra entertaining space in your yard for family and friends. When planning the design of the space, many factors like layout, appliances, lighting and storage have to be considered. NKBA K+B Insider Brian Patrick Flynn shares his expert advice below for designing the ultimate outdoor kitchen with entertaining in mind.
Keep an open layout to encourage conversation
Since my design aesthetic tends to be much more casual, I set the space up so that guests are encouraged to serve themselves and relax. I like to stick with appliances that serve double-duty or can be moved around in a modular fashion, allowing for multiple tasks to happen simultaneously. When planning seating, keep guests 10-12 feet from the food preparation space. This distance gives guests the chance to mingle and converse as the host finishes cooking but still allows conversation to flow from one area to the other.
Design with functionality in mind
When designing a more formal outdoor kitchen, choose a covered outdoor space with plenty of square footage to allow for integrated appliances such as refrigeration, extra wine and beer storage, a nice size integrated stainless sink with a detachable faucet, a cooktop or an outdoor dishwasher. These additions give an outdoor kitchen the opportunity to work at its full potential and eliminate back and forth between indoors and out. Pro tip: It’s not a bad idea to have two outdoor stainless steel dishwashers side-by-side. The best outdoor kitchens are as functional as an indoor one.
Let there be light
Good lighting in and around the outdoor kitchen space is essential. I love integrating industrial festival lights along a pergola to help keep the space lit up after hours. This subtle addition gives any outdoor gathering space a more comfortable, room-like feeling.
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