Are you looking to build a full on outdoor kitchen, with food prep countertops and a sink? Or are you picturing a simplier, small outdoor kitchen that you could build yourself? In this post you’ll find all of the ideas you’ll need to design and build your own outdoor kitchen, large or small.
How To Design Your Outdoor Kitchen
When thinking about building your own outdoor kitchen, you will need to balance what you want with the space you have to build it on.
For example if you want a sink, will you be able to hook up your outdoor kitchen space to the house utilities?
Cookers can easily use gas tanks. And you can place a grill anywhere.
Will you want electricity out in your outdoor kitchen, for:
- A cooler, fridge
- Lighting (there are also non electrical lighting ideas, which I list out below)
- A fan or mister
How Much Space Do You Need?
Another question to ask is how much space will you need? Do you want to be able to do food prep work outdoors, or will you be doing that indoors. Does that mean you’ll need a sink, and more counterpace then?
Near the House
Keeping the outdoor kitchen near, or even attached to the outside of the house, makes it easier to light the space, hang up a fan, has better access to the utilities, and it is easier to keep the space covered.
Keeping it Covered
Will you want your kitchen to be covered? Most of the outdoor kitchens in the mood board above use a more pergola like roofing structure. This provides enough shade when it is too hot. But you’ll want it covered if it rains a lot where you live.
- For more ideas and pictures on how to cover your kitchen, have a look at my post here: Pergola Roofing Design Ideas: From the Natural to the Motorized
Going The DIY Route
There are much simpler and budget friendly outdoor kitchen designs.
Building your own countertop for a simple outdoor grill is a simple 1 or 2 weekend project.
It could be built out of pallets.
Or use bricks/hollow blocks for a base and build a countertop using wood to make a concrete mold. You can find the step by step guide to the DIY build shown below here.
Or how about the simple wooden frame in picture (3)
Or a simple low cost IKEA kitchen cart can be used as a portable outdoor kitchen. This can be used to bring out all of the ingredients from inside the house out to the grill, and can be used as a simple food prep counter, or outdoor kitchen island.
Modern vs. Traditional Styles
If you want to create a more traditional styled outdoor kitchen, then make heavy use of stone for the base, and a tiled or stone curved countertop – just like in picture (4)
For a more modern outdoor kitchen design, look to use concrete and create clean straight lines – like the kitchen in picture (5).
Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Ideas
When it comes to lighting your outdoor kitchen you can either go with permanent light fixtures that will need to be wired up. Such as wall lights attached and wired to the house pointing towards the outdoor kitchen, just like in picture (6)
Or there are more basic ideas that can be installed and used within minutes. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Tabletop candle lanterns
- Tabletop fire pits
- Tiki torches
- Solar stake lights
- Solar string lights
For more ideas and some pictures, have a look at these posts here:
Have a look at these posts for more inspiration and ideas for your outdoor kitchen build:
- Style Guide: Modern Garden Design Ideas
- Is That a Pallet Swimming Pool? 24 DIY Pallet Outdoor Furniture Creations and Big Builds
- Host A Beautiful Vintage Garden Party: A Mood Board of Ideas for Decorations
- Search all of my outdoor posts for more ideas