Outdoor kitchen featuring a TV, built-in Lynx gas grill, sink, bar, and so much more

What was once a small backyard flower bed has blossomed into a fully loaded outdoor kitchen attached to the home. The space is luxurious yet comfortable, partially thanks to the distressed bricks, pickled wood, and plantation-style shutters. Meanwhile, elegant Lynx outdoor appliances and welcoming, brick-lined walls balance a soaring vaulted ceiling. With an adjacent lounge pool and covered sitting area, the outdoor kitchen extends all the comforts of an indoor space to the backyard.

To help the mostly enclosed area feel spacious, homeowners Gil and Michelle Matherne made the most of every possible inch. Space-saving options like door-and-drawer combos and firewood hutches open up the floor for guests, making the outdoor kitchen a favorite spot for holidays, birthday parties, and political events.

The Backyard Brief:

  • Year Built:

  • Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Island Layout:
    Linear, L-shaped

  • Island Finish:

  • Frame Materials:

  • Countertops:

  • Primary Fuel:
    Natural gas

  • Placement:

  • Shelter:

  • Water:

Lynx gas grill with stainless steel drawers for storage

Sizzle on the Side

A premium built-in grill is the obvious star of most BBQs, but the homeowners didn’t overlook the potential of a heavy-duty side burner. The accompanying faucet means they doesn’t have to haul huge buckets of water around for crawfish boils, plus the burner is built to hip-height so pots of gumbo or jambalaya can be easily lifted. Beneath the grill is a set of doors and drawers that provides access to gas lines while also offering extra storage, all covered by a smoke-clearing vent hood.

Bar center featuring a Lynx fridge, sink, storage, ice bin and cocktail center

Cheers to That

As frequent entertainers, the homeowners rely on a bar center to give guests a place to congregate, snack, and enjoy a drink (or three). An undercounter refrigerator and ice maker on either side of the bar center allow them to keep parties going without being forced to run back inside for supplies. Dual-level countertops prevent spills from soaking guests, but it’s still a good idea to have built-in paper towel holders nearby in case a glass does tip over.

Cooking area featuring additional storage drawers, a range stove and warming rack

Room for More

The main cooking zone covered the basics, but why settle for just the basics? The secondary cooking area is home to convenient appliances that take this outdoor kitchen to the next level: a sink, access doors, additional storage drawers, and a range stove with a faucet. There’s even a warming rack underneath the range stove that keeps grilled food ready to eat — or (life hack alert) can be used to heat up towels for shivering pool-goers.

Secondary cooking area featuring large windows and strategic overhead lighting

Let There Be Light

A carefully planned lighting scheme gives the homeowners what they need when they need it. Task lighting hangs above each of the main areas of the outdoor kitchen for nighttime prep and cooking, while ambient lights lining the space are important for setting the right mood when hosting. Even the shutters add a touch of natural light during daytime gatherings, not to mention that they lend an outdoorsy feel to the space without sacrificing privacy.

Outdoor fireplace with an outdoor TV mounted on the wall above the mantel

A Finishing Touch

Walls of distressed bricks and pickled beadboard on the ceiling form a neutral backdrop for turquoise pieces to really pop. The splashes of color — combined with several driftwood marine life accents that create a sense of repetition and unity in the space — impart beachy vibes and serve as conversation pieces for guests. The homeowners found and imported several of the items during their travels (poolside frog statues from San Francisco, a carved whale from Alaska) to personalize the space.

Wide shot of the outdoor kitchen with architectural features like pillars surrounding the kitchen

Homeowner Spotlight

Always outdoor cooking enthusiasts, the Mathernes first built an inside/outside kitchen before setting up a grilling area well into their backyard. But the distance between the home and outdoor kitchen quickly became a headache, leading the couple to construct the attached outdoor living space they enjoy today. “I hear the same thing from everybody when they come over,” says Gil, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, business owner. “They say, ‘If I had this setup, I’d always be out here.’”