Homeowners are increasingly demanding more-luxurious outdoor spaces with built-in kitchens, fire pits, and outdoor seating, Symone Garvett reports in Builder.

“Outdoor kitchens are among the most-wanted kitchen features in new architectural projects, according to the American Institute of Architects’ 2019 Home Design Trends Survey,” Garvett writes. “The quarterly survey’s fourth-quarter 2018 poll shows 49% of respondents report their popularity has increased, compared with 45% of respondents who noted the trend the year prior.”

Technological advancements and design trends are partially to thank for the uptick in popularity as architects blur the lines between indoor and outdoor kitchens. Designers can now select materials and finishes that maintain the same aesthetic indoors and out, and kitchens are now including specialty appliances such as pizza ovens, smokers, side burners, undercounter refrigerators, and more.

Although propane is most frequently associated with grills in an outdoor setting, it can also fuel features that extend the outdoor season, such as patio heaters and fire pits. Clients are demanding features that allow them to use their outdoor kitchens longer than ever before, Garvett notes. “Other trending products that can boost the functionality and longevity of these outdoor spaces include layered heat sources, such as heating lamps or built-in infrared heaters; shade solutions, such as pergolas or retractable patio covers; and cooling sources, such as fans and misters,” she writes.

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