This tiled outdoor "kitchen island" was designed to blend in, but it's the stand-out of this Californian backyard

With materials that echo it's natural surroundings, these designers created a centerpiece for this Los Angeles' homes outdoor space

An outdoor kitchen island clad in green tile
(Image credit: Caitlin Atkinson. Design: And And And)

Indoor kitchen islands are the epitome of luxury, but have you considered an island for your backyard space? Enter this one-stop-shop outdoor kitchen from Los Angeles and Toronto-based architecture and interior design practice, And And And. 

Blending into the surrounding landscape and bringing a bit of luxury to the backyard, it's pretty near perfect and I'm convinced it's the answer to summer entertaining. To find out more about this modern home's outdoor design, I speak to the principals of And And And, Daniel Rabin and Annie Ritz.

The outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen island with a swimming pool

(Image credit: Caitlin Atkinson. Design: And And And)

The fully functional outdoor kitchen comes complete with refrigerated drawers, a drinks sink, ample storage for towels for the pool, a kitchen section and hob, and even an ice maker. Clad in ceramic jewel green tile, this outdoor kitchen area is a focal point of this California yard. The tiling is a great option for cladding the island, requiring little maintenance given the sunny California climate, and bringing a natural feel to the space, almost blending with the surrounding cacti, Canyon Prince grasses and Douglas fir.

Located in a cozy corner of the backyard, the outdoor kitchen creates a focal point in the backyard and entertainment zone. 'The existing pool area from the 50s was a lot of concrete without definition or real purpose,' explain Daniel and Annie. 'We created the outdoor kitchen as a terminus to one such area - it receives beautiful California light at dusk and frames the greenery while adding warmth to the pool deck.'

'The outdoor kitchen allows the family and guests to come together while they may be entertaining or cooking a family meal, and all be in the same space.'

The materials

An outdoor seating area with materials mimicked on the island

(Image credit: Caitlin Atkinson. Design: And And And)

For the surface of the kitchen, a ceramic tiling in dark verdant green was chosen from Heath Ceramics. The finish was picked specifically to bring a subtle sheen to the space. 'The green was chosen as it ties the outdoor natural colors into the built environment,' the designers explains. 

To beautifully balance against the local fauna, the shelving is made from Douglas fir, an evergreen native to the area. 'Green pairs with the wood used the same way leaves pair with a tree. It is reminiscent of the landscaping in the backyard and helps brings the space together.'

The materials blend with other spaces in the backyard too, including a seating area where a firepit is also clad in the same green tiling and an L-shape sofa in the same wood paired with subtle, pale pink upholstered cushions. 

'We always approach design holistically and seek to create distinguished, purposeful spaces that align materially.'

'The goal was for the interior spaces to have a strong connection to the outdoors. We thought it was important to have beautiful natural colors and materials throughout the space as a reflection of the surrounding environment.'

The lighting

An outdoor kitchen island with a string of fairy lights

(Image credit: Caitlin Atkinson. Design: And And And)

Illuminating the outdoor kitchen is backyard string lighting that highlights the sheen of the tiles come evening time, and emphasizes the entertainment space further. The light also means guests can still enjoy the entertainment zone as dusk falls. The fairy lights are placed on the top of a pole to create a web of light that shines light directly downwards. 

This means the kitchen can be used whatever the light, and given the balmy temperatures, this makes al fresco dining plausible throughout the evening. 'They have gorgeous sunsets from the outdoor kitchen too,' add the designers.

The indoor/outdoor living

An indoor/outdoor space with windows that open out onto the backyard

(Image credit: Caitlin Atkinson. Design: And And And)

The client is a couple with two young children and were looking for a renovation with a strong connection to the outdoors. 'They wanted a space that would bridge the indoors and outdoors, a space to be with family and a place to entertain.'

'The first thing we bought was the terrazzo flooring for the bathroom. It has really beautiful caramel and browns in it with a nice cream background. 

'The green wall tile from Heath Ceramics was second. We knew it was going to pair really well with the beautiful white oak used inside, and everything just unfolded from there.'

Get the color palette

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.