5 covered outdoor kitchen ideas for a chic, sheltered space

Covered outdoor kitchen ideas are increasingly popular – here's how interior designers create these sheltered spaces for indoor/outdoor cooking

Covered outdoor kitchen ideas hero
(Image credit: Michelle Boudreau Design & Lance Gerber & Shields Residential/Marie Flanigan Interiors & Julie Soefer/Arterberry Cooke & Captex Construction & Madeline Harper)

Covered outdoor kitchens are fast becoming the go-to design. Offering shelter from direct sunlight as you cook and making it useable on rainy days, a covered space is one of the most usable and versatile.

If you've been looking for outdoor kitchen ideas, you've probably noticed many of them feature some sort of cover, whether it's a full roof or a pergola-style structure. Adding a practical element as well as a beautiful deign statement, you can't go wrong with a covered outdoor kitchen if you want to maximize the space.

If you're not sure what style of shelter is best for your space or you simply want to find out the designs interior designers swear by, the covered outdoor kitchen ideas are sure to spark a new design idea for your backyard cooking space.

5 covered outdoor kitchen ideas

A covered outdoor kitchen can be achieved in many, it's simply a case of finding a style and design that suits your yard and the way you use the kitchen. From pavilions to pergolas, these covered outdoor kitchen ideas have it all.

1. Introduce an outdoor kitchen pavilion

Covered outdoor kitchen

(Image credit: Kern & Co Designs)

One of the most sheltered outdoor kitchen options, opting for a pavilion cover means the kitchen area is protected by a roof and walls on three sides. The space is protected from the elements whether it's raining or sunny, so you can utilize the outdoor kitchen all year round.

'This outdoor kitchen pavilion has it all. From appliances to the pizza oven, every convenience was thought through. For perfect entertaining, the design featured Texas limestone, vintage beams, quartzite stone, and bespoke Habersham cabinetry,' explains Chloe Spath, of Kern & Co Designs.

The added wooden cover makes the outdoor cover feel larger and creates a gradual transition from the kitchen to the open space.

2. Create a canopy

Covered kitchen ideas

(Image credit: Arterberry Cooke/Captex Construction)

A covered outdoor kitchen doesn't require a whole structure being built – there are a number of alternative ways to create a cover that are much simpler and more versatile for a variety of spaces.

This covered outdoor kitchen is a great example. A canopy-style cover has been added, extending from the wall of the house. 'The roof style of this covered kitchen was predicated by the roof of the home. We wanted the outdoor space to have a cozy and warm feeling and we really wanted to bring the interiors outside and to have the spaces feel connected as one,' explains Danny Spears, of Captex Construction.

Introducing an L-shaped layout around the perimeter of the outdoor kitchen ensures the yard can be enjoyed whether someone if cooking or dining, and promotes a more social environment.

3. Keep appliances under cover

Covered outdoor kitchen with a statement backsplash

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors/Julie Soefer)

Even if you choose a covered outdoor kitchen, it's still important to choose finishes and appliances that are weather-resistant. To be extra cautious, keep appliances in the most covered areas of the kitchen so they stay pristine for longer.

'I like to design covered outdoor kitchens with meticulous attention to functionality, materials, and style. By strategically incorporating essential appliances such as grills, refrigerators, icemakers, and sinks, it ensures a seamless outdoor culinary experience,' says interior designer Marie Flanigan.

'If you’re short on space, prioritize your needs and integrate your most necessary appliances into the design. Further, always select materials that can withstand the elements. I love creating a connection between the local landscape and the outdoor kitchen by using natural materials that might be found in nature,' she adds.

In this covered outdoor kitchen, a grill has been added against the wall, while the rest of the appliances are integrated below the counters. Style has been kept in mind, too, with statement outdoor kitchen countertops and a tiled backsplash adding character to the scheme.

4. Keep your outdoor kitchen open to surrounding views

Covered outdoor kitchen with mountain views

(Image credit: Michelle Boudreau Design/Lance Gerber/Shields Residential)

If your backyard benefits from beautiful views, it seems a shame to block them, especially when you're creating a space for enjoying the outdoors. Instead, opt for a covered kitchen that simply has an overhead shelter with no covers on the sides.

'We selected a beautiful weatherproof Quartz countertop with soft grey veining. The custom outdoor kitchen cabinetry was made with nautical-grade black metal and trimmed with the same quartz stone for a stunning finish and weather protection. The materials were chosen to withstand the extreme heat and outdoor desert climate, ensuring durability and longevity,' explains interior designer Michelle Boudreau.

'The kitchen is covered to provide shade when in use, with an open view of the lush desert landscape. The materials allow these elements to withstand the outdoor elements, and they're covered to protect them from the intense sun and heat, allowing for the addition of more fabrics and details to create a warm and inviting feel,' she adds.

5. Add a glass roof to maximize light

Outdoor kitchen island with a peninsula layout

(Image credit: Caesarstone)

If your covered outdoor kitchen is more enclosed, it can begin to feel dark and uninviting. But, with a few carefully placed glass panels, you can infuse your space with an abundance of natural light, helping you fall back in love with your alfresco cooking space.

This covered outdoor kitchen is surrounded by a lot of greenery and is more enclosed in the yard than some other examples. By adding three glass panels in the rook, a bright, on-trend outdoor kitchen has been created. And the best part? It can be used and enjoyed come rain or shine.

The covered feature has also meant that fun decorative elements could be introduced. A shelf used as bar storage adds a chic element, while rattan pendant lights add a playful touch.

A covered outdoor kitchen is ideal if you want to create a versatile space that can be used whatever the weather. From simple canopies to pavilions, there are plenty of outdoor kitchen covers to choose from, it's simply about finding the right style to suit your outdoor space.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.