No, it may not be summer officially yet, but if you’re in the Algarve, it sure does feel like the hottest season has descended upon us already. So we say: bring it on! June could not have come around quickly enough, and we love all that start-of-summer prep when the new trends spring up, and everyone’s excited about the season to come.

This year’s summer trend? Outdoor BBQ areas. And it’s not really much of a surprise, is it, when you think about it. We’re still waiting for the pandemic to blow over, still spending lots of time at home, but now we’re allowed to see more of our family and friends and it sure does feel good to be spending some time together – especially in the garden!

We’ve been looking around at what 2021 has brought in terms of BBQ areas, and we have to say, we like what we’re seeing! Check out some of the latest trends. Which one best fits your lifestyle?

1. Plenty of kitchen storage space – and make it weather-resistant!

When it comes to building up the area around your BBQ, storage is key. You don’t want to be running backwards and forwards, whether it’s with plates, cutlery or your cooking utensils, so splash out and get yourself a whole new garden set! And, of course, you’ll need somewhere to keep everything, so make sure you think the storage through right from the very start. One major thing to consider? Making it weather-resistant to ensure it lasts many years to come.

“If your face and hands don’t get messy while eating BBQ, you’re doing it all wrong.”

– Unknown

2. A Sturdy Outdoor Kitchen Countertop

Garden countertops are a whole different ballgame to indoor ones because as well as supporting you through cooking, they need to withstand year-round weather. Basically, you need something extra sturdy to last long into the future… but you also want it to look nice, right?

It’s not easy finding the perfect balance, so we’ve picked out the best materials to help you out: marble, granite, porcelain, soapstone, and concrete. Which fits best with the look you’re going for?

3. Smokers, Open-Flame Cooking and Pizza Ovens

Now picture this: you have your BBQ, a nice long, solid countertop and more storage than you know what to do with. Doesn’t it make you want to spend even more time in your brand-new outdoor kitchen? If you’re thinking: “yes!” we have the answer for you – investing in more cooking options to diversify your outdoor cooking experience. How about a pizza oven? Or even a smoker? The possibilities are endless…

sausages on smoker

4. Plenty of refrigeration

… made even more endless once you add the one element that’s missing to make this your outdoor cookhouse of dreams: a fridge. Now you’ll never have to pop inside for something ever again! Not only can all your ingredients be kept safely outside, only an arm’s length away, but a fridge also means improved entertaining. How? Because now you can keep your drinks cool! You could even go one step further and add an outdoor ice machine. Now wouldn’t that be handy?

5. Extras

While we’re on the subject of life-improving additions, we’ve got a list of a few more that may appeal to you. For practicality and making the absolute most of being outdoors,  you could consider adding a herb garden close to the food prep area. Or for warmth rather than cooking, have you considered an outdoor fireplace or fire pit? Then you’ve got the comfort angle – adding some sofas or beanbags. Want to move your entire living room outdoors along with your kitchen? An outdoor TV’s the secret. Or are you looking for an entirely immersive outdoor living experience? Think landscape lighting and even a built-in surround sound system. The final touch? An overhead covering to protect you from the hot sun.

6. Heating Options for Extended Use throughout the Year

Like the sound of keeping warm outdoors on those less-than-balmy evenings but not sure about getting a firepit installed? Contact us to check out our other outdoor heating options to see if any of them strike your fancy. They may just be the key to you enjoying your brand-new outdoor area for that much longer!

7. Décor

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it, but sometimes so much thought goes into designing an interior that the exterior gets somewhat overlooked. Don’t fall into the trap! Instead, think about how you could extend your indoor look so that it blends into your outdoor area rather than creating a completely separate space. This works both for helping your home feel bigger and for a more uniform look throughout.

We can’t wait to start planning our brand new 2021 outdoor BBQ area (which might turn into an entire open-plan living room/ kitchen once we’re done). What will you be adding to yours?