One of the most common upgrades requested by LifeStyle Homes’ customers is the addition of a summer kitchen. And why not? With the amount of time coastal residents spend outdoors with friends and family on balmy summer days, summer kitchens are the perfect add-on to Brevard County homes.

Like most home features, summer kitchens run the gamut from easy to elaborate. Some homeowners prefer to keep it simple with only a built-in grill and sink, while others go all out with pizza ovens, warming drawers, flat-screen televisions, raised bars, and more. No matter how far you choose to take this space, however, when cooking up your perfect summer kitchen, here are some things that should not be overlooked:

  • PURPOSE & FUNCTION. This may seem obvious, but thinking through exactly how you will use your summer kitchen can save you upfront expenses, as well as remodeling costs down the road. Do you plan to use your summer kitchen for grilling up intimate family dinners to enjoy on your veranda? If so, you may want to focus your attention and budget on a heavy-duty grill and plenty of prep space. If you envision yourself entertaining on weekends, it may be wise to also include a refrigerator with ice maker so guests can mix a cold drink without needing to enter your home. In all cases, make sure you also consider lighting adequacy and ambiance, as well as storage space.
  • SAFETY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN. Oftentimes, summer kitchens are installed near pools and backyard play areas, yet they can be hazardous for kids. From sharp cooking utensils, to hot stoves, to jagged edges, it’s important to consider safety precautions in the design phase. And of course, it’s also important to educate your kids on summer kitchen safety.
  • DURABILITY OF APPLIANCES & FINISHES. From harsh sunshine to afternoon thunderstorms, Floridians are no strangers to unforgiving weather. That said, consider the durability of appliances, finishes, and furniture. Stainless-steel appliances and natural stone countertops, like granite, are not only durable, functional, and beautiful, but are also easy to clean and maintain. Also, if you are considering furniture—like seating, barstools or rugs—consider how well your selections, including their fabrics, can stand up against the elements. And last but certainly not least, you may want to consider shading your summer kitchen with a roof, pergola, or something less permanent, like a heavy-duty umbrella, for added weather protection.
  • DESIGNED TO BE AN EXTENSION OF YOUR HOME. A summer kitchen is a wonderful upgrade, and should designed to be an extension of your home. Think through how your summer kitchen will work together with your indoor kitchen in terms of space planning and ease of use. And finally, when designing this space, make sure the cook is not isolated from the outdoor fun!