Outdoor cooking is a primal pleasure that recalls childhood campfires and simpler times. As the best chefs know, you don't need a lot of space to create a gourmet meal. If you are lucky enough to have any amount of outdoor space, creating an open air kitchen can turn the routine of cooking meals into an opportunity to dine al fresco under the blue skies or the stars. Whether it's a compact outdoor grill station or a fully equipped mini kitchen, check out these inspiring modestly-sized outdoor kitchens that are as functional as they are stylish.
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Rooftop Garden Kitchen
This rooftop space in Williamsburg designed by Brooklyn-based landscape design firm New Eco Landscapes includes an outdoor custom kitchen equipped with a refrigerator, sink, and grill. While the generous rooftop space includes such luxuries as an outdoor shower, relaxation area, and an outdoor projector for movie nights, the kitchen has just the right amount of space and equipment for the simple cooking that an outdoor kitchen inspires.
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The sleek kitchenette in this Tribeca home designed by Manhattan-based Studio DB is located on the roof terrace of a single-family home in a converted 1888 grocery distribution center. Built into a single wall, it has warm wood cabinetry and sliding glass doors to shelter it when not in use. A grill station is positioned just outside against the brick wall.
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All-Season Outside Kitchen
Outdoor kitchens aren't just reserved for summer use, as demonstrated by this dreamy open air cooking area designed by Shelter Interiors in Bozeman, Mont. that is anchored around a grill from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. The outdoor kitchen is located off of the family rec room, where Sharon S. Lohss of Shelter Interiors says it was positioned "to emphasize the unobstructed view of Lone Peak." Light gray stone works well with the stainless steel grill and allows it to blend into the breathtaking natural landscape.
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Light and Airy Outdoor Kitchen
This great-looking outdoor pool house kitchen designed by Los Angeles-based Mark Langos Interior Design is what quintessential California living is all about. The corner kitchen has a sink, stove top, oven, and a glass front fridge for beverages. Natural materials like stone, wood, and rattan blend in seamlessly with the natural landscape. White subway tiles, black-framed windows, and dishware add a crisp modern touch. Accordion windows open up all the way when in use to the open terrace and pool house. Outdoor seating facing in toward the kitchen creates an intimate feel for drinks and casual meals.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Outdoor Kitchen With a Graphic Punch
Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl of the West Hollywood, CA-based interior design firm Studio Life/Style used the same dramatic black-and-white patterned tile on both the outdoor and indoor kitchen of this gorgeous Mulholland home in Los Angeles. The tile brings life to the indoor kitchen and a graphic touch to the lush outdoor kitchen area, while creating a cohesive look throughout the home.
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This indoor-outdoor cabana kitchen designed by New Jersey-based Christina Kim of Christina Kim Interior Design has a beachy vibe that creates a vacation feel in the backyard. Rattan bar stools at the counter facing inward toward the kitchen create a comfortable seating area. A soft white, mint green, and blue palette inside and out and an ombré surfboard leaning up against the side of the cabana reinforces the coastal feel.
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Open Air Dining
The kind of outdoor kitchen that makes sense for your home partly depends on the climate. "I love having an outdoor kitchen," says blogger Leslie from My 100 Year Old Home, "we grill here at least three times a week (all year-round) and I love it when the boys sit at the counter and entertain me while I cook. When we have a party we often use this area as a bar or a buffet. The kitchen has a green egg and a large barbecue. It also has one gas burner for cooking, a sink, an ice maker, and a refrigerator. It is pretty self-sufficient and I can easily cook a full dinner out here."
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Photographer and blogger Aniko Levai from Place of My Taste built her DIY outdoor kitchen around a pretty pergola inspired by Pinterest images to give the space a visual anchor. To complement all the wood, she added stainless steel appliances to create a durable, clean look.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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UK blogger Claire of The Green Eyed Girl turned the small outdoor patio off of her kitchen and dining room into an adjunct kitchen by adding a wood-burning pizza oven constructed from a kit. “That meant it was convenient and accessible if the weather was less than perfect (worth considering when living in the UK!),” Claire writes on her blog. She used carefully chosen reclaimed brick to match the extension and garden wall and planted herbs nearby for sprinkling on freshly homemade pizzas.
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For Steps, a tiny house project in Sweden designed by Rahel Belatchew Lerdell of Belatchew Arkitekter, features an innovative retractable kitchen that pulls out when needed and slides seamlessly into the outdoor staircase structure of the house when not in use. Designed as a guest house, hobby room, or cottage, the structure is constructed with Siberian larch. The minimalist kitchen is equipped with a sink and has counters for food prep or placing portable cooking equipment, and there is additional hidden storage space built beneath the steps.
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Kitchen On Wheels
This homey outdoor kitchen created by Ryan Benoit Design/The Horticult in La Jolla, Calif. is rendered in construction-grade Douglas fir. The outdoor kitchen anchors the rental beach cottage garden, creating space for entertaining. Kitchen cabinetry also houses the garden hose, trash bin, and additional pantry items. The portable kitchen is built on wheels so it can be transported with them when they move, too.
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