Outdoor Living, Hardscape

5 Must-Haves for Your Summer Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

Plan a welcoming space that inspires!

Summertime in Northern Michigan is a delightful time to be outdoors. Make the outdoors part of everyday life with a summer kitchen. Whether you’re entertaining guests, enjoying a date-night in, or sitting down with family for a meal, an outdoor kitchen isn’t just about creating more living space or increasing home value – this is about the quality of life.

Designing your summer kitchen starts with the size and location of the area you’d like to use – and depends a lot on the features and options you select for your plan. Listed below are a few of the most popular things to consider that will get you started planning your summer kitchen.

1. Culinary Delights

The first consideration in your summer kitchen stems from how you most enjoy preparing food. The heart of your outdoor kitchen may include one or more grills, cooktops, pizza ovens, built-in smokers…the list goes on!

Depending on how you entertain and like to prepare a meal will determine the fuel source as well. Your appliances may be wood-powered, charcoal, gas, or a combination of heat sources.

Another thing to consider is a workflow that allows you to entertain friends or family while cooking. Do you enjoy having your guests participate in cooking? A well-planned space provides the room to move and keep you and your guests safe if there are a few cooks in the kitchen.

Summer Patio and Kitchen

2. Keep it Cool

A must-have for many outdoor kitchens is one or more countertop-height refrigerators. Single door and two-drawer models are popular for chilling both refreshments and prepped ingredients.

You’ll find yourself genuinely outside – instead of running back and forth from your outdoor kitchen to your indoor kitchen.

Northern Michigan Outdoor Kitchen

3. Top it off with Counters

Countertop space is a must in any kitchen, and when planning an outdoor kitchen, countertops are more than just grill surrounds. Creating a workable area that allows you to prepare, plate and serve your meals while outside is just as important as the food you serve.

Additionally, an ample amount of countertop space allows a place for a buffet line set up, or just a spot for someone to set down their drink.

Traditionally a variety of stone is popular, but woods like cedar, teak, and composites are starting to make more appearances, as are stainless and concrete.

Outdoor Kitchen counter

4. Storage Space

Storage for your outdoor kitchen is essential and varies by purpose. Weather-friendly materials are a must for any outdoor cabinets and can surround your outdoor kitchen with beauty and function.

Allowing an ample amount of storage space also provides convenience when entertaining. A dedicated space for your outdoor serving ware and glassware makes setting and cleaning much more manageable.

Summer Kitchens 05 - dine in comfort and style

5. Dine in Comfort and Style

When the weather is unpredictable, get the most out of your outdoor kitchen by being prepared. Consider features that make dining outdoors even more enjoyable. In the summer months, when outdoor kitchens are most used – shade may be a primary concern.

Add a covered seating area that will not only provide shade from the sun but will also protect you and your guests from the rain. On cooler evenings warm up to a cozy fire pit, an outdoor fireplace or patio heaters.

Bonus: Other Amenities to Consider

There are so many possibilities for an unparalleled culinary experience in a custom summer kitchen, here are just a few more amenities that you can add, making your kitchen one of a kind:

Double Sink

Ice maker

Wine refrigerator





Summer Kitchens 06 - Bring it all togetherDrost Landscape Brings it all Together

When you decide it’s time to build the summer kitchen of your dreams, let the professionals at Drost Landscape handle every detail. Our talented team will guide you through every step of the way from design to build to completion.

Backed by decades of experience, we are eager to help you realize your perfect space for entertaining. Whether you’re looking for a traditional masonry build or a more contemporary look complete with cabinetry, the professionals at Drost Landscape will turn your outdoor kitchen dreams into reality.