Genius Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Small Spaces

 In Outdoor Kitchen

Looking to set up an outdoor kitchen, but not sure you have the room? Don’t let your big ideas get cramped by a small space! With a little foresight and careful planning, you can squeeze a surprising amount of storage, appliances and prep space into a cozy corner. Take the limitation and turn it into a creative challenge to overcome! Here are some genius outdoor kitchen ideas for small spaces:

Measure twice

Get out your measuring tape and make sure you know exactly how much space you have to work with before buying an appliance or countertop that’s just a quarter-inch too wide. Take detailed measurements of the space and note the potential obstacles or quirks that might get in the way of your master plans.

High-tech help

Tech-savvy perfectionists can use their favorite CAD software to draft a mockup of their plans. If you’re new to digital drafting software and want to give it a try, consider some of the free programs you can downloadIf you have a newer smartphone and love living on the bleeding edge, there are augmented reality (AR) apps you can download that will let you drag-and-drop different arrangements, like Houzz or YARDIf you’re not interested in a high-tech solution, look no further than a sheet of graph paper and a pencil.

Whether you’re using a lead tip or a mouse, recreate the space with the measurements you collected as closely as you can. With digital or cut-out shapes, experiment with the sizes and arrangements of furniture, appliances and other items you envision going into your space.

Know what you need

As you’re planning, figure out how your indoor and outdoor kitchens will interact. With limited outdoor space, rely on the indoor kitchen for as much prep work as possible. A small outdoor refrigerator can keep beverages cool, but most of the heavy lifting should be done with the larger indoor appliances. Let the appliances that can only work their magic outside, like a grill or smoker, take priority in your plans.

Do more with less

With less surface area to worry about, you can afford to use higher quality materials like granite or flagstone. A smaller kitchen with impressive materials and more reliable appliances is better than a large kitchen that cut corners on quality.

Seven space-saving solutions

  1. Benches: a built-in bench can help you save the space you’d normally need behind a chair. Integrating a bench into a retaining wall or other natural barrier can make the dining area less demanding.
  2. Table-turned-storage: A coffee table or dining table can double as a convenient storage space if you design or buy a model with a removable top. Benches with an area beneath the seat can also supplement your storage.
  3. Go color crazy: A small space can feel larger with the right complement of colors. Against a neutral background, a bright color palette can make the space feel livelier and more open.
  4. Corners: Arrange most of the fixed furniture into one corner in an L-shape so you can rearrange the other half of the space as needed.
  5. Sight lines: Avoid obstructing the view from the patio with high trellises or other ornamental objects, if possible. The open sight lines will make the space feel less confined.
  6. Layered depth: You can create the illusion of depth by layering plants or other decorations by placing taller objects behind shorter ones.
  7. Get cozy: If you’d prefer to create a more intimate space for small, romantic dinners, pergolas, fencing and curtains can be added or removed to offer more privacy.

Ready to Get Started?

Check out our free step-by-step guide to planning your outdoor entertainment area.

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