Outdoor Kitchens Add Style and Value

Midwest Block and Brick supports the outdoor living trend with affordable, beautiful, and durable products designed for homeowners to maximize their outdoor space.

Across the United States, homeowners and designers are incorporating more outdoor living elements into both new and existing homes. By going beyond the standard “grill in the backyard” setup and incorporating paving stones, wall block, fire pits, and other elements into their outdoor kitchens, homeowners can enhance their properties’ curb appeal and enjoy an entirely new “room” with their family, friends, and neighbors.

“The continued interest in entertaining at home is fueling the growing outdoor kitchen market, with more homeowners seeking to extend the ‘heart of the home’ outdoors,” according to Kitchen Bath Design News. “These outdoor living spaces have evolved from a simple grill and picnic table to sophisticated spaces with cabinetry, countertops, refrigerators and wine units, water stations, unique lighting applications, and warming units that allow the spaces to be used year round.”

As the popularity of outdoor kitchens continues to grow, homeowners are also seeing real returns on their investments. A recent study by the real estate website Zillow found that homes mentioning "outdoor kitchens" sold for 3.7 percent more and 19 days faster than expected.

The benefits don’t end there. According to a recent American Institute of Landscape Architect’s report, outdoor kitchens ranked as the second most important outdoor design element. “Outdoor kitchens are one of the hottest home renovations trends, and for many good reasons,” according to a recent HoodMart blog. “As the price of new homes has risen across the country, more people are looking for ways to turn their current home into their dream home. Outdoor commercial-quality kitchens are a great way to do that.”

Creating Beautiful Outdoor Kitchens

WWhen Will and Sarah Spurgeon sit down together to design an outdoor kitchen for one of their clients, they nearly always include one or more products made by Midwest Block & Brick of Columbia, Mo. Offering the Rosetta® line of outcroppings, fire pits, retaining walls, hardscapes, and related structures, as well as Romanstone pavers and wall block, Midwest Block & Brick makes high-quality masonry and landscape products for projects across the country. A Midwest Products Group company, it is one of the leading producers and distributors of masonry and landscape building materials nationwide.

“We’re definitely seeing higher demand for outdoor kitchens right now,” says Will Spurgeon, co-owner of Boulder Creek Lawn & Landscape in Jefferson City, Mo. Where in the past those clients may have requested a “basic wall and a fire pit,” Spurgeon says more people want to create unique, beautiful outdoor spaces where they can cook and enjoy meals both day and night.

“Things have gotten pretty elaborate when it comes to outdoor kitchens,” Spurgeon says. “To meet those needs we’ve been incorporating a lot of in-place concrete and granite countertops, pergolas over the top of their grills, and outdoor refrigerators.” Spurgeon says he’s using a variety of Midwest Block & Brick’s Romanstone products, which allow him to blend a mixture of colors, textures, and stone sizes into his own clients’ outdoor kitchens.

“The Romanstone products are very easy to work with and offer flexible 2- and 3-color blends that our customers really like,” says Spurgeon. “The product is eye catching and very easy to blend with a wide variety of existing brick. Very few other products on the market provide that range of options for coloration and matching.”

Midwest Block & Brick has the Answer

At Lewis Landscaping & Irrigation in Jefferson City, Mo., Owner Kevin Lewis is seeing higher demand for outdoor kitchens, extended patios, and other outdoor living elements. “People are staying home more, enjoying their properties, and investing in them,” says Lewis. “As part of that overall trend, the demand for outdoor kitchens, coverings, pergolas, and other elements is also growing.”

To meet those demands, Lewis uses a lot of free-standing block stone materials manufactured by Midwest Block and Brick, as well as the Rosetta wet-cast flagstone products, the latter of which provide endless options to create landscape designs that will appear as though they were “born,” rather than built.

Michelle Jansen, a product consultant with Midwest Block & Brick, says the company offers a wide range of products that can be easily adapted into kitchen layouts—including bars and tables. “We have a full line of products made for anyone who wants to extend their home’s living space and create a wonderful gathering place,” says Jansen. “Whether they want to build from the ground up or use one of our many kits, we’ll provide the best solution on the market.”

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