A while back, my husband’s out-of-state best friends came to stay with us for 10-days. We wanted to do enjoyable things and make incredible memories. We became their tour guides and showed them around lovely Southwest Florida. For one of the tour days, we planned a perfect getaway to an out-of-town eatery.
Just inside the foyer of this delightful seaside restaurant was something you would see right out of Rand McNally maps. There was a framed world travel map that was attached to a corkboard. It was propped up on a chair. Next to it, was a small saucer filled with colorful pushpins. Guests were encouraged to take a pin and place it on the map, where their hometown was located.
This was a “WOW!” moment for me. This simple visualization was extremely effective. It demonstrated how far visitors have traveled. I wish I would have thought of doing this nearly eight years ago when I joined Just Counters & other stuff. The world map would have been an epic idea because after all these years I’ve only met two customers who were originally from Florida. Yes, just two! All of our other clients have either come from another state or country. Amazing, isn’t it? This would have made a great documentation. I have the best job in the world. Between designing and my blogs, I’ve met some of the most amazing human beings on the planet.
Today’s story is about a delightful couple Blan and Liz, who were from Germany. Yes…Germany!!! Their remodel story is about an outdoor kitchen. Blan and Liz wanted to get the most use out of their lanai where the sun is shining and water glistening. It wasn’t located too far away from their indoor kitchen to their lanai. So, you are probably thinking “come on, why was it even necessary to have an outdoor kitchen?” Well, of course it wasn’t necessary. But it’s like having a dishwasher, if you’ve never had one, you don’t know what you’re missing. But once you have your very own, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.
There are other reasons why having an outdoor kitchen is a great thing. It is convenient. Even though it wasn’t far from Blan’s and Liz’s indoor kitchen, they didn’t want to lug everything outside and then back in again. Plus, they would have had to figure out how to keep the cold stuff cold and the hot stuff hot. And above all, the new homeowners wanted to create a place for guests to relax in the beautiful Florida weather, while their burgers were grilling. The homeowners wanted to prep meals and cook all in one place, without leaving their guest unattended.
An outdoor kitchen is an investment that will bring decades of memories of good times. However, it’s important to know that you are buying the right materials that will withstand the elements. One of the most important decisions for an outdoor kitchen project is the type of materials that you should use. Outdoor Florida kitchen cabinets must be able to withstand heat, rain, and wind. I designed Blan’s and Liz’s outdoor kitchen with WeatherStrong Outdoor Cabinetry. These cabinets are designed with our clients’ lifestyle in mind. The cabinets are manufactured in the U.S.A. with a 3/4″ composite material to stand up to the harsh elements of Mother Nature. Florida summers are extremely hot, sometimes with pounding rain. With WeatherStrong cabinets it’s no problem. They are tough enough to handle the harsh Florida weather. I suggested WeatherStrong’s “Key West Louver” door style using “River Sand” color to complement Blan’s and Liz’s outdoor floor tiles.
Its basic physics: matter expands when warm, and shrinks when cold. This is true of tile and stone. Inside of a house, the temperature is fairly consistent, and as such contraction and expansion aren’t major concerns for most tile installations. Outside however, where countertop tiles like Blan’s and Liz’s, will experience temperatures ranges from over 100º F to sometimes very cold winter weather. When a porous tile is left outside in the rain, it will absorb the moisture, which will expand when encountering cold weather, potentially causing the tile to crack and crumble. That’s exactly what happened and caused the general breakdown of the existing countertop. I highly recommended the low-maintenance durability of a granite countertop for the new outdoor kitchen. So, for the countertops we used “Sienna Bordeaux” granite.
Blan and Liz wanted a mobile gas outdoor grill. They ended up purchasing a large, imposing grill that looked like it was designed to stay in one place. But thanks to its two large wheels and two locking casters, it’s actually pretty easy to move it about as needed. This way they could pretty much pick any spot on their beautiful lanai and cook from there.
As Florida’s Fall and Winter temperatures begin to cool, this is a perfect time to create your own outdoor kitchen, so you can have endless hours in the picture-perfect Florida outdoors. The professionals at Just Counters & other stuff will be happy to work with you to customize your perfect outdoor kitchen. You will wonder how you ever did without it!
Thank you for allowing Designs by Michele Rose to be part of your day, week after week!