Lyon Financial

Creating a Backyard Oasis – Part 1: Outdoor Kitchens

The line between indoor and outdoor living continues to blur. Some of today’s furnishings and al fresco amenities rival those found indoors! Whatever the motivation for creating your outdoor oasis, you’ll enjoy an expansion of your current living space by adding all that precious square footage.

Where to start? Many people begin this transformation with a backyard pool as the centerpiece. If one is already installed in your yard, you already know you are spending more time outside and likely wish to expand on the conveniences to create a “complete” outdoor living space.

Although this backyard oasis trend was once more prominent in states with longer pool seasons, the feature-rich outdoor kitchens and fireplaces are durable enough for use practically year-round.

Bottom line, whether you already enjoy a backyard pool or are contemplating the installation of one, take a step back to consider how you can maximize all that newfound outdoor area to your family’s advantage.

Besides a pool, your best return on investment would probably be an outdoor kitchen. Not only for resale value, but for all the times you can use it to chill and host parties while keeping your indoor space bright and shiny clean.

Outdoor Kitchen Design

If you’ve ever installed a new interior kitchen, you know that the first thing you must consider is the existing footprint. Unless there are non-load bearing walls that can be taken down to expand the space, if you start off with a narrow galley kitchen, that will be the size and shape of your new one.

There are certainly thousands of ways to make smaller spaces larger with types and colors of tile and paint. If you are able, you can “raise the roof” so to speak to open the ceiling to create a vaulted one. Adding this dimension will produce that airier effect when you have less room to work with.

Some indoor kitchen renovations are very dramatic when the location of the kitchen is completely changed. Perhaps a home built in the seventies – when the floorplans tended to confine every room with walls – can be restructured to make way for a more open floorplan: one where the kitchen is integrated in a great room design or is made adjacent to a spacious family room.

What’s interesting about installing an outdoor kitchen is that there are typically fewer restrictions in this sense. You are of course bound by the size of your yard and local ordinances for exterior structures, but the odds are that you can be a lot more creative with a lot less construction. Therefore, the shape of the outdoor kitchen island that will contain your:

  • Beverage Center
  • Trash and Towel Drawers
  • Refrigerator
  • Built-in BBQ Grills
  • Side Burners and Griddles,

can be:

  • Straight
  • L-Shaped
  • Curved
  • U-Shaped, or

fashioned by creating a corner along two edges of your patio or deck for an even more expansive kitchen. Check out these outdoor kitchen designs courtesy of HGTV!

Outdoor Kitchen Styles

Then there is the design aesthetic. Do you live in a suburb of Chicago but love Key West? Want to feel transported to Tuscany when you step outdoors onto your own personal piazza?

You can do it all with an outdoor kitchen! You can even embrace a southwest style with adobe finishes and a wood-fired pizza oven. Contemporary sleek or country home-style, outdoor kitchens offer endless visual possibilities.

So now the cable TV drop is in place. You know the scenic world you wish revealed when you open those sliding doors. Now it’s time to put a foundation under your concept.

In addition to supporting your outdoor kitchen financing needs, there are many top-shelf local contractors with whom you can collaborate. We always recommend consumers be as knowledgeable as possible. It makes you feel more empowered and enables you to ask the right questions. Here are a couple to ask yourself:

Custom or stock

If you’ve ever installed an indoor kitchen, you know there’s a big difference cost-wise in custom cabinets versus stock cabinets. It’s the same for outdoor kitchens. If it’s in the budget, you can tailor every inch with luxury fixtures, finishes, and appliances.

However, consider that there are tons of pre-made options and layouts as well as pre-designed templates that give you choices. You’ll never need to get stuck with a simple rectangular slab with a BBQ insert. You can even strike the ideal balance of custom and stock by selecting a pre-designed template and stepping up the exterior with some custom stone work. As long as your outdoor kitchen is safe and up to code, anything is possible.


A grill and a couple side burners are essential, but give serious thought to the other extras. Refrigerators and even wine fridges are a nice plus as are storage bins and sinks. However, you don’t want buyer’s regret for a pizza oven which you use only once and then the novelty wears off! Your outdoor kitchen does not have to be a duplicate of your indoor one. The most important place NOT to skimp are on the appliances. You want them to wear well, function flawlessly, and last as long as possible. Oftentimes when you buy cheap, you buy twice!

Location and safety

Professional outdoor kitchen specialists know and observe all the regulations governing cross-ventilation safety and positioning of appliances to one another and to your home and to any other outside structures. Even though this is an outdoor installation, gases need openings to escape, and the kitchen itself must be unencumbered from anything enclosed. If your kitchen is being installed beneath a covered patio, a properly positioned grill vent hood is mandatory.

If you’ve already made this decision to update your home’s lifestyle, know that it is probably one of the best gifts you can ever give your family. Even though you’re not camping in the wilderness, there is a relaxed feel to outdoor cooking that makes clean-up easier. There’s also the healthier eating factor as grilling your meals is much better than frying them! You will love every single minute of this delicious investment.

We are pool financing solution experts who also provide the means to install outdoor kitchens, pergolas and patios, pavers and masonry, and outdoor fireplaces. Low rates and up to 20-year terms make the decision to renovate a home much easier.

At Lyon Financial, we love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about installing your corner of paradise.

Up next! Part 2 of our three-part series on Creating a Backyard Oasis: PERGOLAS AND PATIOS.