The ability to cook on fire or charcoal is one of the main delights of suburban life. A warm evening, a pleasant company, a cozy crackling flame and delicious smells – that’s it, happiness! But to get the maximum pleasure, you need to think over the design of the barbecue area, take into account all the little things, work on the atmosphere. Ideas can be found in our article.
Many people want to combine the barbecue area with existing buildings, such as a terrace or veranda of a house. It is convenient from the point of view of logistics and space saving, but not everyone likes the heat and soot at the entrance to the house. There may be other options: a sauna terrace or a canopy attached to the gazebo.
The hearth must be placed in such a way that the smoke is not blown either to the neighbors, or into the house, or directly onto the table. For this, it is necessary to study the prevailing wind directions on the site. It is great if the fire is protected by relief, buildings or a specially built wall.
Avoid the sun. Try to find a shady spot where the heat of the hearth comes in handy.
If you do not have a solid fence, the barbecue area is best located in the backyard to create a cozy atmosphere and hide from prying eyes.
Think about which view you want to admire while relaxing; hardly a toilet or an old barn. It is good if there is a beautiful corner of the garden, a pool or a fountain nearby.
Remember safety. Do not light a fire close to outbuildings, fences, trees and bushes. Make sure that the smoke and noise do not disturb neighbors.
The first thing to decide is whether you want to use the barbecue area all year round or if the warm season is enough. The choice of design is dictated precisely by this – and also, of course, financial considerations.
An open-air area is inexpensive and romantic. You can build a fireplace of stone or brick, place it around the seat and sometimes cook, and sometimes just admire the flames and the stars. Garden fireplaces and stoves are also often placed right on the street, not to mention the usual portable barbecues.
A flat paved area, a concrete podium, finished to your taste, or a buried area below the main level (this option is good from the point of view of protection from the wind) is suitable as a base. It is clear that your plans will entirely depend on the weather. It is worth getting at least a small portable shed or buying a brazier with a built-in visor.
A covered terrace or an open gazebo with an optional number of walls is a more reliable option. It will be uncomfortable in cold weather or strong winds, but ordinary summer rain will no longer ruin the weekend. In this case, you shouldn’t use an open fireplace just like that: you need to provide for an exhaust hood and a chimney.
An indoor BBQ gazebo is a year-round joy. To prevent it from turning into a stove in hot weather, it is advisable to make sliding walls or leave part of the recreation area open. Of course, such a structure will cost a pretty penny, and you will have to take care of fire safety: properly equip the chimney, insulate the walls with non-combustible materials, buy a fire extinguisher.
A gazebo, and even more so an open barbecue area, can be of any shape – square, round, rectangular, polygonal, wavy, broken. You need to focus on the general style of the site. For example, minimalism is characterized by straight lines and angles, while modern welcomes rounded and wavy lines. It is clear that this also applies to the barbecue area.
When choosing materials, it is also necessary to take into account the general style, decoration of the house and paths, the design of the fence and other elements of the landscape. For example, if the porch and fence are decorated with artistic forging, a wrought-iron gazebo or a terrace with a wrought-iron fence would be an excellent solution. A brick house can be approached with a platform paved with clinker tiles to match the color of the facade, or a canopy with brick posts.
In some styles, such as country, wood is predominant, so a practical stone deck can become an alien element. In this case, you can use wood imitation tiles (for example, porcelain stoneware), or you can still build a wooden terrace, but work out safety issues with special care. The wood must be treated with fire retardants, and the floor and walls in the immediate vicinity of the hearth must be finished with non-combustible materials.
Layout and content
In most cases, the barbecue area combines a kitchen and a dining room, and therefore naturally divides into two parts. Sometimes there is also a separate seating area while waiting for lunch or right after.
The central element of the kitchen area is the hearth, and it is not at all necessary for a barbecue. This can be a portable brazier, grill, fireplace, stationary grill, tandoor, fireplace, Russian stove. An open fireplace or a portable barbecue is the cheapest option for a small area. If there is an abundance of space, nothing prevents you from building a stationary hearth and turning it into a whole kitchen complex with a built-in firebox, worktop, sink, grill, cauldron stove – in a word, with all imaginable amenities.
An important question is how to position the hearth. There are several options:
In the center is the best solution for a closed gazebo, especially made of wood: there is less chance of sparks hitting the walls.
Near a blank wall – good for a semi-open gazebo where the fire needs protection from the wind.
On the edge – a possible option for an open area with or without a canopy.
If the barbecue area is not located right next to the house, it makes sense to turn it into a full-fledged summer kitchen so as not to run back and forth. There should be a refrigerator, sink, cutting surfaces, shelves with utensils and spices at hand.
The dining room should be located a little further away (about 3 m from the hearth) so that the smoke and heat do not interfere with the guests. It is logical to put a table and seats here – chairs, benches, armchairs, sun loungers. Stationary benches attached to the wall look very impressive.
The choice of materials depends on the style of the site and the design of the barbecue area. It is clear that soft armchairs and sofas can only be used in a closed gazebo; in the fresh air, they will quickly damp even with a canopy.
The content is determined only by your needs, imagination and the amount of free space. Here you can hang a hammock, put a garden swing, comfortable sofas, sun loungers or a bar counter.
The barbecue area will look more neat and expressive if you visually separate the kitchen from the dining room or living room. Here’s how to do it:
Take different materials for decoration. The obvious solution is to use something non-combustible for the kitchen (for example, stone, brick, ceramic tiles, metal), and wood for the dining room.
Set up your kitchen and dining room at different heights. It is not necessary to make a large difference – 10 cm is enough.
Emphasize contrast with lighting. The barbecue area is used mainly in the evenings, so light is indispensable. At the same time, in the kitchen area, it should be bright, and in the dining room or living room – more diffused, muffled.
A classic barbecue area can be rectangular, square, polygonal or round. The layout should be symmetrical, the color scheme should be light. A canopy on antique columns, a marble floor, a solid garden fireplace, exquisite furniture and flowerpots with flowers as decor are not cheap pleasure, but you will definitely feel like a noble person.
A country-style BBQ area is a log gazebo or an uncomplicated canopy on rough wooden supports. Russian flavor can be added using carving. A stone grill or stove is suitable for cooking. Furniture can be different: simple benches made of unpainted wood and wicker armchairs made of vine will fit in. The atmosphere will be perfectly complemented by items of peasant life and flowers in ceramic pots.
The chalet style welcomes the combination of stone and wood. If a gazebo is being built, then a wooden one with a stone base, if a canopy – let the pillars have a stone base. Stone tiles will be interesting to combine with massive wooden furniture – even in the open area, even inside the gazebo. The main decoration will be a fireplace or a grill with stone cladding.
Oriental style is a kind of multi-level roofs, natural materials, low tables with pillows, ottomans or mats instead of chairs. A hearth decorated with forging or tiles with oriental motives will fit here. Remember that the Asian direction (Japanese and Chinese) is distinguished by expressive simplicity, while the Arabian loves lush decor and bright colors.
Minimalism values light and space, so an open rectangular area, raised or recessed, is ideal for a barbecue area. You can put a light shed or gazebo with a flat roof and panoramic windows. A variety of materials are acceptable (concrete, stone, metal, glass, plastic, wood), but preferably with a smooth texture. The fire can be made in a square fireplace or an unusual rectangular fireplace.