Tired of barbecues? An outdoor kitchen puts everything you need to hand, and extends your cooking options. Here we look at some great outdoor kitchen ideas to use in your own garden.

An outdoor kitchen area designed by Karen McClure featuring our Cinder Porcelain Paving.
An outdoor kitchen is a specially designed, permanent space that allows you to cook and entertain outside whenever you want. This outdoor design by Karen McClure features our Cinder Porcelain paving

Why are outdoor kitchens so popular?

More and more materials and specialist equipment have come to market over the years. In short, people are no longer reliant on what the local DIY or garden centre have to offer. As the potential to tailor a functional outdoor space has increased, so has interest in the idea of taking more of our indoor activities outside.

Think of it as an extension of your living space. It's one that means you won't be trapped inside, cooking while everyone's chatting on the patio.

Outdoor kitchen designs for large and small spaces

Large pergola-covered area with dining set and outdoor kitchen, paved with Florence White  porcelain slabs.
The outdoor kitchen enjoys airy shade provided by a pergola in this impressive project by Barnes Walker Ltd. Paving is Florence White porcelain and Silver Grey Multi clay pavers.

A protected seating area allows you to enjoy the garden with less worry about the weather. With an outdoor kitchen, it makes a welcoming space. A louvred pergola is one of the most flexible additions, allowing you to adjust instantly to sudden showers and regulate temperature by increasing and decreasing shade.

Outdoor kitchen with cupboards and backsplash of Chestnut composite battens along one wall of house's side return.
This neat design by The Outdoor Kitchen Company uses Chestnut composite battens to blend with existing brickwork, and fits into the side return of a house, making the most of a difficult shady area.

Only got a small garden? An outdoor kitchen is an ideal use for what might otherwise be an orphan area. The linear design means it's easy to fit against walls and fences where other features or planting might not be so comfortable. And a shady area means that food isn't in full sun while you cook. And neither are you!

Patio in Florence Grey porcelain paving with outdoor furniture and outdoor kitchen along fence.
Providing cooking facilities on the patio means you can enjoy your guests while they enjoy the outdoors. This patio is designed by Limebok Landscaping.

One of the most obvious, and convenient, places to install your outside cooking area is on the patio. Not too far from the house, so you don't need to carry equipment far, and where you can see more of your guests, or keep an eye on the kids.

Outdoor food preparation construction with drawers, 2 glass-fronted cupboards and sink by Alan Williams and Landform Consultants.cupboards
This tidy outdoor kitchen in a cupboard, designed by Alan Williams and built by Landform Consultants, offers an oven, sink and all the equipment you'd need. Stain-resistant paving - Sidewalk Porcelain - fronts the food preparation area,

But with careful forethought you can create a food preparation station that includes all the necessities within a compact footprint. This "kitchen dresser" arrangement contains everything you need for meals outdoors, so no carrying required, apart from fresh ingredients. Created for the Parsley Box Garden at RHS Chelsea 2021 by Alan Williams, a pull-down screen is all that's needed to protect the open shelves.

Seating area in corner of garden with Steel Corten Designclad and composite batten fencing, wide black shelves with stell pizza oven.
Preparation surfaces and shelving makes it easier to work the way you want, as in this design by Greenbird Gardening for a spacious outdoor cooking area.

A contrasting option is to ensure plenty of shelving and work surfaces, so you have ample room to put down plates and cut up salad. It's also worth considering making a dramatic feature of your installation with a distinctive oven, such as the one chosen for this garden corner by Greenbird Gardening.

Outdoor living space with pizza oven, cupboards, raised beds and paving lining garden boundaries. Lawn and dining set in centre.
A modern design incorporates an imposing pizza oven with cupboards and wall-mounted lighting into an outdoor living space by Nancy Rogers Garden Design, built by KJC Architects.

Or how about this striking pizza oven? Very much in keeping with the rectilinear design of the rest of the garden, it adds height and creates a focal point, while still being positioned so there is plenty of space to circulate in the middle of the garden.

Materials and design elements of outdoor kitchens

In order to create a space you want to use frequently, it’s worth investing in quality materials. Here are a few of the areas to focus on:


It's an area that will be prone to food and drink spillages, so paving with very low porosity is a good choice. This is easier to clean and stain-resistant. Granite and porcelain paving are good examples. You might like to consider sealing paving, for extra protection. Remember to mop up straight away and the spillage probably won't need any other attention.

Paving is also a subtle way to create a seamless indoor outdoor space from your house into the garden.

Outdoor kitchen with small canopy and porcelain tile splashback at back of seating area with planters and black and white paving.
DesignClad makes an ideal splashback to a cooking station. Here Gardens of the Future used large sheets of Steel Corten DesignClad.


The vertical surfaces behind cooking counters soon get grubby when there's sizzling fat in action. An easy-to-clean surface is just as important here as underfoot. DesignClad is a vitrified porcelain cladding that wipes clean, is scratch- and fade-resistant and is affixed with tile adhesive. Large sheets give a sleek finish and cover wall space quickly. They also reduce the needs for joints in the surface - a useful tip when building a long-lasting outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchen area design created by Karen McClure featuring our Cinder Porcelain Paving.
Design Created By Karen McClure Featuring Our Cinder Porcelain Paving


From simple rattan garden furniture options to full deluxe dining sets that give you that indoor feeling, it’s worth considering seating areas that can accommodate you and your family for eating and drinking outdoors. However, you can opt for more permanent installations with benches and seating areas created using porcelain coping on walls or in-built benches made with composite battens. This way, all you need to do is add tables and you’ll always have a dedicated seating area.


Adding outdoor heating can ensure you maximise the time spent in your new outdoor kitchen. Whether it’s late in the evening or just isn’t warm enough to be outdoors comfortably, patio heaters can keep you comfortable as you relax or entertain. Alternatively, think about creating a cosy fire pit.

Gas barbecue and cupboards with lighting above, with outdoor dining set on Cream porcelain paving.
Gardens of the Future chose Cream porcelain paving to define this cooking and eating zone of the patio, with its well-thought out lighting.


Garden lighting can make a huge difference to how you use your garden. An outdoor kitchen offers a great opportunity to install both functional and atmospheric lighting, as Gardens of the Future have done in the above project.


Take a look at privacy options for your garden if you want to enjoy more time in your outdoor kitchen without being overlooked by neighbours or passers-by.

Armed with ideas of how to shape your outdoor kitchen, why not browse our pergola range to add the finishing touch? Our high-quality natural stone and porcelain paving offers plenty of colours and textures to help you make your outdoor kitchen so stylish that all the neighbours will want an invitation!

Browse our range online, or visit one of our showrooms to view our paving and pergolas and enjoy expert advice from our staff.

Post updated: December 2023