Having an outdoor kitchen is a great addition to any home. You can enjoy being outside while cooking a great meal while hardly stepping foot inside. Outdoor cooking is a great activity, especially if the weather cooperates. Show off your best grilling and bbq recipes and whip up a batch of refreshing cocktails.
But how do you effectively maximize your outdoor kitchen space? Once you've got the grill, the tables, and the counters set up, there's a lot you can do to design and improve your outdoor kitchen. You'll want to eat outside all the time after your backyard cooking space gets a glow-up and you'll want to invite all your family and friends to come to eat, too.
10 Great Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Kitchen
Whether you have an existing outdoor kitchen or you're planning on creating an outdoor kitchen space, check out these DIY design ideas that'll make outdoor cooking and alfresco dining even better.
1. Add Bright Colors
You're outside, the weather is nice, and the bbq grill is fired up. Why not add some pops of bright colors to the dining area? Add colorful cushions to patio furniture or bar stools or place brightly colored flower pots to liven up the space. Pillows are also great ways to bring in some color. You could even add a funky backsplash with an interesting pattern.
2. Lighten Up the Space
Sure, you'll probably be using your outdoor living space at night, so go ahead and add some hanging lights. Of course, you're going to want lighting around the seating area, but don't forget about the cooking area as well. You never know when you're going to have to fire up the grill again for some late night burgers!
3. Include an Outdoor Pizza Oven
Skip the pizza delivery and include an outdoor pizza oven in your cooking area. You can go big like the pizza oven pictured above or take on the challenge of creating a DIY pizza oven.
4. Paint on a Chalkboard Backsplash
An inexpensive idea for a backsplash is just painting on some chalkboard paint. It's a great space to display the dinner menu and is perfect if you like that sleek design.
5. Warm Up with a Fire Pit
In my opinion, an outdoor kitchen space calls for a fire pit. They provide warmth and comfort after a night of grilling and socializing. Relaxing by the fire pit is a great way to wind down and they provided a gorgeous glow once it starts getting dark.
6. Cover Up with a Pergola
A pergola provides shade and helps keep the temperature cool and comfortable on hot days. Pergolas also provide a space for ceiling fans and light fixtures.
7. Install Storage Cabinets
Open shelving provides a rustic design to an outdoor space, but it also comes in handy. Storage cabinets hold necessary kitchen appliances, wood for the smoker, plates, utensils, you name it.
They can be as simple as just placing wooden boxes around the area or installing cabinetry. I love these cabinets because they emit a tropical vibe!
8. Invest in Mini Appliances
Mini outdoor refrigerators, ice makers, outdoor sinks, and side burners are great for small spaces and use less energy. They're also worth the extra cost so you don't have to keep going back and forth to the indoor kitchen.
9. Add Greenery
Vines, plants, and flowers are easy ways to incorporate more of the outdoors into any outdoor kitchen design. They provide a natural look and create a beautiful environment to cook next to without feeling overwhelmed by nature.
10. Plan for Enough Counter Space
Having plenty of counter space in your outdoor kitchen is a lifesaver! Countertops are a spot for prep and serving food and drinks. If you're low on counter space, consider adding in an outdoor kitchen island if you have the room.