Snack In Style

from Outdoor Casual
Make sure your outdoor kitchen design is functional and stylish with these backyard dining tips. Turn snacking outdoors into the ultimate experience by including all of the amenities.

Lou Manfredini, the host of the nationally syndicated radio program Mr. Fix It and a contributor for NBC’s Today show, says it’s best to choose materials for outdoor entertaining areas that stand up to the elements, such as high-quality stainless steel or solid-surfacing.

Additional options for your outdoor haven include the following.

Stainless-steel fronts hold up well in any climate. If you choose wood, make sure it is treated to withstand the elements and put a roof over it. Prices vary widely, depending on material, size, and number of components.

Countertops and Backsplashes
For entertaining and food preparation, consider solid surfacing, priced at $70-$100 per square foot installed. It’s ideal because it’s easy to clean and won’t harbor bacteria. Granite and marble counters cost $80-$125 per square food installed.

Countertop Dishwasher
Why hand-wash dishes or carry them into the house? Countertop dishwashers offer the ideal solution at $250-$450.

Microwave Oven
How about a countertop microwave for cooking up instant hot snacks? Prices range from $100 for a .7-cubic-foot model to $300 for a 1.6-cubic-foot unit.

Ice Maker
For full-scale entertaining, an ice maker that produces up to 50 pounds of ice in a 24-hour period comes in pretty handy. The cost runs from $1,100 to $1,400. A smaller ice maker, which produces up to 25 pounds daily, costs about $850.

A small refrigerator makes it convenient to keep chilled snacks and beverages handy. Stainless-steel outdoor refrigerators typically run about $1,700 for 6.1 cubic feet. If your snack bar will be enclosed and protected from the elements, consider a compact refrigerator, or a beverage and wine refrigerator, both starting at $300 for 3-cubic-foot versions.

For outdoor use, a high-quality, 18-guage, stainless-steel sink will last for years. Single-bowl sinks average $400, or select from various seamless units in sink-countertop-backsplash combinations that range in price from $800 to $1,500.

Eliminate the guess work and see what your house will look like before you redecorate.
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