If a dream outdoor kitchen is on your mind, read on.

An outdoor kitchen is the pièce de résistance of the entertainer’s toolkit. Whether your goal is a simple pool party pagoda or a gourmet chef’s prep dream, it’s important to consider how you plan to use an outdoor kitchen in order to determine its location, design, materiality, fixtures and fittings.

The beginner’s guide to expert outdoor kitchens

Setting the scene

Before you begin designing your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to set the scene by determining where it will go. First up, you need to consider who will be using it, whether you’ll need power, gas or running water, and whether you’ll need to run back to the house regularly to grab seasonings or a glass of water. Next up, what features of your property do you wish to highlight (or avoid)? Maybe you’re looking to encourage the use of your pool and want to have it close by. If you’ve got quite a large garden, maybe there’s a section that has the perfect dappled sunlight but just doesn’t get enough love. Or perhaps you’re trying to keep people away from accidentally trampling your veggie patch. Consider all the pros and cons of placement before designing your outdoor kitchen.

Three Birds Renovations

Credit: Three Birds Renovations

Fixtures, fittings and amenities

Are you imagining an outdoor entertainment area that could have come straight from a Mediterranean villa, with curved, whitewashed stone walls under the open blue sky and an inbuilt pizza oven with shelves below filled with pre-chopped timber? Perhaps something more modern – stainless steel benches and cabinets with an inbuilt barbeque, slatted timber elevated above to provide shade. Or maybe you want to go all out – we’re talking gas burner, sink, fridge and all the tableware needed to serve food to a crowd without having to run to the main house – all protected under a waterproof roof. The amenities that best suit your needs must be considered when designing an outdoor kitchen, from the level of storage you’ll need, the type of cooking equipment and whether you need additions such as fridges and running water. 

Mosman Project by Harrisons Landscaping

Credit: Mosman Project by Harrisons Landscaping


Whatever your needs, materials need to be weatherproof and built for the outdoors. Outdoor furniture needs to be resistant to rust, mould, rot, warping, cracking and fading. It requires durability and should be easy to clean. For kitchen benches, sealed, non-porous stones such as granite or bluestone are durable yet welcoming. For the more serious food-prep chefs, stainless steel is advantageous. Waterproof cushion covers on furniture are beneficial, and to protect both the longevity of the objects in the space and the users from harsh elements, a shade canopy or roof is worth considering.

Swiftdeck decking Silvertop Ash Amber

Swiftdeck decking in Silvertop Ash Amber


Linear House, House Ten, Suburban Farmhaus, Mosman House


EB Interiors, Three Birds Renovations, Arcologic Design, Harrisons Landscaping, Hudson Homes Sienna Design


Pablo Viega

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