How to design your summer kitchen

With summer right around the corner, you may be wondering what you can do to spruce up your backyard space for the get-togethers that will soon be happening.  First off, for those that aren’t 100% clear what a summer kitchen is:

“In the past, a summer kitchen was an area that was separate from the main house. The cooking was done in this area so that the main house would not get hot or any hotter than it already was. The cooking portion of the home was not a pleasant room to be in because they were extremely hot and smoky” –

In a more modern sense a summer kitchen refers to the outdoor grilling area on a deck that is connected to the house, or a standalone space in the back yard.  These spaces are great when designed for your needs because it gets you and your family out of the house to enjoy the weather and the beauty of nature.

Stand alone kitchen space via

I have created a Pinterest board of some of my favorite outdoor kitchen spaces, these all convey successful outdoor kitchens that are very inspirational.  The main thing to remember is to find the work space in your kitchen, it’s just as important outdoors as it is inside.  Your Interior Designer can help you with figuring out the layout.


The triangle is important because it helps to optimize the space so the cook isn’t wasting time because of bad organizational layouts. It’s good so dishwasher and stove drawers can open with enough space without bumping into each other.  Once it’s established, you can continue with the fun stuff like deciding on a style and finding the appropriate decor.

Here are my essentials when it comes to decorating a deck or summer kitchen:

-A fan to cool the space off while cooking on the grill or a large umbrella to sit under while eating

-Pretty lighting- these can be stuck in the ground or mounted to the deck

Outdoor lighting options

-Heat lamps are nice for later in the night when it gets chilly.  A fire pit is another option and is great to roast marshmallows for s’mores.

-Potted or hanging plants are great to soften the space but can also be used to provide a little more privacy if you live in a city or don’t have a fence

Greenery image via

-Candles, pretty mosquito netting or curtains all help protect against insects

outdoor textiles

-Poufs or pillows for a more low-key solution to seating since they’re easily moved and rearranged as needed

Outdoor seating options
Outdoor seating options

There are tons of different ways to style your outdoor space, the key is figuring out how you will be using the space and the feeling you want it to convey.  When I design an outdoor space for summer, I like to use bright colors and fun patterns.  The bright colors energize the space and help break it up from all the greenery that surrounds it.

No matter how much your budget is or which style you decide on, make sure it fits your way of life so that you actually use it.  You don’t want to end up with a space that doesn’t fit your personality or else the money spent will have been for nothing.  By choosing furniture and decor that creates your ideal look, it will ensure that you’ll be excited to have people over to entertain.  The better the space is laid out, the more you can stop worrying and enjoy your company more.


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