Drawing inspiration from some of our favourite outdoor kitchen spaces, we take a closer look at how to level up our alfresco domain.

When spending more time at home, the outdoors provide a welcome reprieve from the monotony of being inside – not to mention expanding our overall living footprint. Now more than ever, fully functional outdoor kitchens hold as much value as their indoor counterparts and are worthy of the same considered design we invest inside. 

We know quality fixtures, fittings and materials are essential to making the most of an alfresco kitchen year-round. Designed by Abey Australia for the Australian climate, their Alfresco sink and tapware collection comprise marine-grade 316 stainless steel to withstand even the harshest environments. Together with Abey Australia, we’re unpacking the fundamental elements in four outdoor kitchens – from minimalist to industrial, open-air to covered.

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The Urban Outdoor Escape

The traditional inclusions of the outdoor kitchen comprising a grill, rangehood, and benchtop are now merely the launching point. Today, everything from soft-close cabinetry, custom seating, fire pits and refrigerators are becoming the new standard. In particular, an outdoor sink and kitchen mixer enable even the most compact alfresco to become completely self-contained. 

Techne Architects designed a calm and compact outdoor kitchen for their Bell St Residence project. By utilising an open-plan format, an unrestricted flow is created between the interiors and its courtyard. Stone benchtops are a sophisticated extension of the surfaces indoors, while grey cabinetry houses cooking equipment, allowing it to be tucked away when not in use. Custom timber built-in benches surround the private oasis to create a practical seating option without imposing on the overall spatial flow. 

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The Poolside Entertainer

The Malvern East project by Made by Cohen & Penny Kinsella Architects with its manicured gardens, pool and tennis court takes full advantage of its generous outdoor space. With more expansive garden spaces, separating the outdoor kitchen and dining zones provides more freedom for hosting larger groups of guests.

A partially covered outdoor kitchen is accented by external timber batons and a gabled roof. The bench space with storage beneath, as well as the sink allow for meal preparation and clean-up, negating the need to traipse cooking or dining utensils inside. The undercover outdoor dining offers year-round privacy and weather protection, while an open-air living space enables guests to bask in the sunshine throughout the warmer months. 

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Nestled in Nature

Our gardens have become our sanctuary. A way to immerse in the living world and restore our energy. Whether for an afternoon aperitif or a three-course evening meal, outdoor dining provides a vital connection with our surrounding landscape. 

Bay House by Studio Prineas features an open-air outdoor kitchen to take full advantage of the lush backdrop of the rocky southern New South Wales bushland. A bespoke concrete benchtop houses a gas cooktop and a stainless steel sink and mixer; both composed of the same quality 316 marine grade stainless steel that you would expect from a premium kitchen indoors. A collection of HAY outdoor furniture completes the outdoor living area – echoing Studio Prineas’ approach to designing relaxed and highly liveable spaces that last. 

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By the Sea

When it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen, durability is key. Be it a covered expanse or an open-air zone, countertops and cabinetry need to withstand heat and moisture. The Patio House by OOAK Architects with its front-row panoramas across the Aegean sea required hard-wearing materiality. Custom concrete, stone, stainless steel and exterior timbers provide longevity and minimal maintenance.

The theatrical dining area is composed of built-in stone seating, cooking and preparation zones. Two bespoke concrete benches feature an outdoor sink and tap for freshwater or washing up. For an outdoor kitchen with proximity to the sea, specifying durable fixtures is a must. Fit for Australian coastal conditions, the Abey Alfresco Large Bowl sink is designed to withstand the elements, made from marine-grade stainless steel. 

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