There is always room for an outdoor kitchen. Whether you’re a keen cook with a large outdoor area and a flair for barbecuing, or a foodie renting an apartment with a balcony, there are ways to incorporate outdoor cooking into your space.
We’re sharing three outdoor kitchen designs for three differently sized spaces to give you an idea of what’s possible.
Start by brainstorming your must-haves for your outdoor kitchen. Is it a pizza oven to create mouth-watering recipes? Or is it a fully stocked barbecuing area? Grab a pen and paper, sketch out your space and create a list of what you’d like.
Tip: Don’t forget to allocate space for a designated prep area. This is key for making outdoor cooking as easy as possible.
This budget-friendly design is ideal for people with a smaller space, such as a balcony or courtyard. You can do a lot with these areas – if you plan carefully and choose some strategic pieces, you can transform almost any space into a cosy outdoor kitchen.
The key is to maximise every inch. A two-burner barbecue is a compact, lightweight option that gets the job done. Add in a preparation station stocked with essentials (tea towels, barbecue wipes, rubs, spices, plates, cutlery and glassware) and place it within arm’s reach. Add a chopping board on top so you have a place for food prep.
For both the barbecue and the preparation station, look for wheels. This will allow you to easily move things around if bad weather rolls in or if you want to use the space for a different purpose.
Lastly, add a touch of green by growing your favourite herbs and edible plants in outdoor pots – it's both functional and pretty!
If you have the space for a permanent barbecue area but are new to outdoor entertaining, start with an entry-level set-up. It will extend your living space outdoors, increase the use of your area and boost the value of your home.
Tip: Try matching the colour of your decking with your built-in barbecue and seating area. This will tie everything together, providing a luxe, cohesive feel.
Have fun with colours and design for the tiling of your outdoor benchtop or splashback, but make sure to choose outdoor tiles that are going to hold up against the weather. For a modern touch, try cladding. It creates privacy while doubling up as a striking visual element that adds depth and dimension to your space.
Bench seats with storage are a versatile addition. They serve as a place for your guests to sit while also being a place to tuck away outdoor accessories and cushions. Don’t forget to utilise the space underneath your barbecue, too – use it to house gas bottles, accessories, cutlery and more.
Tie the look together with cushions, candles and other décor that reflects your personal style and chosen colour scheme.
This all-in-one area will make you the host with the most. A complete outdoor kitchen has the same functionality as an indoor kitchen, complete with cabinetry, storage, a prep area, sink, fridge, barbecue and pizza oven.
Start by ensuring that all of the materials and appliances you’ve chosen are suitable for outdoor use, and then get creative! Space to work and move around in is what elevates an outdoor kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary, so make sure to allocate plenty.
Think about installing a pizza oven, which can be the heart and soul of your entertaining space. Do some research to determine what type of pizza oven will best suit your needs. (There are a wide variety to choose from.)
Add a tiled splashback to make clean-up a breeze and don’t forget to incorporate storage space for things like firewood and accessories.
Add in additional storage for essential items like cooking tools, utensils, and ingredients. This will help keep things organised and within reach. Storage solutions should be durable, weather-resistant and spacious.
Consider cabinets with adjustable shelves, drawers, and storage compartments. Think about how these cabinets will function in different areas, such as the beneath or above the fridge, underneath the barbecue or sink and general storage.
Tip: If you’re in an area that needs it, outdoor screening will make your space feel more cosy and intimate.
Potted edible flowers and herbs will bring some lushness to the space. Lastly, an entertaining area isn’t complete without a place for guests to sit and enjoy their meals, so invest in a dining table and benches.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.