On the Texas coast, rustic and tropical themes prevail in outdoor kitchens
When it comes to outdoor kitchen design, homeowners on the Texas coast are influenced by the beauty of nature and the existing style of their homes.
Chad Bridwell, owner of Outside Oasis, has been helping homeowners realize their outdoor kitchen dreams for the past 13 years. On average, he designs and builds at least 24 outdoor kitchens a year.
“I have installed some lavish kitchens that are probably nicer than the kitchens people have in their homes,” Bridwell said. “The most expensive was $85,000, but usually we work with people to meet their budget.”
Outside Oasis designs and builds all the relevant infrastructure for outdoor kitchens, including the roofing or overhead cover, flooring, cupboards and countertops, while owners are responsible for the appliances.
Many people opt for plenty of hardware in their outdoor space and stainless steel is the most fashionable option, he said.
“People put in everything you see in a normal kitchen, multiple sinks, grills, cookers, smokers, fryers, refrigerators and Sub-Zero freezers,” he said.
Pizza ovens aren’t as popular as they once were because many people find they can use egg-style smokers/grills as a multi-purpose alternative.
When it comes to décor, natural colors are very popular with granite being the preferred material for countertops, stonework for the cupboard surround and concrete for the flooring. Stained concrete with stamped patterns and texture is very popular. Stone tiles with intricate patterns are another fashionable option. Shingled patio roofs that match the house and pergolas are the most popular roofing options with the open walls allowing for breezy entertaining.
“Outdoor fireplaces with chimneys are very popular at the moment,” he said. “I think people like the ambience of an outdoor fire.”
The Best Palapas in Dickinson has been installing outdoor kitchens for the past five years and normally builds about 15 a year, although it has experienced increased demand since the pandemic has inspired more to spend time at home, said office manager Cinthia Urquia.
“People want to cook outdoors so they don’t have cooking smells inside and they want to be outside with their family at this time,” Urquia said.
Locals favor tropical and rustic looks for their outdoor kitchens. Palapas are very popular, whether people choose palm leaves or the synthetic alternative.
Concrete, in natural brown and tan tones, is the most popular flooring option because it wears well and lasts a long time. Cedar countertops are durable and a good-looking option with the wood’s natural golden tones suiting the preferred tropical theme.