Unique Perspectives: What’s Cookin’?

Kitchens and bathrooms are established markers of luxury — without updated, high-end versions of these important rooms, a home is likely to quickly decrease in value regardless of how elegant its other elements may be. However, the most luxurious homes need more than just above-average indoor spaces to be considered grandiose.

An entertaining, opulent addition to a large backyard, outdoor kitchens have become popular staples among luxury homeowners. From small-scale pizza ovens accompanied by an understated seating area to a fully furnished kitchen tailored to outdoor cooking, having access to a means of preparing food in an outdoor space is crucial to high-end homebuyers, especially in warm
weather states.

Arcadia White Pane. Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

Photo courtesy of Brantley Photography. 

Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill. Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

Russ Faulk, Chief Designer and Head of Product at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, says that one of the biggest outdoor culinary trends is cooking on a live fire. 

“Live-fire cooking isn’t new; in fact, it is the oldest form of cooking,” Faulk says. “But more recently, people are re-embracing wood-fired cooking and its primal nature. It started with the chef community. Restaurant menus described dishes as wood-fired or wood-grilled steaks, seafood, vegetables, and even dessert. It was all about capturing the char, smoke and unique flavor that comes when you grill using wood. Now people can capture that same experience right in their backyards.”

Outdoor kitchen design used to capitalize on the novelty of the out-in-the-elements nature of the space, but lately, Faulk has seen homeowners transition their outdoor kitchens to mirror their indoor ones.

Photo courtesy of Brantley Photography.

“We’re seeing indoor kitchen trends move into the outdoor kitchen. That includes more transitional designs, more cabinetry drawers versus doors, and more color,” he says.

These spaces can serve as a poolside dining area made for entertaining, or more simply as a peaceful place to cook on a summer night. The versatility and unconventionality of an outdoor kitchen makes a statement even among the most luxurious of homes.

Often serving as the focal point of a living area, a fireplace can take a room from ordinary to extraordinary.

Whether it’s a fireplace that hangs from the sky or a fireplace with multi-colored LED lights, European Home has compiled research to form the definitive ‘what’s hot’ list of luxe outdoor modern fireplaces for the summer of 2019.

This is what’s trending in modern outdoor fireplace design.

Fire that hangs from the sky. For example, the suspended Ergofocus by Focus Fires combines the humble backyard fire pit with the high art of the sculpture garden at MoMA. This fireplace even rotates so you can enjoy every square foot of your outdoor living space.

Ergofocus by Focus Fires
Image courtesy of Focus Fires

Paxfocus by Focus Fires
Image courtesy of Focus Fires

A linear fireplace with a twist (or a corner rather). The J Series: Corner outdoor fireplace can dramatically draw attention to the architecture of your outdoor living space with its unique wraparound corner design.

 Industrial textures. This wall-mounted outdoor fireplace features a rusted, corten steel finish which is the perfect textural accompaniment to an industrial or minimalist outdoor living space.

The architectural fire pit. At actress Courteney Cox’s Malibu home, custom seating becomes an extension of the patio and surrounds a teak and steel gas fire pit.

Custom Architectural Fire Pit. Photo by Simon Upton
Image originally published by Elle Decor

Color + Illumination. The JM2 outdoor fireplace offers the ability to illuminate the interior of your fireplace with multi-colored LED lights so you can create a tantalizing outdoor ambiance with or without the flames.

The fireplace is the epitome of luxury, and many other brands are also creating innovative fireplaces. Here are only a few:

napoleonfireplaces.com

modusfireplaces.com

flarefireplaces.com

No matter how much room there is, taking advantage of your outdoors can not only further personalize the space but create the perfect oasis that fits your needs. From the atmosphere and design to the fun accessories that are customized for you, these fun pieces are crafted to help you indulge in the warm months.

For the Lounger

The Swing Lounger by AMAZONAS combines floating comfort with modern, stylish design as an eye-catcher for the home, both outside and inside. The stylishly curved lying surface is exactly adapted to the body and allows comfortable reclining, relaxing and enjoying.

 

Photo courtesy AMAZONAS.

 

Swing Lounger is made in carefully handcrafted weatherproof treated spruce. The high-quality layer bonding ensures maximum stability and safety. The extra thick, water-repellent and extra fast-drying mattress guarantees perfect relaxation. The extremely resistant agora fabric cover is as soft as cotton, has high resistance to light and weather, is water-repellent, mold-resistant, dirt-resistant and easy-care.

For the Late-Night Entertainer

To enjoy the sweetness of summer until late at night, online store Nedgis offers lovely yet versatile lighting fixtures and pieces, perfect for any corner of your outdoor space from the terrace to the garden. For a dinner, a party or a conversation in a low voice, these mood lights provide high-performance lighting. Fixed or mobile, discreet or more imposing, each lamp brings with it its atmosphere and its little decorative touch.

 

 

aGlow offers a trendy, lightweight design that defies the boundaries between the inside and the outside of the house. With aGlow, you have both a lamp and a wireless speaker with Bluetooth capabilities, a battery life of up to 20 hours and a short charge time. It’s perfect for hot summer evenings on the terrace, in the tent, at festivals, on vacation or in the living room when darkness arrives. The design is simple and elegant, ready to dance! The lamp is delivered in a beautiful wooden box, ideal for a gift.

 

 

Created by the designer Tristan Lohner, the Moon walker lamp is strongly inspired by the 19th floor lamps with its fluid lines and harmony between matter and color. Practical, functional and decorative, Moon decorates and illuminates your exterior in a friendly and efficient way. The portable light has a battery life of 8 hours and its USB cable allows it to recharge easily! To put on your table, in mood light or as a bedside lamp, Moon finds its place inside as well as outside! It offers two lighting temperatures to best fit your mood and your desires.

 

All light photos courtesy Nedgis.

For the Master Chef

Brand new to Cuckooland, the Ooni Koda Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven is lightweight, compact, gas powered and ready to use straight out of the box! Live in pizza paradise with this luxurious accessory that includes an Ooni Koda pizza oven, a stone baking board and a propane tank gas regulator. Impress your guests by cooking and serving a delicious pizza in just 60 seconds at your garden party. This pizza oven is compact and light and can also cook fish, vegetables and steaks, making it the perfect camping companion to cook a memorable outdoor banquet.

 

Photo courtesy Cuckooland.

AIKO Lounger. All photos by MAMAGREEN.

Gertrude Jekyll, a British horticulturalist, designer and artist from the late 19th century, once said “The garden should fit its owner or his or her tastes, just as one’s clothes do; it should be neither too large nor too small, but just comfortable.”

Good outdoor design should follow this philosophy in order to create a space that is a comfortable reflection of its owner, according to Michael Toutloff, showroom manager for MAMAGREEN, an outdoor furniture design studio that promises to make a difference in outdoor design.

 

Headed by designers Vincent Cantaert and Barbara Widiningtias, MAMAGREEN aims to create the best hand-crafted outdoor furniture that features exciting, distinctive designs in the “smartest manner we possibly can,” says Toutloff. Cantaert, CEO and founder of

 

MAMAGREEN, is a third-generation furniture and from Belgium, while Widiningtias was one of the first women to graduate in wood furniture studies in Semarang, Indonesia. Together their modern, minimalistic designs that are both comfortable and sustainable, as they utilize traditional materials, such as reclaimed teak, and primarily recycled or recyclable materials. “[It] isn’t disposable design,” Toutloff affirms, “it is furniture that is made to last.”

 

To achieve these distinct designs, Toutloff says the key is to correctly quantify how much space you have to work with. “The biggest mistake someone makes is by trying to force the space to become something it isn’t,” he notes. With this in mind any space can get the perfect revamp it needs, from transforming a small balcony to a quaint entertaining space to installing a cabana in a large backyard to create an intimate oasis getaway.

BAIA Extending Table.

Scale and functionality are priorities when it comes to MAMAGREEN furniture. Pieces like the BAIA extending table come standard with a self-storing filler that allows you to expand to a larger table for entertaining, then downsize for maximum movement and flow.

 

The versatility of these pieces is what is most attractive, as each product is capable of being customized for reasons corresponding with aging, ADA requirements, mobility and more.  The company’s passion for sustainability also contributes to its modern sensibilities, from leaving zero impact on rainforest to upcycling 95 percent of its production waste.

 

“MAMAGREEN furniture is made with love,” says Toutloff. “There are no conveyor belts in our factory. Instead, product is moved from station to station and built by hand by craftsmen.”

Recycled teak wood at MAMAGREEN workshop.

EKKA Lounger.

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