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Applying Indoor Kitchen Design Concepts to Your Outdoor Kitchen and Entertaining Space

Image of a modern outdoor kitchen with stone veneer, stainless steel grill and lighting under a granite covered bartop.


The outdoor kitchen is much more than just a grill and a cooler. It’s a fully functional cooking space complete with a sink, refrigerator and storage for cooking tools and utensils. Many outdoor kitchens also include a bar or dining area with seating, creating a space that’s perfect for entertaining guests.

When you’ve decided to invest in an outdoor kitchen, the next step is usually looking for design inspiration online and in other backyards. You definitely want to be happy with the end result, and it seems like there is a lot consider when it comes to layout, materials, accessories, appliances and more. But, here’s the secret that can save you time and aggravation: you can and should apply many of the same indoor kitchen design concepts when designing your outdoor kitchen space to create both a beautiful and functional space.  

The best outdoor kitchen designs eliminate the constant back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchens. With a layout that mimics an indoor kitchen, you have everything you need at your fingertips outdoors. Not only is that less stress, but also more time with guests. Using indoor design concepts doesn’t limit the possibilities outdoors. Some homeowners prefer their outdoor kitchens match, or at least complement, their indoor style. Others choose something completely different. Whatever your style, there are a few key design elements to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen.

Choosing an Outdoor Kitchen Layout

The layout of your outdoor kitchen should be functional and make the most of the available space. Your layout should include space for the grill, refrigerator, sink, and any other appliances or features you want to include. You should also consider the flow of traffic, making sure there’s enough space for guests to move around comfortably.

Your outdoor kitchen is a chance to change anything you don’t like about your indoor kitchen. The Complete Home Concepts outdoor kitchen design team asks you questions about how you see yourself really entertaining and cooking. Your answers, along with the appliances you’ve chosen to include, will guide the layout whether it be L-shaped, U-shaped or custom.

Materials Matter for Outdoor Kitchens in Kansas City

Living in Kansas City with its extreme summer heat and winter cold, plus the potential for storms, the materials you choose for your outdoor kitchen should be durable and weather-resistant. Stainless steel is a popular choice for outdoor kitchens because it’s durable, easy to clean and can withstand the elements. Stone and tile are also good choices for outdoor kitchens because they’re durable and can complement any style in your space.

Your choice of bases includes stone, stucco or leaving it for your own finish. Browse stone styles and colors from the Model Stone, Semco or Coronado collections.

For countertops, the best durable options include granite and concrete. Granite is available in your choice of colors and finishes, then cut to your outdoor kitchen’s exact specifications. Super cast, high-grade concrete also comes in a variety of colors and is cut to fit.

Exploring Your Options for Outdoor Kitchen Appliances

A high-quality grill is the centerpiece of most outdoor kitchens. Here are our favorite grill selections:

Blaze Grills are high quality products at a consumer-friendly price point. Whichever model you choose, know it’s manufactured to stand the test of time and backed by a solid warranty. Blaze has gas and charcoal grills, griddles, side burners and power burners to create the perfect outdoor cooking environment.

Hestan products are top of the line in terms of award-winning performance, innovative features and options for the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Hestan grills and kitchen suite products are described as “The best, period” and “Sexy as hell.” Aspire by Hestan takes a just-ignite-and-grill approach. Aspire products come in cobalt, pink, aqua, orange, red and navy for a unique, luxury look. A popular trend in outdoor kitchen designs is the use of color. Bold, vibrant colors are being used to add personality and flair. Bright blues, greens, and reds are popular choices for outdoor kitchens because they add a pop of color that’s perfect for summer.

You also may want to consider a sink and storage for cooking tools and utensils. Depending on whether you intend to use your indoor kitchen, too, or design a full-service outdoor kitchen, other appliances to consider are:

  • Refrigerator
  • Pizza oven
  • Ceramic cooker, like Kamado
  • Warming station/oven
  • Roasting spit
  • Ice makers and wine coolers

Get Ready for the Joy of Cooking in Your Outdoor Kitchen

Bring us your ideas, inspiration photos and your list of wants and needs. Our outdoor kitchen design team will create the layout, help you choose materials and appliances to create a space perfect for your home and budget.

Schedule a Free In-Person Consultation & Estimate for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Invite our outdoor kitchen design experts over to explore all the possibilities. Come by our showroom or contact us today.