What To Think About When Designing An Outdoor Kitchen? | the ReFab Diaries

Summer entertaining season is right around the corner, and if you're planning on doing any cooking outdoors, now is the time to start thinking about your outdoor kitchen design. No matter the size, there are a few key things to keep in mind when designing an outdoor kitchen, such as functionality, layout, and of course, sustainability. Keep reading for our tips on what to think about when designing an outdoor kitchen. 



A decent amount of space is going to make any outdoor cooking area more productive and more enjoyable. So be sure to think about proper outdoor kitchen storage solutions to help you keep the place organized. Consider the space available to you when deciding what type of kitchen appliances and furniture to get and don't forget to visit your local salvage warehouses for interesting things like vintage sinks and old dressers that can be upcycled!

If you don't have the space for a full-size grill, consider compact countertop appliances that can be stored indoors when not in use. Additionally, think about how much space you need for food preparation, cleaning up afterward, and any dining areas. You’ll want to make sure there’s space for guests to enjoy their time with you.

And of course, the more sustainable materials you use, the more pride you'll be able to take in your space. For example, if you're actually going to construct something, use durable and low-maintenance materials like stainless steel, brick, or stone.

Layout Design

The design of your outdoor kitchen layout is just as important as the quality of its components. A layout design should offer easy access to necessary elements, keep appliances and counter space in close proximity, and take into account any natural barriers or obstructions that may exist.

When designing your layout, start by mapping out exactly where you want to place each element of your outdoor kitchen. Once you know where everything will go, consider the layout of your kitchen in relation to other areas of your outdoor space.

Take into account how you plan to use the space and ask yourself questions such as: How often will I be using this area? How much counter space do I need? Will I need a sink nearby? Do I want an island that can double as a food prep area and an outdoor dining space? These will make sure you have all you need.


Various materials can be used for an outdoor kitchen. The most common, long-lasting options are the following:

  • Stones
  • Granite
  • Concrete
  • Brick
  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramic tiles

Opt for sustainable solutions that are durable, non-porous, and easy to clean. Consider materials that can resist weathering, moisture, and humidity. And again, please prioritize a visit to salvage company. They often have mountains of ceramic tiles and salvaged countertops. Not to mention lighting and vintage cabinet hardware.


An outdoor space filled with valuable equipment must be protected from the elements, making protection the most important part of designing an outdoor kitchen. The best way to ensure protection is to build a structure like a pergola or a gazebo around your outdoor kitchen.

This will help protect against rain and sun, as well as provide additional counter space for food preparation and storage. If possible, build the structure out of a water-resistant material, such as aluminum or stainless steel. Additionally, use weatherproof sealants and roofing materials to protect further from the elements.


Make sure to figure out what you'll be preparing in your outdoor kitchen, and ensure that there are enough features to meet your needs. Consider functionality when planning the layout, such as countertops and cabinets for storage, an area to prepare food, a sink with running water, an oven or grill, depending on what you plan to cook; and adequate lighting and ventilation. As it was already mentioned, designing the space for functionality can help you choose the right materials and items that will be best suited to meet your needs. 



Carefully pick appliances to complete your outdoor kitchen (and remember, gently used is better than new!). Choose ones that are designed for outdoor use because they will be constructed from durable materials and designed to withstand the elements, such as water, sun, and wind. You should also consider appliances that have a high energy efficiency rating so you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Look for appliances with settings for different temperatures or consider appliances that have a thermostat or timer to conserve energy. If possible, choose ones with solar power capabilities to make you less dependent on the grid.  


You'll always want to be able to see what you're cooking and lighting is an important consideration when designing a sustainable outdoor kitchen. Choose lighting sources that are both energy-efficient and long-lasting, like solar fixtures or LED bulbs.

These will reduce your electricity consumption and help you save money on these costs in the long run. Additionally, for extra convenience, consider adding motion sensors to your lighting system, which will help you conserve energy by automatically shutting off lighting when not in use.

It's a privilege (and great fun) to have an outdoor kitchen, especially if you're hosting backyard parties, so make sure to plan the space properly and design the layout accordingly. Choose good and sustainable materials and think about how you can protect the kitchen from the elements. Always work on making it more functional for your needs and be careful when picking appliances. Finally, get proper lighting so you can make the most out of this space.

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment

All comments are moderated. If your goal is to insert spam links to other sites, your comment will not be published.