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Luxury Outdoor Kitchen: 5 Astounding Ideas & How to Get a Luxury Island without Breaking the Bank

By James King

May 8, 2023

More than likely… You’re here because you want to add a luxury element to your backyard.

And currently, you’re toying with the idea of a luxury outdoor kitchen.

But you may also be wondering… Aren’t all outdoor kitchens considered luxury?

Well, not quite.

You’ll find that the more you research… The more you discover that not all outdoor kitchens are made equal.

With that said, let’s discuss what makes a luxury outdoor kitchen… As well as several ways you can get a luxury island, without the luxury price tag.

Time to get your questions answered.

Quicklinks

mike pyle modern large u shaped outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and bar seating

What Makes a Luxury Outdoor Kitchen?

As we’ve already established… Not all outdoor kitchen cabinetry meets the luxury qualification.

Let’s talk about what brings a ho-hum island to a full-on luxury experience. (With all the bells and whistles!)

High-End Built-In Appliance Brands

What’s the hallmark of a luxury outdoor kitchen?

The outdoor kitchen appliance brand you choose to include.

If you’re unfamiliar… There are three grill classes to consider: economy, premium, and luxury.

Economy appliances are decent starter options. They’re inexpensive… But they’re not built to last, made from poor quality materials, and don’t fit the classic luxury aesthetic.

Premium appliances are a large step up! They’ll be made with top-notch materials, often with a lifetime warranty… And the design will align with a high-end feel.

But you’re after luxury.

Luxury appliances offer the same top-shelf quality and warranty of premium appliances… But you also get the bells and whistles.

Modern design elements and upgraded grill accessories are said bells and whistles here!

Now… What would be some luxury grill brand examples?

Wolf, Hestan, Lynx, Twin Eagles, Alfresco, and Kalamazoo are all well-known in the luxury grill space.

Their designs ooze opulence… And come equipped with the best performance possible.

However, it’s not the grill alone that makes your island “luxury”.

Want to bring your idea to life?

Use our free 3D design tool to bring the outdoor kitchen of your dreams to reality in just a few minutes.

Is Your Island Built for Luxury?

rta outdoor kitchen with pizza oven

If you want a luxury outdoor kitchen… You’re going to need the full package!

It’s not enough to have stellar built-in appliances. The rest of your island has to play the part.

Ultimately, this comes down to two categories… Build method and materials.

An off-the-shelf prefab island from Home Depot simply won’t make a luxury experience.

Not only will it not look the part… The material quality will leave much to be desired. (And you’ll need to replace it in a few years!)

For a luxury outdoor kitchen… Concrete, brick, 304 stainless steel, and stone are the material options of choice.

However, you’ll want to stick with concrete for the best modern luxury aesthetic.

Why?

Concrete can be molded to match any finish or aesthetic you desire. Whether it’s plank or a sleek, matte finish… The options to elevate your design are limitless.

Further, concrete nails it in the material quality category. You won’t have to be concerned with rust, corrosion, warping, swelling, rotting, or insect damage.

And since you’ll be making the extra effort to create a luxury island experience… Removing the need for maintenance and repairs is a welcome outcome.

If you’d rather work with a modular manufacturer, consider Danver or John Michael. Their 304 stainless or marine grade stainless islands offer a modular luxury island solution, at the luxury price point.

Lastly… Your outdoor kitchen design is essential to ensuring your island sells the luxury look.

Design & Aesthetics of a Luxury Island

luxury built in grill in rta. outdoor kitchen

We’ve touched upon what a luxury outdoor kitchen might look like… But how would that be described, exactly?

First and foremost, luxury islands are designed with your comfort in mind. They will come equipped with all the conveniences you could possibly need when cooking outdoors.

Which means… Your island should reflect all the amenities of your indoor kitchen.

Paper towel holders, spice racks, ice makers, refrigerators, sinks… The whole deal.

Further, the layout of your island should flow effortlessly. As you grill, everything you need should be within reach… Or just a few easy steps away.

And of course, a luxury island needs to incorporate the highest quality materials. A granite countertop is the perfect way to showcase the opulence of your island. (They quite literally gleam in the sun.)

The rest comes down to personalization.

Your luxury island should reflect your unique needs… Which means, it must be customized to your space!

Now, what about those styles we mentioned?

Luxury Outdoor Kitchen Styles

Here’s where the waters get a bit more muddied.

As with just about anything… The answer is not straightforward!

Generally speaking, a luxury island could fall into four different style categories.

There’s traditional, contemporary, modern, and eclectic styles to luxury design.

Let’s explain.

Traditional Luxury

l shaped grill island with dual burner and double access doors on patio in reclaimed brick finish

Traditional luxury leans into the feeling of elegance and opulence. These spaces will often have brass antique accent pieces and ornate wooden elements.

For an outdoor kitchen… A white reclaimed brick or stacked stone finish would mesh well with this style.

Contemporary Style

Contemporary style is “of the moment”. And currently… Clean lines and minimalism dominate this style.

For an outdoor kitchen, a modern concrete finish with lots of open space would be an excellent choice.

Modern Design

rta outdoor kitchen in charcoal plank under metal roof structure

Modern design has the same affinity for clean lines and minimalism. However, modern design also leans into some bold colors and statement pieces.

Once again, a modern concrete finish would be right at home here. Modern stone and plank finishes would also be nice choices… Offering a high-contrast backdrop for you to complement bold statement pieces elsewhere in your space!

Lastly, there’s eclectic luxury. In truth… This is really just a hodge-podge of any styles that appeal to you. The touch of luxury here is just springing for the highest-quality, most opulent elements possible.

In terms of finish… That leaves the discretion up to you! However, wood, tile, or stucco finishes generally don’t give the impression of luxury. (They also don’t tend to hold up well long term!)

With all of these words like “opulence” and “elegance” being thrown around… You might be getting a bit concerned about the price of all this.

So…

Does a High-End Outdoor Kitchen Have to be Expensive?

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?

You’ve got a taste for luxury… But your wallet isn’t exactly on the same page.

The average cost of an outdoor kitchen is $12,000 – $13,000. But the cost of a highly customized island can hit $25,000, $30,000… Even $40,000 or more.

This might be well out of the range you were imagining for your budget.

Does that mean you have to give up hope for a luxury island?

Not at all!

Some simple swaps will ensure you can get the experience of a luxury outdoor kitchen… Without destroying your wallet!

Consider Premium Built-In Appliances

Rather than springing for the highest-end grill manufacturer you can find… Why not temper your expectations a bit?

Choosing premium class appliances are often a wise choice! And for several reasons.

Obviously, there’s a huge cost-savings. A luxury built-in grill will start at $5,000 (and can often cost in excess of $10,000)

Whereas, a premium built-in grill will start at around $1,500… And cap out at the $5,000 mark.

Just that choice alone will save you thousands of dollars! (Not to mention, savings on all the other accessories!)

And the best part about it?

You’re not even taking a hit on quality.

Premium and luxury appliances are on the exact same footing when it comes to quality. Both classes will offer you complete 304 stainless steel construction… Ensuring your appliances are built to thrive in the outdoor environment.

Same goes for the warranty. Just like luxury appliances, most premium manufacturers will back their product with a lifetime warranty.

This might sound too good to be true… What do you have to lose?

Well, not much… Really!

The only thing you’ll lose out on with premium appliances are the bells and whistles. The design might not be quite as classy… And they won’t come with as many extra features.

For example, you might not get LED lit grill knobs or a rotisserie kit. (Even still, many premium grills come with these features anyway!)

Ultimately, it comes down to your budget… And how much you have your heart set on a luxury brand.

But to us… Saving several grand by choosing premium appliances is a serious win.

Consider a High-End DIY Kit

stacked stone terra linear grill island next to pool with pizza own and refrigerator

If you’re working within a tight budget… Working with a contractor or mason for a scratch-built island simply won’t work!

A completely customized project is extremely expensive… Not to mention, the initial quote often doesn’t match up with the final cost.

Which means… Expenses keep creeping up, and there’s not much you can do about it.

As long as you work with a contractor, that is!

There’s something you can do to avoid blowing your budget to smithereens.

Consider using a high-end DIY kit!

And yes… “high-end” is a key word here!

Many outdoor kitchen kits are a far cry from being considered “luxury”… So you have to tread carefully in these waters!

Metal or wood framed kits won’t give you the luxury aesthetic… Nor will they be built to last the long haul. (Many kits will come with a subpar warranty to imply this.)

And if the price seems too good to be true… That’s probably because it is.

So, what should you look for?

A ready to assemble, concrete panel outdoor kitchen kit is your best choice here. (This is what we offer!)

We’ll discuss in more detail shortly… But let’s introduce why this is important.

RTA islands are made from high performance concrete… And will come with a lifetime structural warranty.

So there’s no need to be concerned with longevity here!

And because we use concrete… The finish options are far more aligned with the luxury aesthetic.

We’ll be the first to admit that RTA isn’t the cheapest option out there.

However, compared to a completely customized, scratch-built island… You’ll still save a boatload of cash going with an RTA kit instead.

Our islands are assembled in a single day… Which means you’re avoiding thousands of dollars in labor costs!

Which means every precious dollar is going where it counts.

Now, there’s one more way you can get a luxury island for less.

Get Creative with the Design

Going through the traditional routes for an outdoor kitchen design will cost you an arm and a leg!

Just think about it for a moment.

If you want a truly luxury island… You’ll want to hire an expert outdoor kitchen designer to draft up your plans.

That’s not cheap!

Is there an alternative?

Why, of course!

There are ways to get a free outdoor kitchen design… If you play your cards right.

Several high-end outdoor kitchen kit brands offer a free online design tool.

These are self-serve tools that allow you to play around with different designs… And discover what you truly want for your space.

Some brands will even give you access to that design for free (or a minimal cost), that you could bring to your contractor to finish the plans.

Or if you love the exact design you created… You could just go with that brand! You won’t pay for the design, and you’ll get the exact island you’re after.

Starting to feel more confident about fitting a luxury island into your budget?

With all that said… Let’s take a look at some ideas for inspiration!

Bring Luxury to your backyard

Elevate your backyard by using our free 3D design tool to create your luxury grill island.

Luxury Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Before you get started on your project… You’ll have to figure out what you want your luxury outdoor kitchen to look like!

Let’s browse a few examples.

Reclaimed Brick Luxury Outdoor Kitchen Design

This luxury island is an absolute stunner!

The reclaimed brick finish takes the best of the traditional aesthetic… With the white hue firmly bringing this look into the modern luxury realm.

It’s classy. No doubt about it.

Taking a closer look at this L-shaped island… You’ll discover an impressive array of outdoor appliances.

There’s an expansive Italian-made pizza oven (with wood storage underneath), an outdoor refrigerator, pull out trash, outdoor grill, access doors, power burner, and charcoal grill.

Basically… Everything you could possibly need for an incredible barbecue party!

Wood-fired pizza with an array of all your guests’ favorite toppings… Asian-inspired meals with a wok on the power burner… Delectable surf and turf on the grill… Brisket on the smoker…

The possibilities are endless!

If you can dream it up, you can execute it with this luxury island!

Outdoor Kitchen Luxury by the Pool

modern linear outdoor kitchen with pizza oven by pool

This image is an excellent example of how your entire outdoor living space contributes to the sense of luxury.

Of course, this island has a wonderfully high-end look… But the rest of the space truly brings it together!

The clean, angular lines of the patio create the foundations of modern luxury. The metal pergola offers a nice point of contrast… With tasteful plantings and use of lawn space prevent the area from becoming monochrome.

And of course, how could we forget the pool?

Just steps away from the island… This pool firmly brings the luxury feeling to the forefront.

Your guests will love swimming up to the island, watching your progress as you grill a fantastic meal.

Speaking of the outdoor kitchen…

The modern concrete finish is a perfect match for this space! The transition between the island and patio is absolutely seamless… Further contributing to the elegant aesthetic.

As for appliances… This island comes well-equipped with a gas grill, access doors, refrigerator, and a large outdoor pizza oven.

Talk about a luxury kitchen!

High-End Outdoor Kitchen Designs

mike pyles u shaped outdoor kitchen with pizza oven refrigerator and two grills

The first thing you’ll notice about this outdoor kitchen is the size… It’s massive!

And if over-the-top extravagance is your goal… This homeowner’s example is the one to live by!

First, you’ve got the sleek, modern concrete finish. These islands are topped off with ultra-thick marble countertops with a tasteful gray swirl throughout.

Wooden elements and carefully-planned greenery bring life into this space… Which may have gotten washed out without these pops of color.

Now, let’s dig into this high-end luxury outdoor kitchen.

The bar island on the left offers dedicated seating space for your guests… Providing the perfect venue for your loved ones to chat with you as you cook.

The center island features a flat top griddle, combination storage, refrigerator, BBQ grill… And a large pizza oven tucked into the corner.

That’s a lot of cooking appliances! Yet, there’s still enough counter space between elements to make for efficient prep space.

To the right, there’s a double pull out trash and recycle bin, pellet grill, door storage, and to top it all off… A spice rack.

For the outdoor cooking enthusiast… This island is a match made in heaven!

Outdoor Entertaining with Modern Luxury

l shape plank outdoor kitchen

While bright finishes often dominate the space of modern design… There’s plenty of room for some dark contrasts!

Take this island, for example.

Without other elements to provide contrast… The dark, charcoal finish provides a nice contrast to the lighter hue of the patio.

But there’s so much more to this island that makes it luxury!

The light gray granite countertops provide a lovely match with the patio… A small touch that goes a long way to creating that high-end look.

Now, let’s look toward the appliances.

There’s a Big Green Egg nestled into a sleeve with storage underneath… Which is an excellent feature for all your favorite smoked and charcoal-infused grilling staples.

And if you’re looking for convenience… You can quickly fire up the natural gas grill for some burgers!

Plus, you’ll have plenty of storage with the double and triple drawers. Also, you’ve got the pull out trash bin for keeping your space tidy.

You’ll even see that there’s room for bar seating over to the right side.

It’s everything you need… All in one place!

And what more could you ask for, when it comes to a luxury grill island?

Traditional Outdoor Luxury Kitchen

l shaped outdoor bar under gazebo

Most of the islands you’ve seen so far lean into either a contemporary luxury or modern luxury style… But what about traditional luxury?

Here’s an excellent example!

This island features a stunning stacked stone finish… Offering that traditional aesthetic, but retaining a high degree of refinement.

Plus, the thin countertops keep this island from leaning to the rustic side.

The rest of this space features simple, clean elements, with a tasteful pavilion overhead… Allowing your luxury island to truly shine here!

And looking to the appliances, this island is jam-packed! It also proves that you can achieve a luxury experience… Without a massive layout.

In this island, youll find a large gas grill, access doors, pull out trash, and an outdoor sink with faucet.

Even with all those accessories, there’s plenty of counter space for prepping and serving food! (You even have a bar island for comfortable seating.)

Starting to get some ideas for your luxury entertainment space?

If so… You may still have some hesitations when it comes to price.

Get Yourself a Luxury Island, Without the Luxury Price Tag

You have a taste for the finer things in life… But you don’t necessarily want to donate a kidney for it.

What you’re looking for is aspirational… But attainable.

What’s the solution?

A custom outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living.

There’s several reasons for this… And it all connects to what we discussed earlier.

First of all, our islands come with premium best-in-class appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living.

They offer you luxury quality (304 stainless steel, lifetime warranty, powerful features)… Without the wince-inducing cost of a luxury class appliance.

Remember those outdoor kitchen ideas you just saw?

Those are all Coyote appliances!

Needless to say… These appliances will be right at home in your luxury outdoor kitchen.

Just right there, you’re saving thousands… Without sacrificing an ounce of quality.

And to sweeten the pot, RTA is a high-end outdoor kitchen kit option!

Our ready to assemble islands take mere hours to assemble… And there’s no construction experience required to do it.

You align the panels, bolt them together, place the countertop, and slide in the appliances. Talk about convenience!

Even if you don’t want to install the island yourself… We have an ever-expanding contractor network that can assist you with the task.

You’ll only have to pay them for a single day… Which will still save you thousands! You won’t be paying a contractor for weeks, or even months, of labor.

And like we touched on earlier… RTA Outdoor Living also can provide you with a free online design tool.

You’re getting a highly customized design… Without any additional cost to you.

The configurations are just about limitless, so why not try it for yourself?

You can draft up the luxury island of your dreams… And we’ll work one-on-one with you to perfect the plans!

Sound good?

Get started with your luxury design!

Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

FAQ

There are several compelling benefits of having a luxury outdoor kitchen. Just with aesthetics alone, a luxury island will greatly elevate your outdoor space and create an elegant atmosphere. Luxury islands will also include top-of-the-line appliances, which will afford you an excellent cooking experience. Not to mention… The sheer value of your luxury island will increase the value of your home, should you decide to sell in the future.

In truth, a grilling station and outdoor kitchen are interchangeable terms. The real question here is “luxury”. A luxury outdoor kitchen will feature high-end appliances, a refined aesthetic, and the best materials money has to offer. A grill station could be considered luxury if it has these features, but it is far more broad of a term.

There are three primary categories to consider if you’re planning a luxury outdoor kitchen. 1. The appliances should be high-end 2. The materials should be top quality 3. The design should reflect a luxury aesthetic, and is often highly customized.

Several materials can be used in a luxury outdoor kitchen. Concrete is the best, most durable material we recommend. However, brick and stone are also good options for a luxury island. For countertops, granite and marble are excellent options for durability (and match the luxury aesthetic).

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