Perhaps adding an outdoor kitchen to your Bristol, RI, patio did not cross your mind until you were invited to the home of a co-worker who had one, and you were amazed at the possibility for your landscape. The ease with which the food was served, the fact that the outdoor mess was easy to clean, and the extra space where the guests could mingle have you considering an outdoor kitchen. But how could it fit in with everything else in your landscape? Here are some ways of thinking about how an outdoor kitchen is a must-have addition.

Backyard Luxury

While it’s always fun to go on vacation, most of the time that only happens once or twice a year. But an outdoor kitchen enables you to host a family cookout or a barbeque for friends whenever you want. If you enjoy cooking and entertaining, then an outdoor kitchen can bring multiple mini-vacations right to you. Part of the fun of vacations is relaxing and spending time with people you love, and with comfortable furniture as part of the mix, an outdoor kitchen makes that possible whenever you wish.

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Return on Investment

While updated interior kitchens and bathrooms bring a nice return on investment, what many people do not know is that outdoor kitchens rank up there with the amenities that many homebuyers are seeking. Choosing stainless steel appliances and long-wearing paving stones will not only serve you well, but they will last longer. Choosing appliances such as a grill, refrigerator, or pizza oven will be part of the decision-making process, and you may want to also inquire about adding a covering, such as a pergola. Then, even on a drizzly night, you can still fire up the grill and dine outdoors. Most potential buyers consider the finishes when they are looking to purchase a home, so the return on an outdoor kitchen should be good if you ever think of selling.

Seeing Your Patio in a New Light

An existing patio could offer the ideal place for an outdoor kitchen. Even if your patio is not large enough to accommodate an outdoor kitchen, a landscape specialist is skilled at suggesting how to extend the patio in a complementary way. Consider using the current patio as an outdoor dining room with a large table and chairs for everyone to gather when eating. Or keep it more casual and designate your patio as hanging-out area, with a comfortable couch and perhaps a seating wall for your friends and family to dine buffet-style and then sit back afterward and converse into the late hours.

Related: 5 Popular Outdoor Kitchen Designs for Contemporary Portsmouth, RI, Backyards


In addition to the transition between cooking and dining, you’ll want to give thought to the shape of the kitchen. While the L-shaped layout is the most popular, you may decide to choose a U-shaped work space. This is where a professional can assist you as you decide on the most appropriate shape as you consider how the kitchen will integrate with your existing patio and yard layout.

Finally, give some thought to lighting. You’ll need task lighting at minimum if you anticipate many dinners throughout the seasons. Lighting is also necessary for safety reasons, of course, and done well, it should encourage you and your guests to stay outside longer, to relax after all your great meals.