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When the weather is gorgeous, everyone wants to be outside. A backyard update that includes an outdoor kitchen gives you the perfect excuse to spend those weekends enjoying amazing food, sipping drinks, and relaxing outdoors with loved ones. But with so many design ideas for an outdoor kitchen out there, how do you know which one is right for you?

An outdoor kitchen can be so much more than simply adding in a grill and calling it a day. To take your backyard to the next level, take a look at these amazing design ideas for an outdoor kitchen.

Our Favorite Design Ideas for an Outdoor Kitchen

Bring the Indoor Conveniences Outside

Yes, you already have a refrigerator in the indoor kitchen. And yes, there’s a kitchen sink there, too. While it may be tempting to cut costs and not duplicate these items in your outdoor kitchen, it will only make sense until you actually begin to use the space. You’ll soon get tired of darting back inside for cold drinks, condiments, and to wash your hands. A word to the wise: if you plan to do a lot of cooking and entertaining outside, make sure you install all the kitchen basics. You’ll thank yourself later.

Fall in Love with a Wood-Burning Pizza Oven

One of the most unique design ideas for an outdoor kitchen is installing a wood-burning pizza oven. Go beyond backyard burgers and hot dogs by creating your own freshly-made pizzas. Options for outdoor pizza ovens are endless, from gas-burning stainless-steel models to more traditional wood-burning ovens made of brick. Which oven is best for you will depend on your budget, as well as the amount of prep you’d like to put into getting it burning. Either way, fresh pizza creations are the perfect way to entertain friends and family when they gather at your home.

Don’t Forget the Shade

If your outdoor kitchen will be built in an area that’s out in the open, don’t forget to include something that will provide shade for you and your guests as you cook and relax. You could build a rustic pergola and plant fragrant flowering vines that will spread a delightful scent throughout the yard, as well as shade those underneath. A more contemporary option is installing shade sails, those triangular pieces of canvas that can be found providing custom shade options on home and restaurant patios throughout the land.

Fire It Up

As you consider the many possible design ideas for an outdoor kitchen, keep in mind that an outdoor kitchen is about more than just cooking. In the end, it will be a space for your friends and family to gather, eat, drink, and have fun. One of the best ways to ensure that your space is useful year-round is to add in a fireplace. With a twist of a knob or a flick of a lighter, a fireplace provides instant warmth, making your outdoor kitchen a useful space long past the summer months. For a more open layout, a fire pit will work just as well while allowing for more flexibility.

For the Best Result, Don’t DIY

We can’t stress enough the importance of working with a contractor to revamp your outdoor space. Just because it’s outside doesn’t mean that you don’t need an experienced design-build company to turn your vision into reality. They’ll help walk you through the process, make you aware of any considerations or regulations that may come into play, as well as help you avoid common pitfalls. Most importantly, a fully built-out backyard kitchen will involve plumbing, electrical, and structural work that should absolutely be handled by an experienced professional.

Why stress about your outdoor kitchen when you can have a professional take care of it? Sit back and sip a cold drink: your new backyard paradise awaits!