If you’re in the market for an outdoor kitchen, there’s no doubt you’ve browsed through a lot of inspiration posts.
There’s so many creative outdoor kitchen designs out there, it almost makes your head spin!
I get it.
If you don’t mind, I’m going to add one more idea to your inspiration board.
And this one is an absolute beauty.
Farah Merhi of Inspire Me! Home Decor partnered with RTA Outdoor Living a few seasons ago for her outdoor living project.
This project includes a full L shaped outdoor kitchen, dining area, and outdoor fireplace.
Today, I want to take a detailed look at the purpose and features of this outdoor kitchen and fireplace.
Let’s take a closer look.
What Farah was Looking for in an Outdoor Kitchen
Farah loves to entertain, so she wanted to create a space that would be perfect for frequent house parties.
We’ll get into a lot more detail further on in this article. However, these are the main three requirements Farah had for her kitchen:
- It has to be practical
- It has to be durable
- It has to be the entertainment center of her yard
With all of the above considered and seeing the final result, I’d say RTA did an excellent job meeting her needs!
Let’s start with practicality.
It has to be Practical
Farah entertains a lot and needed her outdoor kitchen to be practical for frequent house parties or evenings in with the family.
Interestingly, the layout of the outdoor kitchen itself played a lot into how practical it is.
The L Shape of this outdoor kitchen is conducive to easy movement, keeping everything you need to cook within reach. This makes the cooking process much more efficient, and therefore, practical.
The L shape is also an excellent choice because one side can be used as a bar. As you’ll see, Farah has seating on one of the bar islands to keep guests entertained and comfortable around the outdoor kitchen.
It’s the perfect way to keep guests closeby and entertained without getting in the way of the cook and what they’re working on. As I’m sure you know, the kitchen can get quite crowded! So this is a great benefit.
We’ll get more into the appliances later, however, Farah chose options that make the entire cooking process easier. A fridge, sink, pull-out trash, etc.
Practicality wasn’t the only aspect Farah was looking for in an outdoor kitchen. It also had to be durable.
It has to be Durable
Living in Michigan where the winters can be cold and harsh, Farah needed an outdoor kitchen that could withstand the elements.
Many options available today on the market are simply not equipped to handle freeze/thaw cycles year after year. They crack, they rust, they break down. Oftentimes, this happens in as little as one year!
You may be able to get away with this in areas like Nevada where the weather is drier and less variable. However, if you’re living in a northern climate or coastal area you will want to strongly consider more durable options.
Farah wanted an outdoor kitchen that would look good as new for years to come, and these options simply would not cut it. An outdoor kitchen is a huge investment and it would be a shame to have it completely break down over the course of a year or two.
That’s where RTA came in.
RTA’s outdoor kitchens are made with a special type of concrete that will not break down or crack in cold or coastal climates. They are so confident in fact, that there is a limited lifetime warranty on the structure.
Their outdoor kitchens are also outfitted with appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living, which are 304 grade stainless steel. These appliances will not rust.
With this in mind, it was an easy decision for Farah to make. And it’s a decision that’s held up well.
Farah’s had her kitchen for a couple winter seasons now, and it looks exactly the same as it does on day 1.
In addition to durability, Farah’s outdoor space had to be packed with entertainment value.
It has to be the Entertainment Center
Above everything else, this was the most important category to Farah. After all, why get an outdoor kitchen and fireplace if you’re not going to use it for entertainment? It’s certainly not just for show!
As you can tell, Farah’s discerning eye for interior design translates to the outdoors as well. There is a clear purpose to everything she has added to this space and everything has come together absolutely beautifully.
The outdoor kitchen is the hub of community. Just like how everyone gathers in the kitchen indoors, the same applies for outdoors. Everyone wants to be where the food is!
There’s an almost mystical quality about food that draws people together. Breaking bread, as they say. Sharing food together is one of the best ways to connect with loved ones – and I think this is the heart of what Farah was going for with her outdoor space.
All that said, Farah’s outdoor kitchen is clearly the focal point of her outdoor living space. It is what guests are drawn to, where all the action is happening. Guests can be seated at the bar to watch their incredible meal being cooked.
Once dinner is ready to serve, the party shifts over to Farah’s beautiful dining area. The transition is completely seamless, and doesn’t disturb conversation at all.
As the evening progresses and dinner is long-gone, normally guests would be ready to go home. Not in Farah’s case. The evening is far from over!
She has a lovely fireplace for friends and family to gather around a while before retiring for the evening.
The beautiful ambiance and gentle glow of a fireplace is the perfect way to end an evening in the eyes of many. It’s easy for conversation to flow well into the night when seated in the view of a peaceful fire. Time seems to stand still.
Through this example, it is obvious to see that Farah has truly created an entertainment center. Her outdoor living space has been transformed into the hub of community which will last for years to come.
Now that we’ve explained what Farah was looking for in an outdoor kitchen, let’s dive into the actual features that she chose.
Features of Farah’s Outdoor Kitchen
Let’s talk features and appliances.
The appliances you choose are highly personalized and reflect your needs when cooking outdoors. Therefore, it’s important to consider all your options!
Now, let’s look at what Farah chose.
Looking from right to left, the first thing you will see is a beautiful smoker. This is the Asado smoker from Coyote, which also can function as a charcoal grill.
It is completely ceramic in construction so it can retain heat extremely well. This is a perfect offering for those who love to smoke foods such as ribs, salmon, etc.
Next, you’ll see an outdoor fridge. This addition is perfect to avoid guests and children running in and out of the house for cold beverages. You can also store condiments in the fridge so you always have them on hand when you need it.
A little further to the right you’ll see the beautiful grill from Coyote and storage underneath. This grill is state of the art, and even includes a rotisserie on the inside for those who enjoy cooking rotisserie chickens.
The storage underneath is perfect for storing cooking notions.
Next to the grill and storage you’ll find a pull-out trash. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is hugely convenient!
Something you don’t think about much is how much trash you can actually accumulate cooking outdoors. Food packaging, paper plates, plastic ware, napkins, etc. It’s really nice to have a trash right outdoors for guests to use rather than dirtying the house.
Now looking to the second island, you’ll see the sink with a cooler and storage underneath. This sink/cooler option is a unique offering from Coyote Outdoor Living that they call the Refreshment Center.
The Refreshment Center features a sink, which is extremely handy to have for outdoor cooking. You can easily wash your hands after prep or whenever you need it.
On the right side of the sink is a cooler you can use to keep lemons and limes cold for drinks or whatever you like. There’s also a cutting board built into the sink that you can use to cut lemons/limes for the cooler.
Attached to the Refreshment Center is a towel ring for easy access. It doesn’t seem like much at first, but there’s a lot packed into this particular appliance!
Finally, there’s a storage door underneath the Refreshment Center. This again is used for storing extra cooking notions or supplies.
So now that you’ve seen all the features of Farah’s kitchen, let’s talk about how to further enhance your outdoor living space.
How to Further Enhance your Backyard Living Space
If you’ve definitely been sold on an outdoor kitchen, you may want to consider adding a couple other features to really optimize the space.
Using Farah as an example, she chose to add a dedicated dining table for guests and family to eat at.
This is an excellent option to make sure everyone has a seat at the table and can see each other to connect fully. This is especially helpful if you don’t opt to put seating at your outdoor kitchen. It’s important to have a dedicated spot where everyone can share a meal together.
Again looking to Farah, a second idea to enhance your outdoor living space is adding a fire feature. Whether it be a fire pit table or fireplace, both achieve the same effect.
If you choose to go with RTA for your outdoor kitchen project, you will find they also have a line of fire features that match every outdoor kitchen on offer. So this is an excellent way to fill the space and tie it all together design-wise.
In any case, a fire feature is the perfect spot for guests to gather after a delicious meal. It’s a peaceful, quiet, way to end the evening. Hearts full with good conversation and stomachs full with delicious food, it’s a night that everyone will want to repeat over and over.
So now that you’ve read all this, you may be thinking that this all sounds pretty great!
If so, let’s learn how to get started on your outdoor living project.
How to get Started on this Project
I just want to preface this section by saying, do your research!
There are many options for outdoor kitchens on the market today and the methods to build and assemble them vary widely.
You can do scratch-built, prefabricated, modular, ready-to-assemble, etc. I won’t be going into the details of these options here, however, it is all important to know for your research.
RTA Outdoor Living sells ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchens and fire features. From my perspective, this is the most efficient, durable, and cost-effective way to do an outdoor kitchen project.
Don’t take my word for it, however. Do your research!
Now, if you’ve done your research and decide that RTA is right for you, that’s great!
I’d like to briefly explain how you would get started on this project.
Starting with design, you can design your entire outdoor kitchen online in just a few clicks. RTA has released a free online design tool that takes a couple minutes to complete and get a quote on the way.
Once the outdoor kitchen is designed and ordered, all you have to do is wait for it to be shipped to your door!
Then you assemble with the help of a friend and a power drill, and your project is done.
Doesn’t get any easier than that!
Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to consider adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard. It’s an excellent investment that will provide you with enjoyment for years to come.