Outdoor Kitchens

Have you always dreamed of the perfect outdoor space for entertaining? Turn your dream into reality.

You might love throwing parties, but wish you weren’t stuck inside preparing food and drinks while everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather in your backyard. Or, maybe you love to cook, but you want to be near your kids playing outdoors.

We can create the perfect outdoor kitchen for you. Have fun preparing your guests’ meals while socializing with all of them. Spend time with your family and friends around the outdoor grill or relax on the nearby couch.

outdoor kitchen

New to outdoor design or overwhelmed by all of the options?

We’ll walk you through the design process and help you choose the features and design elements that will be the perfect fit for you and your family. We’ll customize the aesthetics to complement your home for a seamless indoor-to-outdoor transition. We’ll also take care of all of the permits and paperwork so that you end up with an outdoor kitchen that complies perfectly with all existing building codes and requirements.

Your outdoor kitchen and entertainment area will be functional, beautiful, and something you can show off to your guests for years to come.

Why an Outdoor Kitchen?

If built by experts in outdoor kitchen construction, outdoor kitchens are easier to maintain than most people think and offer many benefits that make them well worth the investment.

Gets You Outside

How many sunrises and sunsets do we miss while staying caged up inside? There’s something rejuvenating and soul stimulating about being out in nature. Breathe in the fresh air, hear the birds, admire grass and trees, and count the numberless stars. There’s a marvelous world awaiting that you can enjoy far more with the convenience of an outdoor kitchen.

Increases Resale Value

According to a 2021 Zillow article, homes with outdoor kitchens sell for 4.5% more than comparable homes that don’t have this feature. With indoor-outdoor living trending, the addition of an outdoor kitchen can help your home stand out above the others and fetch a higher resale price.

outdoor kitchen

Adds More Cooking Space

Flashbacks to the stressful Thanksgiving when the rolls and sweet potato casserole were waiting for hours because the turkey was hogging the oven space. An outdoor kitchen can open up all kinds of options. Whether you have a conventional oven, a smoker, or a deep fryer, an outdoor kitchen allows you to avoid those maddening moments when progress is halted by not enough cook space.

More Refrigeration and Storage Space

We’ve never heard a homeowner complain about having too much storage space. If you’re cramped inside, you can take it outside with outdoor kitchen storage solutions—not to mention extra refrigerator space for leftovers and those extra gallons of milk.

Odor-free

You may have a hankering for French fries or egg rolls, but who wants the smell inside? You can take the odors outside—whether you’re deep frying, cooking beans in a pressure cooker, or canning veggies.

Saves on Utility Bills in the Summer

When it’s sweltering outside, the last thing you want to do is crank up the oven and drive up the temperatures in your home. Take that heat out of the indoor kitchen to the outdoor kitchen where it won’t affect your A/C bill.

Eat In More

Sometimes we want a nice dinner at a restaurant, but sometimes we just want a change of scenery. An outdoor kitchen provides just that. Sick of your white walls? Try the green trees, the orange streaks of sundown, or the star lit black sky for a backdrop instead. An outdoor kitchen helps you feel like you’re getting away without having to get gussied up and splurge on expensive and unhealthy restaurant food.

Perfect Outdoor Kitchen in Your Backyard

Consider the type of outdoor kitchen that best suits your needs. Do you enjoy hosting intimate dinner parties? Are you a sports buff who loves throwing game-day parties with all the classic appetizers? Maybe you want to establish a tradition of family dinners with sunsets and fresh air. Whatever you hope to achieve with your outdoor kitchen, Ware Landscaping can help.

Considerations For Your Outdoor Kitchen

Depending on the architecture of your home and your landscaping, we will help you design an outdoor kitchen that complements the overall design scheme of your property perfectly. We can also help guide you through the following considerations to make sure you end up with an outdoor kitchen that exceeds your expectations.

Location

The area where you decide to build your outdoor kitchen or entertainment space can influence how much you use it. If it’s far away from your home and indoor kitchen, bringing out supplies could seem like a chore. Prepping, cooking, and cleaning in your outdoor kitchen should be just as easy as if you were inside.

If your landscaping only allows for an inconvenient placement of your kitchen, you should ensure it’s as self-sufficient as possible. Install a sink with hot running water, a refrigerator, and storage areas for goods, dishware, and cooking utensils. It might cost you more money during construction, and for additional utility costs, but will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

You also need to determine how you and your guests can access all of your outdoor features. You want your outdoor space to flow effortlessly from your home, without obstructions. Also, your kitchen and entertainment areas shouldn’t create barriers that your guests have to walk around to get to the pool, a seating area, or the fire pit.

When you pick the perfect spot for your exterior structures, you should take full advantage of the natural landscaping around your property. Incorporate trees, flowers, and bushes into everyone’s view, whether they’re warming up in front of the fire pit or sitting down to eat their home-cooked meal.

Lastly, make sure you build something with your own needs in mind. If you create an area that is private, cozy, and inviting, you’ll want to spend all your time there. Add unique touches and a personalized design that you’ll always enjoy.

Layout

Just like you would for your indoor kitchen, you’ll want to start your outdoor kitchen with zone planning. Whether you go with an L-shape, island, or galley, make sure that your plan allows for both optimal flow and maximum productivity. That means if you plan to do a lot of food preparation in your outdoor kitchen, you should have adequate counter space for chopping, measuring, etc., and have easy access to the sink, trash, and cooking appliances.

outdoor kitchen

Here’s a closer look at the different zones to consider. We can customize each zone depending on what you hope to accomplish in your outdoor kitchen.

  • Preparation Zone: This is where the behind-the-scenes work happens: chopping veggies for the chili, making your dough for homemade pizza, or assembling kabobs for the grill. You’ll likely want a sink, plenty of counter space, and perhaps a refrigerator.
  • Cooking Zone: This is where you’ll turn up the heat. Maybe you want a pizza oven, smoker, or a deluxe grill with side burners.
  • Serving Zone: Before your kitchen flows into the guest area, you’ll want a place to put everything together. This could include warming trays as well as storage for plates, silverware, and serving pieces. You can use this zone to take everything from the cooking area and make picture perfect platters and plates for your guests.
  • Entertaining Zone: This is where memories are made as you eat, drink, watch the game on a big screen, swap stories and roast marshmallows around the fire pit, play board games, or get up and dance! Think of the groups and activities you want to accommodate; that will help you decide how much space you need and the proper configuration.

You’ll also want to decide how to work with your existing hardscapes. If you have a patio, do you want to build on what’s currently there or create a separate kitchen that flows seamlessly into your existing patio? At Ware Landscaping, we can help you design your kitchen in the way that best meets your needs and preferences and create a digital layout to help you visualize as you plan.

Weather Planning

Chicagoland is a magnet for harsh weather and dramatic temperature swings. We know how to optimize your layout and features so that you can spend as much time as possible in your outdoor kitchen throughout the year. This may mean adding fans for summer and heating lamps for winter.

Coverings are important to consider, too. Do you want full sun in the summer? Or something to maintain constant shade. And what about rain and snow? Are you happy to stay indoors when there’s precipitation? Or do you want to be able to enjoy your outdoor kitchen every day of the year?

These questions will drive your decision about whether you want to leave your outdoor kitchen exposed or under a partial or full patio cover. In-between options include pergolas, which let in some sun but can also be fitted with top and side curtains, allowing you to control how much exposure you want on any given day.

We can also help you choose materials for flooring, cabinetry, counters, and more that will stand up to the weather for years to come.

Utilities

Access to power and water sources will determine where and how we build your kitchen. We’ll make sure that we can tap into your home’s electricity, gas, waste systems, water lines, and more. We’ll secure all of the necessary permits to make sure this happens exactly according to code. We do the hard work upfront so you don’t have any surprises later.

Appliances

Outdoor appliances will vary greatly from the indoor choices. Many would be considered too dangerous or impractical for an indoor space. You have some intriguing options that can make selecting the perfect appliances for an outdoor kitchen area a lot of fun.

You can include a beer fridge, wine cooler, ice maker, a wood-burning pizza oven, tandoori oven, smoker, or gas or charcoal grill. Although gas is the most popular choice, some homeowners prefer cooking over hot coals.

We all know the standard indoor appliances, but an outdoor kitchen gives you space to broaden your scope with creative new kitchen appliances that may not function or fit in your indoor space.

Furnishings

Even though furniture will be one of the last things you place in your outdoor kitchen and dining area, you’ll want a general idea of what appeals to you before you start building. If you want a large dining table, your design will look much different than if you simply want a bistro table.

If you entertain a lot and want to make your bar the focus, you can design with that in mind, and make sure your outdoor kitchen can accommodate the desired number of bar stools. If formal eating is less of a focus but you want to prioritize comfort, chaise lounges may be a better fit. If you want to spend a lot of time by the fire, a fire pit table and chairs are a great addition to any outdoor kitchen.

Storage

We can install beautiful cabinetry for storage, including drawers or cabinets under the counter or incorporated into your outdoor kitchen island.

A refrigerator can hold your drinks and ingredients, while our built-in storage can hold your silverware, plates, cups, cooking tools, pots and pans, grill tools and baskets, aluminum foil, table covers, trash bags, and more.

Lighting

The sky’s the limit for lighting options for your outdoor kitchen. Pathway lights can help your guests navigate safely without adding overpowering light. If you have a patio cover, ceiling fans with lights can add overhead lighting.

String lights can drip with ambience, while task lights can provide just enough brightness to help you prepare food and drinks as the sun is setting. And, of course, there are tiki torches to add a streak of exotic to your outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor Kitchen Tips

Ware Landscaping’s professional team of artisans can help you with each of the decisions needed to create your personalized outdoor kitchen and entertainment space. Following are some of the choices we’ll review with you:

  • Pick a spot in your backyard that will fit everything you want for your kitchen and/or entertainment area
  • Create zones in your kitchen to maximize functionality, such as a place for cooking, food preparation, dining, and socializing
  • Pick dimensions for countertops, bar tops, tables, and seat heights that make sense for the size of your backyard
  • Choose a layout for your entertainment area or kitchen that matches the style and design of your home
  • Start with the right framework by choosing materials to build various structures, such as brick, wood, concrete, etc.
  • Choose from durable flooring that can withstand weather and routine wear-and-tear
  • Utilize space-saving built-ins for small outdoor kitchens
  • Compare material options for the countertops and tabletops within your entertaining, dining, seating, and kitchen spaces
  • Choose from cabinetry for your exterior kitchen that is waterproof, heat resistant, and can keep out bugs and dust
  • Think about the different appliances and cookware you’ll need for the kitchen, such as griddles, warming drawers, and side burners
  • Decide whether a stand-alone grill or built-in grill matches your specific needs
  • Determine what finishes and exterior walls will best match the aesthetics of your home and backyard
  • Locate problem areas or structures on your property that could prohibit the size of your entertainment area or kitchen

Your Outdoor Kitchen is Finished. Now What?

When the hard work of installing your new outdoor kitchen and entertaining area is complete, it’s time to enjoy your new space with friends and family. As with your interior rooms, it’s also important to remember to protect your investment. You’ll want to maintain the flooring, structures, and appliances, so they last a long time.

Free Outdoor Kitchen Quote

With over 20 years serving homeowners in Chicagoland, we’ve established a reputation as one of the best when it comes to landscaping and hardscapes. We are family-owned and operated and care about our Naperville neighbors like family. Our excellent service and communication and quality craftsmanship have helped us to win Naperville’s “Top 3” award for landscaping companies.

When it comes to hardscapes like outdoor kitchens, we build our products with the highest level of craftsmanship. If you trust a company that cuts corners, you’ll end up with a very short-term outdoor kitchen that needs ongoing repairs. Trust us, and you’ll get a beautiful product constructed by masters of craftsmanship that is built to withstand time and elements.

Call us today to get started on your outdoor kitchen. If you’re new to outdoor design or don’t know where to begin, we’ll walk you through the design process using our sophisticated digital design program. You won’t have to imagine how things would look or fit with different options—we’ll show you so that you can visualize everything clearly. We can share a wealth of options from our gallery so that you can customize your outdoor kitchen to your exact needs and preferences.

Stop limiting yourself to your same four walls when there’s a whole world to be enjoyed outside. The kitchen is the hub of the home, so why not extend your kitchen and entertaining adventures outdoors so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds? Call (630) 885-6370 today for a free quote. We’re ready to build your dream space.