Sometimes it’s not the architectural elements or internal decor of your home, but what you have outside – perhaps an idyllic riverside setting, a swimming pool, stable block or outdoor kitchen – that make your run-of-the-mill residence a Forever Home.
Despite the unpredictable nature of our weather, in Britain we love to entertain outside in our gardens, but wouldn’t it be good if you could entertain outside as easily as you can entertain inside? And to do it all year round?
You can do just that with a well planned garden kitchen. Outdoors, you’ll probably have more room for people to mingle and you won’t have to worry about that glass of red wine being spilled on your finest Wilton carpet!
Here the home insurance experts at Adrian Flux provide six great ideas for setting up an outdoor kitchen perfect for alfresco entertaining all year round.
1. Decide on the best location for your outdoor kitchen
Your outdoor kitchen is probably best located on an area of patio because items you will want to build into your design will be quite bulky and they will need to be on a sound level surface.
The area will also have a lot of footfall so it would be no good on a lawned area as grass will wear and could become slippery during inclement weather. You don’t want your guests taking a tumble!
Pick an area that has lots of space for people to circulate. Also consider the practicality of where your garden kitchen will be. You will need easy access to your utilities if you need to use gas, electricity or water mains.
You may also want to select an area that enjoys plenty of sunshine for those warm weather months.
2. Decide on the essential elements you need
For a successful garden party, the minimum requirements will include a bar area, something to cook on, a food preparation area, storage space, and – for a self-contained kitchen garden – a sink and mains running water.
For cooking, most people opt for a barbecue. Everyone loves barbecued food! But you could also think about living the dolce vita with a pizza oven. They are growing ever more popular.
For the bar area you will need to consider a beer fridge or wine chiller and an area to store spirits, soft drinks and glasses.
Think safety first. Keep the drinks as far as possible from your cooking area as the two don’t tend to mix particularly well.
You will also need sufficient chairs and tables for the number of guests you are entertaining.
3. Cover up and keep warm in your outdoor kitchen
Because summer doesn’t last all year round, your outdoor kitchen will need to be sheltered from the elements. You could go for a retractable awning or, better still, a fixed roof or gazebo. You could even go for a bioclimatic canopy with rotating slats that allow the sun in and the rain out in bad weather.
An outdoor heater will be a good investment too because, even on warm nights, temperatures can drop quickly once the sun has set. A fire pit or log burning chimney would also add to the ambience.
4. Consider adding music and lights to your garden kitchen
Your garden kitchen should be as flexible as your interior and, with a little careful planning, you can make it attractive and useful all year round.
Smart spotlights work in walls and pathways and up-lighters will show-off architectural elements, water features and trees. There are a vast array of solar-powered lights available, so incorporate festoon lamps, tea lights and pretty lanterns.
As for the music, it’s never been easier to bring a little ambience to the party. There are all manner of Bluetooth sound systems for the garden. You can even get speakers disguised as rocks and sit them in the flower bed.
But remember to be considerate to your neighbours; either invite them along to your event or keep the music at a moderate level.
5. A couple of extras to consider for your outdoor kitchen
There’s nothing like having herbs growing nearby in containers when you’re cooking outside – they will look good and smell great. You can even snip off a few and use them in your recipes.
Outdoor mirrors are a great way to make your space feel bigger than it really is. Position them carefully, perhaps opposite some of the prettier features of your garden. That way, your guests experience double the wow!
6. Make sure you garden kitchen is adequately insured
If you are planning on building a garden kitchen, you should check your household insurance will cover the new items and structures in your garden. If in doubt, talk to the household insurance experts at Adrian Flux.
Call 0333 251 8877 or book a callback for a swift no-hassle quote – 81.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in August 2022 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone, based on the information they provided.