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Design Trend : Contemporary California Neutrals

Modern Outdoor Kitchen Design Inspiration

Where outdoor kitchens meet modern designers, you find chic designed spaces that blend into nature. Wood, concrete, stucco, and hints of metal are used in unexpected places, and any color pops are left to the surrounding landscape. The result? Calming, clean lines, and a gorgeous backdrop for lounging or hosting. 
Whether you're grilling, smoking, or searing, this sleek design style easily compliments any cooking appliance. Give yourself a calming retreat from the day-to-day hustle. 


Elements of Contemporary California Style 


- strong horizontal lines

- neutral or muted color palette 

- natural materials - wood, concrete, stucco, natural finish tile, metal accents

- drought-tolerant plants native to the area 

- minimalist style : no clutter or excess décor 

- modern fixtures + accessories

- "hidden" appliances and doors 


 Contemporary Chic in San Francisco

Photo by Dumican Mosey Architects

A mix of neutrals and warm wood make this SF backyard space inviting and contemporary. We love the repeating pattern of horizontal wood and the big concrete tiles used for the hardscape. The outdoor kitchen area is compact and modern in stainless steel, reflecting the gorgeous wood above. 

Los Angeles Pergola Perfection

Photo by LA-Decks Backyard and Pool Remodeling

Heavy on the wood, light on color, this beautiful backyard space is for some seriously comfortable socializing. Multiple lounge chairs and a long custom sofa are clustered around a modern fire table, while an outdoor kitchen and dining space are covered by a gorgeous wood and steel pergola. Light colored decking and white and grey accents highlight trees and plants that surround the space.


Modern Luxe Deck in Orange County 

Photo by OC Deck & Patio 

Neutrals never looked so good. This multi-level deck has all the right spots for maximum backyard entertainment. A built-in outdoor kitchen with a bar ledge is nicely situated next to the extra-large jacuzzi (or compact pool? Either one is pretty awesome).

Sleek lounges are nestled right next to the water, while modern accent chairs are lined up to enjoy the rock-paneled waterfall below. Custom open metal railing doesn't obstruct the view, and PVC decking below will keep everything low-maintenance. 


Alfresco in San Luis Obispo 

Photo by Landwell Design + Build Co. - Discover patio design ideas

SLO is the ultimate California spot to enjoy amazing outdoor weather year-round. With Pismo and Avila beaches less than half an hour away, and even Oprah declaring it the best spot to live, California cool might just have originated in this coastal college town. 

Succulents in gravel create a natural sculpture garden, while modular landscaping with concrete, flagstone, and artificial turf makes this style definitively contemporary and clean. We love the wood-filled custom kitchen island with a built-in grill, and the rattan light fixture over the dining area. 

Click through to see the rest of this backyard for a lot more inspiration - there's a bocce court and fire table seating around the corner! 


SF Pool House Perfection

Photos by Studio3 Design, Inc

A backyard this size may be "medium-sized" most places, but this much outdoor space is a rare find in San Francisco. The owners capitalized on every square foot with a luxurious pool house, complete with a full kitchen, bathroom and shower space, seating area, and adjacent grilling area. Clean concrete hardscape and tile are a beautiful neutral backdrop for light wood accents and grey stacked stone columns. 

Sunset West at Grillscapes

Sunset West outdoor patio furniture at Grillscapes

Looking for outdoor furniture to go with your sleek California Contemporary outdoor kitchen? Grillscapes carries Sunset West patio furniture - it's  effortlessly modern and made to last. Find pieces to fit your space here

Not sure how to choose pieces for your outdoor kitchen? Our Smart Outdoor Kitchen Builder (SOKB) is just for you! Spend 5-10 minutes ticking a few boxes and we'll get to work assembling the perfect setup for your space and budget. Pass it on to your contractor and you're one step closer to your dream backyard.