Designing an all-weather outdoor kitchen in Wellington

stainless steel outdoor kitchen with wooden splashback

Wellington… it’s the culinary capital of New Zealand, so it’s not surprising that Wellingtonians like to dine outside. But does your backyard match your master chef aspirations?

If you’re wondering how to design an outdoor kitchen or you want to begin building a BBQ area, turn your backyard into a delightful dining destination with the help from your local Zones Landscaping Consultants. They have the right recipe for creating the ultimate all-weather outdoor kitchen.

What is a weatherproof outdoor kitchen?

Not only is New Zealand’s capital city known for its culinary fare; it’s also known for its weather. Wild, wet, and windy usually sums up Wellington’s climate, but the region does have its share of blue skies and sunshine. In fact, Wellington has fewer rainy days than Auckland!

But as any good chef knows, preparation is key. And, as any outdoor kitchen designer in Wellington will tell you, building your outdoor kitchen to withstand the elements is vital. 

So, when it comes to outdoor kitchen construction, there’s a few things to consider to ensure your space is weatherproof.

outdoor kitchen under a concrete roof with red pillars

Things to consider before building your outdoor kitchen in Wellington

Layout - To ensure your outdoor kitchen design is going to make alfresco cooking and dining enjoyable, you’ll need to get the layout right. This is where the expert eye of an outdoor kitchen designer will help. They’ll consider how your backyard is facing, what your prevailing weather patterns are, assess the available space you have to work with, determine how best to connect your outdoor kitchen area to the house, and allow for indoor-outdoor flow.

Design ideas - What type of chef are you? Is your specialty pizza parties? Are you a slow roast type of cook? Do you like to banter around a BBQ or converse over a three-course meal? The types of events you host will help define your outdoor kitchen ideas. If pizza nights are a family favourite, your landscape designer can include a covered outdoor kitchen with pizza oven or if sausage sizzles are more your thing, there’s nothing stopping you from having an outdoor BBQ kitchen in your backyard!

Budget - When it comes to dining, our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. And the same can be said for renovation and building projects. That’s why determining your budget from the beginning is essential. At Zones, our Wellington Outdoor Kitchen Installers can help to identify what you want in your outdoor kitchen design, what you need, and what is affordable. 

These FAQs for creating an outdoor kitchen are also worth a read before you build your own all-weather outdoor dining space.

How to design the best covered outdoor kitchen for your Wellington property

In Wellington, and anywhere for that matter, if you’re designing an outdoor space, consider the climate and environment. There’s nothing worse than creating an outdoor area that can only be used for half the year.

Shelter your space: there are plenty of covered outdoor kitchen ideas you can incorporate into your design to help make your space ideal for cooking and enjoyable to dine in. A pergola or retractable louvre roof will provide shelter from the elements, particularly if paired with side awnings and outdoor curtains. Add some outdoor heating to the mix and alfresco dining just got a whole lot more comfortable!

Avoid slippery surfaces: whether you’re carrying out a salad bowl or balancing the Christmas pav, the last thing you want is to slip in your outdoor kitchen! All decking material, including wood and concrete, has the potential to become slippery if not maintained. By sheltering your outdoor space and limiting wet weather on your dining and cooking area, this will reduce slip hazards. But having a proper and consistent maintenance routine will also help to keep slippery surfaces at bay. After all, a good chef always keeps their kitchen clean!

Durable dining and seating solutions: when setting up your all-weather outdoor kitchen and dining space, be sure to select durable dining and seating solutions. While these may be a little more expensive to begin with, the long-term benefits will pay off. That’s because high quality outdoor dining and seating solutions are made to withstand the elements. You may also like to consider investing in storage that enables you to put outdoor cushions and throws away when not in use.

modern outdoor kitchen by swimming pool

How to maintain your outdoor kitchen during inclement weather

Aside from racing outside prior to any storm warnings to batten down the BBQ cover, gather up the utensils, bring the outdoor cushions inside, and retrieve the string of festoon lights before they end up in the neighbour’s tree, there are easier ways to maintain your outdoor kitchen during inclement weather.

It starts with a great design and continues with regular cleaning and maintenance, but there are a few added extras you can include from the outset to keep maintenance to a minimum.

  1. Adopt a minimalist approach to your outdoor kitchen. By keeping things simple, there’s less upkeep and when those Wellington winds do get extra wild, you’ll know your outdoor area is ready to withstand the elements.
  1. Fasten fixtures. Be wary of adding too many hanging items, such as festoon lights or flower baskets, particularly if your backyard is in a high wind area. Consider incorporating lighting into your pergola or louvre roof during the design phase and talk to your designer about creating garden boxes as part of your decking design. 
  1. Style with storage. Make it easy to put things away at the end of the night or when they’re not in use. By building weatherproof storage into your all-weather outdoor kitchen, you can keep what you need outside but protected from the conditions.
cosy italian inspired outdoor kitchen

How Zones outdoor kitchen specialist can assist you in creating a weather-friendly outdoor kitchen

Working with Zones Landscaping in Wellington to bring your all–weather outdoor kitchen to life has many benefits, including advice on clever solutions that will enhance your outdoor space. 

These Wellington homeowners created the ultimate entertainment zone, complete with an outdoor fireplace and a louvre roof with rain sensor, which closes the roof automatically if it senses rain!

Other homeowners on the Kapiti Coast had a fabulous deck but its usability was limited - it was too hot in summer! With help from Zones, a modern pergola design now covers the space making it ideal for entertaining and relaxing.

A key part of any good outdoor kitchen design is including space for entertaining. Talk to your local Zones Landscaping Consultant in Wellington for ideas to combine cooking and dining spaces in your outdoor area.

Get cooking in your outdoor kitchen today!

Book your free consultation today to build your outdoor kitchen with a landscaping specialist in Wellington!

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