Design Ideas for the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

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With the transition from winter to warmer weather, nothing gets me more excited for summer than rolling out the BBQ and moving my cooking from the indoors, out. These days it seems that more and more homeowners are opting for a more permanent solution for their summer fare and entertainment and have installed outdoor kitchens. These can vary from just a BBQ with stone surround and countertop for prepping, to fully outfitted kitchens with refrigerators, bar space, beer taps and more. Here are some of my favorite design ideas for outdoor spaces:

Leawood Outdoor

This playfully colored kitchen looks like it could belong indoors and I love how the homeowners included curtains to play up the beachy resort vibe.

Covering your outdoor kitchen enables your family or guests to stay outdoors in any weather. These homeowners opted for automated roll down screens to keep pesky bugs away during family dinners and game nights.

127th Street Project

When creating an outdoor cooking space, consider including all of the appliances and components you need so you don’t have to make multiple trips in and out of your home. Notice how this kitchen has everything: BBQ, counter space for chopping and prep work, plenty of cabinet space for dedicated outdoor tableware and cutlery, a sink to clean up, and fridge to hold beverages and food.


Also, think beyond just the traditional BBQ, if you have the space, and the budget, consider adding a pizza oven. Who wouldn’t want homemade wood fired pizza on the regular?

Or, opt out of the BBQ all together and go for a gas cooktop instead.

Brighton Home

If you’re looking for something more discrete, install your outdoor cooking space within a unit so that you can hide your BBQ or stove when you’re not using it.
What kind of kitchen would you create in your backyard?

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Jesse is a full time project coordinator for residential custom home builder, Selle Valley Construction (, in Northern Idaho where she manages the construction schedule and dabbles in design work. After graduating from Saint Mary’s College of California with a B.A. in English, Jesse moved to NW Montana where her passion for building and interior design blossomed. She also has an extensive background in marketing, social media management, writing, and non-profit work. When she’s not managing construction projects or writing she can be found curled up with a book or out exploring the mountains.