How to design an outdoor kitchen!

The outdoor kitchen is more than just a place for the occasional barbecue, the latest outdoor kitchens allow you to cook as adventurously in the open air as you would inside, connecting the home to the garden.

Think about the location and placement of your outdoor kitchen

If your kitchen will be close to your house, nearby buildings can cause wind turbulence that may drive smoke down as well as up, so check where the smoke goes by carefully setting a small fire in a frying pan. For good ventilation, situate your cooking area the same distance from the house as it is high.


Decide on the space and features needed for your outdoor kitchen

Next, work out how often you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen, how many people you’ll be catering for and what sort of food you like to cook. This will help you decide how much grill area and workspace you’ll need. Will you be grilling, roasting, baking or making pizzas? These questions will help you decide to incorporate larger grills, clay ovens or both?



Check that the materials you want to use are suitable for outdoor use – they need to be UV-stable, durable, flame-proof and frost-proof. Also worth considering is - do you like to face guests and have somewhere for them to sit as you cook? Or would you prefer a self-contained unit away from the seating area?

Whatever you desire give XI Projects a call and we’ll be able to design you the perfect outdoor kitchen.


How to create a relaxing home!

When designing our homes, it’s easy to think about the essential spaces we need: kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and garden, but sometimes we can forget to factor in the room we need most: the room to relax. It can pay to incorporate or create extra spaces that invite us to escape from the stresses of work and family life.

Install a family-size day bed
Create a large day bed for a really inviting space to retreat. Because of the size, it’s a great spot for the kids to hang out, too, and encourages everything from sitting to flopping to sleeping to playing games. 


Add a chaise longue
For a cheaper alternative to a bespoke day bed add a chaise longue. By adding a side table with a plant as well as a cosy throw rug, you are turning the area into a relaxation zone.


Create a reading nook
All you need is a little alcove that gets some lovely light coming through, then add one comfortable chair!


Create a TV-free zone
If you have the luxury of space, try creating a room without a TV (and no other electronics allowed) to encourage device-free unwinding. 


Sleep under the stars
An outdoor daybed invites lazy afternoon snoozes and even late evening stargazing when the weather is warm enough. 


Swing between the trees
This one requires no renovating and no expense other than the cost of a hammock or swing. 


Indoor hammock
Who said hammocks were for outdoor use only? If you have the space, why not consider hanging one inside? 


Create an outdoor living room
Long gone are the days of uncomfortable plastic and steel outdoor furniture. Invest in the best quality, most comfortable outdoor furniture you can afford to create a truly inviting space you are realistically likely to use. 


Garden trends you can't live without!

Does you garden need a serious makeover? Then get some inspiration from our guide to the garden trends of 2017.

Water feature.

We're not talking about old fashioned ornate fountains but sleek and modern geometric ponds, channels and water running down statement walls.

Hanging chairs

Swing seating has always been a way to relax and unwind in the garden but there's been a new modern twist - the hanging chair. Embrace the modern look and enjoy the serenity.

Go bold with colour.

Statement shades will completely revamp your garden. Go for statement walls and bright garden furniture or go for parquet style brick flooring and bright decking.


Gone are the days of the fire pit! Now modern gas fireplaces add a great focal point to the garden and are much more practical because they can be used in any weather. The fireplace creates ambiance in the garden and becomes an extension to the house.

Vertical Gardens

Creating a living green wall in your garden will be a real focal point and transform gloomy areas of the garden.