Residents of the Hudson Valley have responded to a change in the American culture driven by two powerful forces: the fascination with food converging with the slump in the economy. As a result of these two phenomena, more people have opted to find pleasure in their own back yard as opposed to unlimited spending on travel to exotic places. Money that was earmarked for family getaways has now been invested in the latest trend on the home front: custom outdoor kitchens.
If the family is captivated by the idea of creating an outdoor paradise right outside their back door, complete with grand patio environments consisting of water features, fire pits and glamorous floral color, then why not include the last component needed...a place to enjoy the art of cooking right in the midst of all the fun?
What started out years ago as a simple barbecue grill has exploded into a full-blown culinary center designed and built right into the stonework of a year-round landscape. Anything you find in an indoor kitchen is now standard equipment in today's outdoor kitchens, and more!
Often the custom outdoor kitchen trumps the indoor layout both in space and beauty, incorporating the elegance of granite and stainless steel with the appeal of provocative lighting and sophisticated apparatus. Not only does the outdoor setting contribute to aesthetic magnificence, it provides the availability of open-flame techniques often not practical inside the home. Using fire as a cooking staple, outdoor chefs utilize smokers, high- temperature pizza ovens and grills more liberally to create delicious concoctions to delight the crowd.
But a word to the wise: The well-planned outdoor kitchen must anticipate a new set of variables involving the outdoor elements, the need for efficient cleaning and mandatory safety precautions:
- Constructing a pergola, arbor, canopy or other type of roofing above the culinary center serves to shield the area from rain and harsh sun rays, while maintaining the spirit of the outdoor setting.
- Using sealed granite and stone paver construction resists stains from inevitable drips and spills and facilitates quick cleanups after the party is over.
- Electrical, plumbing, ventilation and safety concerns must be handled by professional experts during the building process which are often subject to town ordinances and inspections.
Rhett Goslar, landscape designer and owner of Artistic Landscapes LLC which serves the New York Hudson Valley region, says the custom outdoor kitchen trend has been one of the most desirable components of the residential landscape.
"We've seen an increase in client interest in the outdoor living space which embraces the idea of year-round entertainment, from full-course summer dinners to seasonal wintertime snacks and drinks." Being proactive about the full scope of such an area is good advice for anyone considering such an investment. "If you're starting with a blank slate and you've decided to bite the bullet with a comprehensive property plan, including the necessities of a fully-operable outdoor kitchen in the building process will allow for a multi-year installation process, which many clients choose for affordability reasons."
That means if you've got all the power, water and structural elements in place in your master plan, then you can stagger your equipment installations over an extended period.
However, those who drool over the luxury of proceeding with their dream of an outdoor paradise usually want it all now, and as soon as possible. Unless you're endowed with unlimited resources, it may be more realistic to begin with the fully equipped patio, move on to the outdoor kitchen and cocktail bar, and reserve future episodes for the pool, hot tub and tennis courts! After all, on your own property, the possibilities are endless.
Before coming to any conclusions, Goslar suggests that anyone interested in what may be possible should call for a free professional consultation. "I am more than happy to visit a site, discuss the owner's hopes and present a complete proposal as a complimentary gesture. Having designed, built and installed extraordinary outdoor kitchens for some of this region's most discerning clients, I can speak from first-hand experience and offer invaluable insight."
This is a guest post from Rhett Goslar and Artistic Landscapes LLC. For more information, visit: http://www.artisticlandscapesny.com/ or call 845-542-6723.