How to Create Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen in San Diego
One of San Diego’s greatest perks is the city’s fantastic weather. Many San Diego homes are designed to take full advantage of the great weather by maximizing their outdoor spaces. It’s not uncommon that a home buyer in the San Diego area will end up with a property that has at least some front or back yard and/or patio space.
If your home already has outdoor space and you are considering new ways to upgrade your home, outdoor kitchens are a great way to add value to your home. Here’s how to create your dream full outdoor kitchen space.
START WITH A PLAN
Planning is essential in the build-out of any space, indoors or out. Taking the time to map out a plan can prevent not only unnecessary mistakes, but is a great way to stay within budget and avoid unexpected costs.
If you are design savvy, it may be worth taking on the planning aspect yourself. There are several online tools that can help take your design from pen and paper to digital for little to no cost. Here are a few online design tools worth checking out:
- Patio and outdoor kitchen plan inspiration from Houzz [FREE]
- Downloadable patio plans from MyPaitoDesign.com [Starting at $25]
- Smartdraw Landscape Design [FREE and paid plans]
- Credeo’s Patio Design Tool [FREE and paid plans]
PLAN YOUR RESOURCES AND BUDGET
Planning your dream full outdoor kitchen is likely the most fun part of the building process, but now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. Researching your resources and planning a realistic budget are both critical parts to the creation of your outdoor kitchen.
A pro tip is to make a list of what aspects of your space are most important.
- Is it a Traeger wood pellet grill?
- A built-in pizza oven?
- Or maybe it’s an outdoor wine and beverage refrigerator.
Decide early in the planning process what your makes or breaks are in your kitchen design. This will help you achieve your dream space while sticking to your budget.
Check out these tips on how to stay on budget during home renovations.
EXPAND YOUR SEATING
Upgrading your patio furniture is a quick and simple way to elevate your outdoor kitchen space. If the main function of your space is for dining, consider a classic patio table set with cushioned seating for friends, family, and guests.
If your kitchen area will be more multi-purpose, both for dining and general outdoor entertaining, consider some versatile patio furniture that can be used for both lounging and sitting around the table.
Quality patio furniture is an investment but remember with proper upkeep and maintenance it’s designed to last season after season.
Pro Tip: During the off-season months, store your unused patio furniture in heavy duty, waterproof patio furniture covers to protect it from the elements.
UPGRADE YOUR GRILL
Likely your grill is one of the key features, if not the main feature, of your full outdoor kitchen. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends as new and fancier grills appear on the market, but a word of advice to the wise, pick the pit that fits your need, not just the latest hype.
Looking to bbq for a large party? Your grill size and features will be different than if you’re more of a small 2-3 person weekend dinner host. Picking your grill based on your actual needs will help keep your budget in line and guide you on how to best maximize your design layout and spacing needs.
Looking for inspiration on which grill is right for you? Check out this list of top grills in 2021.
MAXIMIZE YOUR SPACE
Remember, a full outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be used solely as a kitchen. This space can also serve as a gathering place for a weekend happy hour or a shaded space for your outdoor billiard table.
During the planning phase, consider all of the ways you may want to use your outdoor space. Once you’ve listed out all the things you’d love to do in this area, work backwards to see how much of that you can include. Often this may mean using more versatile patio furniture or possibly installing a multi-purpose grill, like this dual-use grill with rotisserie.
Get creative with how you can use your kitchen design for more than one function. This is a great way to maximize space and add overall value to your home.
ENHANCE WITH EXTRAS
Details, details, details. Sometimes the small final touches are what take a space from great to wow. Consider adding some unexpected full outdoor kitchen bonuses such as an ice machine, prep sink, or built-in smoker.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
Whether you go all in with high-end appliances and furniture or keep your outdoor kitchen design simple, it’s most important to make the space your own. Adding small personal touches like chair cushions, stylish bar cart accessories, and outdoor plateware all help create a space that reflects your personality and style.
Adding a full outdoor kitchen to your San Diego home is a great way to increase value in your property. Whether you are using the space for large parties or just quiet family evenings, an outdoor kitchen allows you to enhance your home while taking full advantage of the beautiful weather San Diego offers.