When planning your outdoor kitchen design, you're likely already thinking about appliances, counters, and other essentials. However, you should also make a plan for seating in your kitchen. While some options can be permanently built into your space, even standalone chairs and tables need to be taken into account when creating the floor plan. You need to make sure you'll have enough space for all the guests you hope to entertain. Here are some seating options and considerations to think about as you plan your outdoor kitchen construction project.
1. Build-In Benches
For a smaller kitchen, built-in benches lining one wall of the space can provide a perfect option for guests. You can place small tables in front to create restaurant-style seating, or you can invite guests to sit on the benches for casual drinks and snacks without the need for tables. Be sure the benches can accommodate the placement of waterproof cushions and pillows. With benches that are too narrow, placing cushions can be a challenge. You can also have your contractor creates a hollow interior and hinged lids to provide storage for the cushions during the colder weather months.
2. Outdoor Bar
Cozy bar areas are a popular choice for outdoor kitchens. The bar can be built just on the other side of the food prep space so you can talk to guests while you prepare meals. You can also set up a separate wet bar on the other side of the kitchen to provide a dedicated space for serving and mixing drinks. Work with your contractor to determine the size of the bar based on how many guests you want to serve. This can help ensure ample counter space for everyone in this seating area. You can have stools built into your concrete floor, or you can opt for freestanding stools, which can be moved as needed.
3. Grand Dining Table
Some outdoor chefs prefer to serve meals family-style at a large table. If this is something you are hoping for, be sure to include enough space for this option in your floor plan. You can have your contractor create a custom concrete table, which can be built into the kitchen floor for a permanent seating option. Be sure that the table is positioned far enough away from the grill and any outdoor fryers you may have to protect your guests from grease splatter. Should you choose a freestanding table, consider adding a bit of extra space to the floor plan to accommodate a series of smaller tables or one large one for added flexibility