What if you could make your outdoor living space as perfect as the indoors? The Summerset Outdoor Kitchen Planning Series is all about making that happen. Next up, how to pick the right island for your outdoor kitchen. Through this series, we help homeowners and businesses create an outdoor living space where they can enjoy everything from cooking to dining, relaxing, and entertaining.
From small spaces and patios to large kitchens with big budgets, you need a plan to customize an outdoor kitchen for any situation or budget. Find tips for building a custom outdoor kitchen that blends seamlessly into your backyard layout and style. You need to consider the island's size, shape, and style to fit your needs - plus all the extras like sinks, grills, appliances, and refrigerators! So whether it's a traditional slab-style island or something more exotic like a waterfall island, glass-tile backsplash, or mosaic tile countertops - let's explore some of the options and considerations.
How To Pick the Right Island For Your Outdoor Living Space
The proper outdoor kitchen can transform your backyard retreat into a fantastic destination for everything from exquisite meals to relaxing chats with friends and family under the sun or stars. Understanding the different types of islands and what you need is essential to making your outdoor kitchen perfect for you. Let's take a look at some of our most popular island styles.
What to Consider About an Outdoor Island
With the layout properly strategized, if an island is part of the plan, several options and factors need to be considered before moving on, such as:
- Prefab vs. Custom
- Materials and finishings
- Orientation in the space
- Entertaining options
Prefab Islands vs. Custom Installs
Prefab islands can be as close to one-stop shopping and design as there is when creating the outdoor kitchen. They can come with a complete barbecue station, workspace, stovetop cooking area, cabinets, and storage areas making efficient use of the space and flow. Offering various finishing options, they can often be self-installed if desired. Custom islands, however, can be tailored precisely to what is wanted and needed for the space. Although "custom" usually means more expensive, this isn't always the case. The right choices need to be made at the start regarding construction materials, finishing options, layout, and size to avoid spending extra down the road.
Choosing the Right Materials and Finishes
The biggest pitfall in choosing or constructing an outdoor kitchen island can be in selecting materials without understanding climate and function. Stainless steel, granite, and slate countertops work well in an outdoor space and will hold up in various conditions, whereas tile countertops and stucco will probably crack in colder winter climates.
Orientation and Flow
The island's orientation in the yard is vital to the economy of motion around the space and its function. If one side is for cooking and the other for entertaining, a plan is needed to shade at least one side of the island to keep the cook and guests from staring into the glare of the sun. Other features, like lighting and storage, are essential for food preparation and cooking during get-togethers that occur at night.
Ventilation of smoke is another concern that needs to be addressed. If the island has an overhead shelter, which can easily trap smoke and cooking odors, an overhead range hood is a good option.
Planning to Entertain?
Outdoor kitchen islands are a great way to incorporate an entertainment and eating area into the space. If desired, it is recommended to divide the countertop of the island. A raised counter on the entertaining side of the island will create a natural bar while shielding the cooking and prep zone from the view of adjacent seating areas. If extra seating is an option, then be sure to pick stools made from weather-resistant materials.
Finding the Right Island for Your Backyard
Choosing the right island for your outdoor living space can be a daunting task. Whether prefab or custom-built, gorgeous granite counters versus versatile tile, island orientation for cooking and entertaining, and whether shading is needed - there are plenty of options.
Check out the vast showroom at Summerset Superstore to find inspiration for your outdoor grill island, and meet with their Design Team to begin your project today!
The Summerset Outdoor Kitchen Planning Series is here through every step of the process and will continue next time as we look at outdoor cabinets and storage options.