Awesome Outdoor Decor

Whether you have a porch, patio, deck, or balcony, summer is all about that outdoor living. And there’s no reason you can’t pay the same level of attention to your outdoor space as you do your indoor ones. Your outdoor living space should be a place you go to escape, whatever that means for you. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor spaces!

This screened-in porch combines rustic and industrial elements to create a uniquely chic area that can be enjoyed year-round in the south. 1490107626-character-building-porch-0317.jpgPhoto: Country Living
This small concrete slab deck was absolutely transformed with a painted rug. The breezy white curtains hanging from the pergola and the succulent chandelier tone down the bright pops of fun color to keep the space relaxing and elevate the look. Go to A Beautiful Mess for step-by-step DIY instructions to create your own painted rug.
outdoorrug.jpgPhoto: A Beautiful Mess
This front porch looks absolutely luxurious with its layers of soft textures. The chairs, rugs, throws, and pillows all in creamy tones with earthy accents create a space that is both elegant and cozy.Awesome-Farmhouse-Front-Porch-Ideas-03.jpgPhoto: Popy Home
This modern deck space proves that sometimes less really is more. The minimal decor and clean lines are meant to allow the view to be the focus of this space, which makes perfect sense for this Hawaii home. Don’t think you have to live in a tropical paradise to take inspiration from this look though.roundup-outdoor-swings-6-nicole-hollis-hawaii-600x900.jpgPhoto: Design Milk
What else could you want with this beautiful combination outdoor kitchen and living room? Multiple seating areas, a television, fireplace… why would you ever go inside? We love how the hanging plants are used to create a feeling of privacy.danielsporchz_fullPhoto: HouseTrends
Don’t think you need an expansive space to create your own outdoor paradise. We love the way people have created a huge impact with a small area.

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All Photos: Homefulies

Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen

outdooPhoto: Imagine Backyard

The first kitchen was really just a fire outside. And ever since cooking was brought indoors, people have been finding numerous reasons to take it back outside. The summer heat has always been a big factor in wanting outdoor kitchen space, especially here in the South. Before air conditioning, summer kitchens made the hottest, most humid months slightly more bearable for southerners everywhere. Keeping away smoke and lingering food smells have also always been popular reasons for wanting to cook outside. Today, the desire to entertain and create a fun space for your family and friends has pushed the outdoor kitchen to the next level.

American actress Jane Wyman with her portable bbq in press photos in the early 1950s.janewymanPhoto: Tumblr

Outdoor kitchens today are so much more than a grill and some patio furniture. Today’s outdoor kitchens extend the living space of your home and are considered a great investment in your property.  The average outdoor kitchen costs between 12,000 and 15,000 dollars. While you definitely don’t have to spend that much, you can easily spend way more. The options are almost limitless. Understandably, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But no worries, we’ve got a few tips to help out, regardless of your budget.

kitchen-in-backyard-e1503366589243.jpgPhoto: Slodive
Determine How You want to Use Your Kitchen

Be honest with yourself. How much space do you have? Are you going to use this outdoor kitchen for serious entertaining or will you be grilling outside occasionally? Will your kitchen be covered, even partially? These questions are important as the list of  possible amenities is long. And when designing your outdoor space you should keep in mind that certain appliances require greater levels of protection from the elements than others. And depending on your budget and plans for usage, it’s important to prioritize what appliances you choose. Some of the most popular outdoor kitchen appliances include grills/smokers, refrigerators/freezers, ice makers, and sinks.

A pergola is a great option for a smaller outdoor kitchen.  It helps define the space and allows for maximum airflow while still providing shade and protection from the harshness of the elements. If you have a green thumb a pergola is a great place to both grow and hang plants on.pergPhoto: Backyard Unlimited
Heaters, a fireplace, curtains and fans make this huge outdoor kitchen space an amazing year-round entertaining space.Beautiful-modern-porch-has-it-allPhoto: Decoist
Layout & Design

When choosing the site for your outdoor kitchen you need to think about how you’re going to hook up the utilities. You will probably want to run electricity and/or gas, and even water out to your space. Designing an outdoor kitchen isn’t that different from designing an indoor kitchen.

You’ll notice that the designs that incorporate the sink and refrigerator all do so in a way that creates the ubiquitous “kitchen triangle”. This is a design principle that says the most efficient kitchen layout is one where the cooktop, sink, and refrigerator form a triangle shape, with no leg of the triangle being longer than 10 feet.
layoutsPhoto: Pinterest

A functional outdoor kitchen should consist of four key areas or zones. First, the hot zone, where you’ll put your grill, smoker, pizza oven, etc. Conversely, the cold zone, where your refrigerator, freezer, beverage centers, etc. will be. Ideally, these zones won’t be right next to each other. Having hot and cold elements next to each other will force those appliances to work harder to function properly, wasting energy and potentially shortening their lifespans. The wet zone is where the sinks, ice-makers, kegerators, dishwashers, etc. are in the space. This is the area that really upgrades an outdoor entertaining area into a fully functioning kitchen. Lastly, you will want prep space. Prep space is not only the counters where you prepare food, but also cabinets and storage options.

This kitchen clearly lays out the four different zones. You can see that the separation between hot, cold, and wet zones naturally creates the “kitchen triangle.”ou.jpgPhoto: Pinterest
Choosing the Proper Materials

There are certainly a few different factors to consider when deciding what materials to use for your outdoor kitchen. Durability has to be considered equally to the style that matches your home and design aesthetic. Natural stone is a great choice for your outdoor kitchen countertops. While not really an issue here in Tennessee, it’s important to note that some stones don’t hold up to the possible expansion that can come with freezing/thawing as well as others. If you live somewhere with more extreme conditions you should always check with your fabricator that the stone you choose will work outside.

This design seamlessly incorporates granite, wood, brick, and stainless steel.presoutPhoto: Prestige M & G

There are other factors to consider when choosing which stone to use. Granite is an extremely popular choice thanks to its overall durability. Granite easily stands up to both regular use and weather. It doesn’t stain, nor does it absorb odors. With granite it’s recommended that you choose mid-range to lighter colors, as darker stones will hold heat and can become hot to the touch under sun.

This granite is absolutely beautiful outside. It blends wonderfully with the landscaping, nearby pool/fountain, and stainless steel appliances. It’s light color ensures it won’t absorb too much heat, nor will it fade in the sun.granite-countertop-outdoor-1Photo: MGSI

Soapstone is another durable option. Although your color options are limited to shades of gray and black, soapstone is stain, heat, and bacteria resistant. Soapstone does scratch more easily than other types of stone, those scratches are fairly easy to repair though.

If you want a darker countertop, soapstone is a great option. It doesn’t hold heat the same way granite does and is still polished and durable.soapstonePhoto: Urban Kitchen Design

Marble is always a beautiful option but is considerably softer than other stones. While it will last a long time, weather will eventually cause noticeable wear. For this reason it isn’t recommended that you use polished marble outside. There are other stone options you can discuss with your fabricator. Concrete and tile are also sometimes used as outdoor countertops.

While planning for hot and cold zones is important, in some smaller spaces your options might be limited. Here, a two-drawer, outdoor refrigerator maximizes space for cold food and drink storage. The brick used in this design is a great insulator between the cold refrigerator and hot grill. The large soapstone countertops are a great choice for a rooftop kitchen with minimal protection from the elements.
small.jpgPhoto: Kalamazoo Gourmet

Whatever outdoor kitchen you can dream up,  Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Things to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor kitchen and living space with natural stone countertops from Prestige Marble & Granite

Beautiful weather begs us to do more outdoor living and entertaining – and the trend for incorporating outdoor living spaces, including outdoor kitchens, has never been greater. If you’re thinking of  installing an outdoor kitchen, you ‘ll want to consider your lifestyle and the way you entertain, in addition to space constraints and budget. Here are some tips to help make the most of your new outdoor space.

– Use durable materials, such as stainless steel and natural stone, and check with your supplier to ensure that the materials you select are recommended for outdoor use.

– Make sure you have adequate task lighting and plenty of counter space. Poor lighting and skimpy counter space will make for a less than ideal cooking environment.

– Include a shelter that protects from the elements. A shelter will also make it easier to install helpful ventilation and air flow, such as a ceiling fan and/or ventilation hood.

–  Choose a flooring material such as porcelain or stone tile that is easy to clean and  will stand up to dirt and debris. You’ll want to make sure the flooring has adequate traction, because it will get wet, even if sheltered.

– Consider connecting your outdoor kitchen space to the house on one side for added shelter from wind and weather. This might also provide the possibility of a pass-through window for easy transportation back and forth.

– Include a space for seating near the cooking area so the  grill-master can interact with the guests.

– Consider the power of small appliances and don’t skimp  on appliances that will really make a difference. You might want to invest in that jumbo grill, for example, if you entertain  large crowds frequently. And depending on your lifestyle, small appliances such as a mini fridge, ice-maker, or blender could make a big difference.

 

For inspiring outdoor kitchen ideas, head over to our Pinterest Board!

Prestige Marble and Granite has the countertops you need to help make your outdoor kitchen a success. We offer an exciting selection of designer natural stones, as well as  a large variety of core colors, to complement any design project and any budget. Stop by our indoor showroom anytime; we’re here to help you every step of they way – from selection and layout through fabrication and installation.