The typical kitchen has evolved from simply being an indoor cooking area to an extension of the living space where families and friends gather together. In this vein, they have long been heralded as the metaphorical hearts of the home, spaces that are undoubtedly functional yes, but also places of connection.
Consistently responding to the many different ways people choose to live, designers are now extending this much-loved space into new territory with the emergence of the outdoor room, and more specifically the outdoor kitchen. It makes perfect sense given the climate of the Indo Pacific region is often so inviting.
These outdoor kitchens have completely transformed the concept of the traditional backyard, turning it into a welcoming oasis accessible all year round.
Outdoor kitchens are fully equipped spaces that offer the perfect environment for people to cook and entertain, without ever having to leave the great outdoors. Reflecting the increasing desire of homeowners to maximise their living spaces and integrate indoor and outdoor areas, the outdoor kitchen effectively opens up more usable space.
Outdoor kitchens come in various shapes and sizes, from simple grilling setups to elaborate, fully equipped gourmet kitchens that rival their indoor counterparts. They are designed to include all the amenities that indoor kitchens have to offer including ovens, grills, sinks, refrigerators and even wine fridges, only they have a greater connection to the natural surroundings.
At Alderley Rise in Brisbane, Myers Ellyett has planned the entire home around a central courtyard, stepping down into a shrouded outdoor zone, which incorporates an outdoor dining and barbecuing area.
This central veiled garden room effectively allows light and breezes to filter throughout, which makes it more inviting for most times of the year. The blending of inside and out is incredibly seamless and is the true heart of this sub-tropical home.
For Offset House by EB Interiors, the outdoor kitchen is undercover but open on the sides, adjacent to a terrace and the backyard. Dark timber and tones set the backdrop with a BBQ built into a wall of cabinetry with a concrete splashback. A drinks fridge means top-ups are at hand to enjoy the sun, which filters through the established trees in the yard.
For Carole Whiting, the integration of a semi-outdoor kitchen at Old Oaks was all about creating more spaces for the family to utilise. Here the aesthetic is pared back with white on white, ostensibly allowing the outdoors to set a compelling backdrop.
Whale Beach House by Studio Johnston makes the most of the gorgeous Sydney climate where a large terrace and pool area is equipped with a BBQ zone and lounging area.
“We often incorporate built-in BBQs into our houses and even apartments. The idea is about creating the Aussie BBQ and entertaining area to extend additional rooms to the outdoors,” says Stefania Reynolds, head of interiors at Studio Johnston.
Even if space is limited there are ways to create an outdoor zone with everything you would have in an inside kitchen, made compact and practical.
The Tikal outdoor kitchen by Talenti is one such product, fusing high-quality and hardy materials such as aluminium and stoneware to endure the elements. A modular design means different combinations — cooktop, sink, cupboards — can be appointed depending on the space available.
Seen as a way to enhance and elevate a home, outdoor kitchens offer an extension to the home, where people can come together and enjoy the beauty of nature with each other.
We think you might be interested in reading about the accompaniment to outdoor kitchens… outdoor dining
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