Spring has sprung and that means more time in the great out-of-doors. With good planning, materials, and design, you can have your own parcel of paradise right in your backyard. Incorporate natural stone elements for a fashionable and functional outdoor kitchen, and enjoy the warm weather in style.
Elements of an exceptional exterior
If you’ve ever been to a party you’ve witnessed first-hand how people tend to congregate in the kitchen. Rest assured, this effect is only magnified when the space is on a patio or poolside. What are you waiting for? Outdoor summer kitchens are fun and functional, and can give a boost to your property value.
There are several questions to consider when designing your outdoor space. Think about your family, lifestyle, and interests and ask yourself: What are my backyard goals? Here are a few of the most basic choices you’ll have to make:
- Seating: Eating, lounging, or both?
A comfortable space outdoors can feel like the ultimate in luxury—as long as the emphasis is on comfort. Ask yourself how you expect to be using the space. Will you host dinners? Indulge in sunbathing? If you’ve got poolside space you’ll likely want deck chairs but a family dinner is best served around a table.
- Kit-out your kitchen
When it comes to outdoor cooking, every family is different. Barbecues and fire pits are perfect for informal summer meals and late-night chats but if you’ve got a gourmet in the family you might be more interested in installing a cook top. Whatever you choose, you’ll need a durable prep space.
- Get yourself covered!
You’ll have some leeway in terms of whether (and how) you shade your seating areas but an outdoor kitchen must have cover to protect your appliances—and your food.
Setting the scene with natural stone
The best designs are as durable as they are stylish, so it only makes sense to use natural materials when planning your outdoor space. Natural stone is beautiful, strong, and a friend to the elements. Here are some ways to incorporate it into your design.
Natural stone is a popular choice for indoor countertops, so why not your outdoor surfaces? Durable, easy-to-clean, and discolouration-resistant, granite is a top-notch stone for this purpose. Choose a dark colour like Black Pearl, Coffee Brown, or Steel Grey for their durability and add a leathered finish to camouflage dust and dirt. A 2-centimetre full-body porcelain finish will render your slabs even more scratch- and stain-resistant.
- Pavers and tiles
Granite, quartzite, and marble all make durable, elegant, and easy-to-maintain paving stones for your outdoor oasis. Even you’re hesitant to cover the entire space, tiling the kitchen is smart, and a good investment.
- Decorative features
Though less frequently seen in Canada, stone fountains, mantles, or outdoor ovens are a popular feature in international homes from Mexico to Italy. These are excellent options for showcasing a particularly striking piece of stone.
When you install an outdoor kitchen you essentially turn your backyard into an extension of your house. By choosing natural stone for your food preparation surfaces, flooring, or decorative features, you’re adding an attractive and strong feature—and considerable value—to your home.