Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Our outdoor kitchen - Part 1

Principle 1: Observe and interact

During the summer the last thing that you want to do is heat up the house. It's a time to preserve, which can be messy and involve long periods over a stove top. This is all best done in the outdoors.

Every since I paved the carport we have been using it as an outdoor eating space during the hotter times of the year. Being on the east side of the building, it's perfect during the afternoon when it's well shaded. The next logical step was to create an outdoor kitchen, made all the easier since I recently paved the area that I had in mind.

Double outdoor laundry trough
I like to design furniture around the items that I have available to me that are suitable for the job at hand. In this case I had a large double laundry trough and a one of two giant pieces of slate that I dug up in the backyard (what a score!). The perfect job for me is to complete it using only what I have laying around. This was one of those jobs. All of the timbers were left over from the house deconstruction / build (stacked in a timber rack), the screws were recycled from a demolition job and the raw linseed oil is something that I always have on hand to protect exposed timber.

My original idea was to build a stand for the trough and attach the slab alongside, but I ended up building two separate units. This gives me the flexibility to move things around if required - like when I want to renovate the old shed. I can also try things in different spots and see how they work. I've discovered that it's best not to be too stuck on a design solution that comes out of my head. I like to try it out and see how it goes before really committing to a design, applying the principle Observe and Interact.

Kai and Sen helping dad paint the outdoor bench with linseed oil

Bench with slate slab top and double laundry trough - primarily for washing produce.
We can now use the bench and trough and find their ideal placement before getting the trough plumbed in.

3 comments:

narf77 said...

Love the benches and the thought processes that created them. Recycling, reusing, repurposing and regenerating. What a score that slate was! Almost like a little reward for all of your hard work. It looks magnificent as an outdoor work bench. Love reading about how you are applying your ethos to your house build :)

PAUL - PERMIE (SOON TO BE) FROM THE MALLEE said...

Commendable effort, Richard. Not only does your new outdoor kitchen look good but you've put those bits 'n' pieces laying around to good use.

The block I just bought in the Mallee has a plethora of 'stuff' strewn across it. I can't wait to get there and sort through it to see what treasures I have found, and to let my imagination run wild with the possibilities of what to do with it.

Where's my Snack? said...

What a great blog. I have a home constructed largely of found objects; I went sleuthing tonight to find a standalone laundry stand, to replace the rickety structure that currently holds up the tub. I thought I'd end up cutting out the middle of an old table. What you have made is perfect.

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