Landscaping experts have predicted that outdoor kitchens will be a major trend in 2015. This fits in rather nicely with the South African lifestyle. Our warmer months are perfect for dining outside and everyone knows South Africans love getting together around the braai.

If you want to get in on this outdoor kitchen trend, this is how to go about it:

The basic outdoor kitchen

An existing deck can easily be turned into a basic outdoor food prep and dining area by adding a braai stand or grill, a countertop, and a table with comfortable chairs. The countertop could be a simple home-made trestle table. It doesn’t have to be a built-in feature done by a professional.

The golden middle ground

Those with more budget or time available can call in the professionals. They’ll be able to help with stone, granite or slate countertops and add storage space too. You will most likely also say goodbye to your braai stand and replace it with a solid structure, like a fire pit. Not only perfect for braaiing, fire pits also add a wonderful ambience to any outdoor space.

A handyman will also be able to install flooring in the absence of an existing deck. Concrete might not make for the prettiest surface, but it is probably the most durable you’ll find and it will be easy to keep clean. Pallets, treated poles and other types of wood will add to the rustic feel created by concrete.

When designing the area, keep the work triangle rule for kitchens in mind. Interior designers have used this rule for decades to ensure that the work flow in a kitchen makes sense.

The ultimate outdoor entertainment area

When there are a lot of cash available for renovations, you can go all out and add bar fridges, loungers, basins and basic entertaining appliances like blenders. These would of course be used to make refreshing cocktails on those hot summer days.

You can call in the decorators too and add pillows, umbrellas, side tables, plants and just about anything else that fits within your scheme. The idea here would be to create a space that looks like it should be an interior room. Then you’ve created the ultimate outdoor kitchen and entertainment area.