Outdoor kitchens and design: what awaits us for this autumn and next year

The Salone del Mobile, the furniture and design fair that has been held in Milan for over fifty years, dictating new trends for the home and for indoor and outdoor environments, has just closed. The ideas we saw on kitchens, including outdoor kitchens, were remarkable and instructive on the direction decor and outdoor design will take for these spaces. We at OF want to be always up to date with the latest trends, also with regard to the aesthetics, as well as the functionality of our outdoor kitchens. Here then are the inputs from the international level.

Mix and match of materials

Solid stainless steel endures, and that is a fact. The novelty, however, lies in combining steel with other materials for outdoor kitchens. Mixing different materials on appliances, sinks, taps, luminaires and cabinet hardware creates a deeper and more dynamic design that can make the outdoor kitchen an even more welcoming and interesting space to stay in.

Appliances that know their stuff

One of the most popular kitchen trends we have seen during this 2021 final stretch is smart appliances. Among these are touchless taps, i.e. taps that do not even need to be touched to be operated, but act with special sensors. Covid-19, among other things, fuelled the desire for touchless technology: it is no coincidence that the majority of design professionals’ states that there is an increased interest in easy-to-clean surfaces. Therefore, in addition to steel, copper and brass are growing in popularity because they are antimicrobial and super hygienic. Two other main trends are smart fridges and ovens. In short, technology has prompted the desire for greater control of what we do and hygiene habits, especially in the kitchen.

Tiles and decor with carpets and plants

Another couple of trendy things in kitchen design (indoor and outdoor), not just in the immediate future, but according to forecasts for the next 5-10 years, include:

  • Backsplash tiles (the backsplash immediately behind the sink, to be clear) of any kind that make cleaning easy;
  • Coloured and mixed furniture, but with matt finishes;
  • Copper accents, carpets, many plants to complement fully equipped outdoor kitchens.

Warmer colours than in previous years

And we get to talk about colours for the outdoor kitchen. Actually, much depends on where the kitchen is located (garden, terrace and patio are not the same thing). However, colours in outdoor kitchens are warming. Unpredictable palettes are gaining popularity thanks in part to “angular kitchens”. Green is literally taking over in furniture choices, as the preferred colour for kitchen furniture, whether it be emerald, military, olive, sage or mint. Outdoor kitchens also incorporate some interior furnishings, such as vintage sideboards, plate racks and artworks that may have only been hung in a living room or dining room but, instead, magically appear in the garden, on the patio or on a wall on the terrace. Space is also given to relaxation, thanks to comfortable chairs, a fireplace, a place where children or guests can stay, perhaps watching TV, while preparing food. In short, it’s back to intimacy and shared space, with only one protagonist (and that never changes): the modular outdoor kitchen.