Outdoor Mann – Designing Your Next Kitchen And Bathroom Outside

Earlier this year in a PRE-COVID world (isn’t it hard to remember what that looked like) I was elbow to elbow with the best and brightest at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Trade Show speaking about outdoor kitchen and bath design in Las Vegas. In my presentation I shared images from influencing design trends and factors, what materials to select and consider, and several design tips to achieve this outdoor lifestyle. Here are some highlights if you find yourself outside your home asking what’s next.

We know that kitchens and bathrooms “sell” homes, that will not change, though over the course of the last several years we have learned that outdoor living is outpacing mudrooms and home offices in terms of specialty home design. One overarching theme in outdoor living is our “inherent need for nature” and to connect to the outside. As we all start to return to normalcy in a POST COVID world we remember some folks haven’t been outside in as many as 3 months!

We were starting to stay at home long before it was suggested as a means to help stop the spread of a virus, we were burnt out from our incredibly busy lives which brought about the idea of JOMO. What the heck is JOMO you might be asking yourself, well it’s the opposite of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). JOMO is the Joy of Missing Out, in a PRE COVID landscape we were starting to celebrate the idea that it was ok to play hooky and miss out on an event we over committed ourselves to. We also see the idea of outdoor living everywhere be it on social media, popular tv networks such as HGTV and DIY channels, and in popular shelter magazines. And of course being home a lot more we have had a little more time to think about some of these enhancements. Here are a few design tips for what to include in your outdoor kitchen space.

When designing an outdoor kitchen/entertaining space you want to be mindful of 4 key components/areas of the design:

  1. The Cook Zone
  2. The Prep Zone
  3. The Plating/Garnish Zone
  4. The serving/entertaining space

**Candidly given the size of the space you may be working with, zones 2 and 3 sometimes overlap and can be shared.

When you are thinking about materials for the exterior kitchen be mindful that you should select items rated for the exterior. You should consider outdoor cabinetry, counter tops rated for the exterior that wont wear or fade with the glaring sun, select outdoor sinks, faucets, and appliances too.

While many enjoy outdoor entertaining, others are craving an outdoor bath experience. We see this demand as we begin to exercise more outdoors, we try to recreate a spa like getaway, and the idea of bringing the inside outdoors. Not only is this a great way to cool off after a workout or time spent in the garden, but its also a great space for small children and pets to get clean and cool off before entering the home, ideally keeping the dirt and mess outside.

When designing an outdoor bath oasis be mindful of these key design tips:

  1. Place in an ideally well drained location
  2. Use proper outdoor shower plumbing
  3. Incorporate appropriate screening and privacy
  4. Place in direct sunlight if possible (to help aid in drying)
  5. Tie into existing plumbing when possible (to reduce overall costs)

Has this got you thinking about ways you can enjoy your outdoor space a little more? We are happy to help make your outdoor oasis come to life! – Allie

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