Landscaping Inspiration for Your Outdoor Kitchen in the Oswego, IL Area

Done right, an outdoor kitchen can contain all the amenities found in your indoor kitchen, so that you can spend more time soaking up the great outdoors. It’s important to spend enough time planning it so that you get exactly what you want in an outdoor kitchen. Remember that part of the overall vibe of an outdoor kitchen is determined by what surrounds it. Here is some landscaping inspiration for your outdoor kitchen in the Oswego, IL area.

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Enough space is essential for you to enjoy your outdoor kitchen, and cook and entertain without feeling cramped. Even a small outdoor kitchen can, with the right design, feel spacious and functional. To start, decide how much of your patio space you want to devote to cooking. It could be anything from a simple linear grill station to a gourmet kitchen with restaurant-quality appliances and enough room for several cooks. Think about how you like to cook and entertain, and give yourself plenty of elbow room!

Take inspiration from your landscape. You most likely feel at ease in a balanced landscape, where plants aren’t crowded together but aren’t spaced too far apart, either. Are there areas within your landscape where you can move around freely, and other areas where you feel constrained? If you can design your outdoor kitchen to feel like your favorite part of the landscape, you can achieve an outdoor kitchen you’ll enjoy using!

A Canopy

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Exposure to the elements can lead to a sense of vulnerability. Having the protection of a tree canopy overhead can make your outdoor kitchen feel cozier. Unfortunately, falling leaves are not welcome in your dishes. A pergola recreates that sense of protection while shielding the cook from the hot sun. Consider whether you want your dining space to be covered as well. If you find yourself wishing you could enjoy cooking outdoors in any weather, a solid roof is a good option.


If you have a view, orient your outdoor kitchen and dining area to take advantage of it. An L-shaped outdoor kitchen with the corner aimed at the view, will give the cook and guests sitting at the bar an exquisite vantage point. If you don’t have a view, make one. Use a combination of trees, medium-height shrubs, ornamental grasses and low-growing plants to create a visual feast on a property that lacks scenery. 

Size Matters

Think about the relationship of the outdoor kitchen to the rest of your outdoor living space and home. A huge outdoor kitchen that visually dwarfs the home can look out of place. If that’s the case, consider creating a linear or L-shaped kitchen instead of a U-shaped kitchen that has more mass. A too-small kitchen - perfectly suited to those who desire little more than to grill - can be made to feel more spacious with the addition of a fireplace, a seating wall and a pizza oven. For the most pleasing visual effect, balance the proportions of the outdoor kitchen and the rest of your outdoor living space and home.

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The Beauty Is In the Details

Often, in nature, we get caught up with grand views and don’t pay much attention to details. But it’s the small details that work together to create a masterpiece. Small delights like a mini-waterfall, a fire table, mood lighting, an overhead fan, a minibar with an ice maker, an herb garden and interesting wall blocks are just a few additions that express personality to create an outdoor kitchen that feels like home.