5 Upgrades for Your Outdoor Eating Space
Summer is a time when the days are long, and the nights are warm. This means you're most likely spending more time eating al fresco. No longer does your outdoor eating area need to contain merely a grill and a picnic table. Whether you're prepping your home for sale, or simply looking to make the most out of your property, the following tips will give your home that high-end outdoor-kitchen feel.
1. Add a prep space. When manning the grill, it's important to have an area to rest your grilling accoutrement, and a space for doing prep work – skewering veggies or stacking burgers waiting to hit the flame. This extra space will lend your stand-alone grill a real outdoor kitchen feel. Make space by finding a small, outdoor-friendly table that matches the height of your grill. Something with storage space for keeping utensils and grill-ware is an added bonus.
2. Add a roof. While most dining tables come with an umbrella, it's important to remember to shade the grill-master, too. If your grill is in an open area, consider adding a roof or simple overhead structure to provide shade and offer reprieve from any sudden summer showers. Just be sure the roof is a safe distance from the flame range to negate any risk of fire, and remember not to edge your grill up to your house, which is a fire hazard on it's own.
3. Add a window bar. While it's not a good idea to sidle up your grill to your house, consider renovating a window to create a window bar. If your kitchen is adjacent to your outdoor dining space, expand the window and add a bar top for a very cool retreat-like experience. Not only can you serve drinks and appetizers on the bar top, but you now have easy grill-to-kitchen access. Throw in a couple of outdoor bar stools and you have a new entertaining station.
4. Set in a sink. While many people have sinks in their laundry or mud rooms, a sink in your outdoor kitchen makes dish-washing and cleanup a cinch. Adding a sink really lends that "outdoor-kitchen" feel to your grill station.
5. Add a mini-fridge. If you have a nearby power outlet, consider housing a mini fridge near your outdoor cooking spot to keep drinks, meats and dairy cool and ready for serving.