Have you ever felt like your backyard was an under-used space that could be better utilized as an area for entertaining guests? An outdoor grill area could be the key to making your vision become a reality. Here are some essential elements you’ll want to set it up.
Some extra cover
Just because you plan on cooking and dining outdoors doesn’t mean you have to be exposed. Why let a little rain spoil your plans? Set up your outdoor kitchen, at least partially underneath an existing source of cover, such as a balcony. Or install a roof over the grill area so that you’re not at the mercy of the elements.
You may also want to put up an open-air pavilion for the guest areas, especially if you plan on frequently hosting large gatherings. Don’t forget to element-proof your outdoor deck while you’re at it; non-combustible decking is handily both water-resistant and fire-rated.
The grill area
While you just need a grill in your backyard to start serving up burgers and barbeque, a few extra elements will enhance the experience for everyone. Set up a bar and split-level counter by the grill for instant service, and to allow guests a seat up close to the action.
Having a dedicated prep area in the adjacent space will also make your job more efficient. And while it’s by no means required, installing an outdoor fire pit will let you grill food another way while making for a cool addition to the experience, especially at nighttime. Kids (and adults) will thank you for the s’mores and toasted marshmallows.
If you’re going to cook in your backyard with any frequency, adding storage right next to your work area is going to save you a serious number of trips to and from the kitchen. Fit some cabinets and drawers under the countertop, and store your spices, condiments, and other essentials in there. A mini-refrigerator will also come in handy; with cold drinks just an arm’s length away, you and your guests will be all set for many hot summer days to come.
Grilling can take time, so part of the experience is really about hanging out with your friends and family. Give your guests a few different ways to feel comfortable. In addition to the main dining area with tables and chairs, stools at the bar, bench seats, and garden chairs will offer a variety of options and locations from where to enjoy the occasion. And if you have a pool, lounge chairs under a beach umbrella by the poolside will soon be everyone’s favorite afternoon hangout.
As you go about preparing to transform your backyard, don’t forget to invest in some lighting enhancements. This is a great way to set the mood for any occasion, especially in the evenings. However, it also serves a more practical purpose; cooking and prep work are all done better with adequate lighting. The light of the fire is rarely enough for that purpose, so throw some direct lighting over your grill area and put up ambient lighting fixtures for everyone’s enjoyment.
Turning your backyard into the ideal space where you can cook outdoors and entertain guests can be a seemingly simple process at first, but if you put more thought and effort into it, you can create some truly memorable experiences for everyone.