8 Ideas For An Outdoor Kitchen

ideas for an outdoor kitchen in your  back yard

The only thing better than sharing an amazing homemade meal with your family and friends is preparing it outdoors under the summer sky. Whether you live in a climate that is warm or a little on the cooler side, you can still enjoy the luxury of an outdoor kitchen.

Being stuck inside on a warm evening while your guests socialize outside is not fun. There is often discussion about bringing the outdoors inside, so why not try bringing the indoors outside? An outdoor kitchen might be exactly the project you have been wanting to accomplish this summer.

Functional Layout and Storage

Functionality is an essential component for building a successful outdoor kitchen. Just as you would design your ideal indoor kitchen in a way to increase flow and productivity, with cupboards and appliances in locations where they make the most sense, you can do the same with your outdoor kitchen. Depending on space, create a U-shaped, L-shaped or rectangular kitchen that will best serve your cooking style.

Work with a designer and/or architect to come up with a layout with both functionality and storage capabilities ? you don?t want to run inside every time you need a pot or pan. Think of an outdoor kitchen as a completely separate entity for your indoor one, in need of both cooking and dining ware.

Lighting

A dark kitchen is never easy for a chef to work in and you don?t want to limit your outdoor cooking and entertaining possibilities to daylight hours. Make sure to consider lighting in your new outdoor space. Be creative with it ? try fixtures and shapes you would not try indoors. Although your outdoor space is an extension of your indoor design, with open air comes a more flexible aesthetic. What may not work indoors might be a perfect fit in your outdoor kitchen.

Pair Alongside Garden or Pool

If you have a garden or pool in your backyard, consider installing your outdoor kitchen beside them. This will create tasteful cohesion in your yard as well as allow family members and guests to enjoy both spaces simultaneously. Swim in the morning and then prepare lunch at noon without even having to go indoors. Summer is for outdoor living and this is how you capitalize on its warm weather and cloudless, storm-free days ? and nights.

Fireplace

Consider installing a fireplace in your outdoor kitchen or adjacent dining area. An outdoor fireplace, whether wood-burning or electric, will provide needed warmth and comfort for cool summer nights. Spark up your fireplace to dine outside with your guests, long into the late hours of the night.

Gourmet Grill

The grill, the mecca of summer cooking and entertaining, should be the focal point of any outdoor kitchen. Although this might seem obvious, allot for an adequate amount of your appliance budget for a grill. A grill is not an afterthought ? it is a way of life for outdoor chefs. If possible, find a professional grade one that heats up quickly, like this gas and charcoal grill from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. You will be happy you went the extra mile in this department when you start cooking in your outdoor kitchen.

Pizza Oven

Fire it up! To all the pizza lovers out there, what is better than a freshly grilled wood-oven pizza? Well, maybe, delicious wood-oven pizza cooked and enjoyed in the comfort of your outdoor kitchen? If you like a good pie, consider designing your outdoor kitchen to include a pizza oven. Not only are they lovely to look at, but they will create endless summer fun for you and your family.

Wine and Beer Fridge

Cool drinks are essential on hot summer days. Make sure your outdoor kitchen is equipped with proper refrigeration for both food and beverages. This will save you time from having to run back and forth between your indoor fridge, as well as make beverages easily accessible while entertaining. Also, consider installing a built-in cooler specifically for beer, water and other bottled drinks.

Sink and Dishwasher

Make cleaning up simple with an outdoor sink and dishwasher. Lugging all your dirty pots, pans, glasses and dinnerware inside is a total drag. Reduce cleaning time and hassle by having everything you need to prepare, eat and clean up a meal in your outdoor kitchen. Cooking outdoors becomes a hassle when you have to dirty your indoor kitchen as well just to wash dishes.

If you are interested in the possibilities of equipping your homes with an outdoor kitchen, call Infinity Gardens today at 403-938-5512 or send us an email at info@infinitygardens.ca for more information.

Are There Any Water Saving Irrigation Options?

Water conservation is more important than ever and every little bit can make a large difference to your home owning costs. Depending on the climate you live in, you may have to water your lawn and garden quite often.

To help you save water and lessen your monthly costs, we?re taking a look at the different types of irrigation systems that could be beneficial to your home!

Sprinkler Systems

Sprinklers are designed to cover large areas and can be either manual or automatic. If you choose to use automatic sprinkler systems, make sure you adjust the system as weather conditions change and to turn off your system if you are getting enough water from rainfall.

Hand Watering

This simple method of watering can be done with a garden hose or watering can, although it is extremely time consuming if you have a larger yard. Hand watering also leaves a lot of room for error ? while irrigation and sprinkler systems generally run on a timer that prevents them from using too much water, hand watering forces you to use your judgement, often leaving your lawn over- or under-watered.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is most effective for a small yard or individual plants, and can supply one-to-four gallons of water per hour to the soil. This option creates very little water loss by minimizing runoff and evaporation. It works well on mulched areas because it won?t wash away the mulch.

To conserve water with any of these methods, you will have to do a little research.

  • Be water-wise by always knowing how much water your lawn, and individual plants, need. Have a professional measure your sprinkler output to make sure you are not wasting water or damaging your foliage by overwatering.
  • Make sure you only water when you need to. It?s easy to tell if your lawn needs water: step on it! If the grass doesn?t spring back, then the lawn needs a drink.
  • When watering plants or shrubs, water at the drip line (under the edge of the leaf canopy). Watering the leaves or trunk doesn?t bring water efficiently to the plant?s roots.
  • Set your system to water early in the morning to lower the rate of evaporation.
  • Use a rain barrel (with a well-fitted screen to avoid mosquito larvae) to collect rainwater, to use to water indoor plants.
  • Research low-water use plants, like shrubs and groundcover, and use them to fill larger areas in your garden.
  • Install a rain gauge so you know which days you can skip watering.

Conserving water is all about the little details. By knowing when to water and when not too, you can also save yourself time and effort. Water by hand when you can, as it?s the most effective way to avoid wastage. And last but not least, always be conscious of your water use?water is precious in both monetary value and to the economy, so ensure you?re doing your part to minimize use.