How do you create an outdoor space that feels just like home? The secret is strategic design.

After spending more than a year-and-a-half designing the kitchen and five bathrooms of an Italiante-style 6,000-square-foot, new construction family home in North New Jersey, Anthony Passanante, CMKBD Certified Master Kitchen & Bathroom Designer of Anthony Albert Studios, was asked to take the project one step further—extend the family’s living space outdoors to help maximize the potential of the property’s gorgeous 10-acre lot.

The popularity of outdoor kitchens and entertaining spaces has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Not only do these types of spaces extend the square footage of a home, but they also create a unique space for quiet relaxation or a lively gathering place for entertaining guests. Increasingly, kitchen and bath designers are being asked to create outdoor kitchens or living areas, so the indoor / outdoor transition feels more seamless.

“I’ve definitely noticed the trend toward homeowners having their kitchen designer also design their outdoor kitchen,” said Passanante. “It’s fairly typical now with new homes that outdoor areas are designed into the home as an extension of the indoors. The most desired features I’ve seen include seating areas, a mix of covered and open spaces, fire pit areas and outdoor TVs.”

For this project, the homeowners worked with their contractor to develop a pool, pool house and a back porch with ample seating, but wanted to also create a highly functional dining, bar and entertaining space that truly felt like an extension of the home’s welcoming interior. Thus, it seemed only natural that Passanante also design the exterior entertaining area.

“One way to translate interior home design to the outdoors is by utilizing similar colors or types of materials in both spaces,” explains Passanante. “For example, we used the same color counters tops in the outdoor kitchen as we did in the interior kitchen. And for continuity outdoors, we used the same stone that’s on the exterior of home for the outdoor kitchen area, as well as carrying the same floor that’s around the pool area into the outdoor kitchen area for a better flow.”

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The footprint of the outdoor kitchen and entertaining area was pre-established by the homeowner and contractor, who had constructed a 20-foot x 20-foot covered structure on the lot. Supported by five columns, the layout of the structure created some restrictions in the design.

“Having predetermined dimensions in a space with immobile structural components already in place makes developing the design a bit more challenging,” said Passanante. “Instead of designing from a blank canvas I was required to design around columns, which made the project a bit more complex.” 

Aside from the structure itself, Passanante essentially was given free rein to design and select material for the covered outdoor living space. However, the homeowner had one essential requirement: the space must contain a kegerator. The designer naturally specified Perlick for the space due to the manufacturer’s long history in the beverage refrigeration and delivery market and its proven, commercial quality that enables the products to endure harsh outdoor environments.

“In my eyes, Perlick is number one when it comes to outdoor appliances,” said Passanante. “I have great confidence that my client will be satisfied with the products without having to worry about any quality or performance issues.”

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In addition to the Perlick 24” Signature Series Outdoor Beer Dispenser, the design incorporated a Perlick 24" Signature Series Outdoor Refrigerator and Perlick 15" Clear Ice Maker to ensure ice-cold beverages were always on hand. Just as important, the cooking area in the space included a high-quality grill with side burner, warming drawer, and sink for quick and easy clean up.

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Passanante carried the Italian-inspired style of the home’s interior outdoors through the use of warm tones and beautiful stonework. As with an interior kitchen and dining space, it was important to create different areas for different uses. For example, he created dedicated spaces for food preparation, cooking and entertaining.

Rounding out the design, Passanante added a gathering area with a TV and fireplace to extend the seasonality of the space, as well as a fan to help circulate air under the structure during warmer months.

Whether it’s enjoying the first flowers in spring, soaking up the sun by the pool in summer or relaxing by the fire in fall, Perlick’s undercounter beverage products can help enhance any season spent with friends and family. Learn more about Perlick’s outdoor design solutions.



Designer(s): Anthony Passanante of Anthony Albert Studio

Project Location: North New Jersey

Perlick Product(s) Installed: 24" Signature Series Outdoor Beer Dispenser, 24" Signature Series Refrigerator, 15" Signature Series Clear Ice Maker

Image Credits: Brian Klutch