One of the biggest advantages of Barndominium life, whether in a country or suburban setting, is being able to take advantage of the outdoors while staying right at home!
Although we love all the rooms in our Barndo – we have to get outside because the fresh air is just too good and so relaxing. It is often especially enjoyable when we can find a moment to stop and enjoy the outdoors during this era of COVID-19.
Accessing outside spaces and wide-open feelings is one of the main reasons we extended our living space by adding a full-service outdoor kitchen area. It is no wonder that the outdoor kitchen space – the open air, the sky above, the porch-yard combination, and the right furniture for you to be comfortable – will probably be the biggest, most enjoyable, and perhaps most used “single room” in your Barndominium. It is in our Barndo!
Cooking outdoors and a kitchen that will allow you to do it in style have become a “must do – must have” combo for most new Barndo Owner’s. A great outdoor area is at or near the top of everyone’s wish list of important Barndo features.
First, outdoor kitchens extend your living and entertaining area. Your outdoor kitchen area can be open air, screened-in, or even glassed-in (as long as you provide ventilation or exhaust fans for your grill).
Second, outdoor kitchens make cooking outdoors easier as you will be able to design your space with everything you need at your fingertips or at least within reach to avoid having to go back and forth in and outside. Key items can include your grill (36 inch, 48 inch, 60 inch or even larger if you like), countertop burners (single, double or more), regular sink, beverage or ice sink, multi-use drawers and cabinets, pot rack, cooking utensil rack, beverage refrigerator (we’ve even seen electric wine coolers), and under counter trash cans to name a few items.
Third, the entertainment features you can add to the space – furniture (which could form multiple seating areas), TV(s), multi-media system – which could include a video projector with a drop down screen, and a sound system to play your favorite country, R&B, top 40 or whatever music you like.
Fourth, you can add lighting, floor or ceiling fans, ac / heating mini-splits, or other items to control your climate.
Fifth you can add other enjoyable features such as an oversized fireplace, a nearby firepit, or wait for it – A PIZZA OVEN!
The benefits – of adding an outdoor kitchen to your floorplan/design and building it out just the way you want it to be – are endless. We have found this to be true in our own Barndo experience.
In the past, we have used our outdoor kitchen for entertaining guests or fixing our lunch or dinner. When he is not traveling on business, Oliver loves to cook. It is his own personal form of therapy – plus he is really particularly good at it. It’s been nearly 27 years of marriage for us, and I still enjoy watching him grill as I sit nearby with a glass of wine while the TV is on or some good music is playing in the background on the overhead speaker system.
When my adult daughters come home to visit us at “The Creek House,” they love to cook with Dad. Alexi, our oldest, is a developing mastermind for the many ways vegetables can be cooked and the youngest – Annette – uses her “cooking” time wisely by acting as “sous chef” and taste tester for all the food products on the day’s menu from start to finish. It is a great way to spend time with the family, learn new recipes, or make that three-generation family gumbo (or Grandma Loyce’s sweet macaroni and cheese or Grandma Ro’s fried catfish and hushpuppies) for those special occasions.
One new activity our family has added to our repertoire is homemade pizza. At “The Creek House,” we have included a fabulous built in, stone pizza oven. This is a simple but absolutely amazing addition that some consider the ultimate “WOW” factor in our outdoor kitchen. It allows for a greater variety of smaller gatherings on the property.
By now, each family member and many of our friends know their “signature” pizza that they like to make. We start with fresh handmade dough, olive oil, a thick pizza marinara sauce, and enough fixings to keep everybody busy and make your mama proud!! The music is going, the gang is talking with each other, the fixings are flying – then, that personally designed product gets tossed in a 900-plus degree pizza oven and 60-90 seconds later – you can get your grub on!
Outdoor kitchen – pizza oven – grill – fireplace – seating area for gathering great family and friends – music and laughter. That is partying Barndominium style. That is celebrating outdoor kitchen style. That is enjoying family and friends in your Barndo outdoor kitchen.
Let us simply say this – the bottom line is that your Barndo experience can only be heightened by adding an outdoor kitchen to your build.
Design it! Build it! Decorate it! And finally – Enjoy it!
Today, tomorrow, and beyond – we bet you’ll never get tired of your outdoor kitchen space.