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10 mistakes to avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen

April 9, 2019
Posted by Chiara Bastianelli on Apr 9, 2019 12:58:00 PM
Chiara Bastianelli
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10 mistakes to avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen 2

The design of an outdoor kitchen
requires the same care and attention as the creation of an indoor kitchen. If well thought out and well inserted in the environment that will welcome it, an outdoor kitchen can provide the house owner with an extra space, where they can welcome guests and guarantee a pleasant experience outdoors.

Basically, if functional from every point of view, as well as safe and beautiful, an outdoor kitchen becomes an additional living area. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that such a project significantly increases the value of the entire property, making it more attractive to the real estate market.

However, even if the owner doesn’t intend to sell the property, the added value guaranteed by an ad hoc outdoor kitchen would result in exclusivity and luxury perceived by the owner himself as well as by his guests. However, for all this to happen, it is essential that the project is studied in detail. minimising the unexpected and any changes of course during construction, which often lead to irrecoverable mistakes or shortcomings.

These details should be taken into consideration even more if the project in question refers to an exclusive and high-quality structure. Next, we will analyse which mistakes you should avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen.

10 mistakes to avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen 2

The luxury outdoor kitchen: the errors of design and installation to avoid

When designing a luxury outdoor kitchen, it is necessary to evaluate important aspects in terms of functionality and aesthetics, aiming to avoid making errors and thus compromising the entire design. To help you avoid errors, here is a list of mistakes to avoid:

  1. Not giving the right amount of space to workstations
  2. Lack of wall cupboards and compartments
  3. Choosing unsuitable household appliances
  4. Incorrect positioning
  5. Unsuitable coating material
  6. Not studying the infrastructure
  7. Not correctly designing an electrical system 
  8. Wrong water system design
  9. Insufficient lighting
  10. Not considering the ventilation system

1. Not giving the right amount of space to workstations and functional areas 

This error mainly occurs because we tend to define the shape of the kitchen, then the space occupied by the outdoor kitchen, before even studying every functional part of it.

The solution for overcoming this problem is to list the appliances first, then the furniture and accessories that you want to include in the project. Then you have to indicate the dimensions and especially the depth of each element.

Next, consider the style you intend to give the kitchen from an aesthetic point of view since the overall dimensions may also vary depending on the materials used. Another important aspect to indicate in the first phase is the different work plans based on the functional areas in the project (for example, worktops or countertops in the hob area, in the grill area, near the sink, etc.). All these considerations as a whole will ensure a greater perception of the minimum dimensions to be considered in the development of the project.

Outdoor kitchens need the same workstations as indoor kitchens. By carefully calibrating the spaces between the various stations, you will avoid "overcrowding" the work areas and consequent disorder.

Among the most common errors concerning space, there is excessive proximity between the hob and the work area, as well as the lack of a clear separation between the cooking zones and the "colder" ones. Spacing out the two zones ensures greater comfort as well as greater safety. 

Not including a counter, where you can place food and ingredients, is another mistake you should avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen. An outdoor counter is just as important as the one for the internal kitchen. Also, in the area destined for sinks, a space where you can set down ingredients and various utensils must be provided. As a general rule, therefore, it is important to provide a suitable workspace for each planned area.

2. Lack of wall cupboards and compartments

The space intended for storage is usually not as well designed as it is for indoor kitchens. However, even in the case of outdoor kitchens, it is essential to select specific furnishing accessories for the storage and organisation of tools, cutlery, plates and anything else necessary for food preparation. You could consider installing a real island that can add storage space as well as an additional workspace. Design a luxury outdoor kitchen: the ultimate guide

3. Choosing unsuitable household appliances

During the design process, it is essential to take into account the measurements of the selected appliances to determine the right dimensions for the location of furniture and the worktop. If the worktop is made of granite, for example, or, in any case, a material that is customised, communicating the exact measurements to the supplier is essential to avoid having to repair it or find a solution on the spot. 

Furthermore, before purchasing the appliances for your outdoor kitchen, it is important to evaluate the specifications and verify that they are suitable solutions for outdoor use. Appliances not specifically designed for outdoor use should not be considered because there is no guarantee that they will resist the elements to which they will be subjected.

4. Incorrect positioning 

Always talking about home appliances, it is important to define where they will be positioned. This aspect should not be underestimated in the design phase since the location of the appliances defines the final layout of the structure. Furthermore, it is necessary to bear in mind the importance of a clear separation between gas appliances or in any case hobs and refrigeration instruments.

5. Opting for an unsuitable coating material

Among the mistakes to avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen, there is indeed incorrect coating. Also, consider adding an insulating layer that protects against cooking flames. 

10 mistakes to avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen 3

6. Not studying the infrastructure

By infrastructure, we mean everything that will serve for the functionality of the outdoor kitchen, electricity, water supply, gas, lights, etc. Since not all outdoor kitchens are located on the patio directly connected to the main house (for example, islands), it is good to provide all the necessary connections before installing the various components. This means asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Which networks will be used now and in the future in case you upgrade the structure?
  • Where will they be positioned and how will they be integrated into the outdoor kitchen?   
  • How will they reach the outdoor kitchen from the main house?

7. Not correctly designing an electrical system 

First of all, you must consider the electrical connection. It is necessary to provide electric sockets for grills, induction fires, refrigerators or ice machines, but also for charging mobile phones, computers, tablets or even audio or video systems in case you want to set up an entertainment area.

8. Wrong water system design

The water network is always a difficult subject and tracing new connections for an outdoor kitchen depends on both the property and the rules dictated by the municipality in which it is located. 

10 mistakes to avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen 4

9. Insufficient lighting

We are in an external environment, potentially livable, especially for parties and evening dinners. Therefore, lighting is essential and can often turn into a real challenge. For example, if the structure does not have ceilings, it is impossible to set up lights from above.

You will have to compensate with floor lamps, suspension lamps or LED lights, perhaps at the edge of the countertop for an even more refined atmosphere. In general, it is important to include lighting solutions both for food preparation and, later, for their consumption. 

In this regard, considering the different phases of use of the outdoor kitchen, it is possible to install adjustable lights to decrease the intensity and create a softer atmosphere during convivial moments.

10. Not considering the ventilation system

There are different ways to design an outdoor kitchen. Regardless of how the structure will develop, you should not lose sight of the ventilation. The cooking area, in particular, requires air recirculation which is also important to avoid the accumulation of fumes.

In this sense, it is advisable to provide a hood as well as study the direction of the wind. In addition, domestic appliances must be ventilated to prevent overheating. Furnishings should also have built-in ventilation grilles.

Mistakes you should avoid to create a perfect luxury outdoor kitchen

At the base of all the mistakes to avoid when designing a luxury outdoor kitchen lies the primary objective of ensuring that the client has an outdoor kitchen that combines fundamental aspects of aesthetics and above all functionality, an inseparable combination.

Focusing on design and accessories instead of functionality and practicality could result in an outdoor kitchen that has inappropriate and ill-thought-out dimensions, rather than a space that lacks essential characteristics for the use that you intended.

In more concrete terms, a designer outdoor kitchen can be spectacular on paper, but if it does not fit properly into the environment and does not meet the client’s intended use, it will not bring any value to the property. Some questions to ask yourself and the client to focus your attention on the following are:

Responding correctly to these questions is decisive for the design of a luxury outdoor kitchen, impeccable in performance and stylistically inimitable.

Design a luxury outdoor kitchen: the ultimate guide

Tags: Outdoor furniture, Outdoor tips

Chiara Bastianelli

Written by Chiara Bastianelli

CEO and and Marketing Manager at DFN - Italian outdoor design company providing you with first-class, customized outdoor furniture and services.

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