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Outdoor kitchens are a fantastic way to use the space outside your home and celebrate the warm weather. It’s also a fun way to keep the heat out of the house during the summer! Outdoor kitchen appliances paired with a fresh, comfy seating area provide an ideal spot for entertaining guests, preparing gourmet food, and enjoying your delicious dishes with loved ones. But what happens to that perfect summer kitchen when the cool evenings start closing in?

We’re going to outline several ways you can transition your outdoor kitchen and living space from summer mode to full-on fall and beyond! Just a few alterations will help you squeeze in every minute of quality outdoor time with season appropriate appliances, cozy seating, and lively décor.

  1. Bring in some heat

A crucial element of fall-friendly outdoor kitchen designs is heat—not just the grill, but something to really keep you and your guests toasty and warm. There are plenty of choices to suit any design palette, from a simple fire pit to an electrical heating lamp. Though natural fire is a quaint and effective option, it can be a little too smoky for some. If you’d prefer a smoke-free warming option, look for an electrical fire pit or a natural gas oven. If your space features a wood-fired pizza oven, you could even move the seating closer to it to take advantage of the heat.

  1. Consider softer, cozier seating

While simple furniture that lets the breeze blow through your legs is great for the heat of the summer, a squishy fabric-covered sofa really does the trick in the cooler afternoons and evenings of October and November. If you would prefer a slightly more traditional dinner table setting, look for lush, upholstered dining chairs that will keep the cold away from your guests’ bottoms.

  1. Build some shelter

If you’re already working with a gazebo, a pergola with a canvas roof, or another outdoor structure, you’ll be able to use your outdoor cooking and eating space months longer—maybe even all year round. If not, consider adding a structure to keep out the rain or snow, protect your pizza oven and other appliances from wear, and make the dining area more comfortable.

  1. Warm things up with lighting

In the coming months of shortened days and longer evenings, adding a bit of light to your outdoor living spaces will bring some much-needed life and atmosphere. Even a simple string of white lights around the top of your pergola, or wrapped throughout some potted plants, will really make a difference—just make sure that you’re using outdoor lights designed to withstand the weather. If you’re adventurous, try some coloured lights! Outdoor lamps can also brighten up the space in a variety of elegant and unique ways.

  1. Change up the garden

It will come as no surprise that even the best-sheltered and warmed of outdoor living spaces can’t support a summer garden all year long. Before all your lovely potted plants freeze to death, bring them inside and put some hardier specimens on the patio. Species like dogwood, camellia, catmint, Siberian cyprus and peonies can survive the cold and even provide some colour in the depths of winter. You could also choose to grow a winter vegetable garden with cold-weather varieties of cabbage and broccoli!

  1. Install a hot drinks bar

Nothing hits the spot quite like a mug of hot tea or cocoa while you enjoy your perfect outdoor kitchen and living space. Even a small bar or kitchen island with a couple of padded bar stools can really bring a new level of sophistication to the outdoor area. Choose a big old-fashioned kettle or pipe in direct-to-boil hot water next to an elegant set of mugs and teacups, tea bags, coffee beans, cocoa powder, and maybe even a few bottles of rum and coffee liqueur.

  1. Bring in some entertainment

Do your outdoor kitchen ideas include more than just a grill and a dining set? Great! There are a few options, the most popular being a big-screen TV. If you already have a sturdy outdoor patio structure, you’ll have a few walls to choose from when mounting the TV. If not, you could potentially mount it onto the exterior wall of your house—but take care to provide a decorative tarp or some other form of weatherproofing. Even televisions designed for outdoor weather need basic protection. If TV doesn’t quite fit the entertainment bill, consider a card table or foosball table.

  1. Upgrade your grill

Your basic barbeque and grill setup is perfectly worthy of any backyard kitchen, but there’s a lot more you can do with a high-end setup. Check out different models of gas grills, charcoal grills, and combination barbeques with attached smokers, grills, griddles, warming drawers, etc. A new barbecue could help you up your backyard dinner game and focus on the real point of the outdoor kitchen—enjoying a delicious meal with friends and family.

  1. Add more appliances

Even if your vision for your outdoor kitchen is relatively simple, there is a lot to be gained from adding a couple of extra appliances like a small refrigerator, wine cooler, dishwasher, and especially a cupboard and a sink. The more tasks you can take care of while outside, the better—you don’t want to have to go back and forth between the indoor and outdoor kitchen all night for dishes and supplies!

  1. Have a hot tub installed

Does your kitchen area need a hot tub? Maybe not, but would it hurt to have a nice bubbling tub outdoors where you can fix yourself a drink and contemplate the day? Definitely not!

What are your ideas for a fantastic outdoor kitchen that lasts from summer to fall?

Whatever you can dream up for outdoor dining and entertainment, we can build! Get in touch with Tree Amigos for a quote, and we’ll work with you every step of the way. From heating solutions to beautiful landscaping, we’ve got you covered.