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Picture yourself enjoying a summer evening in your backyard. The sun is shining, the grill is hot, and the smells of your favorite bites are wafting through the yard. It’s pretty hard to beat how good that feels. In fact, the only thing that could make the night better is if you had a little shelter from the sun, a little more elbow room around the grill, and all your refrigerated ingredients within reach. An outdoor kitchen offers all this and more.

Not only does an outdoor kitchen provide a welcome space for family and friends to gather, it also adds more value to your home and your life. If you’re interested in breaking ground on your own outdoor kitchen soon, here are four things to consider:

1. Work with professional landscape architects & designers

First things first: Hire experienced professionals you trust, like the landscape architects and designers at Malone’s Landscape. We will help you plan out and design your outdoor kitchen so that it enhances your property and functions as you need. Consider how you will access the space, whether you want it covered, and how much counter space you might need. Consider all possibilities to come up with the best plan forward.

2. Choose your setting

In many climates, a year-round outdoor kitchen isn’t always realistic—especially if it’s not covered. Here in the Northwest, it rains a lot, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Seattle native grilling while soaking wet. If you want to enjoy your outdoor kitchen in every season, make sure to factor in a roof. You may also decide to attach the kitchen to your house, or separate it so it stands on its own. We’ll help you make the right call.

3. Add fun & functional features

BBQ grill aside, what else do you want easily accessible in your outdoor kitchen? Dream big! At Malone’s Landscape, we are ready to help you bring your biggest ambitions to life. From gorgeous cabinets to stone pillars, smokers to pizza ovens, we’ll help make sure your outdoor kitchen becomes your new favorite place to hang out. You can also add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to your outdoor kitchen and dining space, where guests can spend time long after you’ve cleared the table. If you know you want a few fun features or added appliances in your outdoor kitchen, let us know early on.

4. Design your dream

Last but not least, you’ll want to start thinking about the design elements you’d like to see in your outdoor kitchen. Work with your landscape designer to determine what type of countertops will work best in your space. Do you prefer a tough, natural stone like granite, or sealed concrete? What about flooring? Remember, you’ll be standing on it for long periods of time while you whip up a tasty meal, so don’t rush through this part! Many people want their outdoor kitchen to match the aesthetic of their home and if this is you, consider using materials that match or complement your home’s exterior.

Let’s get cooking!

Let’s be honest. Outdoor kitchens are special. They help us enjoy the great outdoors in the best and worst weather, getting us up and out of the house and maybe even out of our comfort zone. But diving into a big landscaping project like an outdoor kitchen isn’t something to take lightly. You want to make sure you’re building a quality kitchen that you can use for years to come, and that you won’t have to pour more money into year after year. So call on Malone’s Landscape to help you through the process. We’ll help with the layout, design and price of the project and lend support every step of the way.