Q. Let’s move on to outdoor kitchen accessories, such as granite countertops, outdoor cabinets, patio cushions and outdoor patio furniture. Please summarize for my readers what accessories they will need in order to make their outdoor kitchens more than just a collection of outdoor kitchen appliances.
A. Make sure to have the right amount of outdoor countertop space. This space will be important for food preparation and serving. The chosen countertop surface should be built to last and allow for easy clean-up and sanitation, as with any indoor countertop. Stainless steel outdoor countertops are ideal because they will not rust and make clean-up easier. But selections also include granite countertops, as well as marble, Pennsylvania blue stone, rocks, and a wide array of other natural materials.
Plan the outdoor kitchen just like you would an indoor kitchen -- triangular work space for efficiency and flow. Make it accessible for you and your guests by including gathering and sitting space. Add bar tops and sitting areas so your guests can join you, but locate them out of the way. You can buy remnant pieces of granite to install a bar top area much less expensively than custom granite. Be flexible in your choices, and you can save yourself thousands of dollars. Creativity is key.
Furniture must be appropriate for the outdoors, such as traditional outdoor patio furniture -- sturdy and waterproof. Today's technology has given us mold-proof, durable fabrics for the outdoors that can even outlast the furniture itself. There are also fashionable pillow and table cloth patterns to complement the home’s interior and landscape themes. Tabletops, benches, and other accessories can be designed and built using stone and hardscape materials.
Any wooden material needs maintenance, sealing, etc. The sun and weather will change the appearance over time. If you want to purchase decorative accessories, we recommend powder coated aluminum products that will last a lifetime. They come in a wide array of price ranges, colors and styles. You can also install built-in seating areas when creating the space using stone, such as benches and seats. You can purchase patio cushions that you can store in your cabinets to put on the stone when you have company over. It never requires maintenance or replacement.
The outdoor cabinets for custom-built outdoor kitchens provide secure storage for dishware, cookware and utensils. Neutral tones in brick or stone complement the home’s colors and weather well. Outdoor storage units are important so items are not dragged back-and-forth from inside to the outdoor space.
We don’t recommend using wooden materials in the outdoor environment as a norm; the elements could cause rotting and warping. Metal or concrete / fiberglass constructed materials are recommended for their durability. These materials are weather proof, and will not decompose. Fiberglass / concrete outdoor cabinets can be set directly on the ground without worry. They allow more space for storage and are 30” deep. You can use them to store patio cushions, pool floats, towels, and your kitchen essentials in. They all bolt together for easy installation. They come in different shapes and sizes from curves and triangles to squares and rectangles. They can even be just frames and all open sides so the internal area is very open and expansive.