outdoor kitchen

Summer Entertaining – Setting Up the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

As the temperatures rise, we find ourselves drawn outside, seeking refuge in an outdoor kitchen or dining space from the confines of indoor spaces. The backyard becomes an extension of our homes, a sanctuary where we can relax, unwind, and create lasting memories. The sizzle of the grill, the clinking of glasses, and the melodic hum of conversation all come together to create a symphony of summer bliss.

One of the primary reasons behind the rise of outdoor kitchens is the changing perception of outdoor spaces. Homeowners are increasingly recognizing the value of extending their living areas beyond the confines of four walls, creating seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor environments. Outdoor kitchens provide the perfect blend of functionality and ambiance, allowing homeowners to prepare meals, entertain guests, and enjoy the beauty of nature simultaneously.

This blog will provide design ideas and tips for setting up an ideal outdoor kitchen for summer entertaining. You will also find all your perfect outdoor kitchen needs right here at International Bath and Tile.

outdoor kitchen area

The Essentials of an Outdoor Kitchen

Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen: Creating the perfect outdoor kitchen requires careful planning and consideration of several key factors. Layout and design are crucial elements to ensure a functional and enjoyable space. Begin by evaluating the available area and determining the optimal placement for your outdoor kitchen. Consider proximity to your indoor kitchen, outdoor living spaces, and access to utilities.

Space is another essential consideration. Determine the size of your outdoor kitchen based on the intended usage and the number of appliances and features you wish to incorporate. Ensure ample counter space for food preparation and serving, as well as sufficient room for foot traffic and movement.

Utilities are a vital component of any outdoor kitchen. Assess the availability of electricity, gas lines, and water sources in the designated area. These utilities will power your appliances, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. Consult with professionals to ensure proper installation and adherence to local building codes.

By carefully planning and considering these key factors, you can create an outdoor kitchen that seamlessly blends functionality, style, and enjoyment, ensuring countless memorable summer gatherings with family and friends.

Key Components

Counter Space: When it comes to outdoor kitchen countertops, durability and weather resistance are key factors to consider. Unlike indoor countertops, outdoor surfaces must withstand the elements, including rain, sun, and temperature fluctuations. Fortunately, there are several excellent material options that can stand up to the demands of an outdoor kitchen.

One popular choice is tile. Ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tiles are all excellent options for outdoor countertops. The tile is highly durable, easy to clean, and resistant to moisture, stains, and scratches. Additionally, tile offers a wide range of styles and colors, allowing you to create a beautiful and customized look for your outdoor kitchen.

Natural stone, such as granite, quartzite, and soapstone, is another excellent choice for outdoor countertops. These materials are incredibly durable and resistant to heat, scratches, and stains. Natural stone also has a timeless beauty that can enhance the overall aesthetic of your outdoor kitchen. However, it’s important to note that some types of natural stone may require more maintenance and sealing to protect against moisture and staining.

Ample Countertop Space: When selecting a space for your meal prep, prepare to have enough room for your outdoor kitchen. Consider your cooking preferences and the types of meals you plan to prepare. Not only do you need ample countertop space to prep your meals, you also need room to incorporate appliances such as grills, smokers, pizza ovens, refrigerators, and ice makers. Choose appliances designed for outdoor use, as they are built to withstand the elements and provide durability.

Storage: Don’t forget about storage! Weatherproof cabinetry and drawers keep your grilling tools, seasonings, and serving ware organized and within reach. Look for durable, rust-resistant materials that can withstand the elements. Storage is another important factor to consider. Incorporate cabinetry, shelving, or built-in storage solutions to keep your cooking essentials organized and within reach. Weatherproof storage options will protect your cookware, utensils, and serving dishes from the elements, ensuring they remain in optimal condition.

Enhancing Aesthetics and Functionality

Floor Tiles:

Durable and weather-resistant tiles offer a range of benefits that make them an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor applications. One of the primary advantages of these tiles is their longevity. Made from high-quality materials like porcelain, ceramic, or natural stone, they are designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, scratches, and daily wear and tear, ensuring a long-lasting and beautiful surface for years to come.

Another significant benefit of durable, weather-resistant tiles is their low maintenance requirements. These tiles are resistant to stains, moisture, and mold, making them easy to clean and maintain. Unlike carpets or hardwood floors, tiles do not trap dirt, dust, or allergens, providing a healthier living environment, especially for those with allergies or respiratory issues.

When it comes to durable and weather-resistant tiles, there are several options to choose from, each with its unique characteristics and advantages. Here are some of the most popular types:

Ceramic Tiles: Ceramic tiles are made from natural clay that is fired at high temperatures. They are known for their durability, resistance to moisture, and ease of maintenance. Ceramic tiles come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Porcelain Tiles: Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tile that is made from denser clay and fired at even higher temperatures than regular ceramic tiles. This makes them incredibly hard, dense, and resistant to scratches, stains, and moisture. Porcelain tiles are ideal for high-traffic areas, both indoors and outdoors, and are available in a variety of styles and finishes.

Natural Stone Tiles: Natural stone tiles, such as slate, travertine, and granite, offer a unique and elegant look to any space. These tiles are incredibly durable and weather-resistant, making them perfect for outdoor applications like patios, pool decks, and walkways. Natural stone tiles are also highly resistant to scratches, stains, and fading, ensuring their beauty lasts for years to come.

At International Bath and Tile, we carry various tile patterns and materials and can help you with your design ideas.


Outdoor lighting plays a crucial role in creating the perfect ambiance for summer entertaining. As the sun sets, well-designed lighting can transform your outdoor space into a warm and inviting oasis, allowing you to extend the festivities long into the evening hours. Beyond setting the mood, proper lighting also enhances safety and functionality, ensuring that your guests can navigate the area comfortably and enjoy all the amenities of your outdoor kitchen.

Ambient lighting is key to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for your outdoor kitchen and entertaining areas. String lights, lanterns, torches, and candles are all excellent options to set the perfect mood.

String Lights: One of the most popular and versatile ambient lighting choices, string lights can be draped overhead, wrapped around trees or posts, or even used to outline specific areas. LED string lights are energy-efficient and available in a variety of styles, from classic bulbs to vintage-inspired Edison bulbs. You can find them in warm white or multicolored options to suit your desired ambiance.

Lanterns: Lanterns add a touch of elegance and charm to any outdoor space. Consider hanging lanterns from trees or pergolas, or placing them along pathways or on tabletops. Lanterns can be fueled by candles, battery-powered, or even solar-powered for added convenience.

Torches: For a more rustic and tropical vibe, torches are an excellent choice. These flickering flames not only provide ambient light but also create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Tiki torches are a classic option, or you can opt for more modern torch designs to complement your outdoor kitchen’s aesthetic.

Candles: Nothing sets the mood quite like the soft, flickering glow of candles. Place candles in hurricane glasses or lanterns around your outdoor kitchen and dining areas for a romantic and intimate ambiance. Consider using citronella candles to keep mosquitoes at bay while you entertain.

When combining these ambient lighting options, aim for a layered and balanced look. Mix and match different types of lighting to create depth and interest, and strategically place them throughout your outdoor space to highlight key areas and create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.

Seating and Dining Areas

The heart of your summer entertaining lies in an outdoor kitchen that complements your cooking style. Incorporate appliances that cater to your culinary adventures, whether you’re searing steaks or mixing margaritas. A kitchen island can serve as both a prep station and gathering spot, keeping you engaged with guests while you showcase your grill mastery.

Design an outdoor dining layout that fosters easy movement and social interaction. Think of your space as a theatre-in-the-round, where every seat offers a view and nobody misses a beat. Arrange seating to ensure each guest can effortlessly glide from conversation to cuisine, allowing your gatherings to unfold with a natural rhythm.

outdoor kitchen area

Adding the Finishing Touches

Imagine a sizzling summer evening under a painted sunset, laughter and aromas intertwine, crafting an invitation to unwind. This is the allure of an outdoor kitchen, a stage for culinary creativity and effortless entertainment. Whether you’re a seasoned host or embarking on your first outdoor soirèe, let’s talk about the art of setting up an idyllic open-air kitchen that will stir envy in the hearts of every guest.

Incorporating Greenery and Plants:

Providing greenery in your outdoor kitchen area can incorporate the feeling of having the outdoors inside. You can start with clusters of potted herbs that not only add a splash of verdant life but also serve as a hands-on at your cooking station. Suspended ferns and trailing ivy create a fresh canopy, framing your culinary haven with organic elegance. Vertical gardens bedeck bare walls, transforming them into a living mosaic that breathes life into every celebration in your outdoor dining area.

Decorative Elements Like Rugs, Cushions, and Outdoor Art:

Your outdoor dining area should be as warm and inviting as your living room inside your home. Weather-resistant rugs lay the foundation of charm, defining dining zones while infusing texture underfoot. Add plush cushions that invite relaxation, swathed in vibrant hues and patterns, and will give your family and guests comfort to relax in your new outdoor space.

Outdoor art, be it wind chimes, whimsical sculptures, or sun-proof canvases, will give style and enhance your space into a charming one. Choose materials that are specifically designed to withstand outdoor conditions, such as UV-resistant fabrics and rust-proof metals, and remember that maintenance is key to longevity.

Weather Protection: Embracing the Elements

Solutions for Shading and Shelter:

If you are looking for solutions for shading and shelter from the outside elements, pergolas draped in climbing blooms stand as serene sentinels, as well as offer perfect shelter from the heat of daytime rays.

Retractable awnings unfurl like protective wings, granting adjustable coverage as the sun crosses the sky. Also using a constellation of patio umbrellas will also provide the shelter and shade you need.

Considerations for All-Weather Materials to Ensure Longevity:

Invest in furnishings fashioned from teak or powder-coated aluminum, materials that laugh in the face of rain and radiance alike. Embrace fabrics born from technological alchemy, textiles impervious to mold, fade, and time’s relentless march. Choose countertops of granite or glazed tiles, surfaces whose sturdiness is matched only by their timeless appeal.

Embark on this journey to craft an outdoor kitchen and dining space that beckons friends and family to gather in the spirit of joyous camaraderie. As the seasons shift and the outdoor canvas comes alive, take pride in knowing that your thoughtful selections and designs have created more than just an area to eat or cook—it’s a sanctuary of shared moments and gourmet cooking.

We invite you to visit the International Bath and Tile showroom in San Diego to see our products such as tiles, lighting, decor, and more to personalize your outdoor kitchen projects.

Bring your vision to life

Whether you’re a homeowner, interior designer, contractor, or anything in-between, our kitchen, bathroom and outdoor design professionals offer personalized guidance at every stage of your project.