Creating a luxury outdoor kitchen

So, you’ve decided your next home project is going to be a brand-new outdoor kitchen, and you’ve budgeted for something nice. How do you get yourself from bright idea, to concept, to the fine outdoor dining experience you’ve been dreaming about for your new space?

A clear vision and plan will help get you there. Taking the right steps along the way will give you the confidence you need to accomplish you project.

Inspiration, function and form

Your first task is to decide on what function your outdoor kitchen will serve. Are you an amateur chef looking to test out multiple recipes and therefore require stovetops, and a full kitchen with some stools for your taste testers? Are you a beginner on the BBQ and planning to serve light culinary fare for smaller intimate evenings? Or perhaps you are going to be hosting lots of kids and require cold drinks and hot dogs to be at the ready. Thinking about your needs and the guests you foresee welcoming will help nail down early design elements.

Once you’ve decided on some functional ideas you can begin to think about what appliances you’ll need. This will help dictate what sort of cooking equipment to have on hand and the storage you’ll require to hold it all so it can be accessed conveniently when you’re preparing a meal.

Will you require a fridge, hot plates, a pizza oven, or a full bank of professional BBQs? Will you need
frying pans, saucepans, colanders and a host of small appliances? All this brainstorming will help give you a feel for the new build you want. Once this is done, it will be time to call in a professional.

Design and hiring a contractor and mason

Maybe you’re good at drawing and coming up with plans, you have a designer friend who helped out or you’ve pored over dozens of magazines and have put together the perfect collage to describe your vision. Now you’re ready to consult with and hire a contractor and a mason to get the work done.

A contractor can work with you and your budget to give you more concrete ideas about what you can afford. Will this be an island kitchen, or do you have the option to go bigger and require a roof or an awning? A contractor can help with savvy shortcuts or replacements to make it more affordable or to stretch your dollar. A great contractor will bolster your idea and hone it so that your vision goes above and beyond what you thought was possible with your own abilities and planning. And a mason will add some great design and materials options and make your build with a precision eye and skill.

Materials, and a trip to the home improvement store

There are a variety of choices when it comes to choosing the materials to build your outdoor kitchen. A good place to start is to look at your house and try to match the style of your new outdoor space to what you see. Wooden slats or shingles work nicely outdoors, as do marble countertops and other nature-inspired building materials such as concrete countertops to enhance the feel of your backyard kitchen.

One cost effective way to get a lavish looking space is to use stone veneer. Shouldice Designer Stone offers many colours and styles of stone veneer with a much lower price tag than natural stone while delivering a beautiful and deluxe look and feel.

Smith Stone is particularly suited to an outdoor kitchen as it has a contemporary appeal and a sophisticated presence. It would match well with most modern home designs but also add a clean and fresh appearance to any older style of home.

Most outdoor kitchens can be completed within a few days, so make sure you head to your local home improvement store or favourite design boutique to pick out some fun glassware, comfy chairs and accent pillows!

Lastly, have a look at your calendar and send out some invites to share your new space with family and friends!

Have a look around the Shouldice Designer Stone website to see how different colours and styles of stone veneer could add to the appeal of your new luxury outdoor kitchen.