Ad. This is a collaborative post.
Since March last year we’ve all been spending a lot of time in our homes and whilst the weather is getting warmer we’re also making use of our outdoor spaces too. In the past year I’ve seen more and more outdoor kitchens, outdoor dining areas and pergolas popping up on my Instagram feed and in Home Interior magazines, or seeing people improving the outside space that they already have.
We’re hoping to start on another house project to build a pergola at the bottom of our garden to use as a space for entertaining family and friends (and ourselves), and to enjoy a G & T in the late afternoon sunshine. We loose the sun on our decking outside our kitchen from about 2pm, and it makes sense for us to build something here to allow us to make the best use of this area rather than it just being a home for the kids’ trampoline and plants that never seem to grow very well.
I’ve spent weeks scouring Instagram and Pinterests for ideas, and we have hopefully finalised our design to be a black timber framed box with an open roof and open sides that face towards the house, with a black cedar fence at the rear and on the side that borders our neighbours garden, plus an additional timber frame for swings or an egg seat. We’ve also chosen to have a tiled floor that matches our front path allowing us to have a BBQ or fire pit without having to worry about burning the floor as we have a few scorch marks on our composite deck from the BBQ. It will also mean that cooking is a little bit safer as we would no longer need to be BBQ directly outside the kitchen with the kids running in and out.
If you’re thinking about designing and building something similar, you could take it even further than our design, by building an outdoor kitchen with a built-in BBQ, cupboards and a worktop or even an island to prepare and serve your food on. I almost see designing an outdoor kitchen just like designing an indoor kitchen, but not on the same scale, instead often far simpler, however you may need to take some elements of kitchen design into consideration. For example if you’re thinking about having a worktop it would need to be of a quality you would have in a kitchen, after all it’s pretty much doing the same thing, and quartz, marble or granite worktops would be perfect for this. Plus they look stylish, ooze quality and should be fairly weather proof against our British winter and boiling hot summers.
In addition to food preparation and drink serving areas you could include a log store for a fire pit, stylish overhead festoon lighting or pendant lights, planters or plant pots, egg chairs that hang from the wooden timbers, sunken or built in seating, or even go as far as installing a hot tub or a dip tank that caught my eye recently. The style and design of your outdoor kitchen and dining area really is endless, and it’s something that you can make as bespoke as you like depending on the space you have available, what you want to use it for, your budget and why you’re doing it. As I said at the start of this blog post one of the reasons for wanting to build one in our garden is to make better use of the space taking advantage of the sunshine, and also to add more height. We haven’t got any tall trees or plants, and this will give us a little more privacy and a bit more privacy in our kitchen extension too.
To help design ours I’ve been inspired by many outdoor dining and kitchen areas on Instagram and here are just a few. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do…..
So those are some ideas for outdoor kitchens and dining areas. I love the idea of being able to make your garden more than just a garden, and make it actually part of your home, whilst keeping it workable and functional, yet still a stylish space. All of these ideas show that designing an outdoor kitchen and dining area is totally bespoke to your home and style, it really is like designing a kitchen, but like I said above just not on the same scale.
I’d love to hear what you would add to an outside space, and in the meantime watch this space for more to come on our own pergola design and build. Fingers crossed!
Header image is the stunning outdoor kitchen designed by @thehappybuild.