Outdoor kitchens are getting a lot of attention today as the hub of outdoor living. But if your outdoor kitchen is feeling a bit dated, or you feel that something is missing, you may just need a new feature to fall in love with this area of your landscape again. Here’s how an outdoor fireplace can transform your old outdoor kitchen in the Westbury, NY, area.
A Transformative Effect
If you’ve ever browsed through home magazines or looked at high-end outdoor kitchens online, you’ll notice that many of them feature a fireplace. This is not by accident. A fireplace transforms a kitchen from a place to merely prepare food into the heart of the (outdoor) home.
Warmth and ambience are the first things that come to mind, especially as the warm nights of summer give way to the cooler temperatures of fall. People will be much more likely to want to cook and enjoy meals outdoors if there’s a cozy fire nearby to escape the chill. But even in summer, fire provides a wonderful ambience that’s irresistible to both adults and kids.
An outdoor fireplace can also give you more cooking options besides the grill. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you can roast marshmallows and hot dogs for that good old campfire vibe. For best flavor, use fruit wood like cherry or apple. If you opt for a gas-burning fireplace, be aware that it is not recommended to cook over a gas fire because food drippings can gunk up the burners.
If you’re building a custom outdoor fireplace (as opposed to a pre-built fireplace), you can add features to it that make it a perfect complement to your kitchen, such as a pizza oven or bread oven. Imagine smelling that delectable aroma of fresh-baked bread in your own backyard.
Warmth and Coziness
Adding a fireplace to an existing kitchen can be a challenge, depending on the space. The placement of the fireplace is important. You want it to feel as though it’s a part of the hub of your patio—your kitchen. To accomplish this, position your fireplace so that it’s close enough to the kitchen to provide warmth, yet it won’t interfere with traffic flow. This may mean moving the dining space over to accommodate the fireplace, as people often want to linger around the fire after a meal. Ensure that there’s plenty of space to lounge around the fire without having to rearrange furniture.
A double-sided fireplace can solve this spatial issue. You can position a double-sided fireplace between a dining area (closer to the kitchen) and a sitting area so that everyone gets the benefit of the fire no matter where they are.
You could also create a cozy feeling around your outdoor fireplace and kitchen by installing a seating wall. This is also a good way to physically attach a fireplace to your outdoor kitchen for a cohesive look, and accommodate larger parties without cluttering up your patio with furniture.
When choosing fireplace materials, you may not be able to match the veneer of your outdoor kitchen. You can give your fireplace its own identity by using stones that complement the kitchen and the patio, but embrace the differences. Keeping the overall color theme consistent is more important than matching the exact materials; fireplace stones a few shades lighter or darker than the patio but in the same color temperature could offer the right solution.