i+D - May/June 2018 - 62

Living by
Design
Outdoor
Spaces

Cooking Al Fresco
Outdoor living spaces? "The biggest wow we've seen in the house-building industry, ever!"
says Ernie Lussier, owner of Canada Outdoor Kitchens. And, the most exciting part of them,
he says, is surely the kitchen.
Designing, building, and installing outdoor kitchens tailored to a customer's lifestyle has been
Lussier's focus for the last five years. Formerly a custom home builder, he began the business,
based in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, to fill the void he discovered while researching
outdoor eating areas for his own family.
Today, he's able to say to clients, "We can source anything. Give me your wish list," and starts
itemizing such favorites as ice makers, pizza ovens, beer dispensers, and dishwashers.
What makes his kitchens unique is how every item works together, both aesthetically and
functionally. "We design them so that, once outside, there's no need to return to the house,"
explains Lussier. As to looks, "even though it's outdoors, we don't lose the luxury. There are
so many options, colors, materials, textures, and cabinet profiles, plus the technology-we
can make it so that you can, for example, control your grill from miles away using an iPhone."
"Hot now are our 3-season rooms, composed of permanent roof structures with heaters and
either tempered-glass partitions or retractable screens that function as walls," he continues.
"Offering protection from wind, rain, and bugs, they also keep the heat in on chilly nights."
Lussier forecasts a 10 to 20 percent growth in outdoor kitchens, adding that he foresees
his own business increasing 100-fold within the next three years.
Based on a 1956 design by
Tadao Inouye, the sculptural
Kantan chair has been reinvented
with resilient Suncloth straps that
conform to the body for comfort
and support.
(Image: Stuart Watson)

What's New, What's Next
Along with new textures that resemble linen, men's suiting,
and boucle yarns, Gant is "excited about new partnerships that
put an entirely fresh lens on...the products we can offer." One
is the Pendleton by Sunbrella collection, which reconstructs the
traditional designs of Pendleton wool blankets for the enduring
performance qualities of Sunbrella upholstery fabrics.
"Natural and natural-looking materials, such as teak,
pre-weathered teak, or natural-looking woven furniture,
complement the natural world and colors that surround people
when they're outside," says Feldman, explaining what her
clients look for. As to styles, she adds, "there's a wide spectrum
between your grandfather's traditional rustic look [and] the
tech entrepreneur's new modern that designers can call upon
to suit any outdoor environment.

A different business model, but with the same goal of devising high-style, highly functioning
outdoor kitchens, Viking Range was "one of the first companies to offer commercial type,
outdoor grills," says Director of Marketing Tim Tyler. It was 1997 and met with such success
that Viking soon expanded its product offering to include all kinds of appliances for outdoor
use. Next came gourmet residential kitchens, and, with that, the indoor kitchen moved
outdoors where people love to entertain.
With nearly endless possibilities available, Viking offers its online Outdoor Kitchen Planning
Guide that allows customers to create their design, select the desired products, and request
a quote. Once agreed upon, product is sent from an authorized Viking dealer and a qualified
kitchen installer in the customer's market is suggested so that a professional installation can
be ensured.
According to Tyler, "Moderate-sized homes are not forgotten. We offer many smaller-sized products
for outdoor kitchens," mentioning the freestanding grill that measures a compact 30 inches wide.
Popular items for this summer are the new Viking 5 Series outdoor grill with 25,000 highintensity BTU cast-brassgrill burners, the Wok/Cooker, and the Easy Lift Canopy System.
Finally, Tyler says, should anyone doubt the company's dedication to creating products that
really help to create outstanding meals, take heed: "Our industrial design group and engineers
not only work closely together, but cook on the Viking Barbeque Team where they share
recipes, cooking ideas, and inspiration."

"Our Konos collection redefines teak furniture with a beautiful,
conical teak construction [that] is a hit this season, as is our
Habitat collection of vases and tabletop objects that are very
sculptural and reminiscent of ocean corals." Feldman also
mentions the Masterpiece collections that are built to be passed
down as family heirlooms.
"Wherever we go," Elton says, "we see outdoor furnishings
growing. There's no indication that growth will stop."

62

MICHELE KEITH
is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in
The New York Times, ASPIRE Design and Home, Luxury Listings
NYC, and DESIGN, among other magazines. She also has
written two coffee table books for The Monacelli Press:
Designers Here and There and Designers Abroad.

Viking offers
heavy-duty gas grills,
warming drawers,
refrigerators and
even vent hoods for
outdoor living areas.
(Image: Viking Range, LLC)

Canada Outdoor Kitchens
spaces are designed so that,
once outdoors, there's no
need to return to the house.
(Image: Canada Outdoor
Kitchens)



i+D - May/June 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i+D - May/June 2018

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