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Summer, the Season for Outside Cabinets

Summer is in full swing! I must confess I’m one of the few who loves a hot steamy Florida summer.  Recently I got a call from a potential client with some extra space to fill outside by the pool (lucky them right?) Adjacent to the dining room and tucked into an alcove a new idea sprang to mind!  How about an outside wine bar? Perfect for entertaining and here in Florida we can enjoy this scenario most of the year.  There are a few things to remember if you’re thinking of investing in outsider cabinetry.

outside winebar
Concept drawn using Chief Architect X8


The Right Stuff–  Cabinets for the outside should be exterior grade, ready to stand up to humidity and temperature changes.  Some good options include Mahogany, Cypress and Teak.  These can be pricey, especially the latter two but there are other options.  Why not consider a painted finish? As long as you’re using an exterior grade paint over and exterior quality MDF you’re set! Your friendly local custom cabinet maker can help you with any of these options.


Here’s what we started out with. This alcove is right outside the house, it’s under cover and the pool is right around the corner!



There are also cabinet lines that are manufactured for the outdoors.  Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens makes powder coated stainless steel cabinetry for barbecues, outside kitchens and, yes, outdoor wine bars!!  They tout their all powder coat finishes for low maintenance, protection from harsh weather conditions and a safeguard  form chlorine (salt air) and muriatic acid which is used to clean pavers.




We say “outside” but I recommend your bar area  have at least an overhead cover.  You gotta protect the goods, right? Protected or not, perhaps the most durable way to go is with a product called King StarBoard® ST.    It is a special, high-density polyethylene sheet that provides a super tough surface for many applications.  I like that it comes in colors and that color goes all the way through, no chipping ever!

Photo courtesy of King Plastic. StarBoard® ST is a great option for outdoor cabinetry.


Handle It Properly- All unavoidably metal elements such as door/drawer pulls, hinges and drawer slides should be stainless steel. This also your sink and faucet.  Here’s a great article full of tips on choosing the right products for the outdoors from plumbing and appliance experts at Ferguson.

Top if Off- There are actually a number of good counter options for your outside area.  Concrete is one of them and it can be colored and even embedded with things like shells and rocks!  Fun right?

You can embed mementos right into the concrete! Courtesy of
You can embed mementos right into the concrete! Courtesy of

I also love Dekton by Cosentino, a highly durable scientifically complicated package of counter top loveliness.  Just have a look at these new colors!

Dekton tops are impervious to weather with zero porousity!
Dekton tops are impervious to weather with zero porosity!

Back to my client, here’s what I envision for this space (at top).  The stone wall lends a wine cellar feel while being totally suitable for this outside application.  Here I’m showing the stone also on the adjoining wall but it would work equally well only over the bar. Last but not least, favorite art makes it your own with a personal touch.  Just make sure your work is framed professionally so moisture doesn’t enter into the picture, so to speak.  If you’d like to explore creating your own little slice of heaven outside I’d love to help you.  You know where to find me 😉 Cheers and happy summer!


Gloria Graham-Sollecito

Gloria is a kitchen and bath cabinetry designer with AKBD certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She has also served on the Florida Treasure Coast Chapter's Board of Directors as the VP of Communications. Her work has appeared on This Old House as well as in Florida Design Magazine, K+BB Magazine and the Palm Beach Post. She is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen, Illustrated, as well as a freelanced writer contributing occasionally to the Sun Sentinel in the area of kitchen design. She is a proud member of the Blanco Design Council and the illustrious Brizo Blogger 19.

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