In the Design Studio: Outdoor Party Season Is Here


This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and check out her work on Houzz; Pinterest; Facebook; and Twitter.

With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, now is the perfect time to spruce up your outdoor living space. Nothing is more convenient then an outdoor kitchen: you can entertain your guests right in the backyard, without running inside to cook.

As shown in the my previous blog posts, today’s kitchen trends incorporate durable elements with personal taste. Whatever the size of your space, you can combine custom appliances and cabinets made out of elegant-yet-hardy materials with a variety of texture and plants to create a space where your guests will feel at home.


Any size outdoor kitchen will be convenient and attractive if the space is laid out well. Outdoor kitchen/Anna GibsonIn a small yard, position a top-of-the-line grill opposite a cozy couch and weatherproof coffee table. If you’ve got room to grow, cabinets and countertops add storage and extend your prep space. The shape of an outdoor kitchen can be more creative, from an L shape to a wave. Follow the flow of your backyard’s current layout to maximize space.


The grill is a must-have. Your outdoor kitchen will also benefit from extras, like a warming drawer and a side burner for veggies. The popularity of outdoor kitchens

means a plethora of options for storing cold food. A rolling cooler box is an economical option, whereas Sub-Zero‘s built-in ice makers and coolers are investment-worthy additions. Top it all off with an outdoor television, built to withstand the climate changes and reduce glare.


Materials in Outdoor kitchen/Anna Gibson The warmth ​and durability of ​natural stone can make a large space feel cozy, whereas its elegance makes an intimate area feel more grand. Metal cabinets are sleek as well as practical since most wood doesn’t hold up as well in outdoor environments. If you prefer wood, opt for teak which, with annual oiling, will last a lifetime.


Building cabinets and appliances out of ​concrete can make them permanent and sometimes too heavy for a deck. I recommend Atlantis Cabinets, where you can find seasonal cabinets made from the familiar decking material, Trex. A variety of layout options are available, from one cabinet for storage to a full kitchen layout, and their materials are built to withstand extreme temperatures.   Outdoor kitchen cabinets/Anna Gibson


To make your outdoor kitchen feel personable and inviting, include colors and textures from inside your home when designing outdoors.  While the appliances, cabinets and countertops might remain neutral, you bring in color through cushions, pillows and a quality indoor/outdoor rug. Try a company like Wayfair ​or Summer Living Direct to customize outdoor accessories in your desired color palette.


Outdoor garden/Anna GibsonPlants are a must for any living area, but feel particularly relevant to outdoor spaces. A great option is an herb garden. Not only you get lush greenery but also fresh herbs for your cooking at your figure tips. You can add plants that vary in height and color and flourish in the climate you live in. ​Try combining Phlox for some lush spring colors with Siberian Cypress, which provides a green view year round.

​​Recent changes in family lifestyles and the continued popularity of open concept living has solidified the kitchen as our central gathering location. This summer, let your outdoor kitchen fulfill that role. Nothing is more perfect summer day than an al fresco meal with friends, hosted in your backyard.

­Need another reason to invest in your outdoor space? It is a good investment. According to Amy Gaeta of Fretz, national distributors of Sub-Zero and Wolf, “The outdoor segment of home remodeling is a growing trend and home owners can expect to recoup up to 75 percent of their expense at sale time.” ​

Got a design question? Email us at [email protected] or tweet @akgdesignstudio and will post it on our next blog!

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