10 Inspiring Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Al Fresco Dining

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Outdoor kitchen design - NKA

There’s no better way to enjoy good weather and great friends than with an al fresco dinner party. Having an open-air cooking and dining space allows us to spend more time close to nature. It also offers a wonderful extra entertainment area. Read on for inspiring outdoor kitchen ideas for creating a practical yet stylish exterior.

Quick Tips for Planning an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen ideas - Drew F

Covered outdoor kitchen ideas by Decorilla designer, Drew F.


Every outdoor kitchen design is unique. The style and layout depend on several factors, ranging from architecture to climate. Like any space, it’s also influenced by personal needs and tastes. Before deciding on a DIY project or hiring an online patio design service, there are other things to consider first. Check out the tips below to ensure your kitchen ideas suit your lifestyle.

Would you love a stylish outdoor kitchen but need help with the perfect design? Then, schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation to get started with a top patio designer today!

Keep the Local Climate & Environment in Mind

Backyard kitchen ideas - JRP Design

Where you live can impact possible patio designs, backyard patio ideas, and size. For instance: a mild year-round climate justifies a large, open outdoor kitchen. However, in regions with extreme weather, carefully consider location. Find a balanced part of the yard where it’s not too hot, cold, windy, or shady. Additionally, anyone living in a high rainfall area should explore covered outdoor kitchen ideas.

Choose a Favorite Cooking Method

Outdoor kitchen design - Wanda P

Outdoor kitchen design by Decorilla designer, Wanda P.


A person’s favorite cooking methods help shape their outdoor kitchen design. Consider this – smokers, barbecues, and brick pizza ovens result in different flavor experiences. Whether you want to prepare the food outside or inside will affect the kitchen design too. Decide what and how you like to cook when planning the space. For advice, look up ‘patio designers near me’ and contact an industry leader for guidance in your area.

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Top Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

Outdoor kitchen layout by Picharat A

Outdoor kitchen layout by Decorilla designer, Picharat A.


Again, it’s important to realize that great spaces meet individual lifestyle needs. When considering yours, you’re sure to find what works best. Here are a few backyard kitchen ideas to help create the perfect open-air cooking area.

1. Embrace Modular Design

Outoor kitchen bar ideas - Couture Outdoor

Modular design is all about connecting distinct but similar prefab units. For example, a section with a sink can link to another with a grill. Together, they form a functional, sleek, and cohesive whole. Thanks to the modular design of today, it’s possible to implement outdoor kitchen ideas within days instead of weeks. Another benefit of this kind of design is that it’s highly customizable.

2. Hire an Outdoor Kitchen Designer

Small outdoor kitchen ideas - Liana S.

Covered outdoor kitchen ideas by Decorilla designer, Liana S.


You can also opt for a stress-free backyard kitchen design process, by hiring a talented interior designer. Finding individuals and firms that deliver amazing results at affordable rates is also possible. In fact, working with online services, such as Decorilla, means pricing for patio designs are one affordable flat rate. It’s the ideal solution for anyone who wants help creating their outdoor cooking area. The outcome is bound to be equally stylish and functional.

3. Opt for Durable Materials

Decorilla outdoor kitchen ideas

Outdoor kitchen ideas by Decorilla


Even covered outdoor kitchen ideas should feature durable building materials and décor. Due to exposure to the elements, it’s best to choose high-quality, weatherproof pieces. Consider things like waterproof area rugs and stainless steel accents. They’ll keep the kitchen looking good for a long time.

4. Play with Different Textures

Patio kitchen ideas - Paradise Restored

One of the design world’s top outdoor kitchen ideas is creating visual interest with texture. If you’re unsure which textures to use, look to the surrounding landscape for inspiration. It’ll ensure the kitchen feels complementary to the area instead of disconnected. For instance: rough, stone accents appear right at home in a rocky landscape. The same is true for smooth, cool accents in a lush yard.

5. Add Accessories

Backyard kitchen design - Aida A

Dining area and outdoor kitchen layout by Decorilla designer, Aida A.


Many patio kitchen ideas have few decorative features. The focus is often on large appliances. However, like with an indoor space, adding accessories helps create an atmosphere. Infuse an outside kitchen with personality by being intentional while selecting décor. Why not balance cool granite countertops with warm woven barstools? Or include chandeliers in covered outdoor kitchens. Be bold when accessorizing!

6. Popular Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Get a Minibar

Small outdoor kitchen ideas - HGTV

One of the most useful items to add to any outdoor kitchen design is a bar fridge. It’s a valuable addition, whether using it to keep drinks cold or store salads while grilling. Rather than a mini-fridge, you can always invest in subtle yet sleek refrigerated drawers.

7. Install Concrete Counters

Outdoor kitchen design - Wwoo

Not only do concrete countertops give off an industrial vibe, but they’re sturdy too. Use them as part of your open or covered outdoor kitchen ideas because they’re so attractive and versatile. Concrete countertops can also integrate effortlessly with any style of kitchen.

8. Include a Bar Area

Outdoor kitchen bar ideas - Archziner

Take inspiration from resorts and incorporate a bar into an outdoor kitchen layout for a vacation-like feeling. Comfy bar stools are also a must as they allow loved ones to sit close by, admiring your mixology skills. Another of our favorite outdoor kitchen bar ideas is placing a filled champagne tub on the counter. It’ll further enhance the social ambiance and creates a fun focal point.

9. Make an Outdoor Kitchen Design Statement with an Island

Small outdoor kitchen ideas - Sunset & Decorpad

Among the many small outdoor kitchen ideas, the best is a middle island – should budget and space allow it. The extra workspace is a blessing, especially when preparing food and drinks right there. An outdoor kitchen island can also become a focal point when decorated well. Consider a mosaic design for a truly distinct appearance.

10. Keep Things Mobile

covered outdoor kitchens - Decorilla

Patio kitchen ideas by Decorilla


There are plenty of great open and covered outdoor kitchen ideas. However, the most versatile one is keeping large furnishings mobile. By investing in cooking stations, storage, and tables with wheels, changing the layout is a breeze. Mobile furniture designs are especially good for renters. It means you can take everything with you during a move.

Need help putting open or covered outdoor kitchen ideas into practice?

Our team of talented designers can help create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams! Schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation to learn more today!

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