Here in Florida, we’re blessed with great weather year-round. So it’s no surprise that outdoor entertaining areas are an extremely popular way to enhance outdoor living. When our clients requested an update to their existing outdoor kitchen while they were away on vacation, we were ready to hit the ground running. While their beautiful 2-story home on a golf course had a pool and covered lanai area, the existing outdoor kitchen just didn’t function well for their needs. Mainly, they craved additional counter space and more seating. And, as avid football fans, with a son playing on a renown Division 1 college team, they also wanted a large screen TV to watch games. After all, what better way to share game day excitement than at a barbecue with family and friends?
A Bigger, Better Kitchen Layout
Our brilliant design team came up with a much larger, u-shaped outdoor kitchen layout for increased functionality. The extra base cabinets provided plenty of storage as well as a foundation for additional countertop space. Adjacent to the sink, we added a 24” outdoor refrigerator to keep food and beverages chilled, and the high top bar allowed for more seating around the perimeter.
For cooking, our clients selected a much larger Lynx grill and side burner to replace the original grill. While the kitchen was already set up for a grilling area, it required a hood, so we built and installed a custom hood for proper ventilation. Then, we added a large screen TV above the hood for easy viewing.
To softly illuminate the entire space at night, we installed additional recessed light fixtures into the ceiling and under the grill hood. We also tied the Cypress wood ceiling and the crown molding together into the design with a luxurious cabinet stain. Along with these finishing touches, we added a decorative travertine stone backsplash behind the grill and homogenized the front face of the bar for a polished, matching look.
With the outdoor kitchen lanai located directly under a second-floor living area, we had expected to tuck away ventilation ductwork between the second-level floor joists and the exterior wall running parallel to the grill hood. However, upon further investigation, we discovered the second floor joist system, in fact, ran perpendicular to the grill hood. In short, we needed a new way to hide the venting without compromising the original design.
Our team came up with an inspired solution: Construction of a false wall behind the outdoor kitchen allowed us to run ductwork without creating a visible chase for the vent, thus maintaining a symmetrical look on both sides of the grill and decorative hood.
In the end, we didn’t just meet our clients’ needs for a beautiful outdoor kitchen update – we exceeded them. As planned, we completed the new outdoor kitchen while they were out of town. But when our clients returned from vacation, they were so impressed with the results (and the stress-free design/build experience) that they promptly hired us for another extensive remodel – a stunning home addition!