by Susy Alexandre June 16, 2023

Transform Your Backyard Into the Ultimate BBQ Paradise


‘Tis the season for long days and warm nights, an abundance of sunshine and the smell of bbq grilling wafting in the air. Your neighborhood is suddenly abuzz with energy and activity. 

The ice cream trucks are out and the kids are taking full advantage of their summer break. The summertime truly is a magical time, where we find ourselves re energized after the bleak skies and chilly weather of the long Canadian winters. 

When the weather takes its turn toward the warmer months, it’s only natural that we feel pulled towards the outdoors. For homeowners lucky enough to have backyard space that allows for features like a barbeque area, this is the time when you’ll want to take full advantage. 

The best use of your ideal barbeque area will vary depending on your family’s size, needs and preferences. From the barbeque itself to the dining and entertainment area surrounding it, you’ll want to carefully consider the layout and design of this space in order to make the most of the area you’ve got to work with. 

Taking a look at your outdoor space and considering its potential as you map out things like your grill, a functional seating area, accent lighting, entertainment systems and of course - safety and maintenance, are all part of designing the perfect barbeque oasis.  

Understanding your options with your unique backyard space 

Your backyard area and the specific space you have to work with in terms of square footage will be the biggest influence on how you design your space. Defining the area that will be allocated toward your barbeque project will need to include not only the grilling area but also any deck space, entertainment nook and dining space, to start.

You’ll also want to ensure that your barbeque space does not encroach on any activity areas you have where yourself and your family use for other purposes. For example, if the kids use a section of the backyard for their sports activities, then you’ll want to try to plan your grilling zone for a pocket that sits at a safe distance away from any high-traffic activity zones. 

A professional outdoor kitchen contractor or landscaper will be able to offer insight and make creative suggestions for your barbeque paradise. 

Must-have features for your bbq paradise 


While every backyard barbeque oasis will vary in design and details, there are a few key must-have features that you should aim to include in your design planning. 

Just a few of these must-have features include: 

  • A reliable and safe barbeque grill. This appliance is an investment and you’ll want to consider your personal needs and grilling preferences when selecting the specific grill for you - choices like gas or charcoal. Remember that the key to ensuring the longevity and functionality of your grill will be in the ongoing cleaning and maintenance of your grill. Something as simple as using the right protective cover for your grill between uses and through the winter season will go a long way in keeping your grill in top-notch condition. 
  • If a full outdoor kitchen is your aim, then you’ll want to plan for additional items like a sink, small refrigerator and countertop for food prep. Your contractor will be able to do the connections for water supply, hookups in the case of gas-powered grills as well as any electrical connections. These are specifics that require an expert hand and should be tackled in a DIY fashion. Using a professional will ensure safety, proper installation and the work done will be up to code. 
  • If your space and budget allows for it, designing your outdoor barbeque oasis with a covered area over the grill will facilitate use in any weather and allow for some added shade for the “grill chef” on those bright and sunny summer days. 

Choosing the right grill for your outdoor kitchen


There are many types of barbeque styles to consider when making your selection of the perfect grill for your outdoor barbeque paradise. From built-in, mobile or portable, charcoal, gas, pellet, electric or charcoal. offers an excellent breakdown of what each type of grill offers in terms of pros, cons and specialty uses, but the most popular style of backyard barbeque grill are typically gas and propane.

Gas grills owe their popularity to their ease of use, convenience and ability to heat up fast - not to mention the accessories available to customize your grilling experience. For those who prefer a “clean” taste to their grilled foods, the gas barbeque is ideal, as it adds considerably less “grill flavour” to foods than other barbeque styles, such as another popular grill style - charcoal. If that smokey-grill flavour is your preference, it may be worth considering charcoal-style grills. 

When narrowing down your top-choice barbeque options, consider the following:

  • If you’re cooking for large numbers often, or prefer to grill in large batches, then a gas grill is going to be ideal. Instantly on, side-burner accessories available and with most styles offering plenty of cook space, this might be the grill style for you!
  • Pellet grills require a plug-in outlet, so if your barbeque area is out of range of an accessible outlet or functionally-placed extension cord, this grill style may not be for you. 
  • What is the space allowance for your barbeque area? You’ll want to ensure that whichever style you are considering supports your designated grill zone without overtaking the space entirely. Remember, beyond the cooking area, you’ll want to have some additional room (if possible) for a dining area, prep space, etc. 
  • Are you looking for that authentic grill experience and taste? Smokey flavouring, grill marks, and all? If so, then the clean-burn of a gas grill may not work for your cooking preferences. 

Consider your cooking style, space allowance and budget to ensure your grill of choice is the perfect fit for you and your family’s needs. 

Designing a comfortable and functional seating area 

If your space allows for it, a comfortable and practically-situated seating area to dine on delicious barbeque and relax with loved ones - or even just enjoying some peace and quiet on your own - is the ideal addition to your bbq oasis. 

As with your grill, be mindful of your space, where you will position the seating area and the safety factor of not having this area directly next to the grill, where the smoke can become an issue.

One idea for a seating area that can be converted to accommodate additional diners, on the occasions where you are hosting guests, is a modular outdoor seating setup. Modular outdoor seating works in the same way that indoor modular sofas are designed, with separate pieces that come together to form various seating formations. This can look like just a few pieces to configure a basic loveseat to a full u-shape sectional with several pieces in styles that can be put together, or scaled back in the case of day-to-day use with less seating required. 

Incorporating shade into your backyard oasis 

The summer season in Canada may not be as lengthy as other places, but our summer sun still packs a punch. Bright and strong, the UV rays alone are a good reason to ensure your outdoor backyard oasis offers some shaded areas for safety and general comfort. For the grill master of your home, a covering of some sort over the grill area is important to not only offer some protection from sun exposure and heat, but also allows you to comfortably grill even in rainy weather conditions. 

There are many affordable and space-saving covering options for those who are unable to create a solid, fixed covering in place. One example of this is this steel frame canopy shelter from, which retails for under $500. This canopy covering features removable hooks for hanging tools, grid metal shelves, and Tent Peg to ensure secure fastening and stability under windy conditions. 

Lighting options for your backyard paradise


You’ve designed your backyard paradise with family fun and hosting in mind - all those hours of enjoyment under the summer sun! But what about at nighttime? Summer nights under bright starry skies and comfortable temperatures are meant to be enjoyed too!

To make the most of your outdoor area in the evenings, you’ll want to explore your options as far as outdoor lighting. Whether it’s general lighting to illuminate the space overall, or accent lighting to highlight certain features of your backyard oasis, there are countless ways to brighten up your space once the sun goes down. 

Just a few lighting ideas for your outdoor backyard barbeque paradise: 

  • Pathway lighting to illuminate any walkways 
  • Decorative lights to add a little fun to your space - twinkle lights strung along fences or hung from trees can help to create a fun atmosphere that brings your backyard area to light after-hours
  • General area lighting in the form of outdoor pot lights, strategically-positioned spotlights and outdoor hanging lighting (where there is a solid structural overhang or covered area that allows for it) 
  • Lanterns (some of these are battery-operated, for those who worry about added electrical connections and want a quick and easy option)
  • Wall sconces that can be installed along exterior walls

Tips for maintaining your outdoor bbq space

  • Like any other area of your home, ensuring the functionality and longevity of your outdoor barbeque oasis comes down to ongoing and conscientious maintenance. 
  • Specifically, routine cleaning of your grill, as well as any other outdoor appliances will keep these more costly components of your backyard paradise in top shape.
  • Outdoor furniture should be routinely wiped down and in the case of more porous materials, brought indoors or pulled under covered areas during inclement weather. 
  • A quick sweep of any deck areas or paved spaces will prevent buildup of natural debris and keep the space looking neat and tidy. 
  • In the case of any grassy areas, be sure to keep an eye out for pesky weeds, which can grow up overnight and wreak havoc on an otherwise tidy yard space. 
  • Keeping these tips in mind will go a long way to keeping your carefully-designed outdoor barbeque oasis in peak shape and looking its best for your enjoyment all summer long! 

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