Outdoor kitchens are to Southern California what dry saunas are to ski towns. Adding this type of living space to your outdoor area is a no brainer, especially if you have the space in your backyard or a killer view to accommodate it. The value that outdoor kitchens can add to your home is vast, as long as you execute the idea correctly. Before you begin designing an outdoor kitchen in Del Mar, here are some things to consider.

What is your budget?

Obviously considering your budget is a no-brainer in any remodeling situation, but outdoor kitchens can be pricey additions to any living space even if you choose the most basic appliances. Consider what you want to spend on your outdoor kitchen before you begin the designing process, and understand that sometimes it might be more expensive if you want to get the most value out of your new space. That is to say, it isn’t always the best idea to go with the cheapest option—especially on a home feature that’s sole purpose is luxury.

Consider your own cooking needs and habits.

Do you want to use the outdoor kitchen mainly for game days? Are you more interested in family gatherings? What sorts of things do you like to cook? These are all questions you can ask yourself when you’re designing your dream outdoor kitchen space, and your answers will help you determine the best possible course of action in that process. Of course, if you plan on selling your home at any point in the next several years it might also be a good idea to consider what features would be best for the real estate market—otherwise, customize it to your own needs.

What features do you want?

Not every outdoor kitchen looks the same. Like we said before, your own habits and cooking needs are going to be a major factor in deciding what outdoor kitchen appliances and designs you’re going to go with. You could add a pizza oven if you plan on hosting family gatherings on a regular basis, or you could go with a smoker if you’re looking to get a lot of barbecuing done in your new outdoor kitchen. Meanwhile a full fridge might not make sense, but a drink fridge would be the perfect way to keep drinks cold during the summer. The possibilities are pretty endless, you just need to narrow down what your own needs are.

Opting for style over trends.

Most designers will tell you to never opt for a trendy design style unless you’re looking to flip a home pretty quickly. Trends come and go, and even some of the hottest trends from just a year ago have already gone obsolete. When you work with a designer, it’s important to consider your own personal style when you come up with outdoor kitchen ideas, and work with your designer to create a space that is both inviting and beautiful, as well as original and thoughtful to what works for your home.


As you likely know, outdoor kitchens will add a lot of maintenance work to your home. It’s something to consider when deciding what you might want to do, though many in Southern California find that the maintenance is a small price to pay for a beautiful and functional outdoor living space.