outdoor kitchen

How to Choose an Outdoor Kitchen Design

How to Design an Outdoor Kitchen

Check out the direction of the prevalent wind when you’re deciding on the location of your outdoor kitchen. You will avoid the sun making it hard to see while you’re cooking for both safety and convenience.

If you’re installing a sink and need electricity for a fridge or freezer, this may affect where you can design the outdoor kitchen. Remember, too, these services will need to be planned carefully from the start and installed by a professional.

Consider the neighbors

Always think about the garden privacy intention as part of planning how to design an exterior kitchen. Your neighbors will like the suggestion of reserving theirs, too. Think about garden fence ideas, walls, and even plants that can ensure you’re not bothering one another. 

When you decide on the location of your outdoor kitchen, think about what is in the surroundings, and ensure that the site chosen is at a fair distance from any combustible materials.

Start with base units

The base units will create the style and grace for your kitchen and a whole choice is available. Choosing wood base units can create an outdoor kitchen fuse into the landscape, while brick or a brick veneer could match it to your inside. Stainless steel will make it a more attention-catching element of your backyard ideas. Base units create a kitchen layout just like inside the house. It could be a linear arrangement, L-shape, or G-shape.

The flow of the kitchen design is also a vital thing to make sure it works with your social concerns. You don’t want to put a barbecue grill in the corner facing the wall when you could create a design with merged bar seating enjoying a beautiful sunset. 

Oven and sink installation

While the BBQ grill will probably take center attention, you can also fit an oven into an outdoor kitchen. Adaptable designs allow you to install an under-counter oven to cook the same as you would inside. A pizza oven can be placed in various locations, whether at countertop level, built-in below, or even above an outdoor fireplace with a brick surrounded to look like a traditional oven.

Locate the table and chairs right next to the kitchen and under the same cover. Outdoor sink ideas are exceptionally valuable elements when considering how to design an outdoor kitchen layout. 

Finishing touch and added extras 

We have already discussed the value of adding a sink to your outdoor kitchen design.

Another important thing is warming drawers so you can always serve everything up at the right temperature.

Other luxuries deserve consideration if you’re thinking of taking outdoor kitchen design to the next level including unified outdoor bar ideas with stools for seating guests along with a fridge.

Choose rich colors

The beauty of decorating an outdoor kitchen is just outdoor space. It means you can afford a wider, eye-catching, and brighter kitchen than you would inside. Outdoor paints come in every single color of the rainbow now, so plan garden color schemes!

Bold colors look great outside, even black. It will create a dramatic ground and make your plants bloom. You can add even more interest with the best outdoor rugs, cushions, and colorful tableware.

Nourish your outdoor kitchen with plants

Supplement and nourish your outdoor kitchen or dining room with a seasonal vegetable garden or lawn. Adding an herb garden is another brilliant idea for outdoor bars. If you lack green fingers, consult a local specialist like a landscape designer or master gardener.

Best Outdoor Kitchen Materials

Weatherproofing stuff is a priority when it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen. There is a variety to choose from, depending on your taste, your garden design ideas, and your budget. 

  • Stainless steel looks enlightened and is an excellent complement to modernized landscaping ideas. It can be synchronized with your grill and other appliances. It’s a high-budget project, though, and can get hot quickly. 
  • Powder-coated stainless steel allows you to get a finish with multi colors rather than the usual shade.
  • Wood kitchen cabinets can fuse with their surroundings and are a good choice for more rough garden looks. Keep in mind that they need formal maintenance. For protection, do not use wood cabinets to wrap grills.


  • Cement, brick, and stone can hold the heat of grills, and they’re fit and long-lasting. 
  • HDPE (high-density polyethylene) or PVC is normally used to make outdoor furniture and it’s best employed to make outdoor kitchens. It is an easy-care option and comes in a variety of colors.

Outdoor kitchen counters could be made from some of the other options.

  • The granite looks like natural stone, but it is much heavy so cabinets must be able to carry its weight. This deluxe option also comes with a high budget.
  • Concrete is hard-wearing but it is also a great idea.
  • Tile is another alternative for an outdoor countertop and is a fair choice if your budget is low. Make sure to pick a tile suitable for outdoor use. Be aware that any adhesive material can stain and is harder to clean than tiles.

The Best Location for Outdoor Kitchen

One of the most important things you’ll decide is where the outdoor kitchen will be located in the backyard. If you already have a deck or patio where you want the outdoor kitchen, then simply install it. But take a few of the following factors into account.

Most householders prefer to have their outdoor cooking area located in the vicinity of the house. The outdoor kitchen and dining area feel more like an extension of the living space this way. The house also acts as a shield from the wind and also provides shade. This type of setting may be more advantageous for the sake of ease when you’re cooking outside and want quick access to whatever is inside. Having an outdoor kitchen within the vicinity of the home makes installing plumbing, electrical, and natural gas connections easier.

If you have a large backyard then locating an outdoor kitchen away from the house will benefit too. A poolside area supplied with a cooking and recessing space can make you feel like you’re staying at a resort and give you more space to get stylish with your outdoor kitchen layouts.

Patio or deck: What to Choose for the Outdoor Kitchen?

The patio or deck argument has been here for ages. If you are looking to add a patio or a deck in the outdoor kitchen then there are some basic facts you should consider. Let’s have a look at some. 


Compared to wood decks, patios are a little more economical because they’re cheap to install and tend to last longer. Low-maintenance wood decks should last around 8-10 years and a patio that has been rightly maintained will last approximately 10-15 years.

Patios provide a variety of options in terms of shapes, textures,  designs, and colors of paver and stones. This can help you design a patio that aesthetically complements your home’s exterior space.

You also don’t have to worry about weight limitations with a patio as you do with decks, you are restricted to having it on the ground floor.


Decks typically cost a little more to build than patios. One edge decks have over patios which gives you more flexibility in terms of where they can be fixed. A little raised deck is preferred depending on the pattern of your home. One issue you need to discuss when it comes to raised decks is they need to be strong and fit enough to handle the weight of outdoor living space. Elevated decks will also require some type of paling.

Wood decks will require conventional maintenance. If you take the following precautions, you should not be concerned much about fire hazards.

  • Locate your grill in a safe area away from wood railings or any combustible materials
  • Hire a professional who knows how to design a safe workspace
  • Apply a flame-blocking treatment to the deck wood

For free-maintenance decks, you could choose a more premium type of deck material like composite or aluminum. 

Outdoor Kitchen Layout Designs

Once you decide on the size of your outdoor living space, you should think about the various kitchen layout shapes. Since Keystone Yards’ outdoor cabinets are available in a selection of styles and sizes, you can easily get rid of nonfunctional designs.

Straight Run

When designing an outdoor kitchen in small spaces, the best option is a straight run of cabinets with all kitchen work sections in a line. You can place your kitchen against a wall. Choosing furnished back and end cabinet panels allow to design outdoor kitchen in other areas, such as against the deck. If your outdoor kitchen space can lodge wall cabinets, these will provide additional storage without taking up much space. While a straight run can surely be used for larger kitchens.

L-Shaped Layout

The L-shaped kitchen design provides space on two adjacent walls. It also allows for space where you can place the refrigerator, sink, and grill in a triangle form. A work triangle is great for meal preparation, cooking, and serving. If you have more space, this floor plan can also board an outdoor kitchen island.

U-Shaped Layout

U-shaped kitchen designs insert three lines of cabinets in a U shape, offering plenty of workspace for food preparation, cooking, and entertaining guests. As such, this layout is extremely helpful and versatile for outdoor cooking and it tends to be best suited for large kitchen spaces. Some important reflections of a U-shaped kitchen plan are minimal floor space and appliance adjustment. 

G Shaped Layout

A G-shaped layout is almost the same in contrast to a U-shaped layout, so keep the same points in mind when designing this way. It has cabinets on three sides, but it also lodges the fourth wall of cabinets. It is best suited for the largest kitchens because It offers the most storage space of all the other outdoor kitchen layouts.

Choose Premium Grills for Outdoor Kitchens

Premium grills are made to long last. That is why you should spend a little more on premium grills. Affordable barbecues cost what they do because a lot of manufacturers use inexpensive metals and parts that rot and break easily. A grill made from av material just looks and feels superior. In the outdoor kitchen, the main thing catching attention is the grill. 

A premium grill is durable and safe to use. Luxury grills will work more consistently, from starting up every time to keeping their heat efficiently. Luxury grills work finer for a custom outdoor kitchen layout. A premium grill is an inspiration if you’re putting the time and money into getting a well-designed outdoor living space. You’ll have multiple style, color, and size options to choose from to ensure the grill complements the rest of the kitchen’s stylish elements.

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinetry

Outdoor kitchen cabinetry needs to look appreciable. It provides you with well-organized storage space and is durable enough to withstand the mixed weather of four seasons. It would be great if it would be low-maintenance too. It is quite difficult to find such a product having all these qualities altogether. The premium outdoor kitchen cabinets are up to the task. Premium outdoor cabinet solutions with a variety of textures, colors, finishes, and styles help to personalize your outdoor kitchen layouts lavishly.

Like grills, outdoor kitchen cabinetry needs to be made from superior materials that won’t erode or outwear briskly. Here are three durable cabinet materials worth noticing:

  • Commercial-grade stainless steel
  • Marine-Grade Aluminum
  • PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)

Learn About Keystone Yard’s Outdoor Design & Remodeling Services

Countertop & Outdoor Kitchen

Another diligent part of outdoor kitchens is the countertops. Countertops must have high resistance to scratches, abrasion, stains, and high temperatures, in addition to being outdoor-proof and visually attractive.

An up-to-date manufacturing process that involves using sintered particle technology can create work and dining surfaces that are extraordinarily strong and durable.

They are also highly personalized and customizable, providing infinite options for materials, colors, layouts, and textures. 

Outdoor Cooking Space

An outdoor kitchen adds smart functionality to your yard, but you should consider ways you can complement it to create a fully functional outdoor living space. There are a lot more ideas to add to your outdoor kitchen design and make your backyard a more cozy and alluring extension of your living space. Outdoor inviting space and enjoyment go hand in hand, so some soft seating like a sofa or chair is a must. Get a high-quality dining set built for the exteriors to make dining comfier.

Proper lighting for outdoor living space and the nearby landscaping also makes a big difference. Knowingly placed lighting highlights the living space, adds an impression, and allows it to be more functional and secure.

Here are some other things that an outdoor living space can have:

  • an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or patio heater
  • ceiling fans
  • an outdoor TV
  • an outdoor bar/beverage center
  • a hot tub
  • outdoor rugs
  • a pergola, awning, or pavilion

Outdoor Kitchen Appliance Options

An outdoor kitchen’s main appliance such as a grill carries a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to cooking outdoor meals. If you want to expand your cooking range, outdoor kitchen appliances come in. An outdoor kitchen layout can comprise many special appliances that give you a range of cooking options, allowing you to be more productive in the kitchen.

Appliances like a smoker, pizza ovens, cooktop grills, outdoor ovens, burners, and firepits can be fixed as built-in units that make effective use of the kitchen area. Some non-cooking exterior appliances that also bring the facility of an indoor kitchen to your outdoor space include refrigerators, freezers, and chillers.

Keystone Yards is an outdoor remodeling contractor that specializes in masonry, carpentry, & creative landscaping for both residential & commercial properties.

  • Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Solano, & Contra Costa County
  • Mon-Sun: 7am-7pm
  • CA License # 1078372

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