Outdoor kitchen areas have become a standard fixture of luxury living, rather than a unique feature. The traditional grill has been upgraded and complemented with everything you could always find in an indoor kitchen, and often more. As people spend more and more time enjoying the peace and relaxation of nature, they want to bring the comforts of the indoors with them, and designers are working hard to do just that.

The evolution of the outdoor space continues unabated. There are a handful of trends in the modern outdoor kitchen that designers say are coming to dominate how the industry looks.

Smooth Transitions

The living room used to be the connection to the outdoor living space, but more and more it is the kitchen. Homeowners are looking for continuity of aesthetic as you go from the indoor to the outdoor kitchen. They also want efficient, easy ways to pass from one to the other. More and more, the outdoor kitchen and the indoor kitchen are becoming integrated.

Gathering Spots

The kitchen has always been the gathering point for family and guests. People want to be where the food is. This is no less true of the outdoor kitchen, and homeowners increasingly want a space where guests can feel comfortable. This means drinks within easy reach and even entertainment centers with big-screen TVs and audio systems. Rather than a utilitarian place to cook, the outdoor kitchen is becoming more about entertainment.

Specialized Equipment

The modern homeowner wants all the cooking capacity of an indoor kitchen in his or her outdoor space. They require more than just a grill, they want refrigerators, a beverage center, dishwashers as well as cabinets to store pots, pans, plates and utensils. They want more cooking spaces for food prep. The modern outdoor kitchen is about more than just burgers, it is a space where all the culinary needs of the homeowner are satisfied.

This also permits the homeowner to remain outside with his or her guests, rather than constantly entering and exiting the home. He or she can better entertain guests as well as partake of the entertainment options in the outdoor space.

The Kitchen Expressions Crew Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Sheltered Areas

The comfort of family and guests is paramount in the modern outdoor kitchen. Sheltered areas provide protection from the hot sun. A good shade can lower temperatures by as much as 10-15 degrees. In colder climates, it becomes necessary to extend the use of the outdoor space with solid roofs that hold in more heat.

Visual Style

Modern tastes tend to run toward simplicity and elegance. Designers are using natural materials like stone or wood when possible. The ultimate goal is a visual style that brings together the landscape, the house and the outdoor kitchen itself. More than just a kitchen, more than just an entertainment hub, the outdoor area is an artistic endeavor, geared toward the personal tastes of the homeowner.

These trends are shaping the industry. Customers want to entertain, to extend their kitchens into the outdoors and provide comfortable areas for their guests. They also continue to demand greater cooking capability. The client is the boss in all these matters, and designers know they must deliver a personalized outdoor experience that suits the lifestyle of the homeowner.