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25 November 2020

How to create an amazing outdoor BBQ area

Outdoor entertaining season is upon us. Put a little more thought into your outdoor BBQ area and you’ll make your summer get-togethers easier and a lot more fun!
outdoor bbq area The Block S13, Josh and Elyse
Image credit: The Block S13, Josh and Elyse

Looking to spruce up your barbeque area for the summer? Or, is building a new outdoor kitchen your project for the new year? Regardless of the occasion, having a designated cooking/bbq space in your backyard or patio will make entertaining a breeze. Tick off these items on our checklist and you will  have an amazing outdoor bbq area:

Types of flooring for your outdoor BBQ area

There is a wide variety of materials you can lay underfoot. For the outdoor BBQ area, our favourites are tiles, timber decking, brick, concrete, flagstone, and slate.

The advantages of these are:

  • ideal for building a formal alfresco 
  • easy to clean (use a broom, mop, electric blower, or a jet washer)
  • easy to mix and match with other flooring materials to create beautiful, contrasting textures
  • great for adding colour, pattern or texture to refresh a drab and grey landscape

When choosing the floors for your outdoor BBQ area, consider the material’s utility and visual appeal. Check our guide to using concrete, lumber, stone, and brick as patio floors.

The Block S13, Josh and Elyse
Image credit: The Block S13, Josh and Elyse

Creating a complete outdoor kitchen with features

The best outdoor BBQ areas are complete and practical to use. To make that happen, you need to invest as much for this outdoor space as you do inside. 

When you have the budget for a luxury outdoor BBQ area, consider building an outdoor kitchen with an island and a functioning benchtop. It is also easier to serve food when you have a dedicated cooking and food preparation area near where you entertain your guests.

outdoor kitchen perth
Image credit: Homes to Love AU | Photography by Angelita Bonetti

It would be nice to have two modes of cooking too: a range stove and a BBQ grill. If barbequing is one of your favourite outdoor activities, a built-in BBQ grill would be a great idea. 

In this Melbourne home, the owners enjoy a high-end barbecue and a traditional pizza oven:

Homes to love AU
Image credit: Homes to love AU | Photography by James Henry

Another ergonomic addition is a double basin sink. With it, you have room to do two things at the same time. You can:

  • Set aside your meat and fresh produce on one side, use the other side to wash them before you cook them. 
  • Use one side for food preparation, the other one for stashing dirty dishes. 
  • Separate the clean from the dirty dishes
  • Separate the delicate items such as wine glasses from the heavy and dirty pots and pans. 
double sink outdoor kitchen
Image credit: The Horticult

Having appliances in your outdoor kitchen like a mini fridge, smoker, and a pizza oven would be great too. These would make your outdoor kitchen experience so much better for you and your guests. 

outdoor refrigerator
Image credit: Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

When you have a kitchen like this, you are encouraging your guests to help out during parties. Imagine how fun it will be for them to be able to actively participate with cooking, chopping vegetables, bartending, and serving drinks and food. It’s fun when you make them feel needed and give them something to do!

Outdoor storage

Storage is very important in your outdoor BBQ area. Store your cooking utensils, kitchenware, cushions, garden tools here to minimise clutter in your outdoor space. 

Image credit: Piet Jan van den Kommer, the WWOO

Built-in bench seating

You should have a lounge and a dining area next to your outdoor BBQ area. Make sure it’s comfortable, so your guests will feel more relaxed and at home. An arrangement like this makes serving food and cleaning up easier too.

Image credit: House Beautiful, Francesco Lagnese

Firepit or fireplace

Having a source of heat would be beneficial as well. A gas heater, electric heater, fireplace, and firepit can give you the warmth you need — the last two being the most debated choice among homeowners. To help you decide, read our guide to outdoor fireplaces and firepits.

outdoor with fireplace
Image credit: Isabelle Dahlin, Dekor

Outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting is not only for your home’s safety and security. Lighting also enhances the look and feel of your outdoor space. It makes it easier to cook, entertain, and move around safely at night. Check out our guide to choosing outdoor lighting for more information.

Outdoor shading

A pergola frames an outdoor BBQ area nicely. It is the most favourite form of outdoor shading in the country. Fixed lighting plus the other design details mentioned above to make this a beautiful and highly functional outdoor kitchen. 

If building a pergola is not an option, there are other low cost alternatives such as shade sails, cantilever umbrellas, arbour, canopy, pavilion tent, and patio curtains. You can find more options in this article about outdoor blinds and outdoor shading.

If you want a structure that’s separated from the main house, you can build a gazebo or a cabana.

outdoor bbq area
Image credit: Lisa Romeraine & OTTO

Lush garden, plants, and views

A well-kept garden is one of a house’s greatest assets and features. Take advantage of the beautiful views and put a little more effort in landscaping. It would be nice to surround your outdoor BBQ with a lush green garden because plants purify the air from BBQ smoke. This is good if you opt for a charcoal burner over a gas BBQ.

If you have a green thumb, consider planting vegetables and herbs that you use in your recipes. Homegrown food strikes an impression on your guests. Make room for these edible plants in your garden. 

It would be nice to display potted plants, terrariums, and flower vases in your outdoor BBQ area as well. These simple decorative touches make guests feel more welcome, so the extra effort won’t go unnoticed.

Find more articles, guides and inspiration in the planning dashboard. Save them to your dream board, and start planning your dream space today.

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