Outdoor Kitchen Trends to Watch in 2021

As the world approaches the twelve-month mark since stay-at-home orders were imposed, the resurgence of outdoor dining sparks new trends. The National Kitchen and Bath Association is one of the leading authorities on all things kitchen and bath since 1963. Their 2020 report announces that an astonishing 76% of projects completed this year were outdoor kitchens. 

The intersection of food and nature creates the ultimate safe haven. The current state of the world has inspired many to make the most of their outdoor spaces. If you are looking to join the ranks of those who dine in luxury outdoor kitchens, then don’t miss this 2021 kitchen design trend forecast.  

Earth Tones Are In

The deepened desire to connect with the outdoors has caused earth tones to make a comeback. Shades like ocean blue, terracotta, beige, brown, and emerald green embody this color palette. In fact, influential brands like Benjamin Moore and Etsy have named blue as Color of the Year for 2021.

Navy blue kitchens are especially popular in coastal areas, and can provide a beautiful deep-toned yet eye-popping aesthetic.

The other end of the earth tone spectrum is also popular, with warmer hues and woodgrain finishes making a comeback. Earth tones embody the organic and emanate an outdoorsy vibe, which is highly sought-after after almost a full year spent indoors. 

To take advantage of a more flexible color selection, you’ll want outdoor kitchen cabinets made out of HDPE. These offer far more options than the traditional stainless steel and are just as weatherproof — if not more.

Added Function Over Form

Do you remember when outdoor kitchens were the novelty experience that we took advantage of only once in a while? Well, in 2020, we put them to good use. And in 2021, people want that good use to continue.

To top it off, more and more households have resorted to cooking during the pandemic with outdoor dining off the table.

This new commitment to cooking does require a few necessities and probably some high-performing smart appliances. Features such as stainless steel sinks, built-in two-sided grills, and wine coolers are the top picks.

Specialty features needed for baking, smoking, and roasting like fire pits and smokers will cross over to the needs list as well. Italian-inspired, wood-burning pizza oven are another new staple for higher-end outdoor kitchens.

Open Concept Cooking

Outdoor kitchens used to be rather compact, consisting of a grill and a small slice of counter space. Now, things are trending towards larger, open concept plans.

Many homeowners are embracing L-shaped outdoor kitchen areas with generously-sized islands that can double as storage space. They’re also integrating the outdoor cooking and dining areas.

L-shaped outdoor kitchens maximize countertop space and therefore can double as dining spots. Instead of having a separate table, set up your household on barstools and grub right where you do your cooking.

Beyond Current Circumstances

Many are wondering, what’s the long-term benefit of an outdoor kitchen? Beyond increased home value, it’s a look toward a better future. Though we’re prevented from gathering with friends and family right now, that time will come again.

And, with many of us now more conscious of the risks of indoor dining, outdoor get-togethers will likely be more popular.

When the time comes to gather once again, and outdoor kitchen will be that beacon of light you and your loved ones will gather around once again.