Outdoor kitchens in Southern California

Individuals looking for Southern California real estate are in a prime location for high-end outdoor living space that expands the usable square-footage of a home and adds unmatched character. Luxury real estate is fuel for the leisure industry, which is growing at a rate of 15 to 17 percent annually, and one of the fastest growing trends is the outdoor kitchen. No, not a nice barbecue grill and an outdoor dining set. People are constructing full-sized, weather-proof kitchens with elaborate entertainment areas ideal for guests and enjoying the beautiful SoCal weather.

Outdoor kitchens

In essence, outdoor kitchens should function as indoor spaces do in terms of set up: grill, sink, counter space, storage and refrigeration. The biggest differences between an outdoor and indoor kitchen are exposure to the elements and space restrictions. An outdoor kitchen should be planned just as thoroughly as an indoor one, and perhaps even more so. Water, power and gas supply are key components to consider. Keep in mind when planning an outdoor kitchen that an open layout is ideal, as to not isolate the cook during gatherings.

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Having an outdoor kitchen also gives home owners the opportunity to have appliances like a wood-burning stove or smoker, which aren’t appropriate for the indoors. This can bring an entirely new element to household cooking. At the same rate, an outdoor kitchen must be equipped with a nearby garden with fresh herbs and vegetables for easy use during meal preparation.

Entertainment space

With any kitchen comes the need for an entertainment area. Trends show that people are including bar seating in their kitchen design as well as large, dining room-style kitchen tables that seat large groups.

While some are focused solely on the idea of a complete outdoor kitchen space, others are blending the fine line between inside and outside. The use of large pergolas and retractable screen doors play with the idea of bringing the indoors outside. This also opens up the opportunity to include television screens and comfortable sitting areas ideal for a movie or game night. A wireless outdoor surround system is the perfect option for the ultimate entertainment area.

When looking for appropriate materials, remember that the space is still outdoors, even if it is protected by a pergola, and non-porous fabric, flooring and counter space is necessary to keep maintenance to a minimum. Luckily, designers are producing attractive weather-proof fabrics and flooring for luxurious outdoor living spaces. To prepare for chilly nights, home owners should be sure to include outdoor heaters or built-in fireplaces.

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(all data current as of 10/22/2017)

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