Get Inspired By These 10 Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Better Al Fresco Dining

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The sun has begun its descent, creating an orange backdrop. A balmy breeze rustles through trees. As you enjoy a cold glass of chardonnay and some appetizers, the nominated “grill master” sears the steaks for the main course just a few feet away. From prepwork to clean-up, your al fresco kitchen puts everything you need at your fingertips. You can cook, dine, and entertain — all while soaking in the beauty of the outdoors.

Being able to create this type of at-home al fresco dining experience is a dream for many Americans. According to our Top Agent Insights report for Q4 of 2020, 46% of real estate agents cited a full kitchen as a top outdoor upgrade in their real estate market, pushing it into the top three most coveted open-air features a home can have.

Depending on the components, framework, finishes, materials, and decorative elements, typical pricing for an outdoor kitchen can fall anywhere between $5,437 and $21,908, per HomeAdvisor. For the most upscale installations, the price can snowball even higher.

If you’re considering investing in an outdoor kitchen, the first step is to gather ideas for inspiration — and that starts with great photos. To give you a head-start, we reached out to some amazing designers across the nation who shared images and details of real outdoor kitchens they created for their clients.

An outdoor kitchen made with stone.
Source: (Belgard)

Luxury grilling station set in paver patios

This outdoor grill island is set on a Belgard Mega-Arbel® paver patio. The Belgard Weston Stone™ Wall island offers a sophisticated spot for the grill, along with ample countertop space for food prep and serving. The estimated pricing for this North Carolina installation is between $10,000-$12,000.

A beige outdoor kitchen with a TV.
Source: (DreamMaker Bath & Kitchens)

Sophisticated outdoor dining space

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen designed this space for a home in Stuart, Florida that had an existing outdated outdoor kitchen. The clients wanted to create a fresh space that matched their sophisticated interiors. It was important that they had adequate storage and could set up the countertops for snacks and drinks when entertaining. Features include:

  • NatureKast weatherproof cabinetry in weathered charcoal
  • Dekton Kairos Natural countertops and backsplash
  • A Franke Peak onyx granite sink
  • Stainless steel hardware

The estimated cost of this kitchen is $43,000, not including appliances.

An outdoor kitchen with ovens and a refrigerator.
Source: (MC Design)

Full-function in a space-saving design

MC Design created this outdoor prep kitchen for a Spanish-style home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. It offers the convenience and utility of a full outdoor kitchen in a smaller footprint. Features include porcelain countertops, stainless-steel appliances, hot water for whipping up hot chocolate, a built-in refrigerator with ice maker, an outdoor sink with garbage disposal, and a full-size dining table. The estimated cost for this prep kitchen is $10,000.

An outdoor kitchen with multiple areas for entertaining.
Source: (Belgard)

Multi-purpose space for prep, serving, and gathering

This outdoor room in the Outer Banks comes together with Belgard’s Lafitt® Rustic Slab as the main patio and Belgian Cobble® and Dublin Cobble® pavers to create a separate space. The outdoor kitchen and grill island is Belgard’s Belair Wall®, which offers prep and serving space, along with bar seating for gathering and entertaining. The pergola creates a separate dining room that easily transitions from the outdoor kitchen. The total cost, including the island, pergola, and pavers is estimated to cost between $25,000-$30,000.

An outdoor kitchen with an ocean view.
Source: (Belgard)

Waterfront kitchen combines luxury and durability

Belgard’s Lafitt® Rustic Slab sets up a spacious outdoor cooking area, while the Belair Wall® creates an open kitchen area with the grill island and bar seating. This Southern California outdoor kitchen is estimated to cost between $20,000-$25,000.

An outdoor kitchen with a spiral staircase.
Source: (MC Design)

Resilient design built to withstand the elements

In Sherman Oaks, California, MC Design created this U-shaped outdoor kitchen for a Mediterranean-style home at an estimated cost of $13,000. Highlights include a stainless steel barbeque, refrigerator, and sink; maintenance-free concrete countertops; bar stools as well as a full-size dining table for plenty of seating; and a covered dining area.

An outdoor kitchen with Spanish design.
Source: (StudioSIX5)

Spanish-inspired design in stone and concrete

In San Antonio, Texas, this project features an outdoor venue that can accommodate a variety of events. The design concept relays authentic Spanish influence that is reflected in the material selections, such as stone archways and concrete tile that has a classic Saltillo feel. StudioSIX5 worked closely with the landscape designer on this project, as the client wanted a seamless transition from the interior that paid homage to the architecture of the building and region.

A outdoor kitchen with a built-in kegerator.
Source: (DreamMaker Bath & Kitchens)

A mecca of entertainment and relaxation

This outdoor kitchen was designed for a young bachelor who wanted a space to entertain his friends and a “chill space” where he could relax after boating. DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen was able to build in the grill, a mini fridge, and a kegerator. Features include NatureKast weatherproof cabinetry in Silver Burch, countertops and backsplash by Marble of the World in Opaline Nano, and stainless steel hardware. Located in Port St. Lucie, Florida, this kitchen had a price tag of approximately $40,000, not including appliances.

An outdoor kitchen with a wood-burning stove.
Source: (Belgard)

Porcelain pavers executed in sleek, modern lines

In this Phoenix, Arizona kitchen, Belgard’s Melville Tandem™ Wall holds a grill and a wood-burning oven that’s ideal for pizzas and other dishes. The patio and countertops are made of Mirage® Quarziti porcelain pavers, which are stain-resistant and easy to clean, making them perfect for high-traffic and eating areas. The estimated cost for the kitchen, pavilion, and floor is $25,000.

Ready to host dinner outside?

As you can see, the outdoor kitchen market is incredibly vast. You can tailor your design to your preferred style, budget, and features and get about as custom as you desire. Although this home addition may feel like a bit of a splurge and take lower priority than some other practical improvements, our research shows that if you keep your outdoor kitchen in great shape, it’s going to make your property more marketable overall. This is especially true in light of COVID-19, which has put an emphasis on spending more time outside whenever possible.

Header Image Source: (sirtravelalot / Shutterstock)