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THE OUTDOOR KITCHEN

THE OUTDOOR KITCHEN… PART ONE: Overview

There was a time, not so long ago, when fully-equipped and functional outdoor kitchens were viewed as a luxury, the realm of custom-made homes and those with unlimited budgets. Times, however, have changed, and the concept of the outdoor kitchen has evolved into an affordable luxury for consumers whose goal is to expand the entertainment options in their homes. Curiously, the trend toward outdoor kitchen actually began because of tougher economic times.

The recession of 2008 changed things for many Americans. The need to tighten budgets across the board led to a push to spend more time eating at home to save money, as well as a search for ways to increase the values of one’s home. Outdoor kitchens turned out to be a way of satisfying both such needs, creating new avenues within the industry, to the point where now, it has become a permanent fixture in both landscape remodeling and new construction. The recession is over, the building industry is recovering nicely, and outdoor kitchens are being seen more and more, as options even in entry-level and mid-priced homes.

Considering all this, it’s no surprise to see companies emerging who specialize in outdoor countertops, cabinets and appliances which meet the needs of designers of outdoor kitchen areas. This is making it easier to find single-source companies who can make selection more convenient. Built-in grills, a relatively new concept in kitchen design, are a flourishing market which continues to grow as this trend expands. And these grills are evolving along with the market, allowing consumers to take advantage of features such as side burners, storage units, and add-ons which allow them to prepare foods that were not traditionally made on the grill, such as griddle attachments. Consumers can enjoy foods such as pancakes, eggs, and cookies, prepared outside.

And the innovations don’t stop at the grill. With overhead infra-red heating elements, fire pits, and fire bowls in gathering areas, there seems no end to the upgrades a modern home-owner can add to an outdoor living area. Throw in a TV or two, under-the-counter refrigerators and other upgrades, and the very concept of the outdoor kitchen/entertainment area takes on a whole new meaning, and a whole new way we live our lives. This is a trend that is not likely to go away any time soon, and is headed towards being as common as a second bathroom.

NKBA Certified Design professionals are in step with the cutting edge concepts and technologies such as outdoor kitchen areas. Making the decision to go with a Certified Designer means that all of the latest innovations are at your fingertips and available for your consideration. When it comes to upgrading and improving the value of your home, don’t play around. Go with the pros. Hire an NKBA Certified Designer today.

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