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How To Design A Simple Outdoor Kitchen On A Budget

by Sally Littlestone on Jan 25, 2023

Sissinghurst Location House outdoor kitchen at night
Outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular over the past few years.  It is more common than ever to use your outdoor space as a place to entertain, eat and be merry with friends and family, to expand your living space into your garden and patio.  Therefore, building an outdoor kitchen will not only improve the way you use your garden but will also increase the value of your property.
Sissinghurst Location House outside kitchen
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(the above outdoor kitchen belongs to Sally @sissinghurstlocationhouse)
As with any DIY project, the cost of building a simple outdoor kitchen can easily spiral out of control, so it's important to set a budget and stick to it.  If your budget is small, please don't worry as you can start with the basics and expand in the next few years.

Simple Outdoor Kitchen Requirements:

1) Weatherproof - it can be beneficial to cover the area if living in the UK.  Building a roof can obviously increase costs, but it doesn't have to break the bank.  As you can see in the picture below, you can cover the area with plastic corrugated sheets which have the benefit of being clear, which keeps the area light and bright.
2) Flooring - this can be as simple as building the kitchen area on the patio you already have (which obviously is free) however if you want to build in a separate area, you will definitely want to have flooring that's easy to clean, anti slip so you can dance until the wee hours!, and stain/fade resistant so the flooring that you fall in love with looks the same 10 years down the line.  Porcelain tiles tick the box of all of these requirements.  Have a look at Stiled for our collections. 
stiled porcelain tiles nighttime dancing
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(Stiled Show Garden, 10 minutes outside Banbury, Oxfordshire)
3) Units & Worktops - If your outdoor kitchen is going to be undercover, then Facebook Marketplace is your friend.  You can pick up old kitchens very cheaply and then paint them using outdoor paint to help protect the wood.  I would really recommend Protek Wood Stain for all paints/stains to use on wood units.  If the area isn't covered, then recycling pallets (which are free) is a great solution as the wood is hard wearing and won't age or disintegrate quickly.
outdoor kitchen up cycled pallets
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(The above outdoor kitchen belongs to Belle @designermumetc)
4) Lighting - Getting the lighting correct is very important.  Enough light to be able to cook at night, but not too much to take away from the ambiance.  The cheapest option would be to invest in some solar lighting.   Lights4Fun have some great solutions.  If your budget extends, then it's recommended to hire an electrician to hardwire lighting into the area.  Putting the lighting onto separate circuits is a great solution to having brighter lighting in the cooking area and mood lighting in the lounging area.  
sissinghurst location house outdoor kitchen at night
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(the above outdoor kitchen belongs to Sally @sissinghurstlocationhouse)
Outdoor kitchens don't need to be complicated or expensive.  Think DIY and think recycled and before you know it, you'll be enjoying your outdoor kitchen with your friends and family.

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