Summer is here. And when the sun is shining and it’s gorgeous outside, do you really want to be stuck indoors cooking?
And you’re not on your own. Slaving over a hot stove in a stuffy kitchen is no one’s idea of fun, but the good news is – it doesn’t have to be! How about building a summer kitchen instead?
As people become increasingly creative with their living space, outdoor kitchens have surged in popularity. Here the Marble Store take a closer look at what exactly they are, how to create one, and why a summer kitchen could be just what your home’s been missing!
What is a summer kitchen?
A summer kitchen, often referred to as an outdoor kitchen, is just that – a kitchen space outside.
From all-singing-all-dancing areas, inclusive of everything you could possibly need (yes, even the kitchen sink!) to more basic, yet still incredibly fun and functional spaces.
What’s more, build an attractive canopy into your design (or just have a large umbrella to hand) and summer kitchens can be enjoyed all year round. Perfect for sizzling sausages on an autumnal night or serving up toasted marshmallows and hot chocs on a cold winter’s day.
How to create a summer kitchen?
Worktops, sinks and built-in barbeques are all great ideas, but simply fitting a small length of work surface can be hugely valuable too. Meaning that, no matter what size your garden is, you can still benefit from a handy area to prep and serve refreshments.
There are a few things to think about before you get started…
1. The position
Whilst the ideal spot for a summer kitchen is usually near to the house and main kitchen – helping to minimise any toing and froing – it can go anywhere.
Try to think about where catches the most sun (and if you want to be in it), where the BBQ is normally positioned, and where you will sit to eat etc, to work out what will suit best.
The key to an outdoor kitchen is durability and low maintenance. This is an entertainment space remember, not meant to be another chore, so your work surfaces and equipment need to be practical, easy to clean and hardy to the elements. Natural stone worktops are perfect.
Building a summer kitchen with shelter not only offers the chef shade on hot sunny days, but it also increases the usability of the space.
The UK is not renowned for its reliable weather and incorporating a canopy into the design, means rain won’t be able to upset plans.
Shaken or stirred? Your outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be restricted to the usual chargrilled meats on the BBQ. If Italian is more your style, what about a pizza oven instead? Or perhaps food isn’t the focus. Maybe for you it’s all about the cocktails, and a small space for mixing martinis is what you need.
5. Space & storage
Again, this needs to be focused on how you picture yourself using the space. If it’s for preparing sundowners, then a small run of worktop with under-counter storage – and ideally an outdoor fridge or wine cooler – would be perfect.
Similarly, if you intend to cook up a storm, plenty of work surface to balance plates of food, ingredients and cooking utensils will be a real boon.
6. Finishing touches
It’s entirely up to you what’s included in your outdoor kitchen but seating is usually a good idea – be it a couple of bar stools for perching at the counter or a full dining table.
Other finishing touches worth thinking about include lighting – twinkling fairy lights draped around can really help to set the mood. And how about planting a little herb garden nearby by too? Pretty, fragrant and perfect for adding more flavour to your kitchen creations!
How much does it cost?
The cost of a summer kitchen largely depends on your budget, and the scale of your design, but there’s no need for it to cost the earth – especially if you source competitive materials and think carefully about what you really want and need from the space.
Things like building in your existing BBQ, rather than creating a new cooking area, and installing the kitchen yourself, are all way to keep costs down.
Create your summer kitchen today
Keen to take your al fresco dining to the next level with a summer kitchen? Here at the Marble Store, we supply a fantastic range of hard-wearing surfaces perfect for outdoor use and all at great prices. Why not browse the collection now or for more advice on choosing the right worktop, get in touch with the team?