Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips

By mid-February, summer is creeping into minds all over Portland, so I thought we could bring “summer” to the landscaping blog by dishing out some design tips for outdoor kitchens. There is no question that outdoor kitchens have gained momentous popularity in the last few years, and All Oregon Landscaping is proud to have won, “Best in Show” and “Best Use of Color” at the 2011 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show in Portland for our elaborate outdoor kitchen design. Outdoor kitchen designs are a fun challenge for All Oregon Landscaping; combining the elements that make a great kitchen with the elements that make a great yard and landscape. There are a few factors homeowners should pay particular attention to when working on an outdoor kitchen design.

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Tips For Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

  1. Exposure to the elements is often the biggest difference between an indoor and outdoor kitchen design. This is particularly important when considering what will need waterproofing (especially here in Portland), as well as what materials you will choose for flooring, countertops, and appliances. In general, you want to find materials that will not be slippery when wet, are durable, and easy to clean. 
  2. Consider the maintenance your kitchen design will need. We find that the less maintenance needed to take care of an outdoor kitchen, the more apt the homeowner is to use and enjoy their investment. Materials like high quality stainless steel are a great low maintenance choice.
  3. Think about flow. Ask yourself, “How will people walk through and use this space?”. Flow in the outdoor kitchen space is important, but so is how the outdoor kitchen flows with the rest of the yard and other areas like a pool, garden, outdoor living room or other space. If you plan to use the space for entertaining guests, also consider how you will use both the indoor and outdoor kitchen at the same time. The outdoor kitchen design should be reflective of how you plan to use the space.
  4. In Portland, the rainy season can be really long. Don’t limit the use of your outdoor kitchen to a few months a year. Heating elements and shelter from the rain can lengthen the amount of time you can spend in your outdoor kitchen. Pergolas and awnings can cover the main preparation and seating areas, but you will probably want to leave the space about the grill open to let smoke escape. Natural gas patio heaters will make a big difference in damp Portland winter.
  5. Adequate lighting will ensure that your kitchen is usable after dark as well as on gray days. Task lighting and ambient lighting can be achieved by using a dimmer system. At All Oregon Landscaping, we love to recommend LED lights because the are more efficient than traditional lighting.

All Oregon Landscaping

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All Oregon Landscaping is a premiere Portland company focusing on outdoor kitchen design, pergolas, awnings, outdoor lighting, water features, outdoor fireplaces, intimate spaces, and more. Call us anytime to discuss your yard needs, questions, or concerns. We work in Portland, Oregon and surrounding areas and are happy to help you transform your yard into something you love!

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