With Memorial Day weekend out of the way, we’re officially in the midst of grill season. For those of you who love to cook outdoors, you may be looking to upgrade your outdoor cooking capabilities. If you want a permanent outdoor kitchen, you need to make smart choices about design and materials. Here’s our guide to an outdoor kitchen that will make any season “grill season.”

Designing an outdoor kitchen

Design an outdoor kitchen that is cohesive with the architecture and style of your home and garden.

The same design principles of an indoor kitchen will apply to an outdoor kitchen. The layout needs to be thoughtful, keeping in mind function, and convenience. Making sure the layout has a productive workflow will make your outdoor kitchen that much more enjoyable. Keep the work triangle in mind, and make sure you give yourself the tools and the space you need in a functional kitchen. Design a comfortable progression from the fridge to the sink, and prep area to the stove, and back again.

Style of outdoor kitchen

The style of your outdoor kitchen should mimic your home and the style of your indoor kitchen. Choose colors and materials that blend with the natural surroundings, so that you design a kitchen that is cohesive with the architecture of your home, and landscape of your garden.

Storage and cabinets

The last thing you want it to keep running back and forth between your outdoor kitchen and your indoor kitchen. Be sure to include plenty of storage space, cabinets, shelves, and drawers to have every tool you need within reach.

Use materials, like natural stone or stainless steel, that can handle the elements.

Outdoor kitchen materials

Once you have settled on the layout, it’s time to start looking at materials to complete your kitchen. Because you are outdoors, and because this is Colorado, you have to be mindful of varying temperatures and weather patterns. Use materials that are conducive to the environment, and have the strength and durability to stand up to the elements.

Natural stone

You may be tempted to get natural stone countertops. After all, stones and rocks have been surviving in nature for ages and ages. The problem is the porous nature of some stone countertops. If you do go with natural stone countertops, make sure they are adequately sealed and cured, so they don’t fall victim to the outdoor environment.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is smooth, sleek, modern, and most importantly, sturdy against the elements. Using stainless steel for the countertops, as well as appliances, will ensure that your outdoor kitchen is corrosion-resistant. Stainless steel countertops and surfaces are also easy to clean and maintain.

Talk to a kitchen design expert about your outdoor kitchen project.