Think outdoor kitchens are only for people in Southern California and Arizona? Think again! Although the indoor/outdoor living trend has its roots in these warmer climates, outdoor kitchens in Hunterdon County NJ are becoming more popular each year. They’re a great way to make your backyard stand out from the rest of the neighborhood with custom amenities, and you’ll love the convenience of being able to serve up deliciously grilled goodies and ice-cold drinks without having to run back and forth to your traditional kitchen.
If you’ve been thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen to your Hunterdon County property, it’s easy to get inspired by all the Pinterest and Instagram photos on the internet. What may be less clear is the best path to follow to bring your project from a mere gleam in your eye to a fully realized construction project that transforms your landscape for the better. Here’s what you should know about building an amazing outdoor kitchen in NJ.
Call in the Pros
An outdoor kitchen is a major remodeling and landscaping project. After all, it combines some of the most important features of interior design with outdoor know-how. In addition to needing a knowledgeable professional to help you design a great kitchen layout and plan the electrical and plumbing work, you’ll also need some literal heavy lifting to take care of earth moving and stonework as you build the bones of your outdoor room.
When you work with a professional landscape design company in Hunterdon County, you can expect to have help every step of the way, from the initial planning and permitting processes through the final finishing touches before you cook your first meal alfresco:
- Choose Your Contractor: It’s important to hire a landscape designer in your area who is completely qualified, with full insurance, licenses and excellent references. You’ll also want to check out their portfolio of work to ensure that you share a similar aesthetic and chat in person to make sure your personalities click.
- Survey the Land: Next, your landscape designer will survey your property to understand its exact boundaries, along with its best features and challenges. A pro knows what to expect in New Jersey backyards and will be able to make pointed suggestions about taking care of any issues as you move forward.
- Design the Layout: This should be a collaborative process in which you and your landscape designer work together to incorporate all of the points on your outdoor kitchen wish list. You’ll hammer out a layout that provides the most convenience and comfort, taking into consideration the existing views, the angle of the sun and other landscaping features.
- Choose Materials: Once the basic footprint of the design is in place, it’s time to decide how you want it to look. Will you incorporate local stone, or opt for brick? What type of decking and stain colors do you prefer? Grills, appliances and patio furniture can also be selected at this stage so everything works together as a harmonious whole.
- Execute the Build: Once the decisions are made, the best part of working with a professional is that they take it from here. They’ll work with your municipality to pull permits and consult with inspectors, and they’ll begin digging, leveling and building your brand new outdoor kitchen. Once the hardscaping is complete, adding new trees, shrubs and decorative plants is typically the final step.
Must-Have Details for Your Outdoor Kitchen
As you design your outdoor kitchen in New Jersey, be sure to incorporate some best practices to get the most out of your new seasonal living space:
- A Kitchen Island: The best outdoor kitchen designs keep the cook or grill master involved in all the socializing. To do this, build your kitchen around an island — whether straight or L-shaped — to allow the cook to face the seating area or bar where others are gathered.
- Plenty of Storage: To avoid having to run back into the traditional kitchen for tongs and platters, be sure to add several stainless steel storage cabinets beneath the counters to hold all of your cooking utensils and serving plates.
- Uninterrupted Counter Space: Resist the urge to break up the counter with too many cooktops. You can have more than one grill or smoker, but you’ll want to carefully consider the positioning to include plenty of workspace to prep food, create a buffet line or serve as a bar for guests to watch you work your magic.
- Cold Storage: No outdoor kitchen is complete without a refrigerator to hold chilled foods and beverages. You can add more than one to keep ingredients separate from the adult drinks, and you can also add an ice bin to hold frosty drinks at the ready for poolside parties.
- Appropriate Lighting: Make sure your outdoor kitchen functions from dusk into the evening by adding task lighting over your work surfaces and ambient lighting where your guests will relax. As days get shorter in the autumn, you’ll still be able to cook outside with the right lights in place.
No matter what your taste, the best landscaping company in Hunterdon County will be able to assess your needs and work with you to create the ideal outdoor kitchen for your NJ home. From material selection to construction know-how, working with a professional will help you build the best outdoor kitchen you can dream up.
Why Choose Parker Homescape?
We have transformed hundreds of landscapes in and around the Somerset, Hunterdon, Essex and Union County areas, including Short Hills, Warren and Basking Ridge since our founding in 2006. Unlike many of our competitors, we undertake only one client project at a time, ensuring that every deadline is met and that every detail is considered. Additionally, a lead foreman with over 30 years of experience oversees your project from start to finish. This approach makes us one of the most sought after landscape design companies in Central New Jersey, and translates into a seamless, stress-free experience for you and your family.
Whether creating an outdoor living space, installing custom landscape lighting or building a custom outdoor fireplace, we believe that each landscape project is unique. We proudly promise customized solutions, superior customer service and competitive pricing for each of our clients.