19 Best Backyard Kitchen Ideas - Dreamy Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Summer

19 Backyard Kitchens That Make Us Want to Live Outside

We can't stop staring. Or dreaming.

July  3, 2020
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 outdoors is one of the greatest joys of summertime. Especially during a summer such as this, when the demands on our homes, and lives indoors, have really being stretched. As the weather gods play nice and the days get warmer, our focus naturally shifts to wanting to take some of our fettered lives outdoors—to our newly-blooming backyards and gardens.

But when your kitchen is inside—and the warm weather outside—you can start to feel a little separate from the action. The family’s gathered around the patio, or playing cornhole on the lawn, 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 (or, any) outdoor cooking space (add a fridge and a sink?), more money (install a wood-burning pizza oven?), more summer evenings (never eat another dinner indoors again!). While this summer we’ll have to keep working with what we’ve got—or not 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 greatest vicarious-living tool of our age, and its never-ending #outdoorkitchens.

For your scrolling pleasure, here are some of the most charming outdoor kitchens from around the world—the pastoral, the whimsical, 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. Or plain ol' wishful thinking.


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….

The English countryside never fails to entice. Add an al fresco kitchen complete with shuttered French doors, handmade tiles, handwoven jute rug, pink foxglove, and... swoon.

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).

This wee outdoor cooking space (can we be sure it's even functional? It's almost too pretty!) had us at its enamelware. Plus, all of those great kitchen textiles. And that vintage galvanized bucket.


WHIMSICAL

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? Powder puffs? It’s eye-catching either way.

Don't let the prettiness of this pink-and-white boho kitchen fool you—it's complete functional, down to that teeny-tiny cooktop. It's also a nice reminder that there's no such thing as too many woven baskets.


MODERN

“Sleek” is the word to describe this modern kitchen, which perfectly balances the strength of concrete—a durable material requiring next to no maintenance—wood, and steel with lush textural landscaping adding softness. I imagine pizzas taste better coming out of that oven.

Those appliances! That brick wall! The teasing summer blooms in the corner! That...windsail-inspired (?) installation! And a television for when the family has run out of things to talk about—it's been a long year already.

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 can't wait to be invited over.

This modern kitchen manages to maintain all the clean lines that concrete affords while still feeling magically cozy (those juicy watermelons certainly do their bit). 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 it's all chic, and not shabby. 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, a set of tongs, and a killer view.


FANCY

Part-kitchen, part-dining and socializing space. Part-Scandivanian vibe, part-Baja. Wholly envious.

This kitchen is what happens when you take your indoor kitchen outdoors—quite literally ripped it out and plonked it by the lake. It’s got everything an indoor kitchen has, from a sink to a cooktop to a grill to a fridge, and more cabinet space than the average New York City apartment. Plus, there's that 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, hanging plants, and luscious fern 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.

Whoever said minimal design can't be sumptuous hasn't seen this mega-cool kitchen. Psst—anyone else struggling to take their eyes off of that green ceramic grill?


Enjoy the Best Outdoor Sandwich

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Bunny Schulman

Written by: Bunny Schulman

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