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Outdoor Entertainment

Photo by Steven Paul Whitsitt Photography

Whether you’re lounging by the pool, whipping up a feast on the grill or exchanging stories around the fire pit, entertaining al fresco is second to none on Long Beach Island. Ginny Padula, owner and designer of Town & Country Kitchen and Bath, is the area’s most in-demand interior designer who also happens to have the ability to transform any exterior space into the perfect gathering place for entertaining family and friends. So before you jump into designing and building the outdoor kitchen of your dreams, check out these tips from our pro who has perfected her formula for success.

“Investing in outdoor spaces has many benefits,” begins Padula. She adds, “not only is it great for entertaining and spending time with family and friends, but it expands living space and increases the value of the home. Besides, grilling is a healthy way to prepare summer meals!” Here are Padula’s Top Four Tips to consider before planning your next outdoor dining area:

Consideration #1:

Sourcing the Right Materials

It’s crucial to use the best quality outdoor cabinetry, which is why Ginny Padula only specifies Danver and Brown Jordan stainless steel cabinetry from Danver Luxury Outdoor Kitchens. “With the weather conditions specific to LBI, its salty and humid air, our cabinetry has to hold up to what nature will deal our clients down the shore,” she says. Masonry such as stone or brick are excellent choices for barbecue surrounds and patios. There are several options for countertops, such as concrete, Dekton by Cosentino, or quartz to name a few. All of these stand up to harsh outdoor conditions, which only get more extreme in the winter months. Azek decking is built to last, and a go-to product for Town & Country for outdoor decks and railings.

Photos By Chipper Hatter

Consideration #2:

Consider Maintenance and Sheltering of the area

“Ideally, we like to design outdoor kitchens and entertaining areas in such a way to protect the cabinetry and other design elements,” she says. However, because clients want to take full advantage of water views as well as sunsets, it often is not possible. For this reason, Padula provides clients with detailed information regarding maintenance and product care information, as it is critical to follow manufacturer’s guidelines to extend the life of each product to its fullest. “Form has to follow function at times, as we all know, and it’s our job as the experts to design a beautiful outdoor kitchen while giving our clients cabinetry that stands the test of time.”

Consideration #3:

Extending the current living space

One of Town & Country’s most important assets is their ability to listen to clients’ needs. It’s important for the designers to analyze the scope of each outdoor space. By asking the right questions, they can better understand how to design an outdoor kitchen and entertainment space suited to the clients’ lifestyle. For example, does the client wish to incorporate an outdoor bar? Perhaps an area to watch TV? Town & Country uses their design expertise and resources to ultimately reflect the client’s vision for the project.

Photo by Steven Paul Whitsitt Photography

Consideration #4:

How to decide what to purchase or install

There are so many choices these days, and they hear that a lot from their clients. At Town & Country Kitchen and Bath, Padula and team are more than happy to help clients narrow down their options by offering expert advice about the products they sell. For example, they can guide homeowners to the best choice for a pizza oven or outdoor grill based on their product knowledge and experience with vendors. Budget of course plays a huge part in clients’ design selections. It’s important for clients to be realistic with what they intend to spend on a project; Town & Country takes responsibility for making selections that are aesthetically pleasing yet sensible.

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