This outdoor kitchen has been a long time in the making! And we’re still not done, but it’s officially usable and in service. Chris’s parents AND my sister Patti happened to be in town over the weekend and so we figured… Why not break in the outdoor kitchen and pool furniture and throw a pool party?? Chris cooked up his famous salt and vinegar chicken while everyone lounged and swam. We finished the night off ’round the fire-pit, roasting s’mores, and enjoying the magical North Carolina weather. Don’t wait!
Chris was of course in heaven, grilling up a storm and testing out all the bells and whistles in his dream outdoor kitchen, and while there’s still more to come, we thought we’d give you an update!
This past Christmas I surprised Chris with a trip to Barbecue University where he was able to learn and grill from top professionals and try out all of the best grills on the market. He had the most fun, but he also got to take all sorts of grills for a test run! The moment he came home he started drawing up plans for the outdoor kitchen and honed in on exactly the kind of grills he wanted. Without question, he wanted to incorporate Twin Eagles premium grilling equipment into the outdoor space.
Twin Eagles + Dometic is a premium grilling brand that Chris has had his eye on for years. They’re considered a leader in fine outdoor kitchen equipment and now that we’ve experienced it, we get it. Incredible to grill with and it’s a dream come true for Chris!
There’s been some twists and turns with this outdoor kitchen, but the constant has been Twin Eagles. Getting everything ordered and in place was absolutely seamless and once I finally decided to paint the kitchen black (what my gut was telling me all along), everything seemed to fall into place. This is how it was always meant to be. Once this outdoor kitchen is completely finished we’ll do a more in depth look at everything we used, but for now here’s the list! Chris also does a breakdown in this Outdoor Kitchen Plans post!
Appliances are connected to the HVAC, and everything passed inspection!
It’s hard to believe the outdoor kitchen once had stone on it! I had a huge pit in my stomach when they were putting it up. I just knew I couldn’t live with it and so before they put up the stone on the other side we made a pivot. Luckily they were able to salvage the majority of the stone but we did have to swallow the cost for changing our minds. One of the realities of renovating.
The backyard already had a lot of masonry with the bluestone, the pool, and all the red brick and so I decided to soften it with some paneling. We used a Hardie board planking which is made for the outdors! It’s a composite blend of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers–really durable stuff! It’s literally the same material we used for the exterior of our last house. DIY-ing it was really straight forward and took only a few full days of work.
We painted it Mouse’s Back by Farrow & Ball, and while I can see myself using this color somewhere else, it wasn’t the one. Certain times of day it looked perfect, but in the bright sunlight it wasn’t right. It was looking really washed out and so, after a couple weeks of stewing over it, we pivoted yet again.
I think it was meant to be black all along.
It took us a couple tries to get it right, but I’m glad I didn’t settle for anything less than what we love–at all times of day!
Paint color is the same Benjamin Moore Graphite that we used for the exterior of our last house. I should have known it all along. We used two coats of the Regal Select Exterior High Build in the Low Lustre sheen. It went on really great, but getting all those nooks and cracks took some time. Once we embraced the black, and got all the pool furniture in place, everything started clicking!
Countertop installation was that magical moment where it felt like an actual finished space! We went with a mist honed black granite and it’s even more stunning in person. Per our research in the Comparing 10 Popular Countertop Materials post, Granite can withstand high, high heat. With the amount of grilling appliances Chris will be working with, that was really important to us. Chris is going to be able to cook up a storm without worrying about the countertops keeping up.
The countertops are sealed, and will get resealed two times a year to keep up with the outdoor elements.
A lot of you were concerned about the black surface being hot to the touch. Let me reassure you that the countertops haven’t seemed to retain too much heat. The outdoor kitchen is nestled between two exterior walls of our house which probably helps. It only gets direct sunlight during mid-day, which isn’t typically when we would be hosting.
There’s also going to be a pergola which will help with sun coverage.
We’ve been storing the pergola in our garage for months now! It requires some assembly and will be painted the same Graphite color as the paneling. With how much rain we get in August and September, we’re trying to figure out if we want to put some type of covering over the pergola. We’re thinking either something permanent like a hard structure, or a canopy that can be pulled open or closed. This would extend the amount of use we can get out of the outdoor kitchen year round! And who wouldn’t want to spend all their time out here?
I love how this section of the backyard is connecting with everything else. The black is sprinkled throughout in the outdoor furniture so it all feels cohesive!
Now this is JUST a mock-up, but this is where we’re headed! I have two lighting pendant options that are both wet rated, but right now I’m leaning towards the lanterns over the copper pendants. What do you think?
Over on Instagram you may have seen the other stools that arrived from Rejuvenation. They are white metal, indoor/outdoor stools, with a wooden top. I love how the wood warmed up the space, but they looked so short tucked under the countertop. I also felt like they were too industrial looking which isn’t what I’m going for. So they’re going back!
Being able to finally check this outdoor kitchen off our checklist is going to feel SO good. It already does. And then I can focus on checking off the rest of our project punch list. What questions do you have?
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Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
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