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13 Backyard Kitchens That Make Us Want to Live Outside

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Welcome to Your Home Outdoors, our summertime series on tips and tricks that'll help you live your best life outside―no matter the size of your space! So pull up a chair, grab a glass of something icy-cold, and join us.

Summer lovin'.
Summer lovin'. Photo by D.S. Fine Home Building

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, all the way through Labor Day: Eating outside is one of the greatest joys of summertime. But when your kitchen is inside and the party is outside, you can start to feel a little separate from the action. Everyone’s around the table or mingling on the patio while you’re indoors, grabbing more ice or dressing the salad. It’s these moments that inspire a common condition known as “Outdoor Kitchen Jealousy.”

Outdoor Kitchen Jealousy is the twinge of longing you get as you imagine what you’d do with more outdoor space (add a fridge and a sink?), more money (build countertops and install a wood-burning pizza oven?), more summer nights (throw more parties!). While this summer we’ll have to keep working with what we’ve got, we can also treat our envy with inspiration from those who have the resources or year-round summer climate to make our outdoor kitchen dreams their realities. It’s time to turn to Instagram, the great vicarious-living tool of the modern age, and its never-ending #outdoorkitchens.

For your scrolling pleasure, here are some of the most charming outdoor kitchens from around the world—the rustic, the wacky, and the freakishly fancy. They’re the kitchens that, if they were ours, we’d live in all summer long. Don’t call it ogling; call it research for next summer.

RUSTIC

Yes, I would like to live on the French Riviera. And yes, this is the kitchen I would like to cook in every day. The natural fiber roof and the window in the wall help to make this kitchen outdoorsy in the most chic way. I can almost feel the warm breeze blowing through while a whole fish crisps on the grill….

Looking at this tiny, rustic outdoor kitchen makes me think of a quote from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Call this rough gem a kitchen of one’s own. It’s got a sink, a simple cooktop, and a bucolic setting; what more does one need?

A little gas + a little sink = a little outdoor kitchen. This one comes from Sweden, where many beautiful meals are surely being made in this very tiny space (and in that very beautiful enamel pot).

WHIMSICAL

Hi Instagram! I'm Lynda Murrah, and I'm a architectural designer who loves building complex luxury designs for my clients. I work in the New Orleans and Southern Mississippi area so my style is very reflective of the iconic architecture in our community. This is my first post on the gram, so I wanted to share one of my favorite projects with you all. I feel this outdoor kitchen with gorgeous Italian mosaic takes the meaning of outdoor kitchen to the next level. Let me know what you think! . . . #interiordesigner #exteriordesign #architecturaldesign #outdoorkitchen #tuscan #italianmosaic #interiors #antiques #vikingappliances #alfrescoappliances #beautifulkitchen #kitchendesign #followyournola #neworleansdesigner #noladesigner #interiordesign

A post shared by LRM ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN (@lrmdesign) on

There’s a lot going on in this kitchen, from the mosaic backsplash to the sleek stainless steel appliances embedded in rough brick to the use of moulding. It’s a little bit Tuscany, a little bit France, and looks like a lot of fun to cook in.

Honestly, I don’t even know what’s happening in this kitchen, but I can’t take my eyes off the enormous rough-edged marble backsplash-that’s-so-much-more-than-a-backsplash. And are those enormous sea anemones? It’s eye-catching to say the least.

MODERN

“Sleek” is the word to describe this modern kitchen, which perfectly balances the strength of concrete, wood, and steel with the soft abundance of lush landscaping. I imagine pizzas taste better coming out of that oven.

Everyone always tends to congregate in the kitchen, and this outdoor kitchen makes sure of it. With wraparound seating, the chef is the center of attention, and so is that adorable wood-burning oven. I bet the neighbors are jealous.

This modern kitchen manages to maintain all the clean lines that concrete affords while still feeling magically cozy. It’s worth scrolling through all the pics in this account to see how they built this beautiful kitchen and all the charming ways they use and style it.

The term “shabby chic” comes to mind when looking at this gorgeous kitchen, but really there’s nothing shabby about it. The blending of farmhouse style with a streamlined countertop cooking area (and dishwasher?!) makes for a kitchen that’s as charming as it is functional.

What makes a kitchen a kitchen? Apparently, all you need is a grill—well, a grill and an insane view.

FANCY

This kitchen is what happens when you take your indoor kitchen outdoors—literally. It’s got everything an indoor kitchen has, from a sink to a cooktop to a grill to a fridge, plus a view of the pool and the lake. Patio living at its finest.

Don’t let the adorable string lights and charming hanging plants distract you; this is one serious kitchen. With an induction cooktop and a grill, there’s nothing you couldn’t cook out here, and no party you couldn’t throw. Plus, those string lights and hanging plants are pretty great.

For the home cook who wants an outdoor kitchen but doesn’t want to feel too outdoorsy, there’s always the option of bringing the couch and the flatscreen with you to the backyard. With a huge overhead hood to suck up the smoke from the grill, who’s to say whether you’re inside or outside.

Enjoy the Best Outdoor Sandwich

What are your favorite outdoor kitchen features? Let us know in the comments!