Build an Outdoor Cooking and Living Space

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

It seems everybody wants to bridge the gap between indoors and out these days! Have you thought about how you might do that with your own home? Whether you’re building new or renovating, you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor living space that invites you to enjoy more time in the fresh air. You can choose one or go all in with these ideas—your home will only be better for it!

Eldorado Stone Kittredge Gas Burning Fire Pit

Everybody loves to sit by a fire! This Kittredge™ Gas Burning Fire Pit makes it easy to get that fire going, and its radius matches the curved seating walls behind it. See other building blocks to put together your own space!

Homey Living Elements

The best outdoor living arrangements mirror those found inside—that’s why so many people love a good screened porch, nice patio furniture, and a cozy exterior fireplace. Nobody wants to rough it in their own backyard! Think about how you like to spend time on your property; do you like to enjoy the day and/or evenings, and do you prefer to lounge alone or host gatherings? Questions like these will help you figure out how much seating you need, and how you should arrange it to make the best use of space.

Just as the fireplace is the focal point of a living room, an exterior fire element makes a welcome addition to a deck or patio. You’ll find awesome options whether you prefer the convenience of gas or the authentic campfire crackle of wood, and you can customize a fireplace or fire pit with your choice of stone to fit with your aesthetic. If you’re looking for a standalone option that comes fully finished, consider a fire bowl instead. It’ll make a great centerpiece for seating! No matter what you choose, though, having a fire element will extend the season of your outdoor living area and maximize your investment in it.

Eldorado Stone Coastal Ranch Signature Kitchen

If you don’t want to create your own from scratch, opt for one of these pre-designed Signature Kitchens and complete it with your choice of veneer. This is the Coastal Ranch model—we love that it has a raised bar countertop!

A Working Kitchen

Tired of shuttling food in and out when hosting a backyard party? Wish you didn’t have to worry about perishable ingredients? If you like grilling and do it often, it makes sense to give yourself a proper outdoor kitchen that keeps everything you need easily at hand. That means more than a grill with space to hang cooking utensils and a small worktop welded to the side—think cabinets and drawers, a spacious countertop, refrigeration, and a sink to help keep everything tidy. You could even add burners so you don’t have to give up precious rack space for chili!

Building an outdoor kitchen from scratch is quite an undertaking, so simplify the process with a predesigned base that you can fill and finish to your liking. You have to buy the finishing components like appliances and countertops individually—like with any kitchen—but starting with a base makes it so much easier to envision the final product and make sure you end up with a functional space in the end. Don’t forget that an outdoor kitchen requires special plumbing and electrical setups, as well as special outdoor appliances; the price can really add up, so plan early and get some bids before finalizing anything.

Eldorado Stone CoastalReef

Exterior stone elements look great in a variety of contexts! CoastalReef® columns and walls contribute to the chic feel of this outdoor living space with pool. Coral accents are a nice touch near the water, and the color sets off plants beautifully, too.

A Hint of Nature

You’re outside—why not take advantage of that atmosphere? You could complete your space with everything from accent walls, to built-in planters, to water features. If you lack for inspiration, just think about any of your favorite parks, and what about them struck your fancy. Many people love the look of an old stone wall draped in ivy. A series of retaining walls can transform a plain hill into a beautiful tiered garden. The sound of a waterfalling pond can help create a particularly relaxing space. Consider what you have to work with, and ask your builder or a landscape architect what you can do.

Kindred Outdoors & Surrounds has plenty of outdoor living products to make it easy to build the outdoor space of your dreams! You’ll love all the pre-designed kitchens and stylish fire elements, and the fact that they can be finished to fit your particular design vision with stone or brick veneer. Eldorado Stone veneer products work beautifully in a variety of applications—you'll see them featured in every image in this article!—so you can dress up your outdoor living areas to perfection!

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