Episode 62: Kitchen Design Essentials – Outdoor Kitchens

In this episode of the podcast, as part of the Kitchen Design Essentials Season, Frances outlines considerations for an outdoor kitchen. She emphasises the need to plan it upfront as it may impact internal kitchen decisions. She runs through suitable materials, and those that are not suitable for outdoors, and options with regards to necessities for the outdoor kitchen space.


Our warm climate in Australia, and the tradition of entertaining friends and family at home are two major reasons why Outdoor Kitchens are becoming increasingly popular. When completing a renovation or new build, we should consider the natural flow between indoors and outdoors, and how those spaces need to work together Which is where thinking about outdoor cooking requirements as part of your outdoor entertaining space needs to be factored in. 


Requirements and Design for an Outdoor kitchen 

  • Think about your needs 
    • How do you entertain outside? 
    • What are the things that you would like to have in your outdoor kitchen? 
    • What do you need access to outside? 
    • Amenities that are going to make your life easier when entertaining outside. 
    • Space perspective vs Budget perspective 
  • What do you need outside? Start with what is critical for the space (must have Vs nice to have) 
    • Smoker,  
    • BBQ  
    • Teppanyaki grill 
    • Spit roast 
    • Running water 
    • Fridge 
    • Drawers and cabinetry for cutlery and crockery 
    • Hotplate 
    • Pizza oven 
    • Sink for running water & cleaning up as you go You may not need everything! Every component will add to the cost. 
  • Think about the spaceas it is premium. What is going to add the most value to the space (not capitalisation value but lifestyle value)? 
  • It is best to purchase items that you are going to have in your outdoor kitchen prior to it being designed so it’s designed around your appliances 
  • Also consider that things will get dirty easily outside – even if under cover – rain, dust and wind . 
  • Location  It can either be a continuation of your indoor kitchen or a separate area in the garden. 
    • Consider flow of materials to create flow and continuity is continuation of indoor kitchen 
    • Located separately from the home can create more flexibility with material choices  
    • If under cover may need an exhaust fan or have more open where cooking is. 
      • Think about smoke, marking ceiling etc. 
  • You may need to consider having a separate firewall to meet safety regulations 
  • Get someone to help with the design so it’s maximising the space for what you need. 


  • Check with your local state regulations about materials  
  • Benchtops – not all materials are equal 
  • Reconstituted stone is not suitable for outdoors. The warranty will be voided if you’re using materials that are not allowed outside.   
  • Other options;  
    • Dekton 
    • Natural Stone 
    • Concrete 
    • Porcelain 
    • Marine grade Stainless steel 
    • Terrazzo 
  • Cabinetry – standard cabinetry materials is not suitable for outside. 
    • You cannot use standard laminate or melamine 
    • Look at Marine grade ply, other natural timbers – be mindful they will weather 
      • Solid timber cabinetry 
      • Compact laminate- block colours or timber look 
      • Stainless steel 
  • If you can’t have a complete custom-made outdoor kitchen, you can buy complete ‘outdoor kitchens’ from BBQ suppliers. These may not fit the space perfectly, and there may be compromises but may end up more cost-effective. 


Available Services; 

Beautiful Kitchen Design Made Easy Online Course 

Ready to design and create your own beautiful kitchen? Get all the interior designer insider knowledge in this online course to create your dream kitchen. Find out more and join here  

Book A Chat 

Ready to renovate or create your kitchen but not sure where to start? 

Get the help of a property expert and save yourself from making costly mistakes with a free Forever Home chat. Click here to get access to Frances’ calendar;  

Kitchen Bliss Package 

Overwhelmed by the amount of decisions that need to be made when creating a stylish, functional and durable kitchen? What materials to select, what colours will co-ordinate together, what design is going to best suit the space, and your requirements. 

We offer kitchen design packages that include joinery design and material selections for a complete kitchen design. Click the link here to find more: 

Your Forever Home Book – FREE Access 

Access the first three chapters of the ‘Your Forever Home’ book, a practical and helpful guide to gain insights on how to create a home that will suit your needs for the long term. Get FREE instant access here.  

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