As the temperature continues to rise—and the sun stays out for a little—most people are itching to bring every aspect of their life to the great outdoors. Yes, that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While outdoor kitchens aren’t exactly a novel idea—especially for those in warmer climates who can theoretically grill 365 days a year—the pandemic reignited the average city dweller’s call for the wild. In fact, according to an upcoming report from
Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, 71 percent of Americans said that if they were to invest in an outdoor living space, they’d want to prioritize the kitchen alfresco.
“I’ve seen more clients focusing on elevating their outdoor spaces now than ever before,” says designer Cara Woodhouse, who provided commentary for Brown Jordan’s report. “As my clients come to me for pops of color, that’s meant being able to play with elements like more vibrant outdoor furniture and adding bold accent colors, whether in cabinetry or decor.”
But while outdoor kitchens might be on the upswing, decorating one is certainly easier said than done. Not only do you have to find tiles and light fixtures that have a happy medium between form and function, but you’ll also need to make sure that everything from appliances and patio furniture can hold up nicely over time. And, of course, there are the logistical questions that every home chef will run into. (“What’s the best layout for my needs?” “Where do I put my outdoor dining essentials?” “Grill? Pizza oven? Both?!”) To help kick-start inspiration, we asked a handful of designers to share their best tips for decorating an outdoor kitchen. From the practical to the aesthetically pleasing, the pointers below are worthy of a chef’s kiss.