Outdoor Kitchen Islands
Adding an outdoor kitchen island gives you flexibility and increased storage. Islands are available in a variety of prefabricated, modular design options to fit any budget, or they can be custom-made to complement your backyard space, no matter what size or shape.
Detail of the outdoor kitchen at the home of Felicia and Kenny Fredieu which underwent a makeover that turned the plain yard that they inherited into a paradise fit to entertain their large family. Felician and Kenny both come from the New Orleans area and love to cook. They inherited the house from Kenny's mom who had a garden and also loved to cook. The design is inspired by the family closeness and the legacy of Kenny's mother and includes an outdoor kitchen, with two smokers, a fan deck to create a destination spot under the existing pepper tree that Kenny's mom planted decades ago, and an outdoor dining area to bring together the large family in style. The stone pavers are inspired by the stone on the front of the house, tying the house to the yard. The deck wall is also to create shade from the hot afternoon sun.
A beautifully designed hardscape includes a full-sized outdoor kitchen with additional built-in seating flanking a cascading fountain adjacent to a dramatic raised pool area. The accompaniment of the expansive green lawn makes this a perfect yard for entertaining families, which includes an in-ground trampoline.
Enjoy all the creature comforts you'd find inside with this outdoor living room and kitchen. Stylish wicker furniture makes up the living room component, while an outdoor cooking station, complete with an integrated grill, serves as the kitchen. A ceiling fan cools the area on warm days, while the fireplace warms chilly nights.
Moroccan-inspired moldings and bright patterned tile lends an Old World feel to this outdoor kitchen. The crew of HGTV's Bang for Your Buck added a stainless steel grill, gas cooktop, sink and dishwater for thoroughly modern cooking power.
An outdoor kitchen adjacent to the family dining area offers well-lighted space for food preparation with bar-height seating, a stainless steel grill, refrigerator and a bluestone footrest.
Every lakeside retreat needs a spacious outdoor kitchen and grilling spot to host year-round parties. This living space is complete with an extra-large patio, retaining wall, dining area, fireplace, custom-built dining table and fireside sofa.
Alex and Gloria get an outdoor room designed by Jamie Durie, a space where they can cook and invite people over and an egyptian design creating a tropical oasis. A water feature runs through the middle of their new backyard, replicating the water channels that run through the city of Cairo. Earthy toned fabric adorns a trellis, to replicate the neutral color palate of the desert. Egyptian papyrus and palm trees surround the yard give the yard with shade, while the back wall of concrete blocks creates the sense of repetition seen in Egypt. A dining area and barbeque complete the look of their newly designed Outdoor Room.
An outdoor kitchen and dining area are connected to a pool to make this backyard the perfect place to entertain on warm days, while an outdoor fireplace provides a toasty seating area for chillier nights.
Scenic of the outdoor bar area at the home of Matt and Zena Welker which underwent a makeover that turned their dust farm full of dead fruit trees and weeds which has been overrun by their dogs, into a fun filled tropical retreat for the couple and their dogs to entertain friends and their dogs with a relaxing place to cook and drink as well as play games. The unsightly eyesore of a garage, which had no doors on it, was painted and had doors put in place. The perimeter wall and the back of the house were painted subtle colors to bring it all together and get rid of the blah or awkward colors that were there. The back of the yard was sectioned off for the dogs to have their own play area, complete with a custom made doggie duplex and a smaller, more functional trampoline, rather than the oversized wedding gift trampoline that was falling apart in the yard. The dust bowl was replaced by a yard full of sod, which doubles as the play yard for horseshoes, and bean bag tosses. There is now a hot tub for the couple to enjoy their private time together and a deck and pergola to provide shade on the back of the house along with an outdoor bar. The yard now has an eclectic style, with an element of tropics as well as fun and games.
The first step in adding a kitchen island to your backyard is to consider the purpose you want it to serve. Will you use it as a stand-alone kitchen in a small space or do you want to add features to an existing outdoor kitchen? If an island will be the primary piece in your outdoor kitchen, think about the main functions you want it to serve and what appliances and features you need. If you already have a separate grill, you could opt for counter and dining space. Adding a sink, some cabinet storage and a small refrigerator will complete your outdoor kitchen.
Starting with an island is a good idea if this is your first step into designing an outdoor kitchen or if you have a small space to work with. After you decide on your must-haves, think about the layout best suited for your island. Typically, an island is accessible on all four sides, so measure how much room you'll have to move around.
If you decide you want your island to be somewhat portable, you may not be able to include accessories that require plumbing or electrical and gas lines. For this, consider hiring a contractor who can determine the best way to install them. Think about what will be above the island if a grill or cooktop is high on your priority list. You may want to install ventilation in the form of a range or grill hood. The area above your island also allows you to add design features to your kitchen. Install a pergola for a little added shade during the summer.
While you're thinking about design elements, the addition of lighting under a bar countertop would be a nice touch. If your space is more open, install casters and wheels so you can use the island as a serving and seating area anywhere you choose and then roll it out of the way when you're done. If you already have an outdoor kitchen and want to add an island, think about what your space is missing and incorporate that into the design. Add counter and seating space or install that wine chiller you've had your eye on. If you're considering an upgrade in appliances, you may want to consider adding a cooktop and warming drawer or a dishwasher and sink to your new island.
- Outdoor Kitchens: Grilling and Chilling in the Great Backyard
- Outdoor Kitchen Accessories
- Selecting Outdoor Kitchen Flooring
- Outdoor Kitchen Designs
- 7 of Our Favorite Outdoor Cooking and Dining Areas
- Optimizing an Outdoor Kitchen Layout