No expense was spared when a couple from the Isle of Wight completed this striking Mediterranean-inspired outdoor kitchen renovation.
When Laura and Jamie Currie bought their home in 2020, they inherited a traditional garden with a pond and a rockery. However, the traditional features didn't match the family's plans to use the space for relaxing and entertaining.
To create a space that the whole family could use Laura and Jamie decided to brainstorm outdoor kitchen ideas to create the ultimate outdoor dining space.
'I’m not particularly green-fingered,' confesses Laura. 'I couldn’t even tell you what plants were in the rockery. To me, it was just a bit of a waste of space.'
'We’ve got two teenage daughters who love having their friends round. So being able to have an outdoor kitchen area with a BBQ and pizza oven was ideal for us as we spend a lot of time out there.'
Laura and Jamie settled on a Mediterranean-inspired space, opting for smart landscaping ideas that required minimal maintenance. When settling on the outdoor kitchen layout, the couple decided to build the whole thing around one of the best pizza ovens they could find, a lovely Fuego pizza oven (opens in new tab).
'The pizza oven was an integral part of the plan,' explains Laura. 'We found the pizza oven quite early on. It was handmade in Spain and shipped over. So the kitchen was almost built around the pizza oven as such, to go with it.'
After a brick base had been built for the pizza oven, it had to be lifted into the garden with a crane. 'We had to get a specialist crane company to actually lift the pizza oven into the garden for us,' explains Laura.
With the pizza oven in place the couple turned their attention to the remaining details, including the flooring and fencing. For the paving, Laura and Jamie took the risky decision to invest in the last batch of some antique bricks from a local supplier.
'We spent a long time trying to find the right flooring to put in there. The antique brick was pretty expensive but it is a real feature,' says Laura. 'They were the last lot of a batch, so luckily we just had enough to finish it, as we wouldn’t have been able to get anymore.'
To complement the rustic look of the brick flooring, the couple chose a timber cladding garden fence to surround the kitchen using Western Canadian Cedar. They used the same wood on the cupboard doors to tie the space together and save a little money.
'The bits of the cupboards are actually the offcuts of the fence,' explains Laura. 'It was quite expensive and we didn’t want to waste any of it.'
The fence proved to be a true labor of love as Laura and Jamie had to spend hours oiling each individual bit of wood by hand to protect them against the elements.
To finish the space the couple added in a smart barbecue from Buff Barbecues (opens in new tab), an outdoor wine and beer fridge from blastcool (opens in new tab)and clever modular garden furniture from Moda Furnishings (opens in new tab). They also included an outdoor sink, complete with a hot and cold tap, which Laura says has been one of the best parts of the outdoor kitchen.
'It is so handy to have one in the outdoor kitchen,' says Laura. 'To have a hot and cold tap is like wow!'
However, Laura and Jamie's favorite feature of the outdoor kitchen renovation remains the pizza oven they built the space around.
'We have a fire pit elsewhere in the garden, but whenever we have people in the garden they always seem to end up gathering around the pizza oven as there is always still some warmth,' says Laura.
The outdoor kitchen renovation cost about £20,000. It took around 10 months to complete due to delays caused by the pandemic, however, the couple used that time to their advantage.
'It gave us time in between each stage to think how exactly we wanted it. So it just evolved as it went. So I think it was just allowing the process to make the decisions,' says Laura.
You can see more of Laura's garden transformation on her Instagram account @litte_gurnard_pad (opens in new tab). This lovely renovation is proof a garden doesn't always need to focus on planting to make a stunning statement.
Top pizza ovens
Love the idea of adding a pizza oven to your outdoor space, just as Laura and Jamie have done? You can shop all the top buys at the best price in our handy edit below.
Rebecca has worked as a homes and interiors journalist for over four years, and is currently the Deputy Editor on Ideal Home online. Previously, she was the News Editor across the Future homes and gardens brands, including Gardeningetc.com. She lives in a rented flat in South London where she makes the most of window boxes to create small container gardens. Inside she has a jungle of houseplants in nearly every room which she does her best to keep up with regular watering and repotting.
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