Things to Consider when Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

It’s been almost a year since we “finished” our Pool House. I put finished in “quotes” because I feel like we are still working on it and constantly making adjustments and changes…so I use the term finished loosely 😉

Outdoor Bathroom Complete!

For instance, we recently completed the bathroom in the pool house! That was a big project and I’m thrilled it’s done! Check!

Punch List Items Complete!

Also finished, are a ton of punch list items in the backyard, and now we are feeling really good about the space! Seems that with a big project like this, you have to go a full year to see how everything turns out, a full cycle of outdoor weather will tell you where and what still requires tweaking and what will stand the test of time.

Watch Video of our Outdoor Kitchen

Today, I want to talk more about things to consider when designing an outdoor kitchen. You can watch the video HERE if you would prefer that route.

Things to Think about When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

I touched on several things to think about in Tips for Designing, Building, and Creating a Fabulous and Functional Outdoor Kitchen. I discussed things like budget, appliances, lighting, cabinets, layout and whether to add running water.

Today, I’d like to go into more detail about function and layout and tell you about the different options we thought about when we designed our kitchen.

The biggest decision for us was layout. We knew what appliances, cabinets, lighting, etc we wanted, but layout was the hardest decision to make. There are so many options from which to choose and functionality was key.

Ultimately, we decided on a large single island for the space. Easy to navigate around, holds a lot of items for serving and can easily accommodate many people for eating.

We hang out in this side of the pool house more than the other side where the dining table is located.

Because of that, we wanted the kitchen to be located here…to take advantage of the views. Location, location, location!

When I was designing the space, I played around with several different options, designing each on paper. My dream for the space was to have double islands. But I just could not make it work within the space parameters.

The area to the right of the islands is the walkway leading to the bathroom so that area has to be left free. This design would also have smushed the islands together too much and just didn’t seem to make sense…as much as I wanted it to.

Another option I considered was to have a U shaped island. This design was appealing as it gives an area to stand behind and in which to serve food. But on the other hand, it takes away a ton of island space…which is a big negative.

I also wanted a straight shot to the bathroom. No zig zagging to get there, and walking around obstacles…easy, meaningful, deliberate and thought out.

With all things considered, having one large island to stand around was by far the best choice for the space. I’m not a fan of 2 tiered islands, so that was a hard no for me as well. Counter height is perfect and very functional.

I ordered these stools earlier this year and they are holding up extremely well. You can read more about the ones I got rid of in Already Replacing Our Outdoor Bar Stools…Here’s Why.

I hope this helps you consider certain aspects of the design process when you are thinking about your outdoor kitchen. I have a lot of resources on my blog and my YouTUBE channel to help you build a perfect outdoor space!



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2 thoughts on “Things to Consider when Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

  1. I think you made the best choice Denise, and your whole pool area is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process with us – it helps to know how you thought it out. Hope you’re enjoying that lovely outdoor kitchen! Happy Summer my friend!

    1. Happy Summer Barbara! Hope your summer is going swimmingly well 🙂 Appreciate your thoughts…as always.

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