4 Simple Steps to Start Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

A custom-built outdoor kitchen design in Houston, Texas.

Curious about how to build an outdoor kitchen? We’ve got you covered. From built-in grills to big-screen TVs, an outdoor entertaining space can breathe new life into your landscape. So, if you’re dreaming about dining al fresco or hosting a Michelin star worthy barbeque, we’ve broken down the process into four simple steps to help you get started. Let’s take a look at how to make your dream outdoor kitchen design a reality.

Partner with Professionals

Adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard may seem like a major undertaking — but you don’t have to tackle it alone. A team of experienced professionals will typically handle everything from conceptualizing to construction on a design-build project. As a landscape architecture firm specializing in design-build projects, the team at Prewett, Read & Associates provides on-the-ground guidance, coordinating any additional contractors needed for the project. Taking this first step will provide you with a strong foundation and help ensure that your construction is built safely, efficiently and on budget.

Select a Style

The style sets the tone for the rest of the design process. Need inspiration? Here are some popular styles for outdoor kitchen design:


If you’re looking for a sleek, chic and modern design, minimalism might be the style for you. In an outdoor kitchen, this can take the shape of stainless steel, monochromatic materials and sharp, clean lines that create a seamless look. You may also consider extra storage to keep any clutter at bay.


If you love bright colors, textures and patterns, you may steer away from minimalism’s muted look for maximalism’s vibrancy. This broad category encapsulates a range of styles, from bohemian to ornamental, with an emphasis on bold, colorful details.


Embody the look of the Southwestern United States with a muted neutral palette, natural materials and handcrafted details. For example, you may want to incorporate natural stone pavers, adobe and chimeneas to craft a unified look.


If you’re looking for an earthy, laid-back look, the Mediterranean style outdoor kitchen may be ideal. Opting for natural materials with unfished edges adds texture and a lived-in look that harkens back to an old-world feel. You may want to incorporate reclaimed wood, limestone or antique details.

Fire Up the Built-in Grill

From stainless steel built-in gas grills to rustic BBQ smokers, the grill is typically the star of the show in an outdoor kitchen. This is where you’ll be prepping, cooking and plating, so you want to ensure you have enough room to accommodate your needs. When designing your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to consider what type of built-in grill you’d like. For example, gas grills will have different requirements from freestanding charcoal grills due to gas lines and ventilation requirements.

Add the Finishing Touches & Fine Details

Your outdoor kitchen isn’t complete without the finishing touches. Here are some of the most popular details:

A/V Equipment

We’re talking TVs, Bluetooth speakers and even electrical plugs that allow you to turn up the volume. These are popular additions for anyone who wants to play music or catch the game while entertaining outdoors.

Landscape Lighting

Create ambiance and draw attention to special details, including plants, trees and walkways, with intentionally placed lighting. Outdoor lighting fixtures are available in a wide range of materials and styles, from delicate fairy lights to sleek stainless-steel sconces and everything in between.

Wooden Pergolas

Stunning and versatile, custom-built wooden pergolas help create a cozy, shaded outdoor area. Sometimes, homeowners will opt to grow vines and other climbing plants on them to create the feel of a lush or romantic garden.

Adding an outdoor kitchen is an exciting way to elevate your landscape — and take your hosting capabilities to the next level. At Prewett, Read & Associates, we pay special attention to every nook and cranny to make sure that your design is perfect down to the very last detail. Talk to our team of experienced landscape architects to see how you can add an outdoor kitchen to your home.