There’s a difference between grilling out and turning your backyard into a functional kitchen and dining space. If you’re aiming for the latter, DIY projects can transform your outdoor space into a spot you’ll want to spend every season (not just the summer quarantine). Here’s how to create the perfect outdoor cooking (and dining) area – right in your backyard.
Choose Your Kitchen Equipment
For backyard chefs who already own a barbecue, this might be the simplest step. But for cooks who prefer a fully equipped workspace, it might be time to consider a true outdoor kitchen.
For example, installing an outdoor sink can help reduce prep time and allow for easier cleanup. Fortunately, as Better Homes and Gardens explains, plumbing an outdoor kitchen is easier than you might expect.
Also consider projects like installing an outside fireplace for both cooking and keeping warm in the cooler seasons. If it’s time to upgrade your grill anyway, tackling a DIY project like a built-in barbecue could be the solution.
Upgrade Your Amenities
When you’re dining out at home, it doesn’t take much to upgrade the experience. Whether you’re hoping to impress guests or want to transport yourself elsewhere without leaving home, consider a handful of amenities that feel high-class.
For example, installing a water filter on your outdoor tap (or the whole house) helps ensure access to safe and great-tasting water. Ideally, your water filtration system will remove harmful contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and chloramine. Of course, the flavor is also crucial – and this upgrade will help your tap water taste better than ever.
Another luxurious amenity that won’t break the bank is a patio mister. To combat high temperatures in your outdoor eating area – as well as daytime bugs – you can install a misting system that won’t leave guests sopping wet. Such a system could lower the temperature by up to 30 degrees – so it’s worth the investment.
Install Shade Structures
In the warmer months, your back deck or patio might feel too toasty for a relaxing dinner at sunset. The solution is installing a shade structure that works with your yard’s layout and style.
Depending on your yard’s size and shape, you might consider building a custom pergola to offer shade. Or, another structure – such as a shade sail or awning – may be better suited to your style and needs.
Another benefit of shade structures is that you may be able to install lights or even fans on the beams. After dark, theright lighting can help create ambiance – string and path lights are popular options for backyard entertaining.
Unfortunately, when it comes to nighttime lighting, citronella candles and torches are better for ambiance than as bug repellents, notes Prevention. It’s possible that citronella oil may help discourage mosquitoes. But measures such as wearing mosquito repellent and removing any standing water in the yard are more effective in reducing bites while you dine outdoors.
Add Landscaping for an Upscale Feel
Eating in your backyard doesn’t have to feel like eating in your backyard. Creating a comfortable dining area extends to your landscaping strategy – and plants can make all the difference. Adding greenery can help boost your mood, even when you’re dining indoors. But adding plants to your yard can also create privacy and insulate against neighborhood noise, explains Gardening Knowhow.
Of course, if you’re contemplating selling your home, you may not want to invest a lot in landscaping. If your current yard leaves a lot to be desired, that may also be motivation to search for a new house.
Before you break ground on any new projects, consider reaching out to a knowledgeable professional at R. Alexa Real Estate Group. Starting your property search with a pro is the best way to ensure you find the home – and backyard – of your dreams.
Heading outside to cook and dine has become a trademark of many homeowners through spring and summer. To keep the enjoyment going year-round, it pays to invest in your outdoor spaces, including outfitting your cooking space with the right appliances and features. With these amenities, you might even prefer dining out – at home – to dining out at a restaurant.
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