Top 20 Outdoor Kitchen Designs and Costs

Yes, indeed, you can absolutely cook outside, at an outdoor kitchen, as well as have way more fun while you are at it!

Small outdoor kitchen near the pool

But what if you don’t have an outdoor kitchen? Let’s build one!

Warning, you are about to delight your eyes with 20 beautiful and fully functional outdoor kitchen designs to help you get your imagination going! 😉

Did you know? Outdoor kitchens are quite a trend in areas with warm weather all year round. Cooking takes a lot of time and you can make it more pleasant by cooking outside. If you’re curious, take a look at the following 20 outdoor kitchen designs. But first, let’s talk about the costs involved in such a project.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?

Outdoor kitchens can cost anywhere from several thousand dollars for a basic setup all the way to $50,000 and even $100,000, depending on the complexity of the design and the extent of the work required. The main costs involved in designing and building an outdoor kitchen revolve around the following:

  • Planning and design work from $100 to $1,000, depending on the complexity of the overall design
  • Shade structures – Pergola, Gazebo, etc.
  • Appliances
  • Landscape lighting in and around the kitchen
  • Patio design and installation
  • The framework of the kitchen
  • Utility requirements like drains, electrical lines, and natural gas piping.

The average reported cost for building an outdoor kitchen is a bit over $9,000, most homeowners spending between $2,700 and $16,000. What does this sum cover?

Well, for starters, there’s the center piece of most outdoor kitchens: the grill. Some families spend thousands of dollars on a fancy grill.

A decent one costs at least $1,000 while high end products can be sold for up to $15,000. Don’t forget to purchase BBQ equipment too. Another important appliance is the fridge. A quality refrigerator starts at $500, but some people opt for a beverage cooler instead.

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Top 15 DIY Kitchen Design Ideas and Costs

Ready to create a kitchen that will really impress with its versatility, design and style? If so, our DIY home improvement guide to kitchen renovation and remodeling projects will be a great starting point for you! 🙂

Your kitchen may be the most important room in your home this year! It is a now a multipurpose space for working from home, connecting with family, entertaining, and is the heart of a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. Kitchens have anywhere from a 60%-100% return on investment, assuming you make the right choices. 😉

Whether you’ve got a micro-loft or mansion; your kitchen has to look great and function efficiently. So what’s trending in the latest kitchen design? Which kitchen remodeling projects deliver the best value? Which projects can be tackled by a crafty DIY enthusiasts? How can you get the most out of your renovation budget?

What will you do to make your kitchen amazing this year?

Getting Started Planning your magnificent kitchen makeover starts with:

  1. Clearing out the old to create a clean slate
  2. Getting up to date on emerging design trends
  3. Deciding what you want your kitchen and remodel to do for you
  4. Creating a budget
  5. Visualizing your new look

A midrange kitchen remodel can run from as little as $15,000 to over $55,000. The average spent is $25,000 to $30,000.

Hanley Wood 2018 Cost vs. Value Report estimates an upscale kitchen remodel can run up to $125,700, with only a 53% plus return on investment when it comes time to sell.

A Realtor survey and accompanying Return vs. Joy report and info-graphic ranks both a kitchen upgrade, and complete kitchen remodel as delivering some of the highest ‘Joy Scores’ at 9.4 and 9.8 respectively. This makes it one of the best rooms to makeover if you’ll be staying there for a while.

Did you know: If you are planning on selling your home any time soon, you should know that a kitchen can instantly make or break a home sale.

So what’s in, what’s out, and what are the hacks for a higher ROI remodel project?

15 Kitchen Upgrade Ideas

1. Countertops

Contemporary Kitchen - soapstone countertop By Bay Cabinetry Design Studio

Aside from cabinets, kitchen countertops can be one of the largest investments in this space. It is also one renovation item that few property owners should ever consider taking on themselves. So calculate in installation at around 20% of your total costs.

However, do note that there are many online and in-store design and concept visualization services and tools that can be leveraged for free. These can be used even if you purchase your materials somewhere else, or find your own contractor for the install.

For the fashion conscious, a kitchen island and countertops should be covered with quartz or quartzite, not the common granite. For those on a budget and who are more green minded, consider recycled countertops, butchers block from sustainable forests, or concrete.

Cost: Countertop costs can range from around $15 per foot for laminate to $140 per foot for quartz.

ROI: New countertops may not add much tangible value to your home, unless the previous ones were damaged or dysfunctional. However, they will make you feel a million times better about your kitchen, and can absolutely make a world of difference in real estate for sale ads, and when showing a home for sale.

2. Kitchen Islands

A-marvelous-kitchen-traditional-style The kitchen island is now easily the most important feature in a home. It makes or breaks real estate advertising and sales.

If truly amazing is a must; then go all out with a unique kitchen island. Double it as an entertainment bar and pro serving station by building in a bonus sink, cooling station for garnishes, wine, and making fresh sushi. Or add heat lamps and a warming drawer to keep brunch hot and fresh, and your plates up to par with restaurant quality.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association also reports that “desk or home office space has been created in a majority of new kitchens being designed by their members — approximately two-thirds of them. This space is also likely to include a docking station for recharging mobile devices.”

The basics of a kitchen island are the cabinets, and countertop. Size and quality of materials are the biggest variables, followed by installation. Use the cabinet and countertop costs in this report to calculate a rough estimate for your custom island.

Alternatively; inexpensive portable kitchen islands can be found from IKEA from $400 to $500.

Cost: $400 to $3,200

ROI: Adding an island may not increase your home’s appraised value, but it will definitely make a massive difference in appeal. You’ll love using it. Prospective buyers will be drawn to your home listing, and given the importance of the island today it could absolutely generate higher purchase offers and create bidding wars over your property.

3. Upgrade Kitchen Cabinets – DIY Option!

traditional kitchen with maple cabinets and colorful pendant lights Many property owners will find that they can get away with simply upgrading current cabinets, rather than splurging on brand new ones.

According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association this part of the kitchen can soak up as much as 30% of the total budget. So this is a great place to save big. Think refinishing or replacing cabinet doors and hardware. To really take it to the next level visually (without breaking the budget) consider smart under cabinet ambient lighting, and tablet holders for an affordable, but hi-tech look.

Cost: $200 to $5,000+

ROI: 70% +. The ROI on making existing cabinets look brand new can be huge. You can essentially get a brand new kitchen at the fraction of the cost. Expect to get virtually all of your money back in a sale or lease.

4. Replace Kitchen Cabinets – DIY Option!

black cabinets and stainless steel appliances Installing kitchen cabinets is another major task which most DIY enthusiasts will be glad they hired out for, instead of tackling it themselves.

Via BiggerPocket some real estate investors are reporting that Ikea kitchen cabinets have worked just fine for them.

Individual cabinet doors from Ikea start around $10 to $100. However, these can be a contractor’s worst nightmare. They reportedly arrive in many boxes, with many parts. Think of it as a kitchen sized Rubik’s cube. That can destroy your budget if your installers are working by the hour.

Alternatives include purchasing stock cabinets from home improvement stores, semi-customizing stock cabinetry, and fully custom built cabinets. Individual stock cabinets may start at under $100 per piece. The sky is the limit for high quality custom carpentry and exclusive materials.

modern-kitchen-design Hot kitchen colors include black, white, and retro pastel colors. HGTV says “gray is the new white.”

Cost: A new set of cabinets can run from $1,200 to $18,500+

ROI: Up to 70%. There is really no tangible home value difference between low end and high end cabinets. The return is in the personal enjoyment, and in the appeal and emotional value which can drive more, and higher offers when marketing a property for sale.

5. New Kitchen Appliances- DIY Option!

New kitchen appliances can make a massive visual difference. The best part of making an investment in new appliances is that you can take them with you when you move.

New energy efficient and smart appliances can help owners and renters to cut energy bills, reduce grocery bills, enjoy more productivity in their lives, and live more environmentally friendly. Top of the line fridges can now run tens of thousands of dollars.

Note that many of their top tech features still require manual input. That means they may really be most productive for those with a housekeeping staff to operate them. In terms of style; stainless steel is heading out, and colored appliances are back in.

Note that those simply staging homes for sale can often rent appliances short term for showings. Look for appliance outlet stores and special sales days to get even more out of your budget.

Cost: $400 to $50,000+

ROI: 100%+. The return here is really a matter of the personal use you get out of them. However, with energy savings and portability property owners can find they see all of their investment returned, and more.

Continue reading “Top 15 DIY Kitchen Design Ideas and Costs”

Top 15 Stunning Kitchen Design Ideas and Costs

Are you in the process of redesigning and remodeling your old, boring kitchen? If so our in-depth guide to top kitchen designs and styles should be a great starting point to ignite your imagination for kitchen design, style, and visual layout details.

From traditional to retro kitchen styles, our guide will help you visualize and conceptualize your new kitchen! The accompanying overview of costs and pros and cons associated with each kitchen style will help you weigh your options and plan your budget for the remodel of this important space in your home. 😉

Traditional Kitchen Styles

1) Classic Traditional

The first category and inherent style. It includes for our article 4 other styles. Traditional remains a very popular choice because of how cozy or homey it appears. It’s simple and not looking to make any bold statements.

Traditional kitchens tend to utilize wood finishes with colors that are coordinated throughout the space. White, tan and cream are the usual colors. Patterns in a traditional kitchen are familiar and easy to relate to. The stove/oven is the focal point and there tends to be lots of cupboard space all around for noticeable storage.

Pros: it’s the classic style which is also one of the most popular, most designers and builders can implement the style and adding unique features are not seen as outlandish.

Cons: none really other than your personal style may want a more modern flavor, more bold colors are sometimes desired to represent owner’s personal style

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $25,000

2) Rustic

By MorningStar Stone & Tile

A variation of traditional is the Rustic style. This theme emphasizes wooden features and surfaces. Wood may be stained, but a clear stain that brings out the natural beauty of the wood grain is usually sought. Timber, stone and brick are all common materials to this style. Sand colored wood is possible, but rustic tends to rely on darker tones, particularly mahogany and reddish-brown.


Pros: the variation in materials to create a more bold look than ‘classic traditional’ is why this style appeals to many, a more rugged look that can be majestic

Cons: If implemented poorly or not well maintained, rustic appears worn and rough-hewn

Low-end cost for a full renovation including design, materials and labor by a licensed remodeling contractor is about $30,000+

3) Country Farmhouse

This style can be challenging to tell difference from a ‘typical traditional’ kitchen. Color is certainly a noticeable difference. Where white and light colors are typical for traditional kitchens; red, blue and yellow are within the range of thematic choices. With a country kitchen, color is more about mixing than matching.

Pros: Of all the kitchens on this list, this may be the most open and inviting, donning a lived-in look

Cons: If elegant design, minimalism and strict color matching is your version of style, a Farmhouse kitchen is not for you

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $30,000

4) Craftsman/Shaker

This style is similar to rustic, in that it places premium importance on appearance of wood, but differs from rustic in that it is unlikely to appear worn. Instead, top quality wood grains and (as the name implies) craftsmanship is the theme. Shaker cabinets and drawers, along with handcrafted tiles are what marks this theme.

Pros: emphasis on quality is top notch in this style, adding in modern touches tends to work well

Cons: None really, but can be challenging to pinpoint this style as over reliance on modern features makes for more of a transitional character than traditional

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $40,000

5) Cottage

Cottage is a bit of an eclectic mix within the traditional category, but squarely in that. The style calls back to an earlier period where modern utensils don’t fit in so easily. Cottage tends to be a style that as you hunt for antiques and certain knick-knacks, it can likely be adapted to this style’s space without being out of place. Favored colors tend to be white or light, but like the Country Farmhouse, it favors mixing over matching.

Pros: perhaps the most simplistic, yet cozy of all the traditional types; has old world charm

Cons: persons with more elegant tastes will likely find this theme undesirable

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

Contemporary Kitchen Styles

6) Contemporary

This style is perhaps the most broad on the entire list of 15. People think ‘modern’ but that is actually its own sub-category pertaining to a specific era.

Contemporary is really whatever is currently popular, and so 10 years from today, that might not be whatever are the trends right now in this style. But as this is a general style, it includes general themes such as: clean, linear lines; sleek styles and focus on function than on (traditional) elegance.

Minimalism tends to be the norm in today’s contemporary kitchens, but that can easily have design trends that have a noticeable flavor. This is the only entry on the list of 15 where we’ll not include pros, cons, and costs as the category is just too broad for those type of specifics.


7) Modern

Modern style is surprisingly not necessarily contemporary. It’s easy to confuse the two, and many do. But modern really refers to the style that occurred with thematic designers in the mid 20th century who were looking to break away from the traditional mold.

Much of what they came up with is still with us today and is incorporated in many traditional kitchen types. Modern styles led to taking down of the extra wall in a kitchen, so person cooking a meal could still interact with people in the next room over (think parent looking after child in next room watching TV).

The modern era made use of stainless steel far more than had previously been done, and utilized neutral/light colors on walls or backsplashes, while hardware and countertops were darker, to intentionally create a contrast.

Pros: Very easy to find designers and builders who can implement this style and who can likely make it unique to your own home, matching your tastes.

Cons: stainless steel is in, wood is less used, so perception of ‘natural beauty’ is lessened, but again deals with matter of personal taste

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

8) Luxury

via Heather Hungeling Design

This style is more conception than thematic. It’s contemporary to whatever the current era manifests as most expensive tools, most extraordinary details in design and richest materials available. Luxury kitchens have been with us for as long as kitchen spaces have existed. Luxury is perhaps best understood as a cross between (traditional) craftsmanship and contemporary gourmet.

Pros: being the best of the best has its merits

Cons: the average homeowner likely won’t even consider this option due to the expense

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): Not applicable as low end and luxury are incompatible. $40K is possible for luxury kitchen design.

9) Gourmet

Gourmet kitchens are like the ‘man cave’ for chefs. Luxurious spaces that take the chore of cooking and make it as fun as humanly possible. For contemporary styles, it tends to be the trendsetter for many other styles wherever function is seen as more valuable than appearance.

It’s enticing just to consider the feature set for today’s gourmet kitchens. This includes (but certainly isn’t limited to): six-burner stovetop, industrial strength ventilation system, separate refrigerator and freezer, separate wine cooler, self-sustaining luxury island, stove-top faucets, warming drawer, kitchen computer or flatscreen, and gadgets galore.

The list of gadgets for gourmet cooking is a lengthy article itself, as whatever type of cooking is called for, a gourmet kitchen will want specific, quality gadget just for that, such as indoor smokers, specifically styled broilers, countertop steamers, and so on.

Essentially, whatever you can think a restaurant might have, a gourmet kitchen probably does have, just at a smaller scale.

Pros: for the cooking hobbyist, there is no kitchen style that beats the gourmet kitchen

Cons: the style can be very expensive and is not modest, nor relying on traditional styles

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $50,000

10) Asian

Asian is a style that embraces several far east cultural design elements. While it intuitively fits well in the ‘traditional’ category, it is for North American homeowners a contemporary stylistic choice. Wood is a very prominent material in the build, but is not rugged looking like a rustic kitchen. Similar to craftsman, but with a different ethnic version of craftsmanship.

Simplicity and minimalism replace the excessive wants of the modern gourmet kitchen. All design items have either a simple (read as plain) style or an distinctly Asian bent. Trends are challenging to account for in this style, but our research finds darker colors are being included in this style more and more, including use of stone/granite backsplashes and countertops

Pros: ability to mix traditional craftsmanship with panache and contemporary features

Cons: none really, but the Asian style may not be for everyone, nor fit many households

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

11) Mediterranean

Mediterranean is the luxury kitchen of southern Europe (along the Mediterranean sea). It is traditional to that area, and contemporary for North American tastes.

Well crafted tiles and patterned designs on walls, countertops and flooring truly distinguish this style from others. Texture and variety of textures are huge in this style. Similar to the Country Farmhouse, mixing is conceptually better than matching within this style.

Pros: Elegance with panache, bold textures and well conceived patterns make for a style that’s intriguing and majestic

Cons: If simplicity, minimalism and color matching are your style, then Mediterranean kitchens are not for you

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $55,000

Transition Kitchens and Related Styles

12) Transitional

Transitional kitchens are specifically conceived and designed as a mix between traditional and contemporary styles. While each kitchen style offers its own brand of creativity, transitional styles invoke creativity during implementation as a statement.

Generally though, the theme of transitional is minimalism in design, and neutrality in colors. Such as shaker style cabinets and crown molding with no decorative ornaments. Mixing natural and manufactured materials is the norm. The goal of this style is to project balance and harmony. Transitional kitchens tend to be for couples/families where two themes are desired, and one style (transitional) is implemented to achieve a balance (between the two).

via Scottsdale Remodeling and Design

Pros: the best of both worlds (traditional and contemporary)

Cons: mixing two styles can appear awkward unless a pro designer is involved

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $40,000

13) Vintage

This style, similar to Retro (below), is an authentic renovation mixing old with new, intentionally. With Vintage, the choice is to be a lot like a Cottage, or perhaps Farmhouse, and utilize the tools, main cookware from the pre-Industrial Revolution era. The look is critical, but this style is transitional. Finding harmony between Old World charm and modern conveniences is what makes for a Vintage style. Perhaps all this is debatable as Cottage itself would look identical to Vintage, but Cottage isn’t assuming there is desire to appease modern tastes. Vintage does.

Pros: panache through tradition, and convenience through modern touches

Cons: Same as any transitional – mixing two styles can appear awkward unless a pro designer is involved

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): $45,000

14) Retro

Like Vintage, Retro mixes old with new, desiring to create an authentic early to mid 20th century kitchen. Think 1940’s to 1960’s style kitchen. And if having trouble imagining all the main details for each kitchen feature, then use a kitchen designer familiar with retro kitchen design. Use of stand-alone cupboards and shelving units are a staple in this theme. Old school refrigerators and black and white checkered flooring would make this theme readily apparent. While lots of contemporary gadgets would certainly appear out of place in this style, chances are good Retro will find a balance or way to include say microwave and dishwasher if at all possible.

Pros: panache through tradition, and convenience through modern touches

Cons: Same as any transitional – mixing two styles can appear awkward unless a pro designer is involved

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): Info not readily available, but likely expensive or around $50,000

15) Eclectic

This last style is the hodgepodge or miscellaneous category. It certainly can be an intentional theme, and the rebellion against needing to fit into a particular type of theme from this list. It’s finding your own style, your own colors, and going with that.

Again, a pro designer can probably make that work better than non-designer type. With this style, you get to include whatever from this list appeals to you, and mix it with anything else on this list, or from your imagination. While the style is perhaps impossible to describe accurately, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done for good reason, such as reflecting a persons many travels, sense of humor or irreverence.

Pros: this style is likely to satisfy the exact tastes of the most important person, the home owner

Cons: everyone but you will find something to criticize about this style and dislike your utter non conformity to what is right and good in the world

Low end cost for full renovation (includes design, materials and labor): Very challenging to account for, but $25,000 is fair place to start

Additional Costs and Other Considerations

As a home improvement project, a kitchen renovation is great in terms of satisfaction but very expensive, compared to other projects.

The Return On Investment (ROI) for a kitchen renovation is good. In other words, one can expect to get back about 67% of the value they put into it. That article notes higher costs than what this article has been suggesting, but that is average range, with a median cost around $60,000 in today’s prices, for major kitchen renovation.

The general rule for budgeting for kitchen remodeling is to spend at least 5% of the overall value of your home and not more than 15%. Less than 5% would actually devalue your home and more than 15% means you are less likely to get a decent ROI from the improvement. The breakdown of kitchen renovation expenses on percentage basis is as follows:

Design fees: 4%

Installation: 17%

Appliances and ventilation: 14%

Cabinetry and hardware: 29%

Countertops: 10%

Lighting: 5%

Flooring: 7%

Doors and windows: 4%

Walls and ceilings: 5%

Faucets and plumbing: 4%

Other: 1%

While a five figure price tag is very expensive, it is yet another reason to consider a designer. Yes, that is added cost, but it usually considerably less stress and more likely to achieve whatever your vision is, and match that with builders. Renovation can also be had over time, such that the improvement is done in phases. With many of the styles, not everything needs to occur at once, and a designer can help determine what phases make most sense for the type of style you want.

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