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Outdoor Kitchen Decor: Aesthetic Tips & 8 Best Design Ideas

By Jayme Muller

December 7, 2023

Summer kitchens offer a much-needed reprieve from the realm of indoor living.

From breakfast to dinner and beyond… There’s no better place to take a breather.

And with the right outdoor kitchen decor… You can truly turn your grill island into your own outdoor oasis.

Ornamenting your patio kitchen with pops of color and personal touches will allow you to feel completely at home in your outdoor cooking space.

But when your BBQ island is looking like a blank slate… Where do you even start?

Outdoor Kitchen Decor mood board featured image

To help spark your imagination… We’ve compiled impeccable outdoor kitchen decor ideas inspired by our happy customers’ real-life designs.

So without further ado, it’s time to start decorating.

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In-Vogue Outdoor Kitchen Aesthetics

Before you start dressing up your outdoor kitchen… Ask yourself what style you’re striving for.

Sticking to a specific aesthetic will make it easier to select outdoor themed kitchen decor.

Plus, your finished outdoor space will look more visually consistent.

Need some inspiration? Here are the style trends we see homeowners return to again and again.

Organic

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

The organic aesthetic is directly inspired by nature.

It emphasizes natural or sustainable materials, pops of greenery, fluid/curving lines, and warm earthy hues.

As evidenced in the photo above… Organic outdoor kitchen decor often showcases textured natural stone elements, plant life, and warm wooden accent pieces.

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.

Modern

modern outdoor dining table by linear outdoor kitchen on deck

Modern outdoor kitchens are another ever-popular choice.

This style trend favors sleek, straight lines… Minimalism and monochromatic colors… Industrial, metal furnishings… And often focuses on functionality over flair.

If you’re after a sophisticated outdoor living space… Modern design ideas should be a top contender.

Rustic

couple sitting next to their outdoor kitchen in dallas

Similar to the organic style trend… Rustic design can be defined by natural, earth-inspired elements such as wood and stone.

It’s the polar opposite of modern design… With a preference for weathered or distressed pieces, uneven lines, and ornate, antique metal, wicker, or wooden furnishings.

A rustic outdoor kitchen should exude a warm and comfortable atmosphere… While simultaneously maintaining a semblance of elegance.

Informal

l shape outdoor kitchen on deck with seating

You may already have some outdoor kitchen design ideas in mind… But they don’t exactly conform to a specific style.

That’s okay! You’re definitely not alone.

If you’d rather embrace irregularity and asymmetry in your outdoor kitchen decor… The informal design trend may have more appeal. 

Similar to organic design, curved lines and plant life will be prominent…

But the main goal of the informal style is to create a casual, laid-back space… Without necessarily adhering to specific stylistic limitations. 

All in all… It  leaves much more wiggle room to let your creativity roam free. 

Sticking to a certain aesthetic can certainly make decorating your outdoor kitchen easier… But it’s not absolutely necessary for a beautiful design.

At the end of the day… All that really matters is whether or not you like it. So don’t be afraid to veer off course!

But regardless of the style you choose… The next step is selecting the right colors. 

Creative Color Combos To Consider For Your Outdoor Kitchen Decor

Along with selecting a style… A consistent color palette is yet another great way to keep your patio kitchen cohesive.

Let’s look at some trendy examples.

Earth-Inspired Neutrals

Current outdoor design trends are seeing lots of organic hues and earth-inspired color combos.

Using these neutral shades for your outdoor kitchen decor is truly a celebration of the natural surroundings… Allowing your kitchen to harmoniously blend in with your backyard elements.

Need a visual aid? Here are some earthy-colored outdoor kitchen ideas.

Bold & Bright Pops Of Color

More intense hues and bolder color schemes are also on the rise… Adding vibrance and energy to outdoor spaces.

If you really want to make your outdoor kitchen the focal point of your backyard… Striking, eye-catching shades are the way to go.

Let’s see how other homeowners added vivid tones to their al fresco cooking and dining spaces.

Calm & Cool Color Palettes

For a more serene kitchen island… Consider calm and cool color palettes.

Here are a few examples to keep in mind for a tranquil outdoor kitchen area.

Great Grayscale Ideas

If you want to let the surrounding landscape really speak for itself… Opt for more subdued hues like black, white, and shades of gray.

These timeless tints will never go out of style… And are great for refined and delicate outdoor entertainment areas.

Outdoor Kitchen Decor Ideas To Spark Your Imagination

With style and color squared away… Now, it’s time to tackle decor ideas.

How can you decorate the perfect outdoor patio kitchen?

The ideas below should help you get started.

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1. Factor Furnishings Into Your Outdoor Kitchen Area

Furnished outdoor seating areas are an ever-popular feature to be paired with a grill island.

From outdoor dining areas to cozy al fresco lounges… There are a lot of different ways to embellish your entertainment space!

Shall we have a look at some options?

Outdoor Bar

An outdoor bar is a fantastic furnishing choice for your summer kitchen… Especially for those with small spaces.

Adding an outdoor bar island and stools to your design will provide everything from extra prep area, to dining space, to an after-dinner relaxing zone.

But on top of being ergonomic and functional… Outdoor bar islands are also a great way to add some visual appeal to your kitchen area.

The right set of bar stools can beautifully mesh with your preferred decor aesthetic… Or even add a welcome pop of color or texture to your space.

Just keep in mind that you can’t use any old set of indoor kitchen bar stools in your outdoor dining area…

You’ll want to keep an eye out for outdoor-rated bar stools specifically!

For the most durable, weatherproof options… Look for bar stools constructed with metal (corrosion-resistant 304 stainless steel is ideal!), resin wicker, resin rattan, or recycled plastic.

Outdoor Dining Area

Naturally, dining tables are a go-to choice for furnishing an outdoor kitchen area.

Just like your indoor dining room… A full table and chairs set beside your outdoor cooking area will provide a spacious spot for you and your guests to enjoy meals, fresh off the grill.

But not only are they practical… Outdoor dining tables are also a great solution for those looking to fill up empty deck or patio space.

And with so many options out there… Finding the right dining table to match your outdoor kitchen decor ideas should be a walk in the park.

As with bar stools… Metal, resin wicker or rattan, or recycled plastic outdoor tables will be the most weatherproof choices.

But that said, many also gravitate towards more visually versatile wooden outdoor dining tables. In this case, we’d suggest teak or sealed wood dining sets… As these will have the highest weather-resistance. (Weatherproof covers are also a worthwhile investment!)

Cozy Outdoor Seating Area

l shaped outdoor kitchen in texas next to outdoor seating with a pergola

Who said sofa sets, lounge chairs, and loveseats were only for interior design?

If you want to keep the party going after you’ve cooked and dined… Adding a lounge seating area alongside your grill station is a given.

Not only does this expand the potential of your entertainment space… But it’s another great way to make your outdoor kitchen area feel more like an extension of your home.

Not to mention… Colorful outdoor cushioning is yet another way to add aesthetic consistency throughout your space.

As with the other outdoor furniture options we’ve discussed… Resin wicker or rattan, metal, or recycled plastic options will be the longest-lasting outdoors.

And as for the cushions… Sunbrella, olefin, or acrylic fabrics are often considered the best at holding up to water and UV damage.

2. Make Your Outdoor Kitchen Homey With Decorative Accessories

So you have the furniture… Now what?

To really mimic the comforts of indoor living in your outdoor space… The next step is adding some cozy, homey touches and decorative accessories.

Need some ideas? We’ve got you covered.

If you’ll be including an outdoor bar or table alongside your BBQ island… You can adorn these areas with decorative placemats, table runners, flower vases, candles, or other small accent pieces. (Much like you’d do in your indoor space!)

Outdoor throw or area rugs on your deck or patio will also add visual intrigue and personalization to your BBQ island… Making your outdoor kitchen area feel more “lived in,” so to speak.

And if you have a lounge seating area… Including plenty of weather-resistant throw pillows is an impeccable decor idea. (Not to mention, the coziness of your outdoor space will skyrocket!)

Now, how else can you furnish an outdoor kitchen area?

Style and Durability

Use our free 3D design tool to create the perfect space for functionality, durability and style. Get started today.

3. Catch Some Shade With An Outdoor Kitchen Cover

To truly turn your patio kitchen area into an honest-to-goodness outdoor room… You can top it off with a roof!

A covered outdoor kitchen area will protect you from the elements… Keeping things cool, dry, and comfortable.

And if you play your cards right… Outdoor kitchen roofs can positively contribute to your BBQ island’s overall aesthetic appeal.

Let’s look at some popular options for your outdoor kitchen under cover.

Pergolas

modern outdoor kitchen by pool in backyard under pergola

A pergola is a type of shade structure that filters light through a slatted rooftop.

Though pergolas don’t provide full coverage from the elements… They will block harsh UV rays, making your outdoor living space more comfortable on hot summer days.

To match your outdoor kitchen decor aesthetic… Pergolas are available in a variety of materials including metal, plastic, and wood.

(Note that wooden pergolas will require plenty of upkeep… Plus, they’re not fire resistant. To avoid a safety hazard, you’ll want plenty of clearance between your built-in grill and a wooden pergola!)

Pavilions And Gazebos

l shape outdoor kitchen with rug on deck under pavilion

Outdoor kitchen pavilions and gazebos alike feature solid, full coverage roofs to completely block out the rain, snow, and sun.

While pavilions are typically rectangular with flat or pointed roofs… Gazebos may be either octagonal or square, with a peaked roof. (There’s not much difference between the two!)

Oftentimes, you’ll find pavilions and gazebos constructed with wood, metal, or vinyl frames… With shingled or metal roofs.

These will be available in a variety of colors and styles… To match outdoor kitchen spaces from modern to rustic.

As with pergolas… You should have plenty of clearance between your built-in appliances and pavilion or gazebo, particularly if you opt for a wooden covering atop your kitchen.

Installing an outdoor kitchen vent hood is also required in most situations when grilling under a solid roof covering, (especially in spaces with limited airflow) so keep this in mind!

Awnings

Awnings are directly attached to your home’s exterior, and will extend over your outdoor living space to provide some shade.

Most frequently, you’ll find awnings made with metal or waterproof fabrics… Both of which will be available in an array of colors to match your desired outdoor kitchen decor ideas.

As with the other roof coverings we’ve discussed… Just be sure there’s plenty of ventilation if you’ll be installing an outdoor kitchen below a full-coverage awning, especially if you’re leaning towards fabric!

Now, let’s move onto another outdoor kitchen decor idea.

4. Adorn Your Island With A Backsplash

outdoor kitchen with backsplash and vent hood
linear island under roof next to pool

To add more color, texture, and striking visual interest to your outdoor kitchen space… Why not incorporate a backsplash behind your prep station?

A backsplash will beautifully offset your BBQ island and stainless steel appliances.

And in addition to serving as outdoor kitchen wall decor… Did you know that backsplashes offer a much more functional purpose?

That’s right! If your kitchen is placed directly against a wall… A tile, stainless steel, stone, brick, or concrete backsplash will protect said wall from grease stains (and potential grease fires).

What better way to curb a safety risk than with a beautiful adornment?

Use Nature As A Backdrop

l shaped outdoor kitchen with outstanding lake views
outdoor kitchen on deck with mountain views

Not planning to build an outdoor kitchen against a wall?

Well, a backsplash may not be a feasible outdoor kitchen decor idea… But it’s still possible to add a beautiful backdrop to your space.

As you plan your outdoor kitchen and deliberate on your backyard design… Consider if you have a favorite view on your property.

If so, plan to use it as a natural backdrop when you build your outdoor kitchen!

5. Illuminate Your Outdoor Kitchen Space For Evening Entertainment

Ornamenting your island with outdoor kitchen lighting is yet another illuminating decor idea.

To further expand on this point, there are a few different lighting ideas to consider.

Task Lighting

outdoor lighting on wall above l shape outdoor kitchen

First, task lighting. This type of lighting is intended to illuminate specific work surfaces or areas of your kitchen, so you can always complete your food prep and cooking tasks with ease.

Not only will task lighting add a warm glow to your kitchen area… It’ll also make it much more functional after dark.

Under-counter lights are a good example of outdoor kitchen task lighting. Many will make use of LED strip lights below the countertop of their kitchen to illuminate their cabinetry, access doors, mini fridge, or other under-counter components.

To illuminate your full workspace, you can also include recessed or string lighting overhead to shed some light on your kitchen… Or opt for wall sconces to lighten up your countertops, built-in grill, and other appliances.

Ambient Lighting

new jersey outdoor kitchen by rta at night with lighting

Ambient lighting sets the mood in an outdoor area, by providing equal (typically soft) illumination throughout a space.

In general, it’ll also enable better nighttime visibility.

Recessed lighting, wall sconces, and string lights are all go-to types of ambient lighting… To make your space warm, welcoming, and safer after sundown.

6. Use Greenery In Your Grilling Station

Factoring in plant life is another incredible outdoor kitchen decor idea… To add natural beauty, color, and visual interest to your space.

With so many plant species and tons of different ways to accessorize your island with greenery… It’s an ultra-versatile idea, too!

Allow us to give you a taste as to how greenery can open up a realm of creative backyard design ideas.

Planters

No matter where you set up your summer kitchen… Pairing it with planters (and plenty of them!) is a wonderful way to celebrate your natural surroundings.

You can easily choose the shape and size of your planters… Which plant life you want on display… Plus, you won’t have to worry about maintaining a manicured garden (Which is a bonus for those of us without a green thumb!)

linear grill island on balcony with planters

Garden Beds

If you want your outdoor kitchen area to be absolutely surrounded by sprawling plant life… Adding garden beds nearby is your best option.

Depending on your climate… You could plan to always have something in bloom, painting your outdoor kitchen area in bright splashes of natural beauty throughout the seasons.

Live Plant Walls

This decor idea may be a bit more avant-garde… But there’s no denying its splendor.

While this homeowner opted to adorn their outdoor kitchen area with a tropical succulent wall… Your options here are truly limitless.

For a decor idea that’s both awe-worthy and practical… We’d suggest taking a spin on this design with a living herb wall!

That way, you could always have your favorite fresh seasonings conveniently on hand… While simultaneously adding a splash of natural color to your patio kitchen.

7. Decorate Your Outdoor Kitchen Area With Landscaping Additions

To truly make the most of your natural surroundings… Why not decorate your outdoor kitchen area with tasteful landscape or hardscape design? 

Here are a few inspiring landscaping additions to complement your outdoor kitchen design.

Water Features

outdoor kitchen next to water feature
water feature with fire pit next to outdoor kitchen under pergola

If you’re all about tranquil and calming outdoor kitchen decor… Consider furnishing your BBQ island area with a water feature.

On top of adding some upscale charm to your patio… Fountains, waterfalls, or even beautiful stony streams alongside your summer kitchen will enhance the soundscape and serenity in your backyard.

Fire Features

outdoor living space with fire feature
patio paver idea with pavilion and outdoor kitchen

Fire pits or outdoor fireplaces are other decorative and functional landscape features we’d encourage adding to your outside living room.

There’s nothing more comforting than sitting around crackling flames as you cook, dine, or recline in your grill station.

Plus, the warm glow of fire will introduce an inviting ambiance in your outdoor entertaining space… Encouraging you to stay outdoors even after dusk.

8. Add A Personal Touch

Finally… It may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember your own personal tastes as you decorate your outdoor kitchen.

Just as you decorate a house to make it feel like home… An outdoor kitchen should be decorated to make it feel like your own.

So, how can you accomplish this?

As evidenced in the examples above… Decorating your kitchen island with personalized wooden signs and wall hangings is an easy way to make your cooking space feel more snug, welcoming, and tailored to you.

After something more hands-on? If you’re more experienced… You could even give pouring your own countertops a shot. We recently had a customer go all out with their DIY outdoor kitchen counter space, as you can see above.

But of course, before you can get started on personalized outdoor kitchen decor…

The first thing you’ll need is a personalized outdoor kitchen.

Start Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen Decorations

Alright. We’ve covered a ton of trendy outdoor kitchen design ideas… And now, it’s time to put them to the test.

But if you don’t already have one… The first step is getting an outdoor kitchen of your own to decorate.

And if you’re eager to get started… We have an easy way for you to jump in.

Our RTA outdoor kitchens!

We understand the importance of personalizing an outdoor kitchen… Which is why we’ve made customization a breeze.

To match your preferred style… We offer finishes and countertops appealing to a variety of aesthetics.

From organic weathered wood or stacked stone offerings… To industrial concrete or modern stone… To rustic reclaimed brick or plank… You won’t have trouble finding an island finish that speaks to your tastes.

We also offer a range of white or gray granite countertops… Plus clean edge or chiseled concrete options in smoky, hickory, or cloudy hues.

Along with finishes… Layout, dimensions, and included components (Future Blog Link) are also entirely at your discretion. It’s your space, after all!

You can furnish your kitchen with built-in gas grills, pellet grills, charcoal smokers, griddles, refrigerators, sinks, and more from Coyote Outdoor Living’s durable and elegant appliance line… As well as authentic and beautiful Italian-handcrafted pizza ovens from Alfa.

Wondering how to get started? It’s easy. With our free online design tool, you can DIY a complete 3D rendering of your island in a matter of minutes.

You’ll also be connected one-on-one with a Design Expert, happy to answer any and all of your questions…

And in the meantime, our Learning Hub offers yet more information to help you nail your outdoor kitchen decor.

We’re ecstatic to help bring your ideas to life!

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

Tones like gray, beige, white, or black, are good color choices for the structure and countertops of your outdoor kitchen.

These colors are unlikely to go out of style anytime soon… Plus, this allows for a versatile, neutral canvas for you to add brighter pops color through the addition of creative outdoor kitchen decor.

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