Even if your Sudbury, MA, backyard is small, you can have a fabulous outdoor kitchen. You may need to skip some of the extras, but small kitchens can be both functional and stylish. Wenzel Landscaping can design and build an outdoor kitchen that maximizes your available space and meets all your cooking needs.
Plan Your Kitchen Carefully
When you don’t have a lot of room, it’s important to start with a good plan. Careful planning will help make the most of the available space and ensure that your outdoor kitchen is on the same scale as your yard. Even with a small kitchen, you need separate zones for food prep, cooking, and cleaning. Consider which appliances are most important and talk to your landscape contractor to make sure your priorities will fit into the plan.
Selecting the right finishes can help make a small outdoor kitchen feel bigger. Look for light colored materials that complement the style of your home. Light surfaces tend to make a space feel more open. And finishes that match your existing masonry will create a smooth, cohesive look.
There are three main types of kitchen layouts that work well in small backyards. Depending on the size and shape of your yard, one of these designs may be the perfect solution for your outdoor kitchen.
A grill island is a compact but very functional outdoor kitchen option. A grill island combines all your appliances and counter space into one central free-standing unit. If the island is deep enough, cupboards on the back side will create additional storage while allowing more room for appliances on the front. Many grill islands also incorporate bar-style seating, making them a great space-saving choice for small landscapes.
A kitchenette or straight-line kitchen has the smallest footprint of any outdoor kitchen layout. In a small backyard, straight-line kitchens are usually installed against an exterior wall. Upper cabinets can create additional storage space. The length of the kitchenette will dictate how many appliances you can comfortably include.
An L-shaped outdoor kitchen is one of the most versatile options for backyards without a lot of space. Whether your yard is long and narrow or a small square, the L-shape kitchen can be designed to fit. It also works well for courtyard-style outdoor spaces since it can take advantage of often-unusable corner space. And L-shaped kitchens are ideal for families that like to share the cooking. You can have more than one person working in the space without crowding each other.
Space Saving Tricks
To really make the most of your small outdoor kitchen, consider including some functional ways to expand your workspace. Appliances take up the most space in an outdoor kitchen, so look for compact options. Consider a narrow grilling strip instead of a full-size grill. Or opt for a refrigerated drawer instead of a bar fridge.
Moveable storage is a great way to add extra storage and counter space to your kitchen. A cart that is easily rolled around can house cooking supplies and double as a serving cart or extra prep space. And don’t forget to take advantage of vertical space. Add shelves and hooks to create additional storage without taking up extra floor space.
Image courtesy of Unilock.