Now We’re Cooking

Outdoor kitchens provide focal points for open-air living areas

Just as the kitchen is often the centerpiece of the home, its set up can provide an ideal focal point for outdoor living spaces. Whether simple or high-tech, outdoor kitchens allow homeowners to enjoy the fun of outdoor activities rather than being stuck indoors cooking.

Outdoor kitchens are just one piece of a growing interest in outdoor living, said Jerry Scott, senior vice president, RH Peterson Co.

“Outdoor kitchens and complete outdoor rooms continue to be a top sought-after amenity for new homes and remodels as well,” he said. “This is spurred by the desire to invest in the home and spend more family and entertaining time there while avoiding traffic, crowds and the high cost of dining out. Today, many home improvement shows are featuring the outdoor kitchen or outdoor room, which is inspiring the imagination and desire of homeowners.”

Emily McGee, director of communications, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) agrees, noting that interest in outdoor kitchens increases every year at the association’s expo.

“The options, innovation and technological advances are remarkable and always changing,” she said. “Your backyard is your oasis. More and more people are viewing their outdoor areas as an additional part of their home and finding ways to use it year-round.”

Creating an outdoor kitchen and living space is also a fairly easy renovation for homeowners, McGee said.

“When you update a patio, you’re not displaced, and no contractors are working in your home throughout the day,” she said. “It’s also one of the more affordable rooms in your home to update.”

Creating the Outdoor Kitchen

In addition to budget, homeowners considering a kitchen area for their outdoor living space should consider the type of entertaining they will do, how often they will use the space, how many people they plan to entertain and the amount of space they have to devote to a kitchen area.

Read the full article in our current issue of Natural Living magazine.