Outdoor Kitchen and Bar Ideas

Outdoor Kitchen and Bar Ideas

Having an outdoor kitchen and bar is high on the wish list for many of our clients so here are some outdoor kitchen and bar ideas to inspire you.

Features to include in your outdoor kitchen and bar

The very first thing to think about with any outdoor kitchen or bar, is how you want to use it.  Will it be for small groups of people or is it for entertaining and parties?  

  • Does it need an electricity supply, fridge and lighting?
  • What do you like to cook and which heat sources will be best?
  • Will you store utensils, crockery, cutlery, glasses, condiments etc in your outdoor kitchen or will you bring them outdoors every time you plan on using the space?
  • A water supply and a sink is always useful – especially in food preparation areas
  • Plan to have a nearby seating area and/or fire-pit for a really sociable ambience
  • Pergolas are wonderful for creating shade and/or shelter. You can light up your pergola for evening use and even include features such as speakers or a cinema screen. 

outdoor kitchen with porcelain cladding

This outdoor kitchen was designed by Tapestry Design Studios and built by Holland Landscapes of Colchester

Where to place your kitchen and bar

One of the trickiest parts of garden design is knowing where to place garden features.  It’s tempting to plonk your cooking area quite close to the house so that you have convenient access to your pantry, utensils etc, but I would argue that your outdoor kitchen and bar needs to be placed so that it entices people out into the garden.  Otherwise it’s too tempting to fill your plate at the barbecue and then head back indoors with it.

Take time to study your garden as a whole.  Where does the sunlight fall? Which parts of the garden are overlooked by neighbours? Is there a spot where you get magnificent views? Are there any sheltered areas that will feel more intimate? Oh – and don’t forget to think about your journey from the house to the outdoor kitchen and bar. Do you need paths?

Suitable landscaping materials

As your outdoor kitchen and bar will be exposed to the elements all year round, it’s important to choose your materials wisely.  Ceramic or stone cladding is perfect for the job. You can build the supporting structure with concrete blocks and then decorate it to your taste.

Bear that in mind when designing your structure that pizza ovens and built in barbecues are heavy.

For outdoor worktops and food preparation areas, I recommend granite or a similar stone. Food hygiene is crucial and the surface must be easy to disinfect before use.

outdoor kitchen and bar with timber cladding

A sturdy outdoor bar with plenty of room for storage beneath and an attractive but easily cleaned worktop

What does an outdoor kitchen and bar cost?

You could potentially create your outdoor bar area by upcycling an existing garden shelter or a shed.  It’s a fun project for a weekend and you can dress the area with enamel signs, bunting, lighting and ornaments.

An outdoor kitchen however, is slightly more complex.  As each case is different, It’s impossible to quote a figure in this article. However, if you discuss your ideas, and your budget, with a garden designer, he or she should be able to give you a ballpark figure.

Designing a garden for entertaining

outdoor kitchen and bar with seating area beneath a louvred pergola

I always recommend designing outdoor kitchens and outdoor bars with the whole garden in mind. There needs to be a”flow” between the various garden elements and the property itself. In my experience, If that flow is not quite right, then the garden just doesn’t seem to be used to its full potential.

I love cooking outdoors, and I can promise you that once you’ve tried it a few times, you’ll be hooked. Which means, that it’s worth investing in a professional garden design to make sure that you get what you need first time around.

The Tapestry Design Studios team have oodles of experience at designing (and enjoying!) outdoor kitchens and bars. Call us – we can help you to turn your ideas into a tangible plan.

Contact Tapestry Design Studios team

Read our article on designing an outdoor eating area

How to design a garden full of flavours

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