How to decorate an outdoor kitchen – 5 decor ideas to add a homey feel to your space

Want to add personality and homey appeal to your yard? These outdoor kitchen decor ideas are the perfect way to do so

Outdoor kitchen decor ideas hero
(Image credit: Michelle Yorke Interior Design & Miranda Estes/Marie Flanigan Interiors & Julie Soefer/Barrett Oswald Designs & Kyle Caldwell)

Outdoor kitchen decor ideas can instantly transform your scheme ready for summer. Just because this cooking space is in the yard, doesn't mean you can't introduce a few homey additions – a few of your favorite decor pieces will simply bring more joy to the area.

There are plenty of ways to spruce up your outdoor kitchen ideas this year. Whether you have an outdoor kitchen diner where decor bridges the two spaces, or simply want to add personality to a small outdoor scheme, decor is a quick and easy way to do so.

Whether you want to keep things natural with plants and floral displays or bring your interior design style outdoors with eye-catching pieces, these outdoor kitchen decor ideas are interior designers' go-to's this year.

5 outdoor kitchen decor ideas

From rustic outdoor kitchens to sleek modern schemes, decor is a welcome addition to any alfresco setting. Remember to consider how well your chosen decor will endure the natural elements – unless you have a covered outdoor kitchen, you may need to ensure you have sufficient storage space to protect your decor throughout the colder months.

1. Introduce statement lanterns

Outdoor kitchen decorated with lanterns

(Image credit: Barrett Oswald Designs/Kyle Caldwell)

Embellishing an outdoor kitchen with decor that adds style and function ensures the space doesn't begin to feel cluttered. A great option is decorative outdoor lighting – they illuminate the space in the evenings while adding visual appeal.

'With the renewed interest homeowners have in outdoor kitchens, we are often asked how best to accessorize these spaces. Lanterns work well to complement an outdoor kitchen area,' says Barrett Oswald, principal designer at Barrett Oswald Designs.

'The Taylor Lanterns from Pottery Barn are pretty accents that also have the benefit of additional light during evening cookouts,' she adds. Opting for oversized lanterns ensures they add sufficient light, but also helps them to not get lost in the space.

2. Create a border with planters

Planted borders created as outdoor kitchen decor

(Image credit: Barrett Oswald Designs/Kyle Caldwell)

The natural decor for an outdoor kitchen is flowers and greenery. Helping your outdoor kitchen blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, plants will add color and privacy to your space.

'Outdoor kitchen decor should be organic to the setting. We love bordering an outdoor kitchen with big planters to highlight any surrounding greenery,' says Barrett, who designed this outdoor kitchen scheme.

Take it one step further with a border of plant beds filled with shrubs and native plants. This creates a natural wall around your kitchen, zoning the space and emphasizing your outdoor kitchen layout.

3. Add patterned tiles

Covered outdoor kitchen with a statement backsplash

(Image credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors/Julie Soefer)

Outdoor kitchen decor can be designed into the bones of the scheme. With even more need for watertight materials, a tile adds color, pattern, and plenty of functional elements, too.

In this outdoor kitchen, a backsplash has been created using patterned tiles – not only are they a practical design feature, but they add a pop of blue that works beautifully in the scheme, while the repeat pattern draws the eye, adding visual interest.

This style of outdoor kitchen decor works particularly well in this space thanks to the all-white scheme, however, it can work just as well in a more colorful outdoor kitchen with the right pattern and color choices.

4. Layer baskets and trays

Outdoor kitchen decorated with basket and trays

(Image credit: Michelle Yorke Interior Design/Miranda Estes)

Adding the final details to your outdoor kitchen design doesn't need to be all functional. Take cues from your interiors to bring personality and unique style to your outdoor kitchen – think about your favorite decor items and how they can be translated outside.

'I prefer to decorate an outdoor kitchen with materials and finishes that accent the design aesthetic of the outdoor space, then layer on with baskets or trays that are great for bringing items from inside to the outdoor kitchen,' says Michelle Yorke, principal designer at Michelle Yorke Interior Design.

'Trays and baskets can also be moved easily if placed near the cooking area for prep and grilling and then moved to a nearby table or seating area for serving,' she adds.

5. Introduce a pop of color

Outdoor kitchen with dining table, outdoor sink, pizza oven and grill

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Adding a decorative touch to an outdoor kitchen is simpler than you might expect. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking every element has to be durable and practical, but you can add purely decorative features, too.

Adding a splash of color can completely transform your outdoor kitchen's overall look and feel. Choose outdoor kitchen colors that feel right in the natural environment and work cohesively with your home's exterior.

This outdoor kitchen features a chimney made from red brick, so a deep red hue has been introduced on the back wall. The splash of color instantly brightens the space and adds ample personality, while still feeling cohesive with the other materials.

Outdoor kitchen decor comes in all styles and forms. Whether you prefer decor that adds function, feels harmonious in the natural environment, or brings your interior design style outdoors, these designer-approved outdoor kitchen decor ideas are a great place to start.

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.