July 6, 2016
| Updated July 10, 2019
Thomas J. Story
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Thomas J. Story
Accordion folding doors open the indoor kitchen to the outdoor cooking station and dining area. Adjust the Sunbrella scalloped awning to shade the patio on sunny days. Ceramic porcelain outdoor tiles and linear pavers mimic the mixed flooring inside.
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Bring the festivities outside with a fully-equipped bar. Behind the counter, you’ll find a grill, sink, and TV for watching the big game. The aluminum arbor, above, was custom fabricated by Design Construction. Colin Miller and his team built it on-site and painted it silver to match the wall sconces. Redwood slats cover the top.
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What’s a kitchen without vino? This 20-foot-long outdoor wine bar includes chillers, glass storage, a sink, and a two-burner grill. "I love serving hot nibbles with our tastings," says wine editor Sara Schneider.
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Cedar wood paneling gives this covered outdoor kitchen warmth. The beams—painted green to match the home’s trim—add enough architecture to make the space feel like a bona fide dining room. A grill-side countertop provides space for alfresco cook prep.
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Gus and Stephanie Koven brought their kitchen to the backyard by extending the existing footprint of their home. While not actually outdoors, the room’s covered in translucent Polygal normally used for greenhouses. Doors off the dining area and island open to the fresh air.
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At 1,800 square feet, Chris and Eric Fenmore's home in Corona del Mar, California, can feel a little snug. So Chris designed a backyard that lets her move the party outdoors. "Cooking and dining out here are pure pleasures," she says. "I feel like I’m in an elegant campground." Their large grill and mini fridge keep the culinary fun outside.
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No beach is complete without a sand bar. Enjoy grilled seafood and piña coladas from the barbecue and wet bar toward the back. Built-in seating fits nicely into a space barely large enough to dock a speedboat. Whites, blues, and sandy beiges sustain the coastal mood.
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Glass walls slide almost completely aside to make the deck and kitchen function as one large room. Moving ingredients from kitchen island to grilling station requires no fumbling with doors. From the ceiling to the hardwood floors, coordinated materials also merge the interior and exterior cooking areas.
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Everything the homeowner Jason Isenberg needs to prepare meals outdoors is here in his countertop kitchen, and a few steps away is a stylish veggie garden that yields many of the ingredients he likes to use. A built-in sofa with lime green cushions gets cozy beside the gas firepit. It also keeps guests close to the long concrete counter with the wok, a deep sink that doubles as a beverage cooler, and the buffet area.
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Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic, owners of Heath Ceramics, brought a classic backyard atmosphere to their terrace. Just outside their back door, a dining area has a built-in tiled counter that houses a gourmet grill, bowl sink, and ethanol fireplace.