Floridians have always loved entertaining in their outdoor spaces, but the pandemic inspired many people to stay home more often as well. Now that we have rediscovered the joy of being in our own backyard, ideas for how to build a better outdoor kitchen are always welcome. If you are looking to take your lanai, patio, or outdoor space to the next level, check out these tips.

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  1. Illuminate the Area: Lighting design is vital for any outdoor kitchen. Homeowners typically look for sufficient lighting to light up their task areas, but you don’t want to ruin the ambiance of a beautiful evening. Pendant lighting is a great way to light up your outdoor living area, while low-voltage lighting attached to stone walls will add textural illumination to the perimeter. Under-cabinet lighting close to cooking surfaces will help the chef keep track of what they were doing, and string lights can add a celebratory feel to the backyard. When planning your better outdoor kitchen, be sure to include plans for all lighting. This way, you can run all the wiring, outlets, and switches before installing the kitchen. Expert Tip: Plan for some overhead outlets as well – it makes stringing holiday or party lights much more manageable.
  2. Plan for the Elements: The main thing to remember about an outdoor kitchen is that it is exposed to the elements. When making your selections, choose durable materials and outdoor-rated products that are designed to withstand the severe elements Florida can dish out. It will cost more on the front end, but the investment will be worth it when your outdoor components last longer. Be sure to protect these products by sealing porous surfaces and obtaining covers for appliances, fireplaces, furniture, and lighting elements.
  3. Strategize About your Space: Consider how you will utilize the space before installing your kitchen. A small sink will do the trick if you only want to wash your hands occasionally. But if you want to wash all of your barbecue tools and platters, you’ll need a larger sink. You’ll need a larger model if you want to keep drinks and food in the refrigerator or if you don’t want to go back and forth to your inside fridge while preparing your food. If you want an icemaker, you need to make provisions for that. When considering your grill, cooking spaces, appliances and seating, plan out the space before making your purchases. Don’t forget prep space, outdoor seating space, storage space, and cooking space.
  4. Talk to a Designer: What better strategy than employing a professional designer if you truly want to build a better outdoor kitchen? These professionals have years of experience planning, designing, and installing beautiful outdoor living spaces, including gourmet kitchens and seating areas. They are able to point out the finer points that you may not think about – such as additional outlets for blenders or phone chargers and USB ports for laptops or music devices. You may want to plumb a natural gas line for future use, such as adding a heating element or additional fireplace. (You can cap the line until it is needed.) A designer can ask all the questions you don’t know to ask – and ensure that your kitchen has all the elements you desire today and in the future.

West Coast Design Build Florida is a team of design and installation professionals working in the greater Sarasota area. We specialize in bathrooms, indoor and outdoor kitchens, and backyard living spaces. Call today if you need new kitchen cabinets, bathroom tile – or a complete renovation.