The newest trend in outdoor kitchens: impressive structures with sinks and refrigerators as well as fireplaces and bars, all under one big roof. It's as if a great room from inside the house moved into the backyard. Michael Dreef, the head of Eubanks Group Architects' Houston office, says more than 75 percent of his projects include outdoor kitchens (eubanks-architects.com). Some are an extension of a covered porch, while others are freestanding pavilions that mirror the look of the main house. The gorgeous Houston kitchen here features wrought-iron balustrades and decorative steel trusses, which were inspired by bridges in Texas Hill Country. The 22-foot vaulted ceiling allows heat to rise, and the outdoor-rated ceiling fans from Minka Aire keep everyone cool (951-735-9220 or minkagroup.net).
French Country Style
The owner of this Houston kitchen designed and fabricated the charcoal grill with smoker. The gas grill with rotisserie ($3,630) and side burners ($880) are from Thermador (800-656-9226 or thermador.com).