Author Topic: Outdoor kitchen - one for the 80/20 fans - it's got everything except wood!  (Read 1525 times)

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Offline simonh

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Here's a few pictures of a project that has been ongoing for nearly 2 years from inception of the idea.  We moved house a few years ago and are keen gardeners. The site is heavily sloped and had 3 nondescript terraced levels that flow from one to the next. Our plan was to create a series of outdoor mini-rooms. So, we have a lounge area with sofas and firepit, kitchen area, dining area (oh and now an outdoor spa area in progress but that's another story). Remember, all this is in the sunny climate of England... but in my head on a nice summers day it could be California :D

Anyway, the brief for the kitchen from my wife was that is shouldn't look like an indoor kitchen had been dumped in the garden, also she didn't want it made from more brick/tiles as there is already a lot of brick, paving and it looks abit bleak in the winter, oh and finally she didn't really want wood to due to maintainence. So not too many demands!

So, this started to develop back in 2018 when I stated building the frames out of Bosch Rexroth (80/20) aluminium profile as I loved an industrial look (I think the wife was less sold on the idea at this point). I now know the Rexroth catalogue inside out and back to front! Here's an image of part of the frame been build with a firebox made for where the BBQ would be situated. The frame is aluminium with stainless steel fixings and drawer slides and all the connection points have plastic compensation pieces so there a no rough edges to the profiles:

At this time I'd fallen in love with the idea of polished concrete for the worktops.  After thousands of hours of viewing YouTube, I developed a GFRC recipe from products available in the UK. And then started casting the worktops, in titanium white (with silver sparkly bits to keep the wife happy, although she now admits that it really wasn't necessary). The workstops were cast over a period of a few months and then had to overwinter outdoors before it was warm enough to apply a sealer. Here's a picture after polishing before sealing:

So, the next question was what to panel the sides with given wood was a no go. I'd already used plastic on the base as the idea was the units were waterproof for storage.  Whilst searching for inspiration I came across a Perspex installation at Clerkenwell design week that featured red and orange perspex. It was abit out there, but the wife loved the idea. So the front panels facing into the kitchen were coloured frost perspex and the sides that back onto the garden a neutral grey that would be a better backdrop for the plants. The Perspex has a 10 year outdoor warranty to maintain colour and not become brittle. We'll see after that how long it lasts or we can easily change colours if we get bored, or try something different. It all just slots into the profile slots with a rubber seal to make it totally waterproof.

After far too many delays due trying to source parts such as stupidly expensive stainless steel drawer runners, aluminium industrial handles, resorting to CNCing some bits myself, and finally getting weatherproof equipment here in the UK, we finally got it finished last summer. BBQ, Fridge, Dishwasher (I gave up on sourcing this and we use an old spare dishwasher we had after the house move filled with antifreeze in the winter), Sink, Boiling water tap:

Happy wife, happy life:

And my final BBQ of the year was a Bonfire party on 5th November where the kitchen came to life with LED strips I installed that are sync'd via Phillips Hue so you can play music on your phone and the lights flash in disco synchronization (yep, when I get an idea in my head it is always taken to the extreme):

This is the most fun project I've done. The 80/20 type aluminium profile is great for building anything, and with the right profiles and the compensation elements and corner connectors I think it gives a nice sleek industrial design. I learnt that concrete is amazing! It involves the skills of woodworking to create the forms to cast in, but is so flexible in what you can do with GFRC (my latest project involves a concrete shower!). Also, I loved the use of things like Perspex alongside other materials, and I'm currently making boxes, cutlery tray, trivets and other elements out of a mixture of wood and perspex to compliment the design.

I think I'm reaching the limit of pictures on here. So there more on construction and finished product on Pinterest:

and a small video tour on YouTube:

« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 07:59 AM by simonh »

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Offline Chris Cianci

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That’s breath

Offline Chris Cianci

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That’s breathtaking work........I’m in awe !

Offline DynaGlide

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@simonh That's about the coolest thing I've seen in a long while. You're quickly becoming a top contributor here and I admire your level of skill. Now how do I fly you to the states so you can help me setup my own dream kitchen? You can bring an extra suitcase or two to fill up with those US exclusive tools you were lusting after.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline jobsworth

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That is really cool. It is indeed a full kitchen with dishwasher to. Wow. I think thats the first time I seen a outdoor kitchen made with 80/20 and one with a dishwasher...

Offline Cheese

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Nice design...nice execution.  [big grin]

Love the Miele hidden behind the door, a nice surprise.

I am curious though how waterproof those cabinets are with sliding doors? I wonder if Rexroth offers better weather protection than 80/20?

Great choice on countertops...the "silver sparkly bits" make all the difference.

FWIW...I had acrylic luminaries outside for 10-12 years before the covers started to become brittle and crack.