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Outdoor dining ideas: create a kitchen island outside

Feel like your cooking dreams have outgrown your regular grill-in-the-garden setup? Time to explore the next level in outdoor dining ideas! Here our resident BBQ enthusiast (and interior designer) Emilia shows us how to use indoor kitchen thinking to make the ultimate cooking station for the outdoors.

A modular outdoor kitchen in the garden includes a grill, food storage, and work stations.
A modular outdoor kitchen in the garden includes a grill, food storage, and work stations.

Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, a good kitchen has to wear many hats. It’s got to be easy to cook and prepare at, have practical storage, not to mention making room for a few chefs. Emilia’s advice to fit all those categories? Go with an island shape.

“Islands are great because they give you four sides you can work at, walk around and socialise while you’re cooking. Grilling can be pretty stressful when there’s only one chef! I made this one using 3 serving trolleys and a grill, that can be rolled away come winter and moved easily to better fit your space.”

For me running back indoors after a forgotten glass, plate or condiment is the worst. With everything outside with you can just enjoy the cooking.

Emilia, Interior Designer and BBQ enthusiast

Grouping her four sections together, Emilia used one side of the island for a grill and a prepping space for barbecue ingredients. Down below the grill there’s a bin for charcoal (or space for a gas bottle) and wood for smoking if you’re that kind of BBQ maestro. Under the prep station she added another bin for grill ash and containers to put dirty things in for washing up later.

I hope this helps everyone at home (even the non-grillmasters) enjoy cooking outdoors. Even if it’s just to lean in and chat while enjoying the sunshine.

Emilia, Interior Designer and BBQ enthusiast

Moving over to the other side, 2 serving trolleys make a big prepping area out of the way of the grillmaster. All that space on the worktop gives plenty of room to put together salads and cold dishes, and bins underneath help out for compost and other rubbish. See those white containers? Emilia used them as electricity free fridge.

“You just fill the bottom container with a bag of ice cubes to keep all your drinks (and other items if needed) cold throughout the evening. The box above gets chilled by the box below so here’s where I store salad and veggies so they stay crisp and fresh.”

Of course, sometimes even in summer, the weather can forget it’s supposed to be sunny. To keep your kitchen protected Emilia recommends using covers over your island and a shade cloth above your kitchen cupboard. Hope you enjoy your summer cooking outdoors!

Made by
Interior designer: Emilia Ljungberg
Copywriter: Jamie Rynd
Photographer: Micke Persson


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Related categories

Outdoor organising    Barbeques    Outdoor dining furniture