Creating Your Own Barbecue Space


The unmistakable scent of food sizzling away on the barbecue is synonymous with summer. As we ease into summer, now is the perfect time to create or improve your barbecue space so that it’s primed and ready to be enjoyed in the warmer months ahead.


“The epitome of summer dining is the great Aussie barbecue – for weekday cook-ups or weekend entertaining. Nothing beats the waft of barbecue across the neighbourhood – whether it’s spring veggies, or something meatier. There’s no limit to what can be cooked on the barbecue – and there is a vast array of options when it comes to choosing the right barbecue and design for your outdoor space,” said Matt Leacy, creative director and co-founder of Landart Landscapes.

As Leacy explained, it is important to match your barbecue and your outdoor cooking space to your lifestyle.

“If you have a rusted-out old barbecue in your outdoor area it’s ideal timing to look at getting something new for summer – just think through how you will use it before jumping in.

“If you don’t barbecue a lot, a smaller Weber or kettle-style barbecue that can be tucked away would be better suited than integrating a barbecue and making it more of a focal point in your outdoor kitchen or garden design,” said Leacy.

“Pizza ovens and slow cookers are other great options to be considered in outdoor spaces. And some barbecues, or integrated outdoor kitchen designs, will allow you to have it all – adding a whole new dimension to entertaining outdoors.”

Here are Leacy’s top nine tips for creating your dream barbecue space:


The first step to choosing your barbecue is determining whether you want to cook with coal and wood, or gas. You will also need to consider what extraction you may need to keep the space smoke free. Your choice will be based on personal preference and your cooking style.


Your barbecuing experience will be much smoother and more enjoyable with space to prep and cook on. If possible, including a fridge and sink will save you running back and forth while cooking. Waste disposal is also another aspect to consider when designing your barbecue area.


The best place to position your barbecue is typically against a wall, whether this is the back wall of your house or a separate pavilion/ outdoor entertaining space.

It is also important to consider how you use your outdoor space. Your barbecue should be positioned somewhere practical for cooking, while also allowing the chef to remain with guests. However, ensure nobody is sitting too close to the barbecue on a hot day, leaving about 1.5 metres between any seating and the barbecue.




Consider how many people you will be cooking for; you will only need a large 4-6 burner if you are often catering for big groups. Otherwise, consider a smaller barbecue so as not to unnecessarily minimise your outdoor space.


Stainless steel is durable as a hot plate, while cast-iron finishes are more so and heat more evenly.


If possible, an outdoor bar is an excellent way to up the ante in your barbecue entertaining. Otherwise, a good drink tray or trolley can add to the usability of your outdoor entertaining space.


To enjoy your space year-round, it is a good idea while planning to consider how you will heat and cool your area if required. If your outdoor space can be sufficiently closed in, a split system may be a good choice, while fans, fireplaces/fire pits, or built-in heaters offer a great, open outdoor feel.


Consider what’s underfoot and overhead – if your barbecue area is roofed, this grants some more flexibility when it comes to choosing flooring, since you will not have to consider durability in the elements as much, or slipperiness when wet. If your outdoor flooring has some synergy with what you have indoors, this creates a seamless flow between the two spaces. It is also important to note how the sun hits your outdoor space when selecting flooring and roofing.

Consider where you need the most overhead protection, and whether you would prefer a permanent structure or a retractable awning. Flooring and bench surface choices should also be made with natural light in mind. Something too dark will draw the heat in, and something too polished will reflect too much light. Observe the light in your outdoor space at different times of the day before committing to a choice of finishes.


When adding plants to your barbecue area, consider what you will use in your cooking. Herbs, salad plants and vegetables are excellent choices that will not only act as a convenient outdoor pantry, but also add aesthetic appeal. There’s nothing better than plucking vegetables straight from your own garden or veggie patch and throwing them straight onto the hot plate.


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