Outdoor Kitchens & Pools

By Alyssa Mammano

Evolved from days of grill-centric designs and sporadic outdoor seating are modern-day summer kitchens and outdoor spaces configured with entertaining in mind. Once again at the cusp of home improvement project trends, outdoor living areas have become equally as comfortable as indoor spaces.

Developments in interior design styles have transcended to the outdoors through cohesive modern upgrades in weatherproof cabinetry and complimentary flooring, as well as high-end appliances and fully functioning kitchenware.

The ubiquitous bean-shaped pools of yesteryear have come a long way, as well. Customization and comfort are more prevalent than ever in pool installations and water quality.

Luxury Lives Outdoors

Conveniences that are customary indoors have found a way to be functional outdoors, creating the ideal outdoor sanctuary that homeowners seek. A love for living outside and utilizing exterior areas has inspired luxurious amenities to conform.

Intentional seating areas encourage gatherings, and varying elevations create privacy and spark conversation. Architectural structures such as dividing walls, pergolas and screened-in rooms define spaces for dining, tv viewing or tanning. Stone flooring sets the stage for a full summer kitchen complete with weather-resistant cabinets, stone countertops, sink with faucet, dishwasher, refrigeration and the ever-essential grilling unit.

A unique pool design completes the space with water features, a sunning shelf and natural or salt water. Lighting, fire features and fountains throughout result in a relaxed ambiance, while heating and cooling systems ensure year-round use.

Style is Essential

Similar to style trends seen in modern indoor kitchens, outdoor kitchens are outfitted in chic aesthetics as an extension of the estate’s interior design.

Stone and tile flooring can continue through to the outdoor kitchen and pool surround. Custom cabinetry can be matched to that of interior kitchens and baths. High style appliances complete the design in tones that have expanded upon the traditional stainless-steel finish.

In the same way that indoor kitchens and baths are undergoing contemporary updates, outdoor kitchens have also been revamped to exude avant-garde stylings in clean lines and sleek surfaces.

Modern pool designs have taken on a timeless long, rectangular shape with straight perimeters and smooth finishes, as well. Elevating the streamlined look to the next level, infinity-edge pools create the illusion that the body of water flows seamlessly into the skyline.

Nestled in Nature

Design trends such as Biophilic Design impress upon the important connection between humans and nature. The integration of gardens and greenery in interior spaces conveys the awareness homeowners have of nature as not only a pleasant design element, but also as a healing agent.

This concept carries into outdoor spaces where comforts embrace their natural surroundings. Summer kitchens can utilize a vertical herb garden hanging in close proximity. Container gardens may provide fresh ingredients for summer social gatherings. A beautiful flower arrangement acts as a centerpiece to add aromatic ambiance to outdoor dining.

Natural pools are trending as well, as homeowners find alternatives to chlorine chemicals. Resembling an organic pond, natural pools use vegetation as a filter and fountains to maintain circulation.

Plant life also serves as a natural barrier between property lines and separate spaces. Flowers and greenery complete the layout and create a cohesive backyard design.