Designing an outdoor kitchen can be a pleasurable process. I prepared 14 modern outdoor kitchen ideas that are going to make designing simple as ABC.
What are 14 modern outdoor kitchen ideas? 14 modern outdoor kitchen ideas are:
- Take advantage of the surrounding lines
- Location is a key
- Choose a modern shape
- Stress modern with color
- Up-to-date finishes enhance a modern feeling
- Structure type to go for with modern design
- Modern outdoor kitchen ideas: lighting
- State-of-the-art fan as a focal point
- Minimalistic covering for modern outdoor kitchen
- Contempo touch at outdoor kitchen sitting area
- Appliances can add style to an outdoor kitchen
- Get a modern bar
- Audiovisual touch to make your outdoor kitchen up-to-date
- Modern fire at a modern outdoor kitchen
Take advantage of the surrounding lines
Lines are the key to designing a modern outdoor kitchen. Take a look at the area where you want to add it and look for all the vertical and horizontal lines. If there is nothing visible think if you can create them.
On the picture above there is an outdoor kitchen created in a very interesting space containing a lot of vertical and some horizontal lines. Grill, window, smoker, and the arch below the ceiling are corresponding, which makes the whole area more compelling and structured.
How to mimic it in your area? This trick can be done in nearly every scene by adding:
- an entire length of the wall shelf above the countertop,
- light fixtures installed in a line,
- a bold color line on the eye level,
- cabinets with vertical lines,
- few countertop heights.
Location is a key
There are basically two types of outdoor kitchen locations – next to the house and satellite. In my opinion, the first one has more advantages:
- it’s budget-friendly,
- using existing covering,
- more comfortable.
Usually building an outdoor kitchen close to a house requires fewer permits, as all media lines are already in place.
What location close to the house gives you is a wall to build your outdoor kitchen on. And this is a factor that can help in modern design a tone! Building close to a house makes it easier to make all the backyard coherent.
If you’re lucky and have a covering over your outdoor kitchen area then not only your outdoor kitchen budget is substantially smaller, but also your pricey appliances are safe. Even though they’re stainless steel they should be protected.
Choose a modern shape
As lines are very important at outdoor kitchen so is the shape of an outdoor kitchen. Countertop space is obviously precious and priority one in outdoor kitchen design. But this length might be achieved in many shapes.
The most common outdoor kitchen shapes are along-the-wall, L-shaped, U-shaped, an island, and 2 lines.
Even though L-shapes and U-shaped are very functional they’re less modern in look than along the wall, an island, and 2 lines. That is something to take into consideration while keeping in mind that what makes an outdoor kitchen convenient is the countertop space.
Also, it is crucial to figure the most common direction of the wind and put the grill in downwind from the house. Otherwise, the smoke can really get in a way of entertaining, or installing the ventilation may be a must. By the way, those ventilators can add a serious amount of style to the kitchen.
Up-to-date finishes enhance the modern feeling
This part of the process is in my opinion way easier for a modern style than others. Stainless steel, monochromatic colors, stone, concrete, natural wood all work great with modern style. And are basic for an outdoor kitchen area.
Finishes at your outdoor kitchen area may not only be up-to-date but also timeless, as it is going to be finished with classic materials that last. Can you imagine a granite countertop to age? Or wood tables to get out of style?
I’d say the main concern during this part of the process is making the outdoor kitchen interesting. So painting everything gray, adding stainless steel and putting granite on it may not be the best idea. What should be done depends on the goal. If you wish for this area to stand out make brave choices. If it should blend into backyard pick wooden cabinetry, or darker stone to define the structure. It can really make a drastic change.
Colors matter not only regarding style, but also the functionality. If your kitchen does not have covering going for black stone countertops or stainless steel may result in surface to hot to touch. In fact, dark stone can decolor while exposed directly to sunbeams. Light color stones should be a little bit more resistant to sunbeams but are known for staining a bit easier. Leather texture stone finish might help with these issues.
As your outdoor kitchen is placed… outdoors it might be a good idea to mimic nature. Stainless steel from top to bottom may not be the best choice unless you’re really into it (that is your backyard, isn’t it).
Structure type to go for with modern outdoor kitchen design
Modern is an amazing style to go for because it can be created by all possible structures. This means budget-wise it can be inexpensive or pricey. Usually, there are three types of structures to work with:
- Custom made
Movable outdoor kitchens are an interesting option when you’re going for modern, as there are some on the market fitting the style. It seems to get more and more popular lately, as even Ikea started to sell them. As you can see this is a very budget-friendly option. It also saves space outside, because when unused can be stored in the garage. This is the only structure that does not need the permit.
Prefabricated is the one looking custom alike, but less expensive (approximately 30%). It can be done to specific measurements and it can be ordered in picked finishes. The great advantage of this option is the possibility to use it the day it’s delivered. So you get something you put where desired, connect to media and you’re ready to use it. As there are plenty of options to get a modern looking one look for modern finishes.
If you’re looking for something unique, waves in structure, multiple levels of countertops, and other extras, custom made is a way to go. It’s not inexpensive but the sky is the limit here. This one can be designed by an architect to look house alike and at the same time stand out. Additionally having the contractor in the backyard means you can not only add an outdoor kitchen but also add architectural elements to walls and lighting.
Modern outdoor kitchen ideas: lighting
Oh, the lighting! This is such an important element of design very often treated like it doesn’t matter. And it makes your outdoor kitchen either pleasurable place to stay at after sunset, or contrary – a place to get away from. To be honest, without proper lighting an outdoor kitchen is also not a safe place to cook and dine at night. I wrote an entire post about it.
So how to use lighting to boost the modern style of it? There are basically 3 areas to work with:
- cook and prep,
What makes the area pop is using multiple light sources. In cook and prep area task lights are the necessity. Not only they are necessary, but they also can be stylish. To brighten up countertop standing light is going to work great with modern style. Most of them are stainless steel color (so they match appliances) and simple form. This area can also be illuminated by scones, other wall fixtures, or ceiling point lights.
To enhance horizontal lines some people decide to put in this area standing lamps. This is actually a solution that might help with a common problem – viewing inside of cabinets at night. Led tapes hidden under countertop are going to fix this issue as well – and at the same time enhance vertical lines. So what you worked with at the very beginning of the designing process should be continued with lighting design.
The dining area is the one that needs ambient lights. The modern chandelier is going to work well if it has a dimmer. The later it gets the lower brightness should be provided. We, humans, to feel comfortable at night, and also to easily fall asleep, need less and less light during the night. On the other hand, if you want your guests to leave as soon as possible do not use dimmer at all.
Having multiple light sources in dining area is also a good idea. Light fixtures on walls, candles on modern candle holders, entrance light all will work great. Especially if they are coherent. It’s worth though choosing lamp material not only to look great but also give amazing light. Glass shades, or mesh ones, are going to give lots of light.
Not all paths are close to the house, especially if your modern outdoor kitchen is in some distance. Adding modern solar fixtures, or led ground lights on a way to one is going to be a much-needed project. If there are steps on a path riser lights are going to need to be added.
To sum up: each time you pick a fixture and plan the way to use it try to see the lines or points light is going to create. To do it right multiple levels of lighting are a must.
State-of-the-art fan as a focal point
An outdoor kitchen fan is one of the great modern outdoor kitchen ideas. It not only brings the much-needed breeze but also has a light fixture! That is a whole package. That obviously can be extended as there are fans with light sources that create the mist. And there are so many modern ones in so many colors. In my opinion that is an outdoor kitchen must-have.
There is something really important regarding outdoor kitchen fans: they also help with mosquitos.
Minimalistic covering for modern outdoor kitchen
People very often wonder if they should cover an outdoor kitchen and sitting area or not. There is no simple answer to this question, but very often not having a roof over your head is going to hurt. I created a post about covering need in particular states – you can read it here.
Modern is actually the style of a simple form, and so can modern outdoor kitchen ideas for its covering be. And that is a piece of great news for everybody who is planning adding roofing – it can be done in any budget given. Even sail shades may work very well with such design, and this is like the most budget-friendly option ever (under 100$).
The second modern outdoor kitchen idea for covering, that is going to work well is the pergola. Pergolas are usually pretty simple structures made out of wood or metal (both are materials of modern choice). When equipped with canopy they can add shade and give protection from the rain. They also look stylish and add more lines.
The gazebo is also a grat covering for a modern outdoor kitchen and an option with a possible vaulted ceiling. As pergola, it can define an outdoor kitchen area. What is important regarding this choice is picking either a simple structure or one that resembles home architecture.
Contempo touch at outdoor kitchen sitting area
This is actually the spot where designing outside is similar to designing inside. As you already know your colors and materials you can continue those choices for the sitting area. Depending on which modern you’re going for the style may vary, but geometrical shapes, clean lines, contrasts, and colors are usually what is common.
It is always important to buy furniture in a proper scale to the area size. If your space is limited going for heavy furniture is going to make it look even smaller. What helps with enlarging optically space is buying furniture with legs, as you can see through it.
Appliances can add style to a modern outdoor kitchen
Outdoor kitchen appliances are usually the same color and material – stainless steel. And for modern style, both the material and color, work excellent. If you’re lucky you can find some in black, which can work the same or even better. The regular geometrical shape works to our advantage too.
Another material that is working well with a modern style is glass. This knowledge may actually come in handy while picking an under-counter beverage fridge. If some of your light fixtures are going to have glass shades as well they’re going to match. Yey!
Get a modern bar
An outdoor kitchen bar is a perfect spot for anybody who enjoys entertaining. It can be placed on the deck or even attached to the swimming pool.
It might be pretty important to concentrate on the shape of both – bar construction and chairs. Material and color working with modern style are going to be essential. Depending on what modern are you going for you can express it really well with this element. It is very often separate, so it can easily become the focal point of the whole area.
Audiovisual touch to make your outdoor kitchen up-to-date
The outdoor area is not only perfect for cooking and dining but also relaxing and partying. And for these reasons adding speakers, TV, projector, or whatever makes you happy, is an excellent idea.
This is one of the last modern outdoor kitchen ideas I share with you, but should be planned at the very beginning of the designing process, as getting cables after construction is over is going to be difficult, if possible. It is important to use outdoor devices, like those produced for indoors may not cope well with moisture and temperature changes.
Modern fire at a modern outdoor kitchen
People love to gather around the fire. It started 40 000 years ago and lasts until today. We get charmed by it, we feel safe close to it, it helps us relax. It also gives guests the possibility to create an old-school dessert on their own.
Fire pit is an excellent element to put in your outdoor kitchen area. Usually, it is in a rectangular or oval shape, so it can match most of the modern style outdoor kitchens. Most of them are black but can be made in plenty of colors to much outdoor kitchen finishes. Adding benches or chairs around creates a spot that cannot be resisted.
Please leave a comment and let me know if those ideas helped you with your designing process. If you looked for some sort of data and did not find it in the article please let me know too!