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Create the Perfect Indoor-Outdoor Kitchen

The following is a guest post from Linda Levene, the head designer at LLi Design –interiordesignLondon. LLi specialise in high end residential and commercial interiors. Linda also publishes a regular blog on interior design, trends and products.http://www.lli.co.uk While not written by Abt, we loved the article and wanted to share it with you – our readers.

When the sun starts shining we all love the thought of outdoor entertaining – if you have the weather there’s nothing nicer than being able to prepare food outdoors as well as eating it.

The humble barbeque has come a long long way from it’s roots. The must have item now is to have an outdoor kitchen. At the luxurious end of things this incorporates oven, wood burning pizza oven, sink and fridge.

However if space is a problem why not extend your kitchen worktop into the garden as architect John Pawson did (above), thereby allowing the cook to use the space outside as a kitchen whilst not duplicating appliances or using up valuable garden.

Another sleek answer to creating an outdoor kitchen is to bring the outdoors in. This home (below) by the architects

Eldridge Smerin, in Highgate London incorporates a retractable roof that gives the sensation of an outdoor kitchen, perfect for an urban environment.

However if your tastes aren’t for the sleek and minimal an outdoor kitchen can be created to blend more with the outside by incorporating a pergola, plants and using more naturalistic materials.

Creating an outdoor kitchen is an opportunity to create something unique. This is an environment that’s purely for pleasure. This is where you’ll entertain and enjoy life, so it’s a chance to be as creative as possible. Start by thinking about the atmosphere you want to create and when you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen -day or evening? Family gatherings or sophisticated groups of friends?

A few practical things to consider when you create your outdoor kitchen. First, you’ll need shelter from sun or rain. Consider lighting for evening cooking – both task lighting to see what you’re cooking and ambient lighting to really give your kitchen atmosphere. This is where you can really go to town with lanterns, chandeliers or candles.

You’ll need an area to prepare food as well as cook it – so even if you don’t want something custom made you could use a sturdy work bench or table. It’s also nice to incorporate shelving to display plants and crockery. When creating your outdoor kitchen, think about where your guests will be and how they’ll interact with you whilst you’re preparing the food. You don’t want to have your back turned to them as you cook. It’s important to ensure that your space is as sociable as possible. This is a fantastic way to extend the summer and make the most of outdoor living so if you’ve ever hankered after one now is the time to create your outdoor kitchen.

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