Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Gradual Outdoor Kitchen

This story starts a long time ago.  In fact over a decade ago, when we first bought this house.  This is what the back wall of our garage looked like.  The built-in barbecue that came with the house, our old timber trolley barbecue, and a grey concrete floor.

In September/October 2005, we took a big financial plunge and added an outdoor entertaining area to the back of the house.  It comprised the main area where we sit and entertain, and a smaller kitchen/barbecue area at the back of the garage.

The "Outdoor Kitchen" ended up looking like this.  The poles and the green bit across the front were meant to be timber (but that's another story and why I have learnt my lesson with builders - big time!).

That's our barbecue all shiny and new.  It still looks like that now after I restored it here.  So for the past 7 years our outdoor kitchen has looked pretty much the same, complete with "provision for hot and cold water" - translate - ugly pipes sticking out of the ground with me always explaining to guests "Oh that's where the sink is going ....eventually".

I knew I wanted a sink and a fridge.  I knew it needed to be stainless steel for when we get those crazy Queensland storms, this area gets wet despite the roof.  I knew that to get something custom-made would cost a bomb.  I looked at IKEA and Bunnings solutions but nothing worked the way I wanted it to.

Well it finally happened.  I found a sink and fridge unit, in stainless steel, the right dimensions and configuration to fit the space I had, and at a price within my budget.  Hallelujah!!!!  

Here it is.  The writing on the fridge says Schmick.  I think it's a pretty good description. It's all plumbed in, and my lovely electrician Matt came and put in an external power point for the fridge and any appliances we need to plug in.

I found this unit online at a site called Man Cave Oz.  Oh Yeah.  Where else would you find something like this but a blokey man cave?

So now I have a working fridge, sink and barbecue.  I also have a timber butcher's block trolley that I want to restore, and put it inbetween.  The idea is that if I can get this outdoor kitchen set up, we will have somewhere to cook when we finally renovate our indoor kitchen, and also it is so lovely to cook outside when you have people over.  You stay part of the conversation rather than being stuck inside.

The green fascia has discoloured and faded - which makes me dislike the builder even more, and you can see where the ceiling has dropped from rain getting in, but one trip to the BSA tribunal was enough for me.  One day we may have to replace the ceiling panels, but for now it will just have to be.  Maybe I could grow a climber up the poles and across the front?

Now all the really hard work is done, I can get on with finding lots of pretty things to make the kitchen look more than just brick and stainless steel.

This post is being featured at Decorating Forum.


  1. What a saga. But at least it has a happy ending. I love the fridge and sink. And once you add the Butcher's block it will be perfect.
    The creeper sounds like a great idea. You could paint that green too. Maybe a cream to blend in more.
    I will be waiting for my invite to your next BBQ lol.

  2. Renovating can be such a pain in the buttocks!! Glad everything's coming together for you now though. It's going to look so great when it's all done :))
    Cas x

  3. Your sink unit is fabulous, we are wanting to redo our outdoor entertaining area and make it look pretty- I just need to get hubby off his butt!!!

  4. I've been looking for a unit like the one you have but couldn't find one - so thanks for the link! Just remember how great it will look when it is all done (that's what I keep telling myself with all our projects!).

  5. what a great fridge! it would look good inside as well.

  6. Karen I am so pleased you are nearly there with your plans. It's looking good. I was thinking for your posts,you could box them in with timber,just an idea,that could work. Or,surround them with mesh and fill with pebbles. Now I am getting carried away :) Have a nice day and enjoy this gorgeous Spring weather we are having. xx

  7. Schmick it is Ms K - very nice! I did give a shudder though when you mentioned the roof having dropped because of the rain that gets in after spotting all those lights in the ceiling - eeeek! So maddening when builders are dodgy!!!

    1. The lessons you learn when you build or renovate hey Brenda? Older & wiser now!
      Kylie x

  8. Hi Kylie,

    I'm moaning for you - you poor things.
    Dash - I'm too late. My husband could have helped you with your plumbing problems or should I have said needs :))
    but I love the thought that a lot of laughs to be shared and glasses clinked will be enjoyed with your new outdoor kitchen.

    x Loulou

  9. It was a good idea to set up an outdoor kitchen and make full use of the space in your house! By the way, is it done already? I’m not into cooking, but if I’ll cook on shiny, stainless steel cookware, then definitely I’d be more than willing to learn how to cook!

    -Cathy Newman

    1. Hi Cathy, like most things in this house it isn't 'done' yet, but it's getting there. Thanks

  10. I can’t cook either but I’m sure that the food that you are going to prepare and cook on your outdoor kitchen will surely be delicious! Touch up on your kitchen a little bit -- maybe with some new tiles -- and everything will look perfect!

    -Angelina Garcia

  11. Thanks for give me information on this topic. you have sharing very nice post.
    outdoor kitchen Wellington


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