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Mi Sueno Project: Outdoor Kitchen, Bar + Dining

Magic can happen when good friends become great clients. Of course, it can also go very wrong. Luckily, my team is pretty darn good at what they do, my friends had full faith and trust in our vision, and we had an excellent contractor. The result is a dream come true.

In fact, that is what is our clients named their Palm Springs home: Mi Sueno, or My Dream. Because it literally is their dream come true.

After less than a year in their first Palm Springs condo, my friends were able to upsize to a home on one of the most desirable streets in historic Indian Canyons. In fact, it was just a few doors away from my own previous home.

The home was for sale by flippers, and my friends were paying top dollar. Of course they initially thought that no major work needed to be done, but we rather quickly embarked on a nine-month renovation as they discovered that much of the work was not done to their standards -- nor taste.

Read on to see the transformation of their outdoor entertaining space and outdoor dining room



To answer a common question: when our client's dad and the entire extended family visits for holidays, they do in fact all sit out here and watch football games on the television! Having a home like this is what it's all about, right? Bringing people together and making memories. That's why we create these spaces. The beauty and the function are just tools for creating magical moments and lifetime memories.


The outdoor kitchen and bar occupies a previously unused area of the backyard -- and a sizable one at that!

This entire section of the yard was unused, and unseen, until we added large sliding glass doors in the dining room, matching those on the adjacent wall. In doing so, we captured a large amount of usable real estate. We also added a door, where a window had previously been, which accesses the home's back kitchen / mud room / laundry area, providing easy access to the outdoor spaces for the homeowners or caterers -- or whomever is grilling or serving drinks that day!

While it might look effortless and dreamy, our studio created detailed documentation to bring this baby to life. Below are just a couple of our working drawings, created by our in-house architectural designer, Chris Porter

Above: A Plan View of the new outdoor BBQ and Bar

This outdoor kitchen is an entertainer's dream, featuring an icemaker, refrigerator, sealed glassware storage (nonbreakable, of course), a BBQ, outdoor TV, and even two beer kegs.


The Appliances

The outdoor appliances are from one of my favorite brands, Hestan.

I love Hestan because they are a great mixture of form and function. The appliances in a variety of fun colors, which I love, of course. But one of my favorite features is how the doors vacuum seal and nothing gets in! Let's be honest, it is dusty here in the Palm Springs desert, and outdoor kitchens are great places for critters and bugs to hide. These built-in storage cabinets keep everything spotless!

We integrated umbrellas, available through out Studio, and outdoor lighting into the stone countertop. The outdoor kitchen is built out of metal studs and stucco, but we clad it in architectural block under the bar overhang to match the original masonry block on the rest of the property.

Architectural pavers lay the groundwork for the outdoor kitchen and bar. We have found that concrete tends to crack and discolor, and our clients like the more finished look.


Outdoor Dining

Adjacent to the outdoor kitchen is an outdoor dining room.

We kept the space white and bright, to pop against the other colorful furnishings outside and against green grass. The Saarinen Tulip table is from Design Within Reach and the chairs are from Janus et Cie.



I believe that a ficus wall goes a long way! It's one of my tried-and-true tricks to bring an outdoor space to life, while providing privacy and softness.


All About the Details

I hope you enjoyed this tour!


See more

Photography: Public 311 Design

Flowers and Styling: Keith Fortner

Builder: Mike Worman


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