Outside kitchens: the ultimate in year-round entertaining

August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 Kirsty Young

Outdoor kitchens are a growing trend and a fabulous addition to any large garden. But before you multiply your kitchen (and your budget) by two, step away from that pizza oven brochure and consider your options.

Some of the most desirable kitchens are those that flow seamlessly from the interior to the exterior. Extending inside design themes into your outside space creates so much more than just an outdoor kitchen. It can define the ultimate area for outside entertaining. If that sounds perfect for your social lifestyle, it’s time to turn your kitchen inside out!

Blurring the boundaries

Start thinking about how to bridge that inside-outside gap right from the initial design of your new kitchen. Here are some suggestions for reducing boundaries between inside and outside.

1. Get close to nature

If you’re planning a kitchen extension, include as much glass as possible and let the natural light flood in. For the real wow-factor, consider triple glazed, low frame profile bi-fold doors. These doors simply fold back at the lightest touch to effectively remove the fourth wall of your kitchen and allow step-free access from inside to outside space. Look for bi-folding doors that offer the highest ratings for UV protection, heat insulation and security.

2. Stay connected

If your budget doesn’t extend to bi-fold doors, there are other ways to create the perception of a single space. Start by linking your design themes with matching colours and textures across both your indoor and outdoor furniture. Look for other ways to create connections between your inside and outside areas, such as lighting, finishes and use of specific woods.

3. Let your floor flow

Using the same flooring materials inside and out gives a seamless feel to the transition between inside and outside spaces. Flagstones, for example, are hard-wearing and work particularly well in a glass-box extension. Another neat design trick is to use one material for the majority of the kitchen, then merge into your outdoor flooring just before the doorway to your outside space.

4. Put on a performance

Outdoor entertaining doesn’t have to be all about a basic brick-built BBQ or even a fancy pizza oven. Add a cooktop to your kitchen island and position it as close to your outside space as possible. With guests able to see you in action from both inside and outside, the stage is set to astound your guests with some culinary theatre!

5. A trick of the light

For the final deception, extend your inside lighting outside. Use small spotlights to create the ambience in your kitchen, and then continue the mellow mood by embedding solar lights into your deck or under the eaves of a summerhouse. If low hanging pendant lighting creates a central feature over your kitchen table, why not mirror the effect with string hung lanterns over your outside table or dining area.

When to keep the outside, outside

Of course, not everything on the outside is welcome inside. There are some things you’ll definitely want to keep out of your home if possible, including:

Fruit flies

Keep a lid on compost bins, cover fruit bowls and plates to avoid attracting these little pests. Set fruit fly traps: pour red wine or vinegar into a ramekin, cover it with plastic wrap and poke holes in the top with a toothpick. Attracted by the smell, the flies crawl through the holes and then can’t find their way out.


If you have any garden water features, make sure they are fitted with a pump or recirculating system to avoid standing water, which mosquitos breed in. Also, watch out for hidden water sources, such as pots, grill covers, sand buckets, baby pools and other children’s toys.

With some imaginative planning and a few precautions, the outdoors can be as much a part of your kitchen as the room indoors. At Verbeek, our expert design team are ready to help turn your kitchen inside. Call us at 519-685-1811 or drop by our kitchen showroom at 189 Exeter Rd. London, ON.