outdoor kitchen with man, woman and 3 kids
Photo: Mark Lohman

Get Luxe for Less

Few things rival the appeal of a backyard barbecue on a summer night. Here's another notion that's sure to please: Upgrade your barbecue area to an outdoor kitchen, and any money you spend on it will increase your home's value. "In any market a home with an outdoor kitchen would help buyers choose it over another without one," says Karen Schwartz of ERA Real Estate. The homeowners of the Pasadena, California, kitchen pictured here heartily agree. "When we first looked at this house," says the wife, "the outdoor kitchen was a huge bonus." Although fairly simple in style, the kitchen's 120 square feet of space includes all the amenities: a built-in gas grill, separate side burners, refrigerator, sink, fireplace, and large seating bar. And while such a wealth of features would push a similar kitchen to a hefty $25,000, estimates Pasadena landscape architect Mark Berry (who designed this one), you can get just as much function on a much lower budget. Read on to learn how.
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