Southwest Florida homeowners looking for the ultimate home improvement project should consider an outdoor kitchen or a home bar. In some cases, getting both projects done could be perfect for the purpose of boosting property value and increasing quality of life.

Outdoor kitchens and home bars are ideal for the Florida lifestyle; however, these are projects that should be undertaken with a certain degree of flair. Purchasing ready-made pieces of furniture with cheap cabinetry is not a good solution. First of all, off-the-shelf bars will rarely match your home decor; second, factory-made outdoor kitchens are known to succumb after a couple of hot and humid Florida summers.

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Designing Your Home Bar

Your home bar is likely to be your final interior home improvement, so you really want to work in close collaboration with your cabinetry designer on this one. This project starts with measurements to determine comfortable heights for the counter and the bar stools. The next step involves material selection: you will probably want natural wood or stone surfaces for the counter and water-resistant material for the cabinet surface.

If you have enough space and ambition, you may want to go with a wet bar. This will require some plumbing work, but a small sink with running water will come in handy during large social gatherings. Wet bars can be complimented with wine cabinets and a fridge; an ice maker is not necessary since you can always bring cubes from the kitchen.

Once the cabinet work is being completed for your home bar, you can take photos and start looking for decoration items. Framed posters and antique signs are usually safe bets.

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Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen

Florida homeowners do not have to settle for a stainless steel surface, and some masonry work to build their outdoor kitchens. If you have enough space between the covered lanai and your swimming pool, you can install a beautiful summer kitchen complete with stylish cabinetry made from waterproof materials.

A well-built outdoor kitchen will make you want to head outside to cook all your meals. The barbecue grill does not have to be integrated with the stove; you can always choose a portable grill that can be used on the far side of the pool and away from the Florida room.

The style of outdoor kitchen you want will depend on how much time you wish to spend in the backyard. For quick meals and grilling, a simple stove, counter, and cabinets solution will be sufficient. If you want to cook lavish meals and entertain, you may want to consider a sink counter with drainage against a wall offset by a center island.

Serious cooks and home chefs will probably want a gourmet outdoor kitchen, which is a doable project. You can even include a mid-sized outdoor refrigerator, but you have to remember that these particular appliances tend to work harder and consume more energy. Dedicated solar panels to power outdoor refrigerators could be installed in some cases.

Photo Sources: Digs Digs and Decoist

Royal Palm Closet
12830 Metro Parkway – Unit 10
Fort Myers, FL 33966
(239) 768-2391