With the end of the year right around the corner, Jules and I are in the home stretch of our 2022 home projects, which means the outdoor kitchen of my dreams is officially a wrap!
My biggest priority in this project was getting to use the most premium grilling products I’ve had my eyes on for years – the Twin Eagles Collection by Dometic Home. I raved about my ongoing crush on them in my ultimate grill guide, so getting to team together to make this outdoor kitchen a reality has been such a bucket-list item. They’ve also been a major constant in this project amidst a lot of pivoting.
We do what we can to plan and prepare before starting any project (which is something we preach about in our “10 Things That Can Derail a Home Renovation” post), but it’s equally important to remain flexible and open-minded because you’re never immune to the unexpected. It all started once the stone started going up, and we pumped the breaks. Jules was waving the red flags, and I trust her eye and intuition when it comes to the design stuff. So we pivoted and DIYed the vertical paneling.
Then we painted the paneling in “Mouse’s Back” and decided to repaint it “Graphite” by Benjamin Moore, and it just feels right, ya know?
Now let’s get into all the bells and whistles of this baby!
I can’t express just how much I love this grill. I use it several times a week because it’s so versatile and responsive. It heats up quickly, retains heat well, has a high-heat section for searing (perfect skirt steak every time, which is what I whipped up the other night), and an elevated rotisserie burner as well. The lighting and design are so beautiful and make grilling at night a non-issue. I. Love. This. Grill.
Beneath this masterpiece of a grill are some soft-closing, double-access doors where I keep my grill brush and a fire extinguisher and where we can easily access the gas hook-ups.
As versatile as the 42″ is, my dream outdoor kitchen wouldn’t be complete without the pellet grill & the smoker!
The pellet grill is about flavor. I do more smoking on the pellet grill than grilling, though I’ve done a good amount of both. Pulled pork, ribs, or a whole chicken. When I have more time, I go for the pellet grill. And the rotisserie makes the best chicken you’ve ever had. The touch screen makes it so easy to control the temperature and smoke level, and a front-loading hopper means you can add pellets without lifting the lid and losing any smoke. Everything on this grill turns out incredible.
Beneath the pellet grill is a 36-inch pellet storage drawer, where I have quick access to all the extra pellets.
While I prefer most foods grilled, I gotta say that when it comes to burgers, I prefer the flat top. Nothing better than a smash burger with onions. Burgers, stir fry, bacon & eggs, tacos – having a flat-top Teppanyaki cooker in the outdoor kitchen opens my options wide up.
The warming drawer (stored beneath) is something you never think you need until you have it and you feel like a butterfly, finally growing wings. I’m a stickler for serving cold food cold and warm food warm, so having this to bridge that gap between the cooking and serving times of various dishes has been amazing.
The Power Burner has a wide range of control, from 70,000 BTUs at the top end all the way down to almost nothing. I’ve used mine to fry a turkey but also to warm fudge for some poolside sundaes. On colder nights, I’ll simmer a pot of cider outdoors; on warmer evenings, I’ll boil a 10-gallon pot of crab legs. It also runs a wok like you can’t imagine.
On the other side of the kitchen, we have the sink! When you’re working in an outdoor kitchen, the last thing you want to be doing is running in and out of the house to access running water. Being able to wash all of my utensils and tools as I go makes clean-up a breeze!
I have this thing stocked with drinks always. Cooking outside and grabbing a cold drink – it’s the pinnacle of convenience and the cherry on top of every outdoor cooking experience.
What’s a drink without a little ice? Always ready for drinks, brines, and filling a cooler to take to the beach. How often are you calling the late arrivals to your party because you need them to pick up a bag of ice on their way? Not anymore!
Having not one but two pull-out containers for trash and recycling is a detail I wouldn’t be so quick to overlook.
Having these waterproof drawers to keep a lot of my utensils and hand towels (always keep a towel close by) is essential to keeping everything running smoothly while I’m cooking up a storm!
Something that has surprised me is how well the kitchen flows. I mean, I designed the layout to flow, and you hope it’s going to work out the way you think, but it’s better than I could imagine. The expansive granite island, the grills, the appliances. Everything just works, and it’s a true joy to cook out there.
Hosting with this kitchen is incredible. Something that tends to happen when I host is I’m in the kitchen while everyone else is doing something, but with this kitchen, I’m right in the middle of it. And with all the space and so many appliances, I’m usually able to enlist a few extra hands and serve them up a cold drink for their help.
We anticipated painting the pergola black, but we realized once we got it up that the white really ties everything together. As for adding a screen or covering for the pergola, we’re just leaving it uncovered for now and seeing if we really miss it down the road.
Now that the pergola is up and the lanterns are hung, I’ve been out here most nights cooking to my heart’s content. How is it December, and we’re still utilizing our outdoor space so much??
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home
Make yourself right at home