The Top-Rated Outdoor Kitchen Design Trends
We all know that an outdoor kitchen never goes out of style. Gone are the days of a mere patio with a grill; outdoor living has evolved to an artfully designed extension of your home. The realm of outdoor dining has undergone a major transformation as homeowners have leveled up their creative (and captivating) outdoor spaces. From sleek and modern designs to rustic and cozy setups, here are our favorite trends that blend functionality, aesthetics, and the pleasure of open-air cooking.
Modular Kitchen Design
Ranking #1 in our favorite current trends is modular kitchen design. While your outdoor kitchen will become a permanent fixture in your home (it's hard to imagine life before one!), the layout of your outdoor kitchen can be subject to change. A modular design allows you to reinvent your space for exactly what you need. Could you use more space for grilling? Is the island in the wrong spot? Do you want more definition between the dining area and the cooking area? You got it. A modular kitchen allows for on-demand customization and flexibility. Plus, pre-designed modular packages make choosing the perfect layout for your backyard space and lifestyle needs a breeze.
Countertops are no longer just functional surfaces. They're now pieces of art. Design focal points. Conversation starters. Coming in at #2, we love a beautiful countertop. Whether you want a subtly sleek island countertop or standout marble veining, the choice creates the atmosphere of your outdoor dining space. Materials like concrete, natural stone, and even porcelain are making appearances to add texture and personality. A well-chosen countertop elevates the beauty of an outdoor kitchen, making it a visually appealing space, even when not in use. Additionally, these materials are durable and resistant to outdoor elements, ensuring longevity and easy maintenance.
Mixed Materials and Textures
Our love for design doesn't stop at countertops. We can't get enough of the idea of blending materials and textures to create captivating visual contrasts. Choosing a textured stone cabinet finish perfectly harmonizes with a glossy island countertop, and a stainless-steel grill looks gorgeous alongside a ceramic tile backsplash. With an endless number of ways to create jaw-dropping outdoor kitchens, it's no wonder why mixed materials and varied textures rank #3 on our list.
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Designs
Saving the planet is always on trend. With sustainability taking center stage in design, outdoor kitchens are embracing eco-friendly features like energy-efficient appliances, recycled materials, and even on-site herb gardens. We love the ease of composting with an outdoor kitchen and the ability it provides to interact more closely with the outdoors on a day-to-day basis. A commitment to sustainability not only reduces environmental impact but also aligns with the growing consciousness of mindful living. By incorporating green elements, outdoor kitchens become spaces that nourish both the body and the planet. How could sustainable and eco-friendly designs not rank #4?
Indoor Comfort Meets Outdoor Ambiance
Coming in at #5 is one of our favorite rising trends: blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living. Opting for weather-resistant furniture, cozy conversation seating, and stylish lighting fixtures echo the comfort of indoor spaces. This trend creates a seamless flow between the indoors and outdoors, allowing homeowners to enjoy the best of both worlds. Guests can relax in style while chefs create culinary delights in the open air, fostering a balanced and inviting atmosphere.
Smart Technology Integration
Speaking of bringing the inside outdoors, our #6 spot is to celebrate all the ways smart technology makes outdoor cooking and entertaining even easier. We love the combination of a textured stone countertop with a Wi-Fi-enabled beverage fridge or a smart grill that lets you know the perfect time to start carving up the entrée on your kitchen island. By adding smart speakers and automatic lights to your outdoor dining space, you're ready to level up your al fresco experience.
Outdoor kitchens aren't just for large spaces - we can't get enough of a perfectly placed balcony kitchen or a patio set up for intimate dining. Ranking at #7, we know that all outdoor kitchens (no matter the size) function best when every item has its own place. Adding cabinets for slide-out trash and recycling containers ensures that your outdoor kitchen stays pest (and odor) free while adding a concealed dry storage pantry allows you to easily store accessories like grill tongs, your favorite spices, or charcoal for your Kamado smoker. To make party hosting a breeze, add a warming drawer as a quick-access food storage option (you'll be surprised how often you use this!)
Keeping your kitchen items outside is a great idea - as long as you have cabinets that can keep your things safe. Coming in at #8 is outdoor security - for you and your kitchen. Opt for cabinets that have sealed floors to keep out dust and animals, and choose islands with adjustable leveling feet for uneven or sloped surfaces. Selecting an outdoor camera that faces your dining space is also a valuable idea to allow you to keep an eye on your kitchen when you're away.
Who says you can only dine outside? Our #9 favorite design trend is spaces that have a multi-functional layout. We love it when a space incorporates bar seating, dining areas, fire pits, and outdoor lounge spaces. Whether you're hosting happy hour drinks or enjoying coffee and a newspaper outside, your outdoor kitchen should be able to accommodate various activities. We're all about a functional outdoor kitchen that can seamlessly transition from a daytime lounge space to an evening soirée.
Are we saving the best for last? Maybe so! Coming in at #10 is a trend that we're always excited about. Your outdoor kitchen should be designed so that you can enjoy it season after season. When selecting the materials for your outdoor kitchen, it's important to consider if the materials will stand the test of time. Select framing that won't corrode or rust (like Aluminum 6063 and Permabase) and doesn't require constant upkeep. Similarly, you'll want to choose cladding that is resistant to fire, mold, and mildew. Choosing top-quality materials ensures that your outdoor kitchen will be protected during the cooler months and ready to use as soon as al fresco dining season begins.