Outdoor kitchens are one of the best ways to get your family outside more. The perfect Orlando Outdoor Kitchen feels like an extension of your home. It uses the same materials, the same colors, and the same overall feel. When you step outside, it shouldn’t feel like you’ve left your house. You want an outdoor kitchen that feels like it was built for you.
How do you make your outdoor kitchen feel like home? Here are the best tips for designing and decorating your outdoor kitchen.
Design The Focal Point
The focal point is an important part of your outdoor kitchen plans. Where do you want guests to look? Where do you want people to gather? Some areas, like the pool or the fire pit, will attract more people. These can both make interesting focal points.
Another example of a focal point for your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen area is the view. If you have a spectacular view of the water, the sky, or the city, you can emphasize that in your kitchen layout. Once you decide on a focal point, you can arrange your outdoor kitchen around it.
For example, if you want to draw attention to the seating area, you can:
- Design the kitchen layout so guests can get their food and walk straight to the couch, without having to turn around.
- Use accent colors that pop for the couch cushions, outdoor rug, and other decor.
- Add some good lighting. Light attracts the eye, so your guests will naturally look at the spot with the best lighting. That means they’ll gravitate there, too.
- Use other objects or structures, like a gazebo, to frame the spot.
When you follow all these steps, you will set up a focal point for your outdoor kitchen.
That tells your guests, “check this out!” It gives them clues about where they should stand, sit, or walk. Also, the focal point can help match your outdoor kitchen to the rest of your house. What is the theme of your house? If it’s an ocean theme, how could you incorporate that into your outdoor space? What focal point should you draw people’s attention to? If you need help coming up with ideas, contact a design expert. They can help you figure out what to emphasize in your outdoor kitchen.
Heating and Cooling
After the sun goes down, your outdoor kitchen might start getting chilly. And of course, during the daytime, we don’t need to remind you of the humidity. You’ll want to add some cooling options to your outdoor kitchen as well. One of the best ways to make a seamless transition from your house to your backyard is to maintain a good temperature.
You don’t want guests to feel slapped in the face when they step outside. Then your outdoor party might just turn into an indoor party, because everyone is huddled underneath the A/C. To keep your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen cool, consider adding some mist fans. (You’ll want to keep these away from the kitchen area, but they feel amazing on a hot summer day.) Sun shades and umbrellas can keep your outdoor furniture from getting too hot in the sun. You can add ceiling fans and floor fans to keep the air circulating. Also, be sure to offer lots of cold drinks for your guests!
When the sun goes down, if you have a fireplace or fire pit, light it. Outdoor torches also give off some good heat, if you have enough of them. Should you have a guest who gets cold easily, keep a couple of lightweight throws outdoors. Then you can offer them a blanket, without having to dig around inside.
The first thing you plan in your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen is the cooking space. However, it’s also important to know where the guests will eat. You definitely don’t want your guests to stand around, paper plates in hand, with nowhere to sit. The dining area is a great way to add your own touch to the outdoor kitchen.
- Do you want one large table, or several smaller ones?
- Do the guests eat in one area and move to a different spot later? (i.e. eating at a table, then roasting marshmallows at the fire pit.)
The first decision is where you want people to eat.
As a family, do you use your indoor dining room, or do you prefer to eat in the kitchen? For a family that likes the dining room, you might consider a covered outdoor table, with space for family and a few friends. That will encourage everyone to eat and sit together. If you want a more casual, “eat wherever” style, try providing a handful of smaller options:
- Some couches and a coffee table under the awning
- A table and chairs by the pool
- A few chairs along the kitchen bar.
Also, make sure that your seating area can double as a dining area. Some guests can sit on the outdoor couch, or the kids can eat by the pool.
Let’s talk about the seating area next.
In addition to the dining area, you’ll want to include at least one seating area. Think of it this way: inside your house, you probably have a dining room and a living room. With your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen, the dining area is where guests will sit down to eat. The seating area is where you want your guests to hang out.
There might be some areas where it makes sense to have a seating area. This could be:
- In front of the outdoor TV
- Around the fire pit
- Under an awning or covering.
When it comes to the types of outdoor chairs, the possibilities are endless. Hanging chairs offer a cool alternative that the kids and grandkids will love. (In fact, if you plan on having kids or teenagers over, you’ll want to install more than one hanging chair.)
Another option for your seating area is an outdoor couch. You can add an outdoor rug and some throw pillows to make it feel just like home. Also, it’s a good idea to include an outdoor table near each seating area. That way, it can double as a dining area, and gives people somewhere to put their drinks.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliances
Your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen should feel like home. If you’re still planning your outdoor kitchen, don’t forget to ask, “What appliances do I need in my outdoor kitchen?”
Some of the essentials include:
- A grill (obviously!). We highly recommend one of the luxury grills by Alfresco. Alfresco grills have a lot of great features and benefits, like high powered sear burners, top notch temperature control, and a rotisserie.
- An outdoor refrigerator. This one is a must, because it saves you from running back inside for foods, salads, and condiments. Why not just keep it in the outdoor fridge instead?
- An outdoor sink. From a practical standpoint, this is just a good idea. You can wash your hands, and guests can refill their water cups. Depending on what type of sink you install, you might be able to wash the dishes outside, which is a huge time saver.
These appliances help your outdoor kitchen feel more like home.
Once you have the basics down, you can choose what other outdoor appliances you’d like. Some of our customers’ favorites include:
- Built in pizza ovens.
- Side burners, to cook foods that you would normally make on a stovetop.
- Power burners, to cook foods that require very high or very low temperatures.
- Ice machines.
- Smokers, for that perfect slow barbecue.
Again, the perfect outdoor kitchen should feel like it belongs to you. It matches you and your personality with the rest of your house. That’s why it’s a great idea to consult an Orlando Outdoor Kitchen designer, so they can help you come up with the best options for your outdoor living space.
Lighting is one of the most versatile options on our list today. The options are basically limitless. You want installed lights that hang from the ceiling? We can do that. Looking for light strands that you can hang from the roof of your pergola? That’s a great idea as well.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting for different areas. We like to combine the lighting with other elements. Hang some lights inside your gazebo. After it gets dark, light some tiki torches. Use solar powered garden lights to add a little extra light to the dark areas of the yard. (And always remember to illuminate the walkways, you don’t want to trip in the dark!)
You might already have a covered patio, or some other ceiling for your outdoor kitchen. However, should you add more covered seating areas? What about the dining area— should that be covered as well? Your options for how to cover your outdoor kitchen are completely up to you. In some cases, you can work with professional contractors to extend the roof of your porch, so it covers your outdoor kitchen.
Some other good ideas for your outdoor kitchen include:
- Build a gazebo to cover a smaller, comfortable space. A gazebo offers complete shade, which is a great option in the summer.
- Install a wooden (or metal and canvas) pergola. Wooden pergolas allows some sunlight through the slated roof. Canvas pergolas don’t block the light, but they help keep you from getting sunburned.
- Install a cute patio awning, for a completely shaded option. This also helps visually extend your house into the backyard.
If you’re interested in adding coverings to your outdoor kitchen, it’s a good idea to work with a professional.
We design and build personalized outdoor living spaces in Orlando, Florida. You can see some of the covered outdoor kitchens we built at this page right here.
Furniture is a great way to take the colors and styles from your house, and incorporate them into your backyard.
- For a comfortable, summertime feel, put up a couple of hammocks or hanging chairs. These are sure to be a big hit with friends and family.
- Don’t forget a couch for the outdoor TV, some lawn chairs by the pool, and some chairs around the fire pit!
Remember, you’re looking for outdoor furniture, not just indoor furniture that you can stick outside. You want to find patio furniture that is durable and weather resistant. When you’re selecting chairs, try to pick an option that won’t get too uncomfortable in the hot weather. Some chairs, like metal lawn chairs, heat up much faster than others. Should you decide to buy metal chairs for your outdoor kitchen, it’s a good idea to keep the chairs in the shade, so they don’t get too hot.
When you’re done building your outdoor kitchen, it’s time to finish the decorating process! You can plant a garden, or keep a few potted plants in your backyard. Outdoor plants come with a lot of different benefits.
- Plant some flowers and help the local honeybees!
- For an environmentally conscious garden, try planting a succulent garden.
- A veggie garden lets you grow fresh produce, like tomatoes, squash, and peppers, from your own backyard. There is nothing like the taste of homegrown tomatoes.
- You can also plant herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, and mint that you can use in your cooking. Or just pick off a leaf or two and use it as a garnish.
Plants can set the mood of your outdoor garden, whether you plant colorful flowers, rustic herbs, or even your own vegetable garden. In addition to planters, you can also add some smaller potted plants to give your outdoor kitchen a nice ambiance.
Work With Us
Are you looking for a custom built Orlando Outdoor Kitchen? Our team at Outdoor Kitchen Guy specializes in outdoor kitchen design. We work with you to make sure that your outdoor kitchen feels like home. If you are based in the greater Orlando area, we’d love to work with you! Reach out to us by phone at 407.330.6850 or fill out the form on our website today. One of our team members will get in touch with you to start talking about your outdoor kitchen. From there, we will set up a consultation and begin the planning process!