Five ways to customise your outdoor kitchen in Tauranga

Kitchen under a pergola

Few things bring the vibes like an outdoor kitchen! There’s something about cooking, dining, and entertaining al fresco that ensures a good time is had by all. And while it feels fairly foolproof, there are a few things you can do to really enhance your outdoor kitchen experience!

1. Include an outdoor bar

Cook in the kitchen, entertain at the bar! It’s the perfect combination. It’s a bit more casual than  a formal dining area, and acts as either an anchor or accessory for the greater landscape design. Equipped with a compact sink, drink fridge, and bar stools, you can gather your friends for a few evening drinks or, if you’re keen to create a more family-friendly environment, it serves as the perfect spot for the kiddos to gather around and have a quick bite to eat before heading back to play. 

2. Surround it with a patio or outdoor entertainment area

To make the most of your outdoor kitchen, an accompanying entertaining space is a must! This could be as simple as a paver patio with dining set, or something more elaborate like a built-in fire pit with sunken seating area. The best option will depend on how you plan to utilise the space and your existing landscape. 

A tiered landscaping approach or raised decking structures are ideal to create extended entertaining areas on uneven or sloped lots, as they help maximise usable space while keeping the design cohesive. Features to enhance an outdoor area include:

  • A weatherproof TV
  • Wifi extenders
  • A louvre roof or pergola
  • Lighting & heating
  • Lots of seating

3. Get cooking with a built-in BBQ or outdoor pizza oven

Save the traditional range and oven for inside. BBQs and pizza ovens are more fun anyway, and far more flexible than you may think! There are a variety of fuel sources to choose from, including wood, gas, or electricity, and countless designs to blend into any landscape. Some fun ways to deck out your BBQ are features like side burners, rotisseries, or smoker boxes.

As you can see in this outdoor entertaining area in Papamoa, opting to build a cooking and prep area around a BBQ grill is a simple way to elevate the space and prime it for peak functionality. 

4. Take advantage of outdoor kitchen cabinets and benchtops

As functional as they are integral to your aesthetic, use outdoor kitchen cabinets and benchtops as design pieces! The options available vary from what’s traditionally used for an interior kitchen renovation, so it’s a chance to get creative! During this stunning backyard transformation in Te Ranga, the architectural stone wall houses a gas fireplace on one side, and a double BBQ space, drinks fridge, and versatile workspace on the other, making it a true conversation piece. 

A few things to consider:

  • Select weather-resistant materials like stainless steel
  • Build in accessories like cutting boards to maximise functionality 
  • Don’t forget task lighting 

5. Finish with the right selection of plants

Plants are the first thing that come to mind when you think of landscaping, so we couldn’t leave them off this list! Whether they’re the icing on the cake or the features on which your entire outdoor kitchen is designed, a well-planned garden will bring everything together. For a Tauranga landscape, native plants are the way to go, including kowhai, griselinia, ake ake, and flax.  

Bonus tip: partner with the right professionals

Tangible skills and experience are obvious benefits of working with a professional landscaping team, but have you considered the countless other ways they can help? At Zones, our Landscaping Consultants act as project managers who will be with you every step of the way. Whether it’s reviewing designs with you until you land on the right one, finding you the highest quality materials at the best price, or sticking to schedules and budgets, having a Zones professional on your side will make the process stress-free and enjoyable. 

Are you looking for an outdoor kitchen builder in Tauranga? 

Book your free consultation with your local outdoor kitchen specialists in Tauranga now!

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