Outdoor Kitchen Trends

Just as the kitchen has always been the heart of the home, the outdoor kitchen is quickly becoming the heart of the backyard outdoor living space.  According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), more than 75 percent of all U.S. households currently include an outdoor grill or smoker. However, that’s only part of the story. More and more homeowners are converting patio grilling areas into fully functioning kitchens that become the central gathering place for family and guests. Check out some of the latest trends.

Bar-style seating

Bar-style seating has become very popular in outdoor kitchen design for the same reason it’s popular in indoor kitchen design…it creates a communal atmosphere where family members and guests can all interact during the prep and cooking process. It also provides additional dining space, and with the addition of a television, becomes the perfect spot for outdoor tailgating.

Kitchen: Weston Stone® Bar Foot Rail: Bullnose Coping.  Pavers: Bergerac® with Old York™ border.
Multiple cooking surfaces

Today’s outdoor chef isn’t happy with just a standard grill. Modern outdoor kitchen design quite often includes multiple cooking surfaces — including gas burners, gas or charcoal grills, ceramic smokers,  and wood-burning or gas ovens.

Kitchen: Tandem® Modular GridPavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.
Everything including the kitchen sink

A growing trend in outdoor kitchen design is to include all the “creature comforts” of an indoor kitchen. Nearly every indoor kitchen appliance now has an outdoor-rated version — including ice makers, refrigerators, dishwashers, keg coolers and more. With a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen, there’s no need to constantly run indoors for supplies…everything you need is at your fingertips. Add a stereo system, wi-fi access and a TV, and you can truly live in your outdoor living space.

Kitchen: Celtik® WallPavers: Mega-Bergerac®.
Stainless steel cabinets

Stainless steel doors and drawers are popular because they are resistant to rot, weather and insects. Stainless also adds a striking look to coordinate with grills and appliances. Over time, some stains will appear on the surface, but can easily be removed with a stainless steel cleaner, making them look as good as new.

Kitchen: Belair Wall®. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.
Seat Walls

Built-in seating has been trending for years in outdoor living rooms, especially around fire features. Now, the trend is making it’s way into the outdoor kitchen. A seat wall helps define the space, adds a striking aesthetic, and allows you to provide ample seating for large gatherings to supplement seating provided by barstools and dining tables.

(Left) Kitchen: Weston Stone®. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab with an inlaid Moduline Series® border. (right) Kitchen: Belair Wall®.
Pizza Ovens

Forget calling for delivery when you can enjoy a homemade pizza with an amazing flame-grilled flavor. Whether we’re talking about economical gas-powered tabletop ovens, or gorgeous built-in wood-fired brick ovens, outdoor ovens are definitely trending. The great thing about a brick oven is that it’s not just for pizza. Nearly anything you would bake in an indoor oven can be cooked in a brick oven. You may never cook indoors again.

Oven: Bristol™ Series from the Belgard Elements Collection.
Modular Kitchens

The Belgard® Elements Collection of modular outdoor kitchen units enables homeowners to have the look of a custom outdoor kitchen for a fraction of the cost and time. Belgard Elements are built in a factory setting and shipped in sections to be quickly installed on-site, meaning your kitchen will be installed in merely hours instead of weeks.

(left) Kitchen: Bordeaux™ Series from Belgard Elements Collection. Pavers: Laffit® Rustic Slab. (right) Kitchen: Bristol™ Series from the Belgard Elements Collection. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab with an inlaid Moduline Series® border.

Built-in Grill Design Ideas

Get cooking with some of our favorite grilling station design ideas, from simple grill islands to gourmet outdoor kitchens.

•   •   •

The Angular Look

These outdoor kitchens use multiple angles and countertops galore to create expansive grilling stations with ample prep and serving space, as well as bar-style seating, which allows the guests to keep the outdoor chef company.

amcor_res_bel2016_patios_outdoorkitchens_walls_lafittrusticslab_westonwall_stonegate_bristolbrickoven_001_preview
Weston Stone® clads the Bristol Brick Oven and was used to create a coordinating base to the grill station and extended kitchen, as well as the staircase leading to the back of the home, which ties the entire look together.
Rough-hewn Country Manor® wall adds a rustic touch and was used to create an angular kitchen that follows the shape of the gazebo roofline.

•   •   •

The Classic L-Shape

With a classic L-shaped grilling station, everything you need is within arm’s reach, which makes cooking and clean-up a breeze.

mlrs_res_bel2015_outdoorkitchens_borders_lafittrusticslab_moduline_bristol_001_preview
This L-shaped kitchen unit is part of the Bristol Series of the Belgard Elements collection and is prefabricated in a factory setting and shipped in sections for a custom look that installs quickly.
anchor_c_bel2015_res_lafittrusticslab_belairwall_patios_kitchens_walls_002-1_preview
This custom L-shaped grilling station is constructed with the chiseled stone look of Belair Wall® and houses multiple storage cabinets and drawers to keep everything you need close at hand.

•  •  •

Multiple Cooking Surfaces

Gourmet outdoor chefs can’t settle for just one cooking method.

bel2016_ad_grilldaddog_002_plate_preview
With the design flexibility of Tandem® Modular Grid, this outdoor chef has it all…wood-burning brick oven, charcoal-burning Big Green Egg®, butane grill, sink and refrigerator!

•   •   •

Gorgeous Curves

Outdoor kitchens and grilling stations don’t have to follow the limited linear rules of an indoor cooking space. Get creative with curvy designs.

belgard2010_nfdwimn_urbana_arbel_westonwall001_preview
Multi-level counter tops and diamond-shaped embellishments add visual interest to this Weston Stone® grilling station. A built-in umbrella stand helps protect the cook from sun and rain.
nfd_west_bel2016_res_kitchen_wall_tandemwall_001_preview
Doric columns and curved Tandem® walls add an elegant look to this outdoor kitchen.

•   •   •

Timelessness

You can’t go wrong with the classic look of brick.

A copper vent and roof add a modern twist to the traditional look of this brick grilling station and bar, which offers ample seating for guests to visit with the grill master.

•   •   •

Creative Touches

For a unique design, sometimes you have to think outside of the box.

A built-in gas fire feature adds flare to this Weston Stone® grilling station and bar.
This sunken kitchen was created using rough-hewn Celtik Wall® to retain the pool and build out the kitchen structure, which includes a grill, beverage cooler and refrigerator.

•   •   •

Grill Islands

Even when space is at a premium, you can still have an eye-catching grill.

expo_bel2015_res_patios_outdoorkitchens_megalibre_bristol_001_preview
This grill island from the Bristol Series of the Belgard Elements collection includes a bar top for seating on the opposite side. Embellishments of Arbel® pavers add visual interest, and in this design, coordinate with the paver patio.
anchor_c_bel2016_res_outdoorkitchen_patio_wall_mirage_bordeauxkitchen_tandemwall_001_preview
The Bordeaux Series grill island from the Belgard Elements collection has a smaller footprint and offers a stacked stone look with either a midnight (shown) or limestone countertop.

•   •   •

Multi-Media Mecca

Some folks want an outdoor kitchen that offers all of the convenience and “creature comforts” of the indoors.

Tandem® Modular Grid was used to build out this outdoor kitchen, which houses multiple cooking surfaces and outdoor appliances, as well as a built-in flatscreen TV and sound system.

•   •   •

Wood & Stone

There’s just something earthy and fabulous about combining the looks of wood and stone together. An excellent way to do that is by adding an arbor to your outdoor kitchen space, which not only helps filter the sunlight, but adds pop to your outdoor living design.

Reclaimed wood creates an eye-catching arbor for this Weston Stone® grilling station.
Arbors flank both sides of this Tandem® Modular Grid cooking station, adding an interesting look and coordinating with other wooden structures in the outdoor space.

Top 10 Outdoor Living Design Trends

This outdoor living design incorporates several of the most popular trends this year: permeable pavers, fire pit,
This outdoor living design showcases several of the most popular trends this year: low-maintenance landscaping, Subterra® Stone permeable pavers, a fire pit, low-voltage lighting, and a built-in cooking area with ample seating and counter-top space. A permeable system can be designed to incorporate rainwater harvesting to be used for irrigation to create the ultimate eco-friendly patio.

In the annual national survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), landscape design professionals are polled regarding the outdoor living project types and individual design elements that have the highest demand. The results of this year’s survey are in, and for the third consecutive year, eco-friendly projects dominate the top 10 project list. And although it’s no surprise, internet connectivity made its way into the must-have list this year. In terms of individual design elements, the overwhelming majority of the design items have to do with making outdoor areas more livable. For the third consecutive year, fire pits and fireplaces top the list of most popular design elements.

RANKING PROJECT TYPES DESIGN ELEMENTS
1 Drought-tolerant plants Fire pits and fireplaces
2 Native plants Wireless/internet connectivity
3 Low-maintenance landscapes Lighting
4 Edible gardens Outdoor furniture
5 Permeable paving Seating/dining
6 Reduced lawn areas Built-in grills
7 Fire pits and fireplaces Planters, sculptures, garden accessories
8 Water-efficient irrigation Counter space
9 Wireless/internet connectivity Outdoor heaters
10 Rainwater/graywater harvesting Stereo systems
This outdoor kitchen design incorporates drought-tolerant plants,
This outdoor kitchen design incorporates the popular items of drought-tolerant plants, festive overhead lighting, ample prep and serving space, a large seating area, and a wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen, fireplace, and built-in wood boxes are all constructed with Celtik® Wall to create a coordinated look.
This outdoor kitchen is fully connected
This highly livable outdoor kitchen is fully appointed with all of the modern conveniences of the indoors, including the must-have elements of internet connectivity, dining space, multiple outdoor cooking surfaces, ample counter space, and both ambient and overhead lighting. Tandem® Modular Grid was used to construct the kitchen base and a partial wall to house and protect the television from sun and weather for ultimate game-day viewing.

The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

Are you the ultimate backyard tailgater? If so, you need an ultimate outdoor kitchen to match. An outdoor kitchen that doesn’t just say you’re an occasional griller who has mastered burgers and dogs, but a grillmaster whose steaks are the perfect medium-rare, who has his own home brew on tap in the outdoor kegerator, and who isn’t afraid to sport his “King of the Grill” apron.

So what are the elements of an ultimate outdoor kitchen? Here a few of the pieces we’d put in ours:

Grill

Whether it’s gas or charcoal, there is one thing fans of both can agree on – it’s all about the grill. This outdoor kitchen MVP has the biggest job during your tailgate so make sure you invest in a grill that you will love for years to come.

Brick Oven

The grill’s lesser known sidekick is the brick oven. Slowly building up its stats as a player to watch, the brick oven is perfect for homemade pizzas, appetizers and anything else you want baked with that wood-fired taste.

Sink

Every great chef knows the importance of hand washing, especially when you’re handling raw meats. Running inside can be incredibly inconvenient. Install a sink in your outdoor kitchen to save time and trouble.

Mini Fridge

Remember those college dorm room days of grabbing sodas from the mini fridge? It was so nice to have a cold beverage right at your fingertips. Installing a mini fridge in your outdoor kitchen is just as useful, especially when you’re entertaining, because it’s also great for storing prepped foods and condiments.

Kegerator

Whether you’re a home brewer or just a fan of your local craft beer company, a kegerator makes enjoying a cold, refreshing beer easier than ever.

Bar Island

With cold beer on tap, you’re halfway there to making your outdoor kitchen your friends’ new favorite bar. A bar island creates the ideal gathering place to cheer on your favorite team.

Lighting

Creating the ultimate outdoor kitchen and then ignoring lighting is like fumbling what could have been the game-winning touchdown. Consider overhead lighting for when overtime and the setting sun collide.

Ice Maker

The clutch player in our ultimate outdoor kitchen, the ice maker is always ready to go so your indoor freezer can take a knee.

Product Highlight:
Belgard Elements Kitchens

The outdoor kitchen craze continues to sweep the nation, and there’s no quicker way to build a stunning and durable outdoor kitchen than with the Belgard Elements Collection. Belgard Elements are modular outdoor kitchen and living room pieces that are built in a factory setting using Belgard pavers and retaining wall blocks, shipped in pieces on a pallet, and quickly installed on site with the use of a forklift. This quick and easy installation method saves time and money, allowing the construction of an outdoor kitchen in minutes or hours that would take days or weeks to build from scratch on site. This means fewer headaches and a shorter disruption of your daily life.

Bristol Series

Bristol Kitchen2 There are two styles available for outdoor kitchens, the first is the Bristol Series (shown above), which is constructed with tumbled Weston Stone® and trimmed with the flagstone look of Arbel® pavers. The combination of these hardscapes creates a striking look that blends well with any style of home or landscaping. The countertop is made of polished terrazzo, for a maintenance free surface that resists outdoor stains and cleans easily.

Bristol ColorsBristol Options

The Bristol Series is available in two color palettes: the warm earth tones of Gascony Tan or the cool gray tones of Cotswold Mist. There are a variety of pieces available within the series, including a grill island, brick oven, and a selection of straight and L-shaped kitchen pieces that can include accessories like sinks, burners, grills, appliances, and stainless drawers or cabinet doors. Accent low voltage hardscape lighting can also be installed prior to delivery.

Matching LIving Room PIeces

For those who want to create a more expansive outdoor living space, the Bristol Series also includes modular living room pieces, including an outdoor fireplace with option hearth and wood boxes, as well as motorized water features. And because the Bristol series is constructed with Belgard Hardscapes, patios, garden walls, fire pits, and seat walls can be constructed with the same materials to create a cohesive outdoor living design.

•  •  •

Bordeaux Series

Bordeaux MaterialsThe Bordeaux Series is slightly smaller and more lightweight and is constructed with Lamina™ stacked-stone veneer. The smooth limestone finish of Cordova Stone™ is used both for trim accents and the countertop surface. The combination of rustic stacked-stone and beveled limestone creates a contemporary look that complements both rural and urban settings. The smaller footprint of the Bordeaux Series allows for installation in locations with tighter access.

Bordeaux options

The newest series in the Elements collection, the Bordeaux Series currently includes grill island and brick oven kitchen pieces. The grill island comes outfitted with a stainless gas grill and matching cabinet doors.

Matching Living Room Pieces

Living room pieces available in the Bordeaux Series include an outdoor fireplace and optional wood boxes. As with the kitchen pieces, the Bordeaux living room pieces offer a smaller footprint and height and are a more lightweight option than the Bristol Series. Both the Bristol and Bordeaux fireplaces can be constructed as gas-burning or wood-burning.

•  •  •

InstallationInstallation

Belgard Elements are shipped in pieces on pallets and installed on-site with the help of a forklift. The site must have adequate access and be properly prepped to support the weight of these structures. To find a Belgard Authorized Contractor in your area who can help you design and install your Belgard Elements Kitchen, visit our contractor locator page.