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5 Must-Haves for an Outdoor Kitchen

5 Must-Haves for an Outdoor Kitchen

Whether you live in a condo or a single-family home in the suburbs, your indoor kitchen may not be spacious enough to hold your family and guests when you host events. 

To recreate those fond memories of a large group gathering tougher for Thanksgiving dinner, you may need to find another option. An outdoor kitchen could be the perfect fit!

If you’re considering having an outdoor kitchen installed in your yard or on your deck, the Nuenza interior designers have prepared a list of outdoor kitchen essentials to consider for your design layout.

outdoor kitchen on balcony in city

Outdoor Space

Keep in mind the purpose of outdoor kitchens: providing you flexibility to expand your usable space, something you’ll need when cooking and catering for many people. 

To do this well, choosing an appropriate location and layout of your grill and outdoor kitchen essentials is necessary. For example, if the kitchen is placed closer to the house, it will be easier to use the home’s utilities while benefiting from a wind barrier and overhang. However, setting up the outdoor kitchen close to the house can limit its design and size. 

Luckily, there are outdoor kitchen designs that create an entirely separate space from the home that can even include a bathroom and storage closet in addition to protection from the elements. You can also add appliances, sufficient counter space, and outdoor kitchen essentials much more easily to create a fully functioning kitchen.

Grills

The grill is often the star of every outdoor kitchen, making it a big decision that will influence the taste of the food and how easily you can cook with it. From burgers to rotisserie chicken to grilled vegetables, the culinary possibilities are endless! 

A standalone grill or one that is surrounded by counter space and outdoor kitchen essentials will always be the main attraction. Whether you’re new to outdoor cooking or can’t decide which type of grill to get, here are pros and cons for gas and charcoal grills:

Gas Grill

People love gas grills because:

  • Push-Button startup is fast and easy
  • Heat-up is quick
  • Cleaning is simple
  • You have more control over temperatures compared to charcoal grills
  • They are powered by a propane tank or a gas line, making them versatile

A gas grill is great for occasions where time is limited. However, gas grills aren’t always the perfect solution, and they do have some downsides:

  • Assembly can be tricky
  • Set-up to a gas line can be complicated (and expensive)
  • Users must always check the gas line or tank for leaks
  • The grill must be set up a minimum of 10 feet away from the home

person adding glaze to meat on grill

Charcoal Grill

Other people claim that a charcoal grill is better because:

  • They’re simple to use, making them perfect for first-time users
  • There are higher temperature settings compared to gas grills
  • Charcoal adds a smoky flavour you can’t get anywhere else
  • They’re more affordable compared to gas grills

With all of those good points, members of Team Charcoal can sometimes overlook the cons, which include the following:

  • The grill must be started up manually
  • Heat-up time is long, as much as 15-20 minutes
  • Fuel can be expensive, since the charcoal must be replaced after about three sessions
  • Cleaning can be a pain, as the ash must be emptied before the grill can be cleaned
  • They’re not environmentally friendly

Every outdoor kitchen owner must carefully consider their lifestyle and how tech-savvy they are when choosing the right grill. Feel free to speak with our interior designers for more information!

Outdoor Pizza Oven

A grill is often the heart of the outdoor kitchen, but not always. Some families can’t get enough pizza, so having a pizza oven right in their backyard is a no-brainer for them! If you spend a lot of money on pizza delivery, a pizza oven might be a great idea! 

Wood-burning pizza ovens are versatile. You can use them to smoke, bake, and roast other types of food, such as seafood, meats, and desserts. Also, having fresh pizza moments after it’s emerged from the oven can impress guests, and even make them jealous! But much like grills, there is the debate of whether a wood-burning oven or a gas oven is better. 

Wood-burning has a lot more work involved, such as building a fire, and with some models, having to wait about 90 minutes for it to heat up. The structure of a wood-burning model is also much larger than a gas-burning one. 

On the other hand, a gas model takes around 20 minutes to heat up with just the flip of a switch, and then cooking the pizza itself takes under 10 minutes. As for maintenance, the chimney of the wood-burning oven would need periodic cleaning to remove buildup, but a gas-burning model is low-maintenance. 

Sometimes the best idea is to have a mobile outdoor pizza oven, one that has wheels, and that can be integrated more easily into an outdoor design. Ask our interior designers for their best recommendations for your own layout.

outdoor pizza oven

Outdoor Fridge & Wine Refrigerator/Wine Cooler

No matter the occasion, when you’re busy cooking in your outdoor kitchen, you’re in a time crunch. Your ingredients must be nearby and kept cool for long periods. Complement your dream kitchen with an outdoor refrigerator, one of the key outdoor kitchen must-haves. It’s the place to store vegetables, your desserts made with secret recipes, and beverages for those scorching summer days. 

If you and your partner love wine and even collect it, a wine fridge or cooler is an outdoor kitchen essential for you! Wine is a fragile substance, so you want a special and convenient storage location. Having a wine cooler outside means fewer trips indoors that can result in broken glass.

With these essentials, you’re on your way to having a fabulous outdoor space!

Optimize Your Outdoor Cooking Experience with Nuenza

Our experts can help you narrow down the outdoor kitchen essentials that you need, from ambient lighting to electrical outlets to an ice maker to cooking utensils. 

Your outdoor kitchen space is your personalized oasis, and we’re going to make it beautiful and functional for years to come. Contact us today for more ideas and inquire about our Heston BBQs!

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Imagine being able to invite a few friends over and enjoying a meal together that was prepared in your very own outdoor kitchen! The sun is out, maybe a pool is sparkling nearby, and the garden is trimmed. It’d be paradise!

From planning the layout to checking your landscape, building an outdoor kitchen can be a job and half – but if you have the right partners. So before you dive into the construction, it’s always a great idea to explore what you will need for the process. Our Nuenza interior designers have outlined how to build your idyllic outdoor kitchen.

measuements on blueprints

Plan Your Entertainment Area

First things first: figure out how you want to integrate an outdoor kitchen into your home’s layout. From backyards in the suburbs to decks in the city, you will need to figure out a few basic elements, such as: 

  • Measure the length and width of your entire space (patio, deck, etc.) to get the square footage
  • Decide how you want to divide the space according to the food prep area versus the cooking area versus the seating area. Keep in mind the types of appliances you want to include as well as any additional features, such decorations and accessories.

This preliminary work will make it easier for you to structure the outdoor kitchen layout. Need a better idea for the layout? Here are some popular outdoor kitchen layouts that our team is familiar with from simple to complex:

  • Linear: The outdoor kitchen area is set up across the back of the home in a single line.
  • L-Shaped: This layout offers countertop space and more for the food prep area and the cooking area. Both sections have storage.
  • Galley: The outdoor kitchen is divided by a corridor with appliances, storage, and countertops on either side.
  • U-Shaped: This layout shape is ideal for large outdoor kitchens because it allows everything to be at your fingertips, from potential rolling pizza ovens to the drawers to the counter space.
  • Kitchen Island: For plenty of room, choose this outdoor kitchen layout. An island can be customized to fit any space. It will feel just like your indoor kitchen, but better with its built-in grill, buffet and food prep space, as well as cabinet boxes, a mini fridge, and more!

Our experts can provide you with more detailed outdoor layouts to create the right flow. 

stone backyard with pool

Review the Location of Your Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Since this kitchen is outdoors, you need to consider Mother Nature and your property’s structure:

  • The area you select to set up your kitchen must have a strong, resilient, and fireproof foundation.
  • Having electrical outlets near your kitchen area will save you a lot of time and money. 
  • Check the wind direction of your area to ensure the smoke from the grill will blow away from the house. You may also need to place your grill a minimum of 10 feet from your house, depending on municipal regulations.   
  • If your exterior is too sunny or it rains frequently, consider a partially sheltered outdoor kitchen setup.

Outdoor kitchens are considered permanent fixtures, which means you will likely need certain permits, depending on your municipality. Municipal permit requirements vary according to the size and scale of your outdoor kitchen installation, so contact your local municipality before starting. Fortunately, exterior kitchen cabinets do not fall under the same category as permanent fixtures, so they do not require a permit, and you can take them with you if you ever decide to move. 

It’s essential to think about these aspects when building your DIY outdoor kitchen. However, the good thing about working with professionals like those on the Nuenza team is that they can relieve some of this stress by helping to design and build the kitchen for you!

Choose Your Outdoor Kitchen Appliances

Depending on the type of outdoor kitchen you want to build, there are many essential appliances to customize your space. Whether you have a freestanding model, a built-in model, or an outdoor living suite, consider these:

  • Outdoor Sink: Installing a sink is a more sanitary way to wash your hands and dishes as opposed to using the garden hose.
  • Outdoor Refrigerator: Keep ingredients and drinks cool and close at all times. Outdoor models are sturdier than indoor fridges because they’re made to withstand the elements.
  • Outdoor Grill Islands: As the heart of your outdoor kitchen, choose the type that appeals to your cooking style and recipes: A charcoal grill adds that seared flavour while gas grills make cooking easier and heat evenly.

people sitting together near pool

If your head is spinning with all of these details, it’s a sign to call in the professional. Nuenza is at your service!

Can I Build My Own DIY Outdoor Kitchen?

Yes, you can, but Nuenza can ensure that it’s built right and will last for years to come! Nuenza will not only help you to design your outdoor kitchen, but we will also provide you with a variety of high-quality stainless steel outdoor kitchen appliances. 

From a portable pizza oven to a completely open air kitchen, Nuenza’s designers will optimize your space and make it feel like home.

Contact us today to get started!

Home Renovations 101: Should I Renovate My Kitchen Before Selling?

Home Renovations 101: Should I Renovate My Kitchen Before Selling?

The decision about renovating a home before putting it up for sale—whether the renovation involves just one room or several—is something unique, and the right choice depends on each homeowner’s situation, as well as the state of the housing market in your area. 

On the one hand, pre-sale renovations might be a good idea if you have a good-looking residential home in a family-friendly neighbourhood that also happens to have good schools. Why? Because your home will be a highly sought-after prize for young families. 

Young families in particular are more willing to buy a home that has a higher cost, as long as there are fewer required renovations. On the other hand, if you are selling to someone interested in completely gutting the place so they can put their own design stamp on the place, it might be best to avoid renovating spending money to increase the home value. 

No matter what you decide, our Nuenza designers can provide you with some insight on your preferred course of action.

Is Remodeling a Kitchen Worth it?

Real estate agents stress that if you’re going to do an interior home renovation, you should have bathroom and kitchen renovation at the top of your list. These two rooms are main hubs of activity, and can raise the profile of a home (therefore raising its price) if done well. 

small white kitchen

Kitchen Remodel Estimates

Our interior designers have been involved in the renovation of homes of all sizes, so they’ll be able to provide you with accurate estimates of what your budget should look like. For example:

  • A small kitchen of 70 square feet or less will cost between $20,000 – $30,000.
  • A medium kitchen of 100-150 square feet will cost between $20,000 – $52,000.
  • A medium one of 150-175 square feet will cost between $26,000 – $55,000.
  • A large kitchen of 200 or more square feet will cost between $50,000 – $90,000.

Of course, the numbers above only represent estimates, and will vary according to the design specs and materials you choose. To have the true cost of remodeling our team of designers will be happy to conduct a detailed consultation with you. We’ll take into account a variety of factors, such as your layout, personal preferences, and the expected labor costs. 

We can also help you with budgeting and work with your estate agent, so you can get the best return on investment while offering a great selling price. At Nuenza, you will always be guided by those with the experience and knowledge to make the best decisions. 

What Home Improvements Should be Done Before Selling?

A buyer will have their own preferences, but if you want to sell your home at a reasonable price, you’ll likely need to make some changes, regardless of your home’s condition. 

Whether you’re updating or gutting the kitchen, re-doing the foundation or simply adding new winterized windows, there are a few areas that usually do attract homebuyers. If you’ve chosen to remodel the kitchen, one thing is for sure: improving these areas with high-quality materials is often a good idea. 

And remember, when showing your home, a paint job can pay off in a big way. Neutral colours, for example, are known to have the best return on investment, often attracting multiple buyers.   

Kitchen Cabinets

If you have old wood cabinets that are damaged or need updating, replacing them can be a smart move. From oak to mahogany to birch to bamboo, our designers can help you select a high-quality and sturdy material that work best in the context of your existing design. With our help, buyers will be clamouring for your house when it goes on the market!

kitchen countertop and stove

Countertops

After cabinets, countertops are the second most important feature to renovate because it’s highly visible. Especially for island kitchens, countertops are a focal point, so it’s essential that you go with a material that will increase your home’s value. It’s also worth noting that if you upgrade countertops, you should strongly consider doing the cabinets as well for an integrated look.

Since the late 80s, granite countertops have become a staple in the kitchen. However, it’s best to evaluate whether or not it’s the material for your house. Determine whether or not:

  • Granite countertops suit your space’s décor
  • The homes for sale in your area have granite counters

There are many choices to go with, including marble, quartz, butcher block, and stainless steel. Our Nuenza interior designers are always happy to help you pick the best one for your home and design taste.

Paint Colours

Sellers should replace any bold and flashy colours with neutral tones that suit the rest of the space. Luckily, kitchens don’t usually have too much space to cover with paint, as the cabinets and appliances cover most of the space. A quick paint job may seem overly simple, but sometimes a little effort goes a long way when making a sale. 

Appliances

Some homeowners leave their appliances behind for different reasons. They may be downsizing, or may want to replace their appliances with newer versions. While buyers will often appreciate having the appliances included in the sale, it goes without question that leaving outdated appliances that may or may not work will not increase the value of your home. In fact, it may even turn buyers away. Depending on the situation, it can often be advantageous to replace appliances in order to increase your home’s value. 

man and woman packing in kitchen

When considering selling your house, it’s best to always speak with a real estate agent and a designer. They can provide you with an accurate real estate market assessment and sound advice for your potential Montreal kitchen renovation. 

Trust the Nuenza experts to turn your ideas into a reality.

Kitchen Remodels are Better with Nuenza 

Selling your home is a major step in your life along with buying a new place. But you don’t have to do it alone. Commitment, passion, and dedication are the hallmarks of Nuenza. 

Our interior designers can update your kitchen so that your property has a stronger resale value and you get peace of mind knowing you’re making the smartest financial decisions. When professionals are involved, every choice is just a little bit easier to make, and the renovations get done right the first time.  

Contact us for more information, or view our portfolio for inspiration and ideas!

What Makes a Luxury Kitchen?

What Makes a Luxury Kitchen?

It’s no wonder why family members and friends are often found hanging out in the kitchen – food brings people together! Since the kitchen is in many ways the true heart of the home, it makes sense to give it new life with a High-end Custom kitchen luxury kitchen renovation.

From the layout to the material to the overall function of each element in the kitchen, a renovation is your opportunity to finally make a list of all your needs and wants, and to put together a new design that allows you to use your kitchen the way you want every day. 

Read on below to discover how to transform a regular kitchen into something truly high-end and custom

kitchen flowers

Space Optimization

Since the 90s, homes have integrated the idea of open concept into the kitchen. This means that the kitchen, dining room, and sometimes the living room do not have any walls separating them, transforming the space into a great room. 

Open concept gives your home a communal feel, increases natural light, and improves the flow when you’re cooking and moving from room to room. From this perspective, and especially if you don’t have one already, a kitchen island could be the perfect structure to add to your kitchen, giving you more prep and storage space. 

The island can be the new home of your sink, your dishwasher, or even your microwave! This is especially valuable if you’re a homeowner that would prefer not to have the microwave at eye-level (or taking up valuable space on the counter). 

Materials

Kitchen cabinets take up the majority of the space in a kitchen, so you’ll want to choose a material wisely when planning your renovation. Popular wood options for luxury kitchens include:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Walnut Sapwood 
  • Ash
  • Ebony
  • Birch

However, some fabricators embrace sustainable wood options such as reclaimed timber and bamboo. Bamboo is considered a renewable resource since it’s a faster growing type of grass. For inspiration designing a beautiful, luxury kitchen in your house, check out some of the designs and materials in our portfolio.

brown wooden kitchen

Extra Features

Are you a minimalist? You can incorporate that into your kitchen’s design by eliminating cabinet handles. It provides a sleek and sophisticated look, and you won’t need to worry about banging your knees on knobs anymore. Instead, you can have hydraulic hinges installed on all of your cabinets, so each cabinet closes for you. It’s just one of many simple ways to make your life easier.

If you’re a wine lover or entertain a lot, consider adding a small wine cooler or fridge to your kitchen layout. It will provide more space in your regular fridge and keep your wine chilled at an ideal temperature. A cooler is practical, protects your wine collection, and can fit seamlessly into your kitchen design.

Appliances

Stainless steel appliances are the standard of luxury in this era. While they may need more TLC to keep their shine, it’s well worth the effort. This type of appliance complements any colour kitchen, as well as any material, whether you have dark or light cabinets. 

Make Your Home Beautiful and Luxurious

Nuenza can bring your kitchen up to date with the latest in design and home décor. Our talented and experienced team will work with you to achieve your design goals, not matter what they are. Our priority is for you and your family to feel at home once the renovations are completed, and answer any of your questions along the way. 

Whether you need more space or just want a new look for your kitchen, contact us today to get started!

Quick Guide: How Much to Renovate a Kitchen?

Quick Guide: How Much to Renovate a Kitchen?

Deciding to remodel your kitchen is a big step. You may have hundreds of ideas and are itching to get started, but like any home improvement, there’s a lot to consider. 

From the appliances to the backsplash to the flooring – not to mention changing the plumbing and lighting – the costs to renovate a kitchen will require a decent amount of coin, particularly for one that’s professionally remodeled.

No matter your goals, the Nuenza team is here to help you figure out what is the best Montreal kitchen design for your home.

samples

Kitchen Renovation Costs

Here is the average cost of what you can expect to pay for a new kitchen, depending on the size you have:

  • A small one of 70 square feet or less will cost between $12,000 – $26,000.
  • A medium one of 100-150 square feet will cost between $19,500 – $52,000.
  • A medium one of 150-175 square feet will cost between $26,000 – $52,000.
  • A large one of 200 or more square feet will cost between $40,000 – $78,000.

Remember, the costs listed above are just an approximation. Only after a detailed consultation with our team will we be able to determine a more accurate amount for the kitchen renovation costs per square foot at your home. 

Tips on How to Budget

The best way to ensure that your project goes smoothly is to create a budget. This will give yourself and our team a solid footing for materials, layout, design, everything.

We advise you to create a breakdown of your budget, so you can cover every aspect of the renovation. It’s up to you to decide what portion will cover:

  • Designs
  • Installations
  • Appliances & Ventilation
  • Cabinetry & Hardware
  • Countertops
  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Plumbing
  • Doors & Windows

While our team is experienced, professional, and knowledgeable in remodelling a kitchen, there is always the possibility of problems arising, such as pests, weakened structures, and toxic materials. 

A good amount of your budget should be set aside to cover surprises, which should be between 15%-20%. Although this may seem like a high number at first glance, it’s always best to be prepared, and the good news is that if there are no surprise issues, you can immediately deduct that amount from your overall budget!

woman sitting

Ways to Save Money on Your Kitchen Renovation

When it’s time to renovate the kitchen, there are some smart choices you can make to get the design you want while protecting your wallet.

While choosing customized designs can come with a hefty price tag in some cases, this is not always necessarily true. In large part, the cost will depend on the materials used. While Nuenza does not reface existing cabinets, the price of new cabinets will vary according to the design, which is why speaking to the design professionals at Nuenza is your best bet when trying to cut costs for your kitchen renovation. 

Also, you don’t have to do everything all at once. This means you can save up for certain elements, such as appliances, and then have a rest period to save up for the next sections you want to tackle.

Have some ideas to remodel your bathroom? We can help with that, too!

Turn Your Average Kitchen into the Heart of Your Home

Our Nuenza team achieves a wide range of tasks, from helping you determine the cost for renovating a kitchen to choosing new cabinets to helping you draft a budget. We make the project fun (as it should be) while reducing the stress on our customers.

Feel free to browse our portfolio for inspiration, or contact us today to set an appointment!

8 Creative Ways to Fully Benefit from a Small Kitchen

8 Creative Ways to Fully Benefit from a Small Kitchen

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing everyone to self-quarantine or practice social distancing, we’re spending more time at home. With more time in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas, we are likely to notice problems, particularly spacing issues.

Nuenza Design Studio—formerly known as Cuisines Nuenza—has prepared a list of innovative ways to optimize on space when you have a small kitchen.

#1 – A Backsplash with Functionality

This idea originates from an upcycling mindset. When you have too much clutter on your counters, it’s time to head to the walls to make space. A stainless steel pegboard can act as a backsplash to protect your wall while giving you the ability to hang utensils and shelves.

new kitchen

#2 – A Folding Dining Table

How many bruises do you have on your hips and legs from running into your oversized dining table? Replace it with a folding table that’s attached to the wall. It’s out of the way when not in use and provides more flow that perfectly complements a small kitchen. It can be used as a dining table, extra prep space, and a desk.

#3 – Cabinet Layouts

This will require you to really think about how you personally use your kitchen. If it’s U-shaped, it may be worth replacing some of your cabinets with ones that are half the size.This way, you can put taller items together without them falling over and making a mess. 

Additionally, think about how often you have to organize your cabinets. If you replace them with drawers, it’d be easier to gain access to items at the far back while keeping everything tidy.   

#4 – Unconventional Shelving

“Don’t cut corners” is sound advice for people optimizing on space. Corner shelving can be the answer to cleaner countertops. Stacked dishes and vertical objects, such as vases and canisters, can find a place on corner shelves while still looking tidy.

#5 – Seat Cabinets

A breakfast nook is more than aesthetically pleasing. If your kitchen has built-in seating or you’re thinking about putting it in, take advantage of the space underneath to store pantry items and cookware. 

#6 – Magnets

A knife block is bulky and takes up room. An alternative is a magnetic knife bar that will hold all of your essential metal tools out of the way in a professionally organized look. Just make sure to keep your electronic devices at a distance! 

coffee cup books home

#7 – Baskets

Whether you store items on the top shelf or in your cabinets, they can fall down and break. Using wire baskets will keep your jars and bottles grouped together, making your search easier and your kitchen neater. Moreover, a wired basket lets you see all of the items from a distance, saving you a trip up the ladder.

#8 – Undersides

The space under shelves is often overlooked. You can attach hooks to hang tea cups with the rest of the dishware nearby. If you have mason jars on your counter, you can attach the lids to the underside of a shelf and screw in the jar. Voilà! You now have a clear counter! 

Get Creative with Nuenza Design!

Want more ideas? Check out our portfolio!

Our team at Nuenza Design wishes you well during this troubling time. We are always here for you, ready with suggestions to make your space feel like home. Call us at (514) 400-2579, or fill out our online form.

Remember to wash your hands and stay safe!