Photos by Sheen Lynn Harper
Written by Adam Binder
Outdoor living is at the heart of life at the Jersey Shore. Those who embrace the seashore lifestyle enjoy spending all the time they can outside. Homes here on LBI and in many other shore towns have outdoor living spaces that can maximize that time. So why be stuck inside cooking meals for the family or food for entertaining? Upgrading your outdoor living space to include a kitchen can help you make the most of seashore living.
The pleasure of outdoor entertaining can be somewhat diminished for those hosting a party or gathering. If you’re constantly in and out of the house for food, drinks, and utensils from the kitchen, you end up missing out on a lot of the fun. An outdoor kitchen can provide all the same conveniences of an indoor kitchen while keeping you in the center of the action. The aesthetic, recreational, and practical benefits it provides will truly increase the pleasure and enjoyment you derive from your outdoor living space.
A well-designed and constructed hardscape is the foundation of every outdoor kitchen. Popular hardscape choices are natural stone, concrete, and pavers. These provide great durability and beauty that will create the perfect backdrop for bright, shiny outdoor appliances.
When furnishing your outdoor kitchen, the sky is the limit. It goes without saying that you’ll want a great grill. A cook top or side burners can be installed into an adjacent countertop to accommodate sauces and side dishes. You can even have an oven or warming drawer installed, allowing you to do all the cooking in one place.
Keeping up with the conveniences of your indoor kitchen, a refrigerator can be installed under the counter for drinks, condiments, and salads. Thinking about a wine cooler as well but wondering where to put the glasses and the corkscrew? Storage such as cabinets, drawers, and even a wine glass rack can easily be included in your outdoor kitchen design.
True alfresco dining requires a nice space to relax and enjoy the food. An adjacent patio with comfortable and attractive seating or a built-in bar where guests can congregate can be the perfect complement to your outdoor kitchen.
When it’s time to clean up, a fully equipped outdoor kitchen will have a sink and it’s even possible to include a dishwasher.
Don’t think the only time to use an outdoor kitchen is when you’re entertaining. As long as the weather cooperates, an outdoor kitchen will quickly become part of your everyday life. Whether it’s lunch for the kids and their friends while spending the day in the pool or a romantic candlelit dinner for date night, an outdoor kitchen can truly enhance outdoor living. In addition to its many conveniences, an outdoor kitchen can be an aesthetically pleasing addition to your landscape. The perfect addition to seashore living, a well-designed, properly built, outdoor kitchen will provide you and your family with years of enjoyment.