The great outdoors

Heading into winter and missing those beautiful long summer evenings outdoors, it’s time to think about what alfresco dining will look like in 2024.

Quintessential outdoor kitchen design by Nicola Ross of Nicola Ross Design.

As a nation, we’re embracing the concept of the outdoor kitchen. And not just the barbeque on the patio; places to craft meals while immersed in conversation, enjoying the summer sun, or under the beautiful light of dusk. 

So, what exactly constitutes an outdoor kitchen?

According to Hettich design manager Elaine Addy, a barbecue area becomes an outdoor kitchen when you start to add cupboards or drawers, “or any of those other little luxuries so you don’t need to head back inside for cold drinks, utensils, or plates”.

As Elaine explains, the outdoor kitchen is just that, an area to cook and prepare meals and beverages outside, in the elements. And while many outdoor kitchens are designed with some cover, they can also be sited in areas where there is little or no overhead protection, either built or natural.

The level of exposure means that to ensure longevity in an outdoor kitchen, material choice is vital. A conversation with your designer, builder or project manager is worthwhile to ensure you’ve considered the correct materials for durability once your outdoor kitchen is built.

Attention to detail is also key, even more so than in an interior kitchen design. Rust is an issue with certain materials, and with moving parts such as hinges, there is usually a higher risk of rust occurring, Elaine explains.

One thing to look out for when selecting metal products for your outdoor kitchen is corrosion resistance testing or other credentials to avoid rust occurring. There are international benchmarks for this which should be a good indicator of product suitability.

Stainless steel is an obvious choice for an outdoor kitchen material. A good example of this is the newly released Veosys hinge by Hettich, which has been specifically developed by the hardware supplier as part of an outdoor specific product range. This 304-grade stainless steel hinge is crafted from a material usually only seen in sinks and insulated water bottles.

However, stainless steel is not the only material suited to outdoors. Hettich’s outdoor range contains soft-closing drawers, waste bins and interior organisation to ensure an experience just like an everyday kitchen, and in a variety of materials. Again, the advice and guidance of your designer or expert project partner is important in helping to make the right decisions for your home. Make sure to choose one you trust! And keep on top of the details.

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