Bring the outdoors in this summer with your very own outdoor rustic kitchen... read more
Are you a lover of the great outdoors? Well, how about having your very own outdoor rustic kitchen to see you through the summer and bring the inside out. The lovely Fionnuala from Three Sons Later is here to show us how you can create your own with a few simple steps.
It is summer and for me, that means life is lived a lot outdoors. Everything seems to taste better in the fresh air, doesn’t it? I decided several years ago to set up an outdoor kitchen in the garden for the summer months. I‚Äôve mentioned it once or twice on my blog since it is such a pleasure to have and to use. The outdoor kitchen allows us¬†to be able to prepare food and cook outdoors when the weather is good, even when we haven‚Äôt time for a barbeque. In fact, as I write this, I am sitting at the table in the garden with a coffee I’ve just made out here. It is the flexibility of the outdoor kitchen that I enjoy. I can get up, grab a book or my laptop and head into the garden to make coffee and enjoy the cool and calm of the morning.
I‚Äôm so happy with ours that I have put together a list of what you need to create your own one very easily.
¬†The Basic Set Up
To really make use of your outdoor kitchen; you’ll need a water supply, some storage space and electricity. For us, water comes in the form of the outdoor tap. A basic sink from the DIY shop is attached to the wall just below the tap and a short length of pipe links it to the standard drain pipe on the house.¬† For storage, we use an old cabinet we don’t need in the house.¬† The top serves as a worktop and the shelves inside are sufficient for our equipment. It is lockable too, meaning the children can’t get empty it out.¬† Ideally, in a kitchen of any type, the layout should be such that everything is in easy reach.
We used to have the cabinet next to the sink.¬†Now we have it¬†opposite the sink. Each position worked well, making washing salad leaves, filling the kettle or rinsing out mugs really easy. As for electricity, luckily for us, the previous owners of our house installed a couple of electric sockets in the garden. We have put our cabinet beside one of the sockets so that we have easy access for plugging in electrical equipment just like in an indoor regular kitchen.
Utensils & Equipment
When it comes to equipping your kitchen, it all comes down to taste and budget. Initially, I equipped our kitchen with cast-offs from the house – the mugs I didn’t like, mismatched cutlery, and so on.¬† Over the years I’ve bought some items specifically for use outside.¬†Good quality camping gear works well, such as tin, enamel or melamine. It doesn’t break easily, washes well and is made for the outdoors.¬†Plus there are gorgeous¬†designs on the market nowadays that can make your rustic outdoor kitchen really pretty while remaining practical.
Think of what you’ll be eating and drinking in the garden and then allocate some cups, dishes and cutlery to your outdoor kitchen permanently. It’ll save you having to bring everything outdoors with you every time you want to use your garden kitchen and it’ll give you more freedom to use the kitchen once you are outdoors anyway.
Speaking of pretty, adding accessories¬†such as napkins, tea towels, candles and cushions allow you to pick a theme or colour scheme, which you can easily change from¬†year to year. In the past, I’ve gone for red or blue but this year I have chosen florals and have reflected that in my seat cushions and nasturtium mugs. We’ve also added a basket of rugs for impromptu picnics or keeping cosy on chilly evenings. The wicker ties in nicely with our trug and adds to the rustic look.
Which household devices you choose to add to your kitchen is up to you and will depend largely on your lifestyle and how you want to use your new outdoor facilities.¬† Our standard set up is to house a¬†kettle and a plug-in one-ring hob outside permanently, allowing us to make tea or coffee and boil or fry meals if we are not using the barbeque.
As needed I take the toaster, waffle iron or sandwich toaster out.¬†Bacon & eggs, omelettes with herbs and tomatoes from the garden, and homemade hamburgers are some of our favourite meals to prepare and eat in the garden.
We don‚Äôt have a fridge in our outdoor kitchen, but it would be a handy addition since we get temperatures of up to 40¬įC here in summer. Milk and butter are brought outside as needed. But coffee, tea, sugar and other staples live out here for the summer. (See the Cream Wooden Lap Tray)
Setting up your kitchen beautifully only to find it infested with ants and spiders, later on, can take all the good out your project. That‚Äôs why air tight storage is so important. We use jam jars for storage. To give them a uniformed look we spray painted the lids blue.
One of the best ways to avoid attracting insects is to keep your kitchen clean. We have a small bin below our outdoor sink and next to the sink we’ve placed a shelf unit where we can keep hand soap, a towel, washing up liquid and a sponge. With everything to hand, keeping the kitchen clean and bug-free is simple, as is cleaning up small children after they’ve eaten a hamburger!