Designing Outstanding Outdoor Kitchens

Be inspired by nature as you prep, cook, and serve delicious meals in your own backyard oasis. Outdoor kitchens are a hot trend for both entertaining guests and intimate family meals. Designing the perfect outdoor kitchen takes some planning so we’re sharing some of our tried and true pro tips.

Zones

Similar to indoor kitchens, the most user-friendly outdoor kitchens often have the same three things in common—prep, cooking, and dining zones. 

Plenty of prep space is important, including a place to prepare recipes and plate up the finished product. Cooking is the heart of the outdoor kitchen, so decide what kind of meals you want to prepare outside and plan accordingly. Appliances to include, from grills to griddles, really depends on your cooking wishlist. Definitely plan dining space so you can enjoy meals prepared outside with family and friends. Dining options may include table and/or bar seating with extra space for relaxed lounge seating too. 

designing an outdoor kitchen

Appliances

Start with must-have appliances and build your kitchen from there. For most people, a built-in grill tops the list. Griddles, range tops, smokers, and pizza ovens are also fun for outdoor cooking.  Keep in mind, if your porch is covered you might want to add a ventilation system so you don’t smoke out guests. 

When it comes to drinks—beverage refrigerators, wine coolers, ice makers, and kegerators are all nice additions to the outdoor kitchen and bar. You will want to keep those drinks close-by, ice cold, and flowing when summer temps heat things up!

designing an outdoor kitchen

Materials

Natural elements can be harsh on outdoor kitchens, especially when built open-air without cover. Outdoor appliances are always recommended for longevity. Non-corrosive materials like stainless-steel are intended to provide years of use outside. 

Every season brings unique conditions from sun-scaled to freezing temps. Invest in heavy-duty UV resistant fabrics to prevent fading and tearing of umbrellas, cushions, and other textiles. Extend the life of grills, dining tables, and chairs by using covers during the harsh winter season.

designing an outdoor kitchen

Utilities

Consider necessary utilities when designing kitchen zones. A well-thought-out plan ensures accessible gas hook-ups to support grills/smokers, plumbing installation for sinks and ice makers, and proper electricity placement for appliances and lighting. Also, take into account that some appliances rated for outdoor use require specific voltage/amp plugs.

Storage

It’s no fun lugging utensils, dinnerware, and other essentials out the door every time you want to have mealtime on the patio. Integrated storage is a must! Plan closed cabinetry to accommodate kitchen necessities outdoors. To ensure items are kept clean and protected, use plastic totes inside cabinetry.

Don’t forget a place to store trash and recyclables too. Roll out or tilt bins are preferred since they are easy to use and do a good job concealing unsightly garbage. You may want to keep some cleaning supplies handy outside too, for unexpected spills and quick clean-up. 

Your backyard is about to get a whole lot more fun! Contact us to get started planning your perfect outdoor kitchen. Let’s get cooking!

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Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

How to choose the right exterior paint colors for your home.

The outside of your home is a big canvas, which means choosing the perfect paint color is a big decision! Scrolling online galleries and strolling neighborhood streets can help narrow down your favs, but zeroing in on that perfect palette requires some careful consideration.

Red, green, pink, or blue, here are a few tips to guide you towards that perfect hue:

Plan Around Fixed Elements

When it comes to impactful exterior updates, changing paint color often tops the list. Be mindful of existing exterior elements like masonry, windows, and lighting when choosing a color. Fixed features often help dictate a warm or cool palette. Aim to land on a color choice that ties everything on the exterior together.

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors | Tips for Picking the Perfect Palette

Consider Architectural Style

Your paint palette should feel appropriate to your home style and era. Many paint manufacturers offer collections to support unique home architecture. For instance, recommendations for mid-century modern homes may include retro oranges, yellows, and greens while farmhouse design frequently utilizes a mostly monochromatic white and black color scheme.

Consider Multiple Colors

Keep things visually interesting by using a combination of colors on the exterior. Start by selecting a color for the main house body, usually the sided part of the house. Next, dedicate a complementary trim color. Finally, choose one or two accent colors to support house material change, like the front door and shutters. Stain can also be used to spotlight natural architectural elements.

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors | Tips for Picking the Perfect Palette

Take a Step Back

It is always a good idea to get a curbside view. Color intensity is something to consider when choosing paints. Look around the neighborhood, both at other homes and natural landscapes. Your surroundings can provide valuable guidance. If your home is nestled in the darkness of a shady foliage canopy you may opt for a bright light exterior color to stand out. While a home basking in the glow of sunshine could become washed out if painted too light.

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors | Tips for Picking the Perfect Palette

Try Color On

Exterior paint can be a bit of a chameleon from sun up to sun down. With lighting changes throughout the day, and weather fluctuating sometimes by the hour, trying on color is always a good idea. Purchase sample colors and paint a small area to evaluate before changing the entire facade of your home. Alternatively, paint a large piece of cardboard or tarp to see color on a larger scale. Take your time, patience will yield a confident color choice.

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Exteriors have a large footprint, and you want to be certain before making a big change. With experience designing luxury model homes and award-winning Home-a-Rama exteriors, Everything Home designers know a good color when we see it! Contact us to learn how we can help with choosing exterior paint colors that will look beautiful on your home. 

Happy Home, Happy Life.

Perfecting Your Porch Design and Decor

Spring is here and porch season is just around the corner! The sun is peeking out, and the days are growing longer. This is the perfect time to refresh front entries and back porches in preparation for those barbecue party Saturdays and lemonade sipping Sundays. We’ve got plenty of tips to share when it comes to planning the perfect porch.

Warm Up Your Welcome

Greet guests with a warm welcome before you even open the front door with thoughtful porch decor. A welcoming porch includes personalized details like a natural wreath door hanger, planters with a seasonal arrangement of fresh blooms, a properly sized welcome mat, and a vignette of cordial signs, lanterns, and/or seasonal holiday accessories.

A properly sized welcome mat supports the door and more; extending beyond the width of the door including other porch accessories, defining the welcome space as more than just the door.

Layers of Light

Lighting sets the mood for relaxing evenings on the porch watching fireflies and enjoying friends. Add layers of lighting from bright ceiling lighting for visibility to subtle wall sconce lighting for a soft glow. String lights, chandeliers, and lanterns add perfect ambiance when entertaining especially. Integrate dimmers for better lighting control and consider motion detector lights for safety near driveways and doors.

Softening Outdoor Spaces

Blend hard surfaces like concrete floors with softer organic surfaces like surrounding landscape and lawn. Soften porch spaces with cushions, pillows, and outdoor rugs. Decide what sort of space you would like the porch to be—fun, relaxing, eventful, sleepy, etc. Then select a textile color palette that supports those emotions.

Man-Made Meets Mother Nature

Just off the porch, you are surrounded by nature’s beauty. Find ways to marry the two spaces creating a seamless transition. Mix natural furnishings like teak wood with colorful painted wood and metal dining chairs. Add groupings of potted plants to porch spaces and blur the lines between man-made and mother nature.

Porches are for Perching

Seating is a very important element of porch design. First, consider what types of activity you plan to do on the porch, and then design seating accordingly. Aesthetics, function, and comfort will all play a role in finding the perfect seat.

Rockers, loungers and adirondack chairs all provide simple places to perch. Grouping two to four single chairs is recommended. Including cocktail tables between chairs is handy for holding beverages and other small items. Outdoor sofas and daybeds are more suitable seating options for moonlit movie nights and afternoon napping. Oversized swings are another fun choice, especially for children. Dining tables and chairs are usually reserved for back patios where meals are more commonly enjoyed.

Everything Home can help you design the perfect porch. Contact us to learn how we can elevate your outdoor living experience!

Happy Home. Happy Life.

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