Island couple creates perfect outdoor kitchen with front-row views
Entertaining outside is possible on the upper Texas coast most of the year. Liz Lawhorn Cryder knew that. But for nearly 20 years, she didn’t take advantage of her outdoor space.
Liz and husband Scott Cryder live on Offatts Bayou, across from the pier at Moody Gardens in Galveston.
From their yard, they have a front-row seat for the summer fireworks and busy water traffic. But it wasn’t until 2014 that Liz decided to revamp her yard and make use of what’s now her favorite place to be.
An overgrown walkway was on the west side of their house, where Liz has lived since 1996. It was just a pass-through and never appreciated. But after the retired couple married in 2012, they had an idea and it turned out to be “the best idea.” The couple cleared the trees and shrubs that crowded the area, extended the patio, making way for an outdoor kitchen and bar.
“Now this is a great place for outdoor entertaining,” said Liz, a Galveston native. “I always thought it was too hot to be out here, but it is really lovely.”
Because the outdoor kitchen area adjacent to the house sits in the shadow of the building, it is considerably cooler. They planted six large palm trees, giving added shade and nicely landscaped the perimeter of the garden with fruit trees, flowering bushes and some succulents. They had additional lighting mounted and piped in music from their sound system inside.
Along the house, they had a 14-foot-long granite bar built. The bar is long enough to seat four people. They purchased large oval tables for dining and drinks. They installed a sink and storage and moved the grill and smoker to the area. In no time at all, they had created a valuable entertaining space they use on a regular basis. A cool breeze constantly drifts through the area, making it comfortable day or night.
They had a terra cotta-colored cement slab poured, with a geometric design to add to the outdoor space and existing patio. And after having their sloped yard graded to accommodate three large steps, they were easily able to access their deck and boat, where they can fish or relax.
Fishing is convenient from the dock and here they can catch them, clean them, cook them and consume them — without having to go to the inside kitchen.
And, because of the location, their yard and outdoor kitchen is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
“At the summer solstice, the sun sets right there over the Moody park pier,” said Scott, pointing to the dock across the way. “We kiss at sunset.”