Outdoor Kitchens for Every Style and Space

Upgrade your outdoor living with an alfresco kitchen that'll keep things cooking all season long.

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May 29, 2018

Photo By: Matt Vacca

Photo By: Roy Kimchi

Photo By: Mid-Atlantic Timberframes

Photo By: Ryan Hughes Design

Photo By: reThink Interiors

Photo By: Source Outdoor

Photo By: Steve Glass

Photo By: Bea Pila

Photo By: Lamps Plus

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux ©2012,DIY Network/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Key Residential

Photo By: Heather Knapp

Photo By: Heather Knapp

Photo By: Lamps Plus

Photo By: Southview Design

Photo By: Mark Scott Associates - French Provence

Mixed Materials

"An outdoor kitchen becomes the hub of entertaining and activity when spending time outdoors," says designer Kathryn Prideaux. "Not only is it convenient in the months where everyone just wants to spend time outside, but it can also become the heart of the home outside."

Oxidized woven steel is used as a backdrop, adding beautiful texture to the scene. "The biggest way to personalize an outdoor kitchen design is the material selections," Kathryn says. "I also believe that the accessories that surround the outdoor kitchen play a big role: bar stools, lighting, pots, plants, umbrellas. All of these things help create a finished and unified look," she says.

Covered and Cozy

With a covered patio area, outdoor cooking and dining can be enjoyed rain or shine. A large gas grill with a range hood takes center stage in this cozy, brick alcove, and a wicker seating area is casual and inviting.

Alfresco Elegance

Complete with a gas rotisserie grill, a smoker, secondary gas burner and refrigerator, this upscale and chic outdoor kitchen was made for entertaining. With a distinct dining area separate from the bar, the layout encourages guests to mix and mingle before sitting down to eat.

Stainless Setup

In this ready-to-cook alfresco kitchen setting, a state-of-the-art stainless grill is the center of attention. A handy refrigerator and plenty of storage and counter space make this setup a sweet spot for chefs at every level.

Rustic Retreat

Beneath a timber-frame pavilion, the rustic outdoor kitchen feels quite welcoming. Stainless steel appliances, along with a stone fireplace, help add functionality and comfort to this enviable entertaining area.

Tropical Taste

Granite countertops are a nice way to add a luxe touch and some more shine to this outdoor kitchen, with its stainless steel appliances and glittering tile work on the high-top table and backsplash.

Southwest Style

"One of our biggest trends in improvements is outdoor living and cooking spaces," says Lolly Mackenzie of reThink Interiors. "When we are in the design phase, we spend equal time on the function of the outdoor spaces as we do the indoor spaces."

"This outdoor kitchen was designed to have lots of counter space for setting up buffet-style food and beverage service and also seating for dining," Lolly says. One important thing to consider in an outdoor kitchen? Lighting. "Cooking outdoors often happens when natural lighting is low," says Lolly. "We always make sure we have direct task lighting as well as ambient lighting. Our clients want to be able to see if their steaks are a perfect medium rare!"

Sophisticated Scene

Gorgeous stonework defines this sophisticated outdoor kitchen with a traditional touch. A cozy seating area by the fireplace is perfect for cocktails and curling up, with the grill, stove and other appliances just steps away.

While this isn't her design, designer Lolly Mackenzie believes this setup is the ideal arrangement: "The host can be out cooking, and guests can be seated enjoying a drink and still be in the conversation. It's no fun being the cook if you have to be away from the conversation while you're preparing dinner!"

Keep It Casual

If a more casual, modest space suits your style and requirements, check out this charming outdoor kitchen. It features all the basics with an awning-covered grill and cook space, bar, serving carts and cheery patio furniture.

Deluxe Dining

"We created two different kitchen areas. The main kitchen, which is located off the main living room of the house, is for food preparation and cooking. It has all the features of an indoor kitchen on a slightly smaller scale," says Tim Lindgren of Lindgren Landscape.

"The second kitchen area is a full bar and drink station with several refrigerators and ice makers as well as a cocktail station. This allows for guests to spread out and keeps congestion down around the primary kitchen area." Brazilian granite countertops and a custom fire pit crafted from a hand-hammered Mexican bowl are upscale touches, along with radiant heaters and a misting system to manage temperatures.

Easy & Inviting

State-of-the-art stainless appliances, including a grill, hood, stovetop and refrigerator, get a gorgeous backdrop thanks to this outdoor kitchen's stunning mosaic tile backsplash. A ceiling fan encourages cool breezes over the glass-top table and woven chairs pop with colorful cushions.

From: Bea Pila

Artfully Appealing

Mounted wall lights and a horizontal wood-plank wall and shelves add welcoming warmth to this delightful outdoor kitchen. Colorful accents, such as the pottery, lantern, plants and flowers, are a fun way to personalize the space. A well-lit walkway and steps not only highlight the beautiful design, but they also make the walk from cooking area to the dining space safe and simple.

Colorful Cooking

This fully-stocked outdoor kitchen checks all the boxes for prepping and cooking an alfresco meal. A stainless sink and grill make cooking and cleaning a cinch. Granite countertops are a luxe choice atop royal blue cabinetry that really adds a personalized feel.

Go West

Rough-hewn logs hoist a slanted roof above this wonderfully Western-themed outdoor kitchen. This rustic space features a corner bar with metal pendant lighting and mint-green appliances for a very vintage feel. Designed by Evan Ratcliff with Key Residential, the unique and fun space truly transforms the yard and makes entertaining a real hoot.

Level Up

"Keep in mind the most important elements you want to incorporate," says Mitch Knapp of Scenic Landscaping. "You can fit a lot into a smaller space when properly designed. We always tell our clients that a high-end design does not need to be sacrificed due to a smaller space."

By creating different levels of patio space for this outdoor setup, the design team was able to make an upper dining area with a kitchen that overlooks the pool.

Double Up

"For the majority of our clients, an outdoor kitchen brings life to the outdoors on the East Coast," says Mitch. "For the warmer months, everyone wants to take advantage of outdoor living. An outdoor kitchen gives homes a new room and space to enjoy, entertain and spend time together. It creates a new outdoor room and extension of the home."

In this design, a double bar allows counter space for prep work and a surface for drinks and dining.

Laid-Back Look

A series of sconces lights the way to this inviting, casual outdoor kitchen. The stainless appliances make cooking and cleanup a cinch, while a pretty outdoor rug, lanterns and cozy wooden dining set give the space the feel of a real room.

Inspired Elements

A play of color and pattern imbue this amazing outdoor kitchen with memorable Moroccan style. The design of this detailed space transports you to the Mediterranean with warm wooden moldings and brightly-hued tiles. Amenities include a stainless steel grill, gas cooktop, sink and dishwasher for all the comforts of the indoors.

Cozy Corner

Creating an outdoor kitchen need not be a huge undertaking. And, you don't need a large amount of space to set up the perfect scene. Consider the space you do have and what type of kitchen would suit your style. Here, a pizza oven and chiminea keep things cooking in this kitchen that takes up just one corner of the patio.

Rain or Shine

A retractable overhead awning in this Southern California outdoor kitchen allows for alfresco dining no matter the weather. When planning your outdoor kitchen, Mark Scott, of Mark Scott Associates says, "As with every kitchen, the placement of appliances, especially the barbecue, is key, and the inclusion of fun options like pizza ovens makes for a spectacular kitchen. Proximity to the house is also a consideration."

Mark offers some of his must-haves for a stellar outdoor kitchen setup: "A state-of-the-art grill, quality materials, appropriate seating, appropriate refrigeration/ice/wine cooler systems." And, if your budget allows, Mark suggests some additional perks such as an A/V system, lighting, TV, wi-fi capability, fireplaces and ceiling fans.

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