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When it’s time to take the party outside, there’s nothing better than an outdoor kitchen. Having a place where the family can barbecue, entertain and spend time under the sun is a true luxury. Before designing your outdoor kitchen, the key is to consider how you’ll use it in order to create a space that meets your family’s needs.

Take into account these five characteristics and you’ll be well on your way to having the outdoor kitchen of your dreams!

Figure Out the Features

The grill is, of course, the centerpiece of the kitchen, but after that, there’s still much to be desired. A stove top, sink and refrigerator add convenience so that you don’t have to run back into the house for anything while you’ve got food on the grill that needs to be attended to. And while we’re at it, having a wet bar on hand isn’t a bad idea either.

Seating Matters

Sometimes it’s nice to have a sit-down dinner with the family, and other times it can be more of a free-for-all as burgers come off the grill. If this sounds familiar, you may want to have two designated seating areas: one for casual hangouts and a separate dining area for al fresco dinners.

Put a Roof Over It

When you’re going to be spending long hours in front of a scorching hot grill, having a little shade can make all the difference. Whether you extend the roof from your house out over the cooking space or string up a canvas shade sail, you’ll be thankful to get out from under the sun.

Fire It Up

A fire pit is the perfect feature to gather around as the daylight fades away, providing a bit of warmth that can make all the difference in chillier seasons. An intimate seating area where you can chat late into the night around a fire is great for entertaining groups or simply spending time with the ones who matter most.

Turn on the Tunes

The sun is out, the grill is fired up, and it’s time to turn on some music. Speakers that can handle the elements and provide high audio quality in the outdoors will take your kitchen to the next level and make it the ultimate space for fun.