Adding a bar to your outdoor kitchen or backyard gathering spot should be as practical as it is fun. We have some tips on how to maximize your space and your budget while you plan the perfect outdoor kitchen bar.
Think about the amount of space and the location where you want to add a bar. If you have a small space like a patio and want your addition to be flexible, something like a bar cart on casters and wheels might be perfect. This will require no plumbing and little maintenance.
Converting an outdoor kitchen island into a bar is another great option for small spaces or existing outdoor kitchens. Increase the height and overhang of the counter on the backside of the island to create a new seating and serving area. The bar at your corner pub is typically 42" from the floor and stool seat height averages 30" so be sure to measure accordingly.
If you have a ceiling or overhang where your bar will be, add pendant or track lighting above. Make the bar a focal point by adding soft lighting under the bar, as well. No matter what your current layout is, making the bar the central location in your outdoor entertaining space is a good idea.
There are several items you'll definitely want to have if you're looking for the full outdoor wet bar experience. A typical bar includes a sink, beverage and glassware storage, and possibly a drink chiller and ice storage. There are several options when it comes to balancing these components for your specific needs.
When it comes to sinks, stainless steel is probably the way to go. Stainless steel is easy to clean and has a classic look. A single-basin is plenty if you have a dishwasher or a smaller space. If you want to be able to wash and sanitize dishes in your outdoor kitchen bar, opt for a two or three basin sink. One basin may also double as ice storage for chilling drinks. A mini refrigerator or wine chiller is another good idea for an outdoor bar, especially if you entertain outside often. When it comes to lighting, electrical and plumbing, we recommend consulting a contractor before you get started. Depending on your layout, the budget for adding these features can fluctuate.
As with all things outdoors, consider the differences in climate compared to your indoor space. Heat, cold and humidity can affect every part of your outdoor kitchen bar experience. Choose materials that stand up to all the elements. Also think about your glassware and other accessories in an outdoor environment to minimize accidents and headache.
Outdoor kitchen cabinets can be beautiful and functional when they're made from stainless steel or a variety of other materials.
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