After looking into all the great benefits the South Florida kitchen can utilize on the inside, let’s move to the outside…
One of the great benefits of living in South Florida is the ability to be outside pretty much year round. With the exception of some heavy rain-days, our climate is ideal to be outside. There are numerous options to add living space to the exterior without much effort.
Going back to some of the earlier settlers that helped define some of the appropriate building features, we see large overhangs and nice elevated porches. The fireplace, serving as the cooking area, is pushed to the outside or located, under cover, outside completely.
A great space to take the concept of outdoor living to the next level is the kitchen. From a simple BBQ area to a full fledged kitchen, with all the appliances its indoor companion would have.
Let’s start with the simple features. Pretty any outdoor kitchen will have, and is likely to be centered around, a BBQ. It makes perfect sense to have the BBQ outside, a favorite summer activity for northern climates and a year round treat for our southern climate to enjoy. Having this heat creating monster outside has another benefit in our backyard: no need to cool down the hot air created from cooking or open flame grilling!
The next best feature for the outdoor kitchen is a sink, preferable with some counter space adjacent to it to wash off prepped food for the BBQ and other items.
Since we have created a counter, the next step is under counter storage. Waterproofing is key and the type of storage will be different from items stored inside, especially perishable goods.
After storage we can focus on cooling: refrigeration. Besides minimizing the distance to grab a cold beer, and in the process letting out valuable cooled air by opening your sliding or French doors, the proximity offers many benefits, especially when entertaining.
Of course, when selecting items like cook top/BBQ and refrigerator, look for Energy Star or gas options. For the faucet, get a low Flow WaterSense label type and consider draining into a collecting barrel or rain garden. With limited use, it is easy to control what will go down the drain in the outdoor sink!
Items to avid on the outside:
Dishwasher, Microwave and Toaster/small appliances. Leave them inside and only bring them out for events. The dishwasher required proper drainage and this is an item that you also want to leave inside, to make your outdoor kitchen a reasonable project to complete. Even slightly moist areas will create mold and small appliances tend to rust quickly due to our high humidity. No need for mold and rust in your great new outdoor kitchen.
…remember the best of South Florida: year round vegetation! This means that you can grow your own herbs and even some veggies year round, and it also means that composting is an easy must…integrate it into the layout and have designated spaces close by. Your neighbors/guests just might pick up on the idea after seeing how easy it is.
If you like to get started on your own kitchen renovation, contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture today:
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