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Outdoor Kitchen Inspiration

26/04/2022 - Case Studies and Inspiration

Outdoor kitchen inspiration

Looking for some outdoor kitchen inspiration? Check out these case studies and landscaping materials for ideas to inspire your next project.

More and more, we’re hearing from garden designers and landscapers who have been asked to incorporate cooking and eating facilities into a garden makeover.

With 3 out of 4 households in the UK owning a barbecue, and the bbq & alfresco eating market reaching a whopping £1.7 billion in 2020, there’s little doubt that cooking and eating out of doors is fast becoming a new British institution.  

In the aftermath of the COVID 19 pandmenic, we’ve all changed the way we socialise.  Suddenly, home seems safer and more appealing. And so it makes sense that people are beautifying their gardens with a view to cooking and entertaining outdoors. Who can blame folks for wanting an outdoor kitchen? Any meal is far more enjoyable when it’s eaten in beautiful surroundings.  Nobody wants to tuck into a beautifully flavoured rib-eye steak with chargrilled vegetables whilst perching on top of a rusting washing machine and sat next to a wheelie bin. 

So what can you incorporate into a garden design to make al fresco eating even more satisfying for your clients?

Keep reading for some inspirational ideas to help you to help your clients decide how to style their outdoor cooking area.

Pergolas For Shelter And Shade

British weather is never guaranteed and so some sort of structure to provide shade and or shelter from the rain is almost essential for an outdoor cooking area.

In this case study, Chris from Tectonic has built a superb structure which creates a kind of extension to the property and truly allows for that indoor-outdoor experience.

Click on the image below to see the entire case study.

covered patio with timber pergola and glass roof. Views across the garden to a second timber pergola with seating area

Storage and Kitchen Units

Using our solid wall blocks to shape an outdoor cooking area makes perfect sense,  Fuss free, accurate and immensely strong. Form the recycled plastic moulds into the shape you want and fill them with concrete - honestly, it’s a simple as that!  Here they are being used to create a retaining wall.  But of course they can be used for kitchens, planters and even pools.

outdoor kitchen under construction using solid wall block system from Arbour Landscape Solutions

Once the concrete has set, you can decorate it however your design dictates.  Rendering, porcelain tiles, cladding - the choice is yours.  And then of course it can be topped off with a stylish and hygienic X-Tech outdoor worktop

Cladding For Your Outdoor Kitchen

There are so many choices for using cladding to style any vertical surface, not just an outdoor kitchen.  For a contemporary, modern feel, how about X-Tech porcelain cladding?  It’s smooth, it’s stylish, wipe-cleanable and super easy to install - especially if you are using a Grabo.

Or what about paddle stones For a natural, more rustic look and feel? Alternatively, you might prefer split-face stone cladding.  Again, it's super easy to install and it looks fantastic.

We love this outdoor fireplace created by Manor Prestige Landcapes using paddlestones supplied by Arbour Landscape Solutions.

outdoor fireplace built from paddlestones nestling beneath a sturdy timber pergola

Everything you'll need for cladding your outdoor kitchen is available from the Arbour Landscape Solutions website. Including adhesives, grouts, tools, and of course the cladding materials themselves.  Need any help? Our team is on hand to answer technical questions and to help you choose the perfect products for your project.

Paving For Outdoor Kitchens

Paving is a given for any outdoor kitchen or dining area and at Arbour Landscape Solutions we have an enormous range to choose from.  If porcelain paving is to your taste, its slip and stain resistant properties make it ideal for outdoor cooking situations. 

Request porcelain paving samples here

And if you need something a bit more unique - we offer a bespoke sourcing and shaping service. Get in touch with the team for more information on bespoke paving


Lighting really is going to add the icing to the cake for anyone who is planning to cook and eat out of doors.  Not only can it ensure perfect preparation for food and may even prevent burnt food (in theory anyway), it sets a wonderful ambience around the dining table.

Will you choose recessed lighting? Festoon lights? Uplighting? What about the rest of the garden? Clever lighting design can make the whole garden feel more accessible and inviting thus creating a party atmosphere.

Check out our range of UK made light fittings their quality is second to none.

teak garden table and chairs set in a beautifully lit garden

Plants and Planters

Finally, no outdoor area is complete without plants.  The Arbour Landscape Solutions team offers a bespoke plant sourcing service to help you find the species with just one email or phone call. It doesn’t matter whether you need a single specimen plant or a whole garden full of beauties - you’ll always receive our very best customer service.

And if you are in need of stylish planters - we can help with those too.  You'll find our most popular planters on our website, all ready for you to order online. However, our range is so extensive that we're still in the process of adding to the online offering.  If you can't see what you need, please don't hesitate to send over your specifications and we'll get straight back to you with our most competitive price.

For More Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Take a look at our case studies featuring work from some of the UK's top garden designers and landscapers - you're bound to find something you like!