Custom colored concrete countertops provide a durable and attractive surface for this outdoor kitchen. .

The owners of this lakeside home in Odessa, Florida got the ultimate outdoor living space just in time for summer. With entertaining friends and family outdoors as the goal, an outdoor kitchen and fire pit were designed and built. I can imagine coming in from a day of fun on the lake to some grilled steaks and a bonfire – that's the life!

Jeff Potvin of Concrete-N-Counters was called in to install concrete countertops for the homes outdoor kitchen. Potvin had worked with the architect previously and had been recommended for the project. The architect, who was good friends with the homeowners, sold them on the versatility and earthiness of concrete and also explained that concrete is an excellent outdoor countertop material because it will weather well and is easy to clean.

The base structure of the outdoor kitchen is faced with natural stone. The color from these stones is what inspired the rich brown tone of the counters. Potvin formulated a custom color to the homeowner's liking. Once the color was set, Potvin started fabricating the countertops. "We precast and polish all of our countertops in our shop, including this one," he says. The countertops were then transported and installed at the site.

An antique copper sink was installed in the corner of the kitchen..

When asked if there are any differences between the countertops he creates for indoors and those that he creates for outdoors, Potvin said, "No, we seal all of our countertops with a blend of six different sealers. It can be a pain, but is worth it because it prevents the surface of the concrete from staining or scratching." This special blend of sealers is especially worth it in this case, since the countertops are outdoors and will need to hold up to the Florida sunshine and extreme humidity.

One of the most interesting design features in this outdoor kitchen is the sink. The homeowners wanted an antique sink made of hammered copper to be a focal point of the kitchen. However, they also wanted to have sufficient counter space for food prep and to be able to pass food and dishes easily through the window that abuts the interior kitchen. The solution was to install the sink in the corner of the counter. "This turned out to be a great way to utilize dead space and to show off the sink," explains Potvin.

A fire pit was built to match the kitchen, with natural stone facing and a colored concrete cap.

The base structure of the kitchen was built by the Outdoor Kitchen Magician, based in Tampa, FL, not Concrete-N-Counters. But, Concrete-N-Counters can build entire outdoor kitchens from the ground up. "When we build a base it is made of concrete block and faced with custom concrete paneling," says Potvin, who jokingly referred to his kitchens as "bomb shelters".

Concrete-N-Counters also created caps for the large square fire pit. The fire pit is faced with the same stone as the kitchen and the color used for the concrete cap was the same as the countertops. This helped create unity throughout the entire outdoor living area.

Thanks to the work of Concrete-N-Counters, this outdoor kitchen and fire pit look great and will get use for years to come.

Tampa, FL