Outdoor Kitchens Blur the Lines Between Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces

Estimated read time 4 min read

A modern outdoor kitchen makes it possible to eat and entertain outdoors without having to prepare food inside. To blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living spaces, this kitchen features a glass sliding door that opens up to a dining area and patio.

This outdoor kitchen includes a grill and all the appliances needed to prepare meals. Side burners allow you to cook multiple dishes at the same time, while a refrigerator and kegerator can store beverages and condiments.


Whether you’re hosting friends or enjoying the solitude of your own backyard, an outdoor kitchen allows you to enjoy a meal without having to return inside to prep or clean. An expert design and efficient layout make this luxury feature a practical addition to your home.

To keep your food and drinks handy, add a compact refrigerator to your DIY outdoor kitchen. A pantry or cabinetry is also essential for storing cookware and serving ware. Open shelving is a stylish option as well, and it helps prevent clutter.

Historically, outdoor cooking areas were located near the main house. This arrangement kept the temperature of the house lower and moved smoky cooking smells outside, where they could be dealt with safely and easily. This arrangement also prevented house fires, which were common in earlier times with open-flame cooking and coal stoves. A modern outdoor kitchen provides all the functionality of a traditional kitchen while keeping the heat, smoke, and odors out of the main living space.


A well-equipped outdoor kitchen lets homeowners cook delicious meals with a view. It also keeps them from having to run back and forth to the kitchen inside the house, which can create lingering food smells.

To make the space more functional, include cabinetry or a pantry to store essentials and cooking equipment. Open shelving is a stylish option, too, for displaying glassware and serving ware.

Adding a sink makes prep and clean up much easier. This is especially important if you plan on cooking meals outside, as you will need to dispose of the trash before leaving the cooking area.

Pizza Ovens

If you love to cook and entertain, an outdoor pizza oven is a must-have for your outdoor kitchen. These appliances allow you to whip up a fresh, homemade pie in just minutes and deliver even heat for crisp crusts. Other pizza-making accessories, like a brush and heavy-duty utensils, are important to keep on hand as well.


Having the right kitchen equipment makes it easy to cook and entertain outdoors. But it’s equally important to design the space with the right lighting. Without it, the best smoky chipotle baby back ribs or artisan cocktails could be marred by undercooked food and guests tripping over potted petunias.

The key to a well-lit outdoor space is layering in different types of lights. Task lighting brightens up cooking areas for visibility and safety, while accent lighting elevates the style of an area with its ability to highlight specific objects and features.

For example, wall sconces come in a wide range of styles and can draw the eye to the unique architectural elements of an outdoor kitchen. You can also create a soft glow to an entertaining area by hanging strings of colorful bistro lights from a pergola. And for an added touch, incorporate smart lighting options that can be controlled with a smartphone. This allows you to change the lighting throughout the day or after dark.


The heart of any home is the kitchen, and bringing that same appeal outside takes some planning. A fully outfitted outdoor kitchen makes it possible to enjoy grilling and entertaining without having to run inside to prepare a meal or clean up afterward.

An outdoor kitchen needs countertops and cabinetry to keep it organized and functional. Concrete, a material that resists water and can be stamped with an attractive tile pattern, is a practical choice for counters. Real stone is a durable but expensive option, so it works best with a professional mason. A cheaper alternative to natural stone is cementitious cultured stone, which is lighter and cuts easier but looks the same and lasts just as long.

An outdoor kitchen is a great place to get creative with color. Appliances can be painted in bold hues or outfitted with brass handles and other detailed accents to make them stand out among the scenery. Seating options for dining and lounging are also important. Bench seats or stools near prep areas keep people away from the heat and allow guests to converse with the cook while they wait for dinner to be ready.

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