Our Best Outdoor Kitchens
Not every kitchen needs a formal dining table. Ample seating around a coffee table gives this space a comfortable vibe. Eliminate stress over spills by upholstering with stain-proof fabrics.
• Install acrylic panels over an arbor to prevent downpours from spoiling the fun while allowing plenty of light to flood in on sunny days.
• Paint new brick the same color as existing brick for a seamless look. Using one paint color helps when you can’t match new materials with old.
• Position your kitchen close to the house so you don’t have far to lug groceries and supplies. Or, equip the outdoor room with its own refrigerator, dishwasher, and storage space.
Cater to a Crowd
• Keep the mini-refrigerator and other appliances under the counter so they don’t block the ocean view.
• Design a countertop that serves double duty as a prep area and dining surface. This broad concrete counter accommodates both the chef and an appreciative audience.
• Umbrellas provide affordable (and portable) shade. Measure your seating area and size your umbrella accordingly.
A Subtle Approach
• Use plate-glass and crank-out casement windows to protect cooks from wind and rain without obstructing the view.
• Incorporate punches of color to energize a neutral space. Here, vintage wicker furniture was painted a vibrant green to coordinate with the accent floor tiles.
• Carefully consider lighting. Size chandeliers and lanterns to fit the space. Add task lighting over kitchen prep areas, if necessary.
• Maximize seating with a bar-height countertop and stools. Guests who tend to congregate in the kitchen can be near the action without being in the way.
• Paint walls and ceilings bright white to make your outdoor room appear larger.
• Choose furniture options that allow for flexibility. The covers on these director’s chairs can be easily replaced as they age or modified to suit the season.
• Mix up your flooring. Here, hardworking, easy-to-clean ceramic tile defines the cooking space, while decking sets off the dining area.
• Include appliances that aren’t practical in an indoor kitchen, such as the pizza oven.
• To save space for lounging, use the perimeter of a deck for your kitchen area.
• Position your grill or fire pit to keep smoke from wafting into seating areas or back into the house.
Basic, But Better
• Choose modular components for customized installation.
• Opt for materials such as stainless steel and granite that can weather an outdoor setting.
• Stack appliances in tight spaces. This five-burner grill features a rotisserie cooker, and the entire unit sits atop two warming drawers.
• Pellet grills use small wood pellets to cook foods and infuse them with flavor. While these grills may cost more than traditional choices, they are clean burning and energy efficient.