Mission Hills Backyard Entertainment & Kitchen Design
Who says the kitchen needs to be locked away inside a house? With southern California’s year-round beautiful weather, it would be a shame not to take full advantage and get cooking while the sun shines and the birds are singing!
That was the line of reasoning for this San Diego homeowner, who wanted an outdoor space that could accommodate both his enjoyment in entertaining guests with stunning panoramic views of the city and his love for the culinary arts. The result of these competing desires was an intensely stylish outdoor kitchen and entertainment space that incorporated the architecture of the home to create a uniquely stunning city lookout.
Torrey Pines Landscaping Company, the chief architects of the new design, first had to rip out and destroy the sparse previous occupants of the space: an orange flagstone patio, a storage shed, and an expanse of lawn that contoured with the hillside that the property resides on. The new yard would utilize the elevation changes to feature a number of tiled staircases that used a tri-color palette of white, green, and blue that the rest of the space’s hardscape would conform to. Tiered beds would feature native Californian flora, as well as a carefully tended vegetable garden that would be incorporated in the design.
The kitchen and entertainment space takes up the upper tier of the garden, where a new counter bordering the house walls uses white brick topped with striking gray granite as a countertop. A 6-burner grill (complete with side-burner for sauces) takes center stage in the structure, with each end of the counter bookended by a unique cooking implement: on one side, an EVO flat top grill for stir fries, on the other, a Forno Bravo tiled pizza oven, complete with a wood storage space tucked underneath.
To provide shade from the intense summer heat or, alternatively, to provide some extra insulation for the integrated overhead heaters during winter months, Torrey Pines fabricated a pergola that utilizes blue- and white-striped retractable Roman shades. Light fixtures and chandeliers provide ample lighting for the entertainment and dining area, and granite tiling extends outwards from the new counter structure to provide solid footing for the new furniture.
To bookend the new space, a double-sided fireplace was added to both add some warmth and create a visual connection to the vegetable garden just beyond the structure.
The new staircase, complete with decorative wrought iron railings and an integrated tiled fountain, lead down to the second tier of the yard, which features the remainder of the lawn. This tier, also tiled with granite, features a number of new plant beds with young flora and is a perfect space for sunbathing or relaxing with a drink on a balmy summer evening, watching the sun slip under the horizon and the city lights come alive.
The project was designed with this view in mind; from the entrance to the yard to the orientation of the entertainment space and the staircases leading down into the second tier, you can gaze off into the horizon from any point. With the homeowner lost in the view and the smells of home made cooking wafting into the night air, we considered this project another success in the books.