Outdoor Living

Alfresco food and fun: Bring the inside out with Torrey Pines Landscape Company

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Alfresco Food and Fun

They say the best parties end up in the kitchen so why not take yours outside?

The outdoor kitchen means more than a basic barbecue and a cooler. Real-deal alfresco cooking includes a grill, burners, a sink and refrigerator, and plenty of countertop space to prep food outside. Open-air entertaining also requires carving out an area to dine, then linger and enjoy your surroundings.

Doug Dilworth, landscape architect with Torrey Pines Landscape Company, says there are several things to consider before making your outdoor kitchen plans concrete.

1. No matter how elaborate you get with the design, it’s still a satellite to its interior counterpart. The less distance you have to travel with arms full of ingredients and dishes, the happier you’ll be.

2. Doug says you should really ask yourself if you will use a side burner, refrigerator, pizza oven, smoker, sink or waste disposal before you buy. “Think beyond appliances too,” Doug advises. “You may want Bluetooth speakers, phone chargers and extra outlets out there.”

3. Choose finishes that can withstand the elements. Sea air, humidity and constant sunshine can wreak havoc on items that stay outside all the time. Doug’s a fan of stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops, which are pretty indestructible and low-maintenance, too.

4. Adequate task lighting is required in the space you’ll cook. The dining area shouldn’t be too bright or too dim. (Doug recommends market lights on a dimmer.) You also need to be concerned with safety. Paths should be lined with lights and trees illuminated with uplights so they can be seen (and avoided).

Bring the Inside Out

Add some comforts of home: Make sure the space gets shade if you like to entertain in the afternoon, mood lighting for nighttime soirees, and lots of cushions and plants to soften the hardscape and define the outdoor room.

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Categories: Gardening, Home Design