The importance of outdoor living spaces, among today’s homeowners/consumers is undeniable. No longer seen as merely an area with a grill and lawn chairs, outdoor living spaces are an extension of the home, and are coming equipped with kitchens to serve as a hub for family gatherings and entertainment.
The recent surge in outdoor kitchen interest can be traced back to the recession in 2008 when consumers began to eat at home more to save money, while also looking for ways to add value to their homes. Realizing outdoor kitchens were the solutions to satisfy their needs, the space has emerged as permanent staples in architecture, landscape remodeling and new construction.
Our team recently took part in the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, experiencing, first-hand, the latest and greatest in grill, fireplace, and hearth technology. And, as the growth of outdoor kitchens and spaces continues to rise, here are some top trends we can expect to become a mainstay, this year:
It’s been said, “variety is the spice of life,” and, with the outdoor living space market being flooded with specialty options for cooking and entertainment, homeowners will get their fill of diverse flavors. For the first time, backyards, patios and decks will be designed in colors and styles that extend from the indoor décor. Alfresco Open Air Culinary Systems defines options, for any home chef. With built-in grills, carts with storage, and a plethora of accessories, including power burners and the Pizza Oven Plus, cooking in the great outdoors, has never been so versatile. The team at Alfresco will even sketch a custom patio/backyard, based on homeowner specifications, to show how functional, yet lavish one’s outdoor oasis can be. Check it out here: http://www.alfrescogrills.com/design-services-3/
Weather-Resistant Cabinets, Countertops and Fixtures
Durability is expected in stainless steel grills, but is now extending to all material in an outdoor kitchen, especially cabinets and countertops. Styles have evolved from stucco cinder blocks and porcelain tile counters to all-weather-resistant cabinetry with granite slab.
We mentioned the oh, so amazing Pizza Oven Plus, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the all-important smoker and, now popular, ceramic Kamado Grill. HEAT’s Kamado Grill is compact, for smaller cook areas, yet powerfully flexible for grilling, smoking or searing your favorite dish. The high-grade ceramics offer excellent internal heat and moisture retention, while boasting an impressive temperature range of 200-700 degrees. Available in four distinct colors, HEAT’s Kamado grill fits in any design palate.
Bringing the entire kitchen experience outdoors, is no easy feat. These days, refrigeration is expected for not only cooling drinks, on a hot summer day, but for keeping food items fresh for grilling. In this space, U-Line reigns supreme. With a number of modular outdoor refrigeration units, drawers, freezers, ice makers and machines, keeping items cool, is no sweat. Soon to be added to U-Line’s extensive offerings is a two-tap keg and tabletop (or integrated) chewable ice machine.
Experience next level digital entertainment with the UltraView™ Outdoor TV from Peerless-AV. This outdoor TV is weather-resistant, maintenance-free, and withstands temperature fluctuations from -24°F to 122°F. With full HD 1080P resolution, UltraView provides a clear, crisp picture even in bright, ambient light.