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An outdoor kitchen is one of the best upgrades you can make to your backyard, but they're not necessarily the cheapest or easiest feature to install. At least, that was the case until our friends at IKEA released their own modular range at a far more affordable price point.
We can always count on our favorite Swedish homeware brand to make the latest trends more accessible. Their GRILLSKÄR outdoor kitchen collection has proved popular since it was first introduced a few years back, and now they've added a whole host of new units to the series, including a compact island complete with a back panel that's perfect for storing your utensils.
Ready to embrace al fresco dining that goes further than barbecues and finger food? IKEA is the place to shop. We take a look at what's on offer, and why an outdoor kitchen is the arguably the best feature your home could benefit from this season.
Why are outdoor kitchens trending?
In recent years, we've all begun to embrace outdoor living in ways that go further than just a few pieces of furniture. With a growing trend towards outdoor living rooms - carefully curated spaces that blur the boundaries between outdoors and in - it's no surprise that the backyard kitchen is becoming increasingly important to many. Essentially, it's all about an upgraded alfresco experience.
For some, an outdoor kitchen might just consist of a small corner of your patio with a grill, countertop, and cabinet. Others might incorporate more sophisticated systems, such as sinks with running water. In general, though, they should be treated similarly to your indoor kitchen when it comes to designing one.
'Function and organization should be looked at together with the natural elements and how close it is to the house,' says Linda Hayslett of LA-based LH Designs. 'I say this as most outdoor kitchens are missing one large item that indoor kitchens have, a standard-size refrigerator. Most outdoor kitchens can incorporate a small fridge or beverage fridge, so being close to the actual kitchen is important to get to your food quicker. Otherwise, though, an outdoor kitchen layout should be no different than an interior kitchen.'
That being said, outdoor kitchens are about adapting an open-air cooking space to fit your needs, and, typically, that means bespoke and custom-made kitchens to meet specific measurements and requirements. But, of course, their modular way of working is one of the many reasons we love IKEA, and their GRILLSKÄR range comes with sectional units that allow you to build your own kitchen to your heart's desire.
What's in IKEA's GRILLSKÄR range?
So, what can you expect from IKEA's outdoor kitchen range? From complete outdoor kitchen units decked out with everything you need to standalone sinks and shelving units, the Swedish powerhouse has everything you need to build an outdoor cuisine no matter the space you have available. Most of the pieces are adjustable, too, and can be assembled in a host of configurations to fit any dimensions or awkward layouts.
Whether you want a simple unit to store utensils and prepare food outside, or an entire grill system complete with extra side burners, with 47 different products in the series, you're bound to find something suitable for your balcony, backyard, or patio.
What's new in the GRILLSKÄR range?
Keen to shop the new collection? We've selected three new items that we're sure you'll love if you want to upgrade your alfresco game.
If you're looking to maximize space with a multifunctional outdoor kitchen, this new sink unit is perfect for the job. Besides the adjustable shelving, it comes with a clever back panel to store the likes of cooking utensils or containers on hooks, or for decorating with string lights and pots of herbs.
If you plan to do more than just flip burgers, this grill with side shelving is a great choice. The gas grill has four independently controlled burners, as well as a barbecue tray, and a built-in thermometer, plus the added countertop space makes it easy to prep your food and stay tidy and organized.
Strapped for space on your patio? Maximize your workspace by attaching this foldable side table to one of the larger units in the GRILLSKÄR series. The collapsible side surface can be folded away as needed to give you more room, and we think it's the perfect spot for your barbecue tools, oils, or bowls.
Where else can you buy modular outdoor kitchens?
The Livingetc Newsletter
For style leaders and design lovers.
Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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