PROJECT PROFILE: Southern California Outdoor Living Project of the Year

Southern California Outdoor Living Project of the Year - ©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build
©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build

Presenting the Belgard SoCal 2018 Best Outdoor Living Project featuring Lafitt® Grana Slab in Montecito and Toscana color blends. The spectacular outdoor living space of this San Diego home features a classically shaped pool with a paving stone pool deck and a raised spa that doubles as a water feature.

Outdoor Kitchen Paver Patio - ©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build
©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build

Adjacent to the pool sits a well-equipped raised outdoor kitchen that features a paver patio, multiple cooking surfaces, ample storage and built-in  stainless appliances. The kitchen is accented by industrial string lighting and flanked by a rustic covered outdoor living room and dining area.

Natural Stone Outdoor Fireplace - ©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build
©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build

An eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional design elements, the covered area includes a stunning natural stone outdoor fireplace, infrared heaters, a built-in television cubby, and a large dining area — making it the ultimate year-round outdoor entertaining spot. Installer Western Outdoor Design & Build incorporated natural stone accents throughout the space to tie the design together.

Pool Patio Paver - ©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build
©2018 Western Outdoor Design & Build

Readers’ Choice Top Outdoor Kitchen Designs

With National Grilling Month coming up in July, we reached out to the more than 80,000 subscribers of our monthly Outdoor Living by Belgard eNewsletter to visit our Outdoor Kitchen and Outdoor Grill Island Pinterest boards and vote on their favorite designs. The votes have been tallied, and here on the top 5 outdoor kitchen designs in each category.

Top 5 Outdoor Kitchen Designs

Belair Wall Outdoor Brick Kitchen
#5 – Featuring the chiseled stone look of Belair Wall®, this al fresco kitchen includes both a gas grill and a wood-fired outdoor brick oven with a built-in wood box. This well-equipped kitchen also includes an ice-maker, outdoor dishwasher, custom bar sink and multiple durable stainless cabinets.
Lafitt Rustic Slab Outdoor Kitchen Design
#4 – This L-shaped kitchen is positioned adjacent to a covered Lafitt® Rustic Slab patio that offers ample seating for guests to visit with the outdoor chef during meal prep. Stacked-stone veneer adds a rustic elegance to complement multiple stainless outdoor appliances and a double grill.
Weston Stone outdoor kitchen design
#3 – This contemporary Weston Stone® outdoor kitchen includes a multi-functional granite countertop that provides a large linear area to accommodate food prep, serving and dining space. Weston Stone was also used for an adjacent landscape wall to visually tie the design together.
Weston Stone outdoor brick oven kitchen design
#2 – A raised bar opposite the grill allows guest to enjoy conversation with the outdoor chef during meal prep in this lovely Weston Stone® outdoor kitchen. A quaint lantern-style light fixture adds both ambiance and functionality to the wood-fired brick oven. Weston Stone was also used to construct a coordinating decorative wall that adds charm to the overall design.
Belair Wall Stone Outdoor Kitchen Design
#1 – This simple, yet elegant Belair Wall®outdoor kitchen garnered the most votes from our readers. The perfect space to entertain, this kitchen includes an oversized granite countertop that provides ample prep and serving spaces, as well as bar-style dining. The L-shape design puts everything within arm’s reach and opens to a covered Lafitt® Rustic Slab patio with additional seating, which creates a communal atmosphere.

Top 5 Grill Island Designs

Weston Stone L-shaped Grill Stone Kitchen Outdoor
#5 – This Weston Stone® L-shaped grill island offers clean, contemporary lines and a raised bar opposite the prep area for dining. Coordinating shades of Urbana® Stone pavers are laid in a running bond pattern on the adjacent patio to add a cohesive look to this eclectic space.
#4 – Rustic rough-hewn Celtik® Wall pairs with a contemporary granite countertop to create an L-shaped grill island that is the perfect complement to this eclectic outdoor living space. The flagstone design of Mega-Arbel® pavers help define the cooking area of the Lafitt® Grana Slab patio. Charcoal colored Old York™ pavers tie in with the color of the countertop to add a contemporary geometric border design.
Stone Patio Outdoor Kitchen Design
#3 – A built-in arbor made of reclaimed wood and wrought iron accents adds rustic charm to this attractive Weston Stone® grill island. Coordinating tones in the Lafitt® Rustic Slab patio complement the design.
Stone Outdoor Kitchen Design
#2 – The simple lines of this Weston Stone® grill island allow it to blend seamlessly with the structure of the adjacent home. A raised backsplash and granite countertops add a tailored look. The angled extension allows for additional prep and serving space without overpowering the sitting area of the Mega-Lafitt® paver patio.
Tandem Modular Grid Outdoor Stone Kitchen Design
#1 – This contemporary design garnered the highest number of votes in the grill island category. The versatile Tandem® Modular Grid provides the structure for the grill island, as well as a base for the arched arbor and a raised platform for the dining table.

.   .   .

NEXT WEEK: Come back to the Outdoor Living by Belgard blog next week for a chance to win a free prize in our National Grilling Month giveaway!

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.