Garden Design Services: Cooking up a Storm
Outdoor kitchens used to be one of the more unusual garden design services that Floral and Hardy provided, but they are now becoming much more popular as people begin to realise the full potential of their outside space.
So, this segment is for those wondering just how much their garden can be integrated into their daily lives and for all the dads who think outdoor cooking begins and ends under the BBQ lid.
Food is perhaps the greatest social lubricant we, as a species, have developed and it’s no surprise that this basic need has become a focal point for many of our interactions with each other. The individual elements of any living space can also be applied to the outdoor diner to provide a comfortable, welcoming and practical space to be enjoyed by family and friends.
Previously outdoor cooking in a garden might have just consisted of a barbecue, but nowadays there is such a sophisticated variety of cooking apparatus available that it nearly rivals that which you might find in a professional kitchen. You can choose from rotisseries or pizza ovens, grills or hobs, warming drawers or smokers, and then there’s storage to consider, since outdoor refrigeration is fast becoming a common place garden design service. Granite worktops and the addition of a sink can make this as practical a space as you have at your disposal indoors.
As discussed in our previous piece, adequate lighting is essential to making a space feel welcoming at any time of day, not to mention safer to use, however this need can be partly mitigated by whichever cooking equipment you use. A fire pit, for example, is a wonderfully dramatic centrepiece that will provide heat as well as light not to mention an anchor for seating and socializing. An outdoor chimney and fireplace would do the same. Wall-mounted heaters are also a practical avenue to guarantee comfortable temperatures in your space, making it useable all year round.
Shelter is an important element and in an outdoor kitchen/entertaining space there are many means by which this can be achieved and each has its advantages. In terms of cost and convenience, some well positioned shade sails can provide adequate coverage during the spring and summer when adverse weather is less likely. Hard cover such as a timber gazebo or even thatch, however, carry a certain rustic aesthetic that might be better suited to your vision, not to mention their ability to support climbing plants which are wonderful bridge between the organic of the garden and the artificial living area.
Second to shelter, seating and resting spaces are a hallmark of a comfort zone and while a classical dining table might be adequate for your needs, comfy outdoor sofas are becoming increasingly popular for the informal air they lend a space.
Of course each outdoor kitchen/diner must be individually designed according to your needs and those of your guests but hopefully this segment has awakened your imagination as to some of the possibilities in outdoor entertaining and the value of good garden design services.