I recently returned from the 2014 Architectural Digest Home Design Show where Outdoor Style was on the minds of many design cognoscenti. Outdoor kitchen company Brown Jordan staged a mock-up of the perfect outdoor space for summertime entertaining that showcased the latest looks, products and trends. I stopped by the company’s booth to trend talk with Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens/ Danver president Mitch Slater.
Design Blogger Karen LeBlanc: Are you seeing consumers place more of a priority on their outdoor living spaces? If so, what are the popular upgrades to outdoor living space and why?
They are absolutely placing more of a priority on their outdoor living spaces. Upscale consumers are treating outdoor space as another room for entertaining; along the lines of how they entertain indoors. In addition to the typical cooking appliances like grills and refrigerators, during the past several years we have seen an increase in specialty cooking appliances like griddles, smokers, high BTU burners for boiling seafood and multiple bars installed.
There is more lounge-type seating with bar and refreshment stations in multiple spots on a property, as people use more of their backyard. The outdoor space is more than a kitchen; it has been transformed into space for outdoor entertainment.
Design Blogger Karen LeBlanc: How can consumers make the most of their outdoor living spaces? What are some easy and affordable upgrades to their outdoor living spaces?
Most people focus strictly on a new grill with maybe a side burner and a refrigerator. They neglect to look at the space in non-traditional ways. It is the perfect opportunity to enlist a professional designer; someone who knows what products are available and can help a homeowner envision how they might use their space based on the way they would like to cook or entertain.
Many people try to save money by getting the best deal on a cooking appliance and neglect the other amenities that would enhance their enjoyment of the space beyond cooking.
Lounge-type seating (in addition to dining-type seating) with chat tables or fire features can offer an alternative to always sitting around a grill (especially if they are outside with cocktails and then heading out to a restaurant for dinner).
Additionally, we are seeing many more people implementing shade solutions, like shade sails, pergolas with motorized or manual shades, and, more frequently, hard roofs, to take advantage of the space even when it is very hot outside. The shade can make spaces livable.
Design Blogger Karen LeBlanc: Please describe the latest looks and style in outdoor living space?
In a word, color. As more and more weather resistant products (rugs, seat cushions, fabrics, decking materials, etc.) become available, we are seeing designers take advantage of color throughout outdoor living spaces.
Resistance to the elements like sun, rain, snow, and salt air ensures these non-traditional outdoor products now last a long time – even in the elements.
We provide stainless cabinets with a powder coat finish in designer colors that are increasingly in demand by designers and architects to complement the color schemes in these outdoor spaces.
Design Blogger Karen LeBlanc: What are the most in-demand outdoor amenities and why?
Fire features, whether they are fire pits, fire tables or full-blown fire places in a variety of fuels are very popular.
Contrary to what many grill manufacturers might believe, we are seeing kitchens with best-in-class cooking products from a mix of manufacturers in the same kitchens. They address different styles of cooking like infrared grilling for direct heat cooking, smokers (ceramic egg and pellet grills), high intensity burners for boiling large pots, griddles for shared cooking experiences, etc.
These may use different fuels like gas, charcoal and wood. Several grill manufacturers make hybrid grills with all of those fuel options available in the same grill.
Bars are also very popular, and many times there are more than one on a property, maybe near the cooking, near the pool, tennis court, horse barns, etc.
Design Blogger Karen LeBlanc: Any other thoughts that you would like to share with readers?
We have also seen the size of our cabinet orders in individual kitchens increase by large amounts in the past 3 years. So more people are finding more need for storage as part of their outdoor living spaces.
I can’t emphasize enough the trend towards color that we are seeing in the market. Having a neutral cabinet option that fits any manufacturer’s appliances offers a great solution to provide a unique look, style and design for each kitchen.
Tags: Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, Danver Outdoor Kitchens, Design Blogger Karen LeBlanc, Featured, Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, Outdoor Kitchen Trends, Outdoor Lifestyle Trends, Outdoor Living Space Trends