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Outdoor Kitchen Design in oxfordshire garden

Outdoor Kitchen Design

An Outdoor Kitchen – Case Study Outdoor Kitchen Design

Outdoor kitchen design is a growing areas, despite our unpredictable weather in the UK, we’ve noticed a trend towards embracing a more Mediterranean style of living, with the use of the garden as an outdoor room, in particular an extension of the kitchen. But gone are the days when you would dig out your rusty old barbie from the shed ahead of the lunch visitors.  These days it’s all about  purpose-built outdoor kitchens with  state-of-the-art equipment ready to whip up a  feast worthy of a Michelin star chef. Move over the man with a beer in one hand and dangerously skewered sausages in the other. Instead, creating a dedicated outdoor eating area complete with comfortable seating, pizza oven, fire pit and mood lighting is increasingly becoming ‘must have.’ A great way to extend the use of the garden into chillier autumnal days.

The Garden BeforeOutdoor Kitchen Design in Oxfordshire

Our client’s brief was to transform a large area of lawn into different ‘mood’ areas, to include a purpose built outdoor kitchen for the family to enjoy. The children no longer need a large lawn for a football pitch and after the scorching heat of summer, the lawn was looking very unloved! Like many people the clients are busy so low maintenance planting was essential, and an irrigation system a ‘must’ to keep the plants well watered while getting established.

The Garden AfterOutdoor Kitchen Design in Oxfordshire

The Design for the Outdoor Kitchen and Garden PlanOutdoor Kitchen Planning

Outdoor kitchen designKey Issues to Consider for your Outdoor Kitchen Design

If you’re considering turning over a section of your garden to create an outdoor kitchen, there are some factors to consider in advance, the first being budget. This will influence the materials, appliances, and overall design. Specialist garden kitchen appliances do not come cheap. The basic building blocks are an integrated barbecue and work surface for prepping your delicious outdoor delicacies. However, you could  include an outdoor fridge, to offer your guests a cold drink, saving the bother of rushing back and forth from the house. But why leave it there when you could have  a plumbed in sink, built in bar,  and ample storage space for cooking utensils, pots, pans, and other kitchen essentials? You might want to incorporate a roof to provide shelter in all weathers, and then of course it’s crucial to choose weather-resistant materials like stainless steel, teak, or marine-grade polymer. Other options include a rotisserie spit for perfect roast chicken, a smoker for long, slow, aromatic cooking, a burner and warming drawer. The list can be endless, which is why deciding how much you want to spend in advance is probably a very sensible starting point.Equipment


Positioning your Outdoor KitchenOutdoor Kitchen Design

Apart from considerations of budget and equipment, the position of the outdoor kitchen is crucial. Pick a spot sheltered from high winds and try to ensure that you won’t be cooking in full sunlight as that could be uncomfortable in warm weather. You need to consider if you want your outdoor kitchen adjacent to the house so you can shuttle things easily in and out, or further away, so the dining space becomes less of an extension of your home and more a destination in its own right. Furthermore it’s important that site is a safe distance from flammable materials such as thatched roofs and overhanging branches. In this case, a water feature near the kitchen was designed to integrate the outdoor kitchen, which was located for easy access to the house, with the rest of the garden. Design of outdoor kitchen

The PlantingKey planting design

Planting is the key to integrating the outdoor kitchen to the garden, so the kitchen does not appear isolated. In this example our clients were keen to have low maintenance plants that do not require too much ‘fuss.’ Key trees were also important to add a vertical height interest. Plants included were:

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’

Hebe ‘Silver Dollar’

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’

Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’

For other ideas on low maintenance garden please see our post on low maintenance gardening.

Key planting

Our photos of the finished garden were taken just after planting, with an integrated irrigation system. In a year these plants will have matured and blur the boundaries between the outdoor kitchen and the rest of the space.

Outdoor Kitchen Design

Above all outdoor kitchens are meant to be fun additions to the home, for cooking and dining alfresco the whole year round. For other outdoor kitchen design ideas please take a look at our inspiration page.

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