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Alfresco Living

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Jesse Jarrett  |  Designer Jill Jarrett, CMKBD, CAPS, and Jesse Jarrett, CKBD  |  Location Hewitt, NJ

Savoring the views while grilling and chilling on Greenwood Lake

“It’s an amazing space to entertain and take in the lake views,” the wife says of the outdoor kitchen’s placement and orientation. NatureKast weatherproof cabinetry features a gray, teak resin finish and brushed stainless frames. Tucked beneath the countertop and hidden from view is a stainless-steel “critter-proof” pantry.

When homeowners seek improvements to outdoor living spaces, a well-equipped open-air kitchen and entertaining space are often at the top of their wish list, as it was for a Passaic County couple who love to cook and entertain.

Because of the pandemic, people are more inclined to gather at home with loved ones and to appreciate what the outdoors has to offer, say designers Jill and Jesse Jarrett, co-owners of Jarrett Design LLC in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Recently, the Jarretts completed a highly functional outdoor kitchen and cozy gathering space for their clients’ primary residence in Hewitt overlooking Greenwood Lake.

“Our clients built their home with their family and friends’ enjoyment in mind, paying attention to every detail while incorporating the latest technology,” says Jill Jarrett, a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. “All of these goals were intact for their outdoor kitchen as well.”

LEFT | “The clients had a clear vision of the appliances they wanted,” says co-designer Jill Jarrett: an efficient Galley Workstation, large Evo griddle top and 48-inch Caliber gas grill to name a few. The grill, she adds, has a “nifty retractable top for an unobstructed view while cooking.” RIGHT | Custom cabinetry neatly organizes all the Galley accessories. A Perlick beverage center and refrigerator/freezer drawers were placed near the entrance to the kitchen and service counter for easy access.

The design process began with the homeowners’ impressive appliance list: a big, round Evo griddle top, 48-inch Caliber gas grill and Perlick refrigerator/freezer drawers and beverage center. An ever-efficient Galley Workstation with Galley Tap also sits in a special cabinet that neatly organizes the Galley accessories, Jarrett notes.

Weatherproof cabinetry from NatureKast “was the obvious choice,” says Jarrett, due in part to its superior construction and ability to stand up to the elements. The cabinetry’s gray teak resin finish and brushed stainless frames complement the exterior style and colors of the home, while durable Dekton countertops with marble-like white top and distinctive gray veining follow suit.

LEFT | The Evo grill cabinet features a curved front with a low countertop for tucking the lid out of the way while in use as well as a handy pull-out spice cabinet and utensil organizer. Other hidden cabinetry accessories contain roll-out trays, a tray/cutting board cabinet and a double trash cabinet to keep everything in its place. RIGHT | Custom fabricated steel posts with integrated lighting cast a lovely glow at night. By day they keep a large sail in place to shield the owners from the sun — or rain.

Stainless-steel cable rail fencing assures that lakefront views remain uninterrupted — a design element that also inspired the two tall stainless-steel posts, which were custom fabricated to add lighting at night and to hold a large sail for shade on sunny days, Jarrett says. “Undercounter lighting also sets the mood after dark.”

The curved seating area “mimics the curves of the deck itself,” Jarrett says. Durable Dekton countertops simulate the look of white Statuario marble with its distinctive gray veining.

Used frequently and thoroughly enjoyed, “It’s a very beautiful and workable space for cooking and entertaining, and we love doing both,” the wife says. “The high-end appliances mimic our inside kitchen with the added fun of a bar,” she adds. As the husband duly notes, “It’s the best outdoor bar I’ve been to. And I’ve been to a lot!”

“Undercounter lighting sets the mood after dark,” Jarrett says.