The kitchen is often the social and familial hub of the home; it's the best place for entertaining guests and bringing the family together, so why not make it extra impressive. These kitchen designs merge the outdoors with the indoors, opening the domestic space into nature, without compromising comfort or practicality. You don't have to brave the British weather to enjoy the garden all year round, though the outdoor dining areas pictured below are the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and a barbecue in the summer.
This stunning design illustrates a way of creating fluidity between the kitchen and garden, whilst the sliding doors allow the areas to be separated when necessary. The modern glass doors contrast with the traditional brick work of the property to give a smart and contemporary effect. It's not hard to imagine sitting around the kitchen table, appreciating the view with a morning coffee, or enjoying a romantic evening meal. This kitchen design also makes the perfect party space if you're a keen host, and is sure to win plenty of compliments from visitors.
If you, like many, are living in the city and looking to make the most of your balcony, try extending the kitchen and dining area a little further. Choose hard-wearing furniture, particularly if the area isn't covered over. If privacy is a concern, create a border with potted plants as shown here, and avoid sharing every dinner time with the next door neighbours!
An open plan arrangement makes the most of natural light in this kitchen, creating a cheerful and fresh space. The steel beams create an edgy, modern look that is complimented by the effortlessly smart work surfaces. Inserting skylights is a great way to create the feeling of being outside, whilst still enjoying the comfort of cooking and eating indoors.
‘Living walls' are the ultimate symbol of harmony between nature and domestic life. The walls, made from plants rooted in a structural support, provide a pleasant backdrop to this outdoor entertainment area. The paved floor marks the space off as part of the property, though the trees claim the space for the outdoors. It's a fun, playful design, ideal for town houses and city pads (where both outdoor space and space to entertain can be limited). The comfy couches shown here are only one option in terms of furnishing; a dining table, or even an outdoor pizza oven, would fit nicely here too.
How about some quirky seats for your outdoor kitchen and dining area? These egg shaped chairs from Urban Roof Gardens are a great way to bring some individual style to your patio.
The flecks of colour from these flowers create a subtle but beautiful backdrop: for a finishing touch, consider which plants would compliment your colour themes and garden furniture, and during their flowering season you'll be admiring the result. It will be worth the effort, even if you're not naturally 'green-fingered'.