Why You Need (and Want!) a Summer Kitchen

For most of us, there’s nothing like searing favorite meats, seafoods, fresh fruits and vegetables over an outdoor cooktop. Then, enjoying the delicious results right on Why You Need (and Want!) a Summer Kitchenour back porch or patio. The ability to do this year-round is a major perk of Sunshine State living. You don’t need expensive appliances and stage-setting to make it happen, but if cookouts and sunset happy hours sound appetizing, consider a summer kitchen in your new custom Florida home.

The summer kitchen incorporates a covered outdoor cooking and dining area. It’s also an easy extension of indoor kitchen and living spaces. Summer kitchens are a staple of Florida home design and can be as elaborate or simple as you like. The key is a good meal enjoyed along with fresh air.

We at ICI Homes love summer kitchens too. Each of our award-winning floor plans includes a opens in a new windowlanai — a covered outdoor living area — that can incorporate those food prep and dining areas.

Here’s why you need and want a summer kitchen.

How to use it

If your definition of grilling out is a portable metal thing from the hardware store, the concept of a summer kitchen may be a pleasant surprise. Imagine a built-in grill flanked by a handy countertop, under-the-counter fridge and small sink — all tucked onto one end of your lanai.

Without the annoyance of having to retrieve ingredients and tools from the indoor kitchen.

It’s absolutely realistic. Talk to ICI Homes sales associates and be sure to take advantage of your complimentary customization consultation. One of our talented designers will work with you to design a summer kitchen that fits your household and budget. Add or subtract a sink and fridge, or other features. Your summer kitchen’s composition is up to you.

More food for thought: if your summer kitchen will be home base for watching sporting events, an exterior-wall-mounted television might be mandatory. If you and yours love simple pleasures, think about a fire pit for homemade S’mores on summer nights and a natural gathering spot for cooler winter evenings.

No matter how you’ll use your summer kitchen, comfortable seating and good lighting after dark are crucial elements. So are ceiling fans.

How to furnish it

You’ll likely want dining space in your summer kitchen, even if it’s the time-honored picnic table. No more balancing paper plates on your knees!

If you envision your summer kitchen as a gathering and social spot, consider extra storage (perhaps shelves on an exterior wall). Or, a larger countertop for buffet and bar spreads.

A word about safety: durable serving pieces and dinnerware are important in an outdoor space where bare feet are common. Today’s environmentally friendly materials not only are attractive and versatile, they also can help you avoid the danger and mess of broken glass. Also check out weather-resistant cushions and fabrics for furniture and linens.

Ready for your custom Florida home? opens in a new windowTalk to ICI Homes here.