Designer Lisa Moody’s Dream Outdoor Kitchen

In the June 2014 issue of House & Home, West Coast designer Lisa Moody of Grapevine Furniture & Design breaks down the cost of an outdoor entertaining space item by item. We thought it would be fun to ask her what she would include in an outdoor kitchen if cost was no issue. With summer just around the corner, see if Lisa’s al fresco dream kitchen spurs ideas for your own backyard this season.

House & Home: Tell us about your perfect outdoor kitchen.
Lisa Moody: I would love a grill with a spectacular iron or aged steel hood fan. Stone countertops. A built-in barbecue and cabinetry. The kitchen shouldn’t overpower the space, but allow the cooks to be part of the outdoor action.

H&H: What are the must-have appliances you would include?
LM: A great barbecue with a large grilling area. I like to cook my entire meal on the barbecue so I need a large area to grill. A sink is a must. It would be lovely to have a cutting board and garburator so that food scraps don’t sit in the outdoor garbage where it can be neglected or attract unwanted animals. A fridge. A warming drawer; the cool breeze can quickly cool your food so a warming drawer is an excellent idea. An ice maker would be ideal! A dishwasher would be dreamy!

H&H: In terms of furnishings, is there a special line you prefer, or a material (ie. synthetic wicker, teak)?
I like to combine wicker, wood and stone. Synthetic wicker offers more of a contemporary sleek look. Weathered natural wicker would be less durable but has more of an old world feel. For furniture that will sit out, more exposed to the elements, I have a set from American Home & Patio. Their foam is quick drying, and the synthetic wicker is UV resistant. Lee Industries has some gorgeous weather resistant slipcovered look furniture for outdoors. Its very luxurious and durable. The perfect combination for outdoors! For under cover, nothing really beats Restoration Hardware. All of their collections are gorgeous. I love their grey weathered wicker.

H&H: Is there a layout you gravitate towards (ie. bench seating with a large table)? What does the table look like?
An outdoor living space should have a comfy seating arrangement that somehow surrounds a fire. Whether that be a coffee table fire pit or traditional fireplace. Then a dining area with a weathered teak table and grey weathered wicker chairs. If space is limited a bench offers seating especially great for kids. Don’t forget hanging lighting. Its like jewelry for the room. An outdoor rug also make the room feel more cozy. An electric overhead heat lamp is really practical for Canadian climates, it allows the outdoor space to be used for more months of the year.

H&H: Is there a particular stone for counters or floors that you think is perfect?
LM: There is a new countertop available from the makers of Silestone, it is called Dekton. It is completely weather resistant, UV resistant, and the list goes on. It has a 25 year warranty so it’s a perfect solution for outdoor countertops. They have a really nice concrete colour which would be gorgeous for an outdoor kitchen. For flooring I would love oversized slate tiles. That would be lovely.

H&H: Is there a fantasy feature you have been dying to incorporate for a client, but haven’t yet?
LM: Wouldn’t a drinking fountain be fun for kids playing outside? And every summertime cook would love a wood burning pizza oven! I found one from Williams-Sonoma that gives very similar results to a wood burning pizza oven, but at a considerably less cost.

Photo sources:
All photos via Grapevine Furniture & Design, photography by Janis Nicolay

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