Outdoor kitchens are as much about beauty as they are about functionality when it comes to design and execution. You need to consider climate, positioning, and appliances when drafting up your design plan. Fortunately, perfecting these elements and getting the look you want is fairly straightforward, especially when using materials such as natural stone. From a custom jumbo stone slab for your outdoor kitchen counter top, natural stone walling tiles for the counter or bar sides, to tailored flagstone for your patio layout, STONEarch has a number of beautiful colours and products for you to choose from when designing your outdoor kitchen area. We want to offer 7 of the top outdoor kitchen design ideas for your backyard kitchen so that you can make the most out of the space you have.
- Kitchen Type and Placement
- Grill Station
- Bar Seating
- Nearby Dining
- Outdoor Fireplace
1. Kitchen Type and Placement
Determining the best type of outdoor kitchen for you will depend on available space, lifestyle, and other factors. At its most basic, it could include a barbecue grill and maybe an outdoor bar that serves as a partial counter. As for extravagance: the sky is the limit. You can get as elaborate as you desire with additions such as an outdoor fridge, an outdoor wine cellar, an outdoor TV, and/or even an outdoor pizza oven. Decide if you want a fully functional kitchen or something simpler that just fits your needs. From there, you can begin designing a layout and selecting the right materials that work for you. For other areas that experience more extremes in weather, location within your yard is important. Pay attention to micro-climates. You want to avoid spots that are open to more wind, hot under the sun, too shady or cold. If you live in a region that gets lots of rain, consider locating your grill or kitchen under a partial patio roof. Adding large ornamental umbrellas and lighting allows you to host in the dark, in the rain, and any other condition you’re willing to weather. Using natural stone for your counter top, patio, or ornamental walling leaves you with reliable materials that you can count on for all of your outdoor kitchen design needs.
Designing a backyard living space can be a chore if you haven’t come to a decision on theme. Starting with a theme allows you to make more inspired decisions about how you would like the final product to appear, and what kind of essence it will bring to your backyard space. Making sure you choose the right theme for your house and lifestyle can be just as important as the materials themselves. You can choose to blend into your surroundings with heavy emphasis on rough edge stone and foliage, or you can stand out with colour, design and unique stone work for your backyard. Go with a refined, natural stone patio to compliment any pops of colour you choose for your outdoor kitchen, or use natural stone walling under a Jumbo Slab stone counter to make your kitchen look carved out of nature. STONEarch has an excellent selection of stone colors such as Indus Gray or Alicante Black to give your outdoor space a contemporary look or you can go with warm and earthy colors such as Slate Gray or Flint that emulates a humble country aesthetic.
3. Grill Station
It’s time to focus on the centre piece to backyard entertainment; the barbecue. Though barbecue itself is important, making the most out of your barbecue doesn’t just rely on your cooking skill or ability to grill. Having a grill station where you can prep, cook, and serve allows you to make the most out of your space and be more involved with your guests. Adding a little bit of counter space to your barbecue area for room to dress up, cut, or serve your home cooked cuisine can make a big difference in convenience as well as style. You can opt for a modest addition to the side of your grill, or enhance the space exponentially by including a longer grill station with additional storage underneath for utensils, extra propane tanks, or a cooler.
4. Bar Seating
Take your outdoor kitchen to the next level by adding some additional counter space and bar seating for your friends and family to join you by the grill. By including this addition, you can better define the space’s boundaries while also offering an element of inclusion. You can go with an extended counter so that your guests can sit level with the rest of the counter space, or bump the bar up to emulate the true essence of bar seating. There are plenty of colours to choose from for your counter top if you choose to use natural stone, like STONEarch’s Spring granite featured in the above picture. Whether you want a modern contemporary look or a country aesthetic, your guests are going to admire your outdoor kitchen and bar.
The patio is what lays the foundation for your backyard living space, quite literally. Never settle in the design for your patio style and layout until you’ve achieved the look of your dreams. You can go for a style that eases the indoors out, or create a look that stands out but gives you all the space you’ll need for designing your outdoor living space. For flooring you can go with uniform pavers, a combo of different sized cobbles, or you can select random sized stone that offers a more natural look. When it’s all said and done, the patio stone and other stone products should create a harmonized atmosphere that compliments each other and offers some sweet contrast that makes the whole project come together.
6. Nearby Dining
Along with the important pieces like the barbecue and the counter space, having an outdoor dining area or designated sitting area nearby is one more addition that can take your backyard kitchen to the next level. Whether you’re looking to seat the whole extended family, or a smaller company, a designated dining area will give you the ability to entertain and serve your guests. This addition will make this outdoor space come together in beautiful ways and create the outdoor living you’ve always dreamed about.
7. Outdoor Fireplace
Adding an outdoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit will take your outdoor kitchen and living space feel like you’ve simply just moved your living area under the sun. You can add a gorgeous ornamental fireplace with a majestic chimney – or go with a more country style look with a custom fire pit. It’s perfect for keeping you and your company warm on cooler days and colder nights, and offers the perfect mood lighting for cozy sessions with couples or family. Picking a patio stone or paver that compliments whichever element you go with can help establish the space, unify the landscape and add a gorgeous base for any deck furniture you choose for your backyard getaway.
However you wish to define your outdoor space, the incredible selection of natural stone products available at STONEarch can help take your design to the next level. Offering a variety of colours and products – such as pavers, flagstone, curbs, steps, slabs and a much more – STONEarch will accommodate your needs and work to bring your outdoor kitchen design to life.
Written by Kelsey Adley