5 Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Portland Homeowners

April 4, 2013
Now that spring is here, many Portland homeowners are making plans to build new outdoor kitchens or fix up their existing ones. While a pizza oven, roasting spit, or some other big installation may be exciting, there are a few other Portland-specific projects that too often get overlooked. Here are five smaller projects that are essential to any Portland outdoor kitchen.


1. Include a shelter or covered area.


Let’s face it – Portland sees its fair share of rain. In fact, many Portlanders would argue that we see more than our fair share of rain. But a little drizzle doesn’t stop us from getting outdoors and enjoying our city, so why should it stop you from enjoying your new outdoor kitchen? Build or buy some sort of covered shelter, such as a pergola, awning, or tent canopy, just in case an unexpected rainstorm hits during your outdoor dinner or BBQ. Worried that your covered area will stand out from the rest of your outdoor space? Make it seem more at-home by dressing it with a well-maintained climbing vine like wisteria, honeysuckle, or jasmine.


2. Turn planters into benches.

Space limitations are one of the main problems Portland homeowners face when designing their outdoor kitchens. Kill two (proverbial!) birds with one stone by combining your outdoor seating areas with your planters. Turning your planter boxes into benches (and visa versa) lets you keep your beautiful and fragrant flower, herb, or vegetable gardens while still giving your guests a comfy place to sit.


3. Add a sink.

An outdoor kitchen sink may seem a bit unnecessary, but it is actually one of the most useful features you can add. Having an outdoor sink allows you to wash your hands, wash fruits and vegetables, and clean dishes all without having to run back indoors. This lets you keep socializing with your guests while you do some of the more tedious prep or post-dinner work.


4. A fire pit is a must.

No matter how warm the day gets, evenings and nights in Portland can get kinda chilly. A fire pit is a great way to keep the outdoor party going long into the night without having to break out the blankets. You can also use your fire pit to cook some parts of your meal, such as hot dogs or s’mores.  


5. Mini-fridges keep the party outside.

Nobody likes to dash in and out of the house to fetch another beer or soda. Installing a mini-fridge in your outdoor kitchen is relatively easy and allows people to keep in the conversation while they freshen their beverage. It also allows you to keep condiments and other fixings cool and close at hand.


What kind of plans do you have for building or improving your outdoor kitchen this spring? Leave us a comment and tell us your story!

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