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BBQ Area Ideas: Design Your Dream Outdoor Grilling Setup

BBQ outdoor area with wooden table and plants


Need help designing your BBQ area? Schedule a consultation with Matt today.

Dreaming of summer nights spent grilling with friends and family, the tantalising aroma of burgers and kabobs wafting through the air, and laughter echoing under the stars? A well-designed BBQ area can become the heart of your outdoor entertaining space, a place that fosters connection and creates lasting memories. But before you rush out and buy the first grill you see, consider these key elements to create a functional and stylish BBQ haven that perfectly suits your needs.

Choosing the Right BBQ Area Ideas: Planning is Key

The success of any BBQ area hinges on proper planning. Before you break ground or rearrange your patio furniture, take a good, long look at your backyard. Consider the available space and how you envision using it. Are you a weekend warrior who enjoys intimate gatherings with a few close friends? Or do you dream of hosting larger parties with extended family and neighbours? The size and layout of your BBQ area will depend on how many people you plan to entertain and the type of atmosphere you want to create.

For cosy, intimate gatherings, a small and charming corner patio tucked beneath a mature tree might be all you need. A compact grill with a built-in side table for prep work can easily handle burgers and hot dogs for a handful of guests. Incorporate comfortable seating options like a love seat and a couple of armchairs, and add a pop of colour with potted plants and string lights to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

If you envision hosting larger parties, you'll need to plan for a more expansive space. Consider extending your existing patio or creating a designated grilling area on a level section of your lawn. Think about incorporating multiple zones – a dedicated grilling zone with ample prep space and storage, a dining area with comfortable seating for a crowd, and perhaps even a relaxation area with comfy armchairs and a fire pit for after-dinner conversation.

Pro Tip: Don't forget to take note of existing features in your backyard that can be incorporated into your design. A mature tree can provide much-needed shade on a hot summer day, while a natural stone wall can add visual interest and act as a wind barrier.

Selecting Your Perfect Grill: Fueling Your Culinary Creativity

The centrepiece of any BBQ area is, of course, the grill itself. And with so many options available, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. The type of grill you choose will depend largely on your cooking style, budget, and the features that are most important to you.

  • Charcoal Grills: Traditional charcoal grills offer a classic grilling experience with the unmistakable smoky flavour that comes from cooking over burning coals. They're also generally more affordable than gas grills. However, charcoal grills require more time and effort to get started, and temperature control can be trickier for beginners.

  • Gas Grills: Convenience is the name of the game with gas grills. With the flip of a switch, you're ready to start grilling. Precise temperature control allows for consistent results, regardless of your grilling experience. Gas grills often come with additional features like side burners for preparing side dishes or searing steaks, and some even have built-in rotisseries for slow-cooked perfection.

  • Pellet Grills: These high-tech grills offer the convenience of gas with the smoky flavour of charcoal. Pellet grills use wood pellets as fuel, feeding them automatically into a firepot to maintain a consistent temperature. Many models come with digital controls for precise temperature settings and even offer smoking capabilities. However, pellet grills tend to be on the pricier side.

  • Built-in Grills: For the ultimate outdoor chef, consider a built-in grill. These permanent fixtures offer maximum flexibility and can be customised to perfectly suit your needs. Built-in grills often come in a variety of sizes and fuel types, and can be incorporated into a larger outdoor kitchen setup complete with countertops, storage cabinets, and even a sink.

Pro Tip: No matter which type of grill you choose, consider its size and weight. Will it have a dedicated spot in your BBQ area, or will you need to move it around? Also, think about the features that are most important to you. Do you need a side burner? A rotisserie? Make a list of your priorities before you start shopping.

BBQ area with built-in BBQ, kitchen and fireplace


Want to achieve a similar look in your BBQ area? Schedule a consultation with Yvonne today.

Garden Accessories for the Perfect BBQ: Elevate Your Grilling Experience

Once you have the perfect grill in place, it's time to elevate your BBQ area with functional accessories that will make grilling a breeze. Here are a few essentials to consider:

  • Prep Station: A dedicated prep station with running water is a game-changer, especially for larger gatherings. No more lugging buckets of water back and forth from the kitchen. A prep station allows you to wash vegetables, marinades, and prep ingredients right at your fingertips. Look for a prep station with built-in storage for cleaning supplies, utensils, and spices.

  • Shade: Especially in hot climates, shade is essential for a comfortable BBQ area. Consider incorporating an umbrella, a retractable awning, or even a permanent pergola to provide shade over your seating area. Shade sails are another option that offer a modern and stylish touch.

  • The Finishing Touches: Elevate your outdoor furniture with comfortable throw pillows and weather-resistant outdoor rugs. These finishing touches add a pop of colour and personality to your space, making it feel more inviting and complete.

  • Lighting: Let the party continued well into the night with proper outdoor lighting. String lights overhead create a festive ambiance, while strategically placed lanterns illuminate walkways and prep areas. Consider solar-powered lights for an eco-friendly touch that doesn't require electrical wiring.

  • Seating for Side Dishes: While the grill might be the star of the show, don't forget about the need for additional prep space. A small folding table or a built-in side counter provides a designated area for setting out platters of side dishes, condiments, and drinks. This frees up valuable prep space at your grill and keeps food organised for easy access by your guests.

  • The Finishing Touches: Personalise your BBQ area with decorative touches that reflect your style. Place potted plants and herbs around the perimeter for a pop of colour and a fresh scent. Add an outdoor rug to define the space and create a cohesive look. Don't forget about the trash!  A strategically placed outdoor bin keeps your grilling area clean and prevents unwanted pests.

Choosing the Right Material: Durability and Style

The materials you choose for your BBQ area should be both durable and weather-resistant.  After all, your BBQ area will be exposed to the elements year-round. Here's a breakdown of popular options for flooring, countertops, and other surfaces:


  • Paving Slabs: A classic and affordable choice, paving slabs come in a variety of colours, styles, and textures to complement your outdoor aesthetic. They're easy to clean and maintain, and their textured surface provides good traction even when wet.

  • Concrete: A poured concrete patio offers a seamless and durable surface for your BBQ area. Concrete can be stained or stamped to achieve a variety of looks, and it's easy to customise the shape and size to fit your needs.

  • Decking: For a warm and inviting feel, consider using weather-resistant decking materials like composite wood or treated lumber. Decking provides good drainage and can be easily incorporated into different design schemes.


  • Natural Stone: Granite, soapstone, and other natural stones offer a luxurious and timeless look. They're heat-resistant and relatively easy to clean. However, natural stone can be a pricier option.

  • Stainless Steel: A popular choice for outdoor kitchens, stainless steel offers a sleek and modern aesthetic. It's highly durable, easy to clean, and resists rust. However, stainless steel can show fingerprints and scratches easily.

  • Treated Wood: For a more rustic look, consider using treated wood for your countertops. Treated wood is a budget-friendly option that can be stained or painted to match your décor. However, it requires regular maintenance to prevent warping and rotting.

Pro Tip: When choosing materials, consider not just aesthetics but also functionality. Think about how much traffic your BBQ area will see, how easy it will be to clean and maintain, and how well it will withstand the elements in your climate.

BBQ area with natural stone


Is your BBQ area included in your home renovation? Book a consultation with Luke today.

Finding the Best Outdoor Furniture: Comfort and Style


Seating is key for any BBQ area. After all, you want your guests to be comfortable and relaxed while enjoying delicious food and good company. Here are some things to consider when choosing outdoor furniture for your BBQ space:

  • Teak: A naturally weather-resistant hardwood, teak offers a luxurious look and requires minimal maintenance. However, teak furniture can be quite expensive.

  • Wicker: Wicker furniture is known for its comfortable, all-weather construction. Modern wicker options are often made from synthetic materials that resist fading and cracking.

  • Cast Aluminum: Lightweight and durable, cast aluminium furniture is a great choice for areas with harsh weather conditions. It's also relatively affordable and comes in a variety of styles.


Nobody wants to spend hours on uncomfortable chairs. Choose furniture with good back and arm support, and consider adding cushions for extra comfort. Look for chairs with wide seats and deep backs to ensure your guests can relax and enjoy the party.

  • Seating Arrangement: Think about how you'll use your BBQ area and arrange your furniture accordingly. For intimate gatherings, a conversation set with a loveseat, a couple of armchairs, and a coffee table might be perfect. For larger parties, consider placing multiple tables and chairs around the perimeter to create a sociable atmosphere. Don't forget about additional seating options like benches or ottomans for extra guests.

  • Shade: Especially in hot climates, shade is essential for a comfortable BBQ area. Consider incorporating an umbrella, a retractable awning, or even a permanent pergola to provide shade over your seating area. Shade sails are another option that offer a modern and stylish touch.

  • The Finishing Touches: Elevate your outdoor furniture with comfortable throw pillows and weather-resistant outdoor rugs. These finishing touches add a pop of colour and personality to your space, making it feel more inviting and complete.

Our Final Thoughts

With a little planning and these BBQ area ideas as inspiration, you can create a space that's perfect for grilling up delicious food and entertaining loved ones. Remember, the key is to choose elements that suit your style, budget, and grilling needs. Do you dream of a cosy corner nook for intimate gatherings, or a sprawling outdoor kitchen for large parties? 

Once you know how you'll use your space, you can start selecting the perfect grill, accessories, materials, and furniture to bring your BBQ area vision to life. So fire up your imagination, grab your tools, and get ready to transform your backyard into a grilling oasis that will be the envy of the neighbourhood!

Need help designing your BBQ area? Book one of our Landscape Design Gurus for a 30-minute video call. Transforming your home into a space you love shouldn't be a daunting task. With HiiGuru you can save time, avoid costly mistakes and bring your goals to life with experts by your side.


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