Outdoor Kitchen Pictures From Blog Cabin 2013

A cobblestone-clad outdoor retreat offers space to prepare meals, dine and enjoy the company of friends around a warm fire.

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Jason Kisner

The grilling area, clad in a permeable cobblestone paver system, features a shade structure inspired by the design of Blog Cabin 2013.

Acacia wood Adirondack chairs cozy up to a built-in fire pit, which offers warmth on chilly evenings along the Crystal Coast. "The pavers have a nice weathered look on the top to give the hardscape an 'old world' and rustic feel," says Matt Blashaw. "I put down a lot of hardscape to give the winner a lot of entertainment space and to clearly define the area."

A birdbath, discovered in a brush pile on the property, finds a new home nestled under the old pecan tree.

"The challenge was building the shade structure to withstand 180 mph winds that code required," says Matt Blashaw. "We had to drive six 6x6 posts 8 feet down into the ground and build up from there. This is in addition to using heaving gauge steel brackets to fasten all the wood together securely. It was a tough build, but the outcome was incredible."

Custom bar space topped with typhoon green granite flanks the built-in infrared grill. The beadboard ceiling and exposed rafters of the shelter structure echo front porch design elements.

Heart pine from the original home was cut into thin strips and used to clad the grilling island. A homemade eco-friendly stain, made from steel wool soaked in vinegar for several hours in the sun, was spritzed on the pine, rubbed in and set to dry to a gray finish. "The acid will protect the wood a little bit," says project manager Dylan Eastman. "And this old heart pine has so much sap in it — it will be here for a long time."

Landscape elements, including tropical hibiscus, provide a pop of color in the dining and relaxation space.

Durable synthetic-wicker chairs pair with an outdoor table topped with a collection of nautical glass floats that shimmer and shine in the sunlight.

"I build a lot of shade structures on my show with just lattice on top, but at Blog Cabin I really wanted to have a roof with the same shingles that the house does so it is fully covered," says Matt Blashaw. "I wanted it to be a really substantial structure that would make it an architectural focal point but also give the winner a very cool place to relax, shaded from the sometimes very hot North Carolina sun."

Colored glass candle lanterns, suspended from the pecan tree, sway in the gentle sea breeze and softly illuminate the outdoor kitchen area during evening hours.

"The yard is so expansive that I had a ton of room to make a large destination retreat. It is an outdoor extension of the gorgeous Blog Cabin," says Matt Blashaw. "It is taking that incredible feeling that the cabin gives you and launching it out into the great outdoors."