Even if your yard is small, you still can enjoy an outdoor kitchen for grilling, family meals and entertaining guests. Your yard doesn’t need to sprawl across an acre to accommodate a functional, beautiful outdoor kitchen area. When adding a kitchen to your outdoor space it’s all about planning and making the most of the space available.
First, decide how the space is to be used. Your indoor kitchen must have ample storage for everything from pots, mixing bowls, plates, cups and small appliances, as well as all your pantry items. Think about how you’ll use the outdoor kitchen. When space is limited, opt for less countertop space and plan to do most of the cutting, mixing, and food preparation indoors.
Even in a small yard, an outdoor kitchen with cabinets for storage space can fit well. Cabinets in an outdoor kitchen allow storage for your grilling utensils, skewers, vegetable baskets and hot mitts, keeping everything out of sight and safe from the elements. If your grilling accessories are stored in outdoor cabinets you don’t have to bring them in and out every time you cook outside. Outdoor kitchen cabinets also are a great place to store outdoor table linens, placemats and even chair cushions.
Think vertical when working in smaller spaces. If your yard lacks the room for an expansive outdoor kitchen, maximize the space you do have by adding shelves for storage space. Shelves can be an attractive way to display crockery or small pots of cooking herbs such as oregano, basil and other spices.
When designing a seating around your outdoor kitchen, a smaller yard will feel cramped if you try to stuff a too-long bar area into it. Instead of bar seating for four or five, reduce it to a two-seater bar. This can be very attractive in smaller yards. A round table that seats four will fit a small yard better than a rectangular table that seats six to eight. The smaller bar and table settings will allow for better flow and movement through the kitchen and yard.
Finally, don’t forget space-friendly grills. A too-large grill can dominate a small yard and outdoor kitchen. Work with a qualified outdoor kitchen designer when designing the space. He or she can help you select the right size grill to fit your space and the way you like to cook and entertain.