Design — 01 June 2018
Outdoor kitchens make a splash poolside

By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub

City & Shore Magazine

Maybe it’s the soothing trickle of a fountain, sleek lounge chairs in the pool’s beach entry or a kitchen that has everything from a pizza oven to a work island. No wonder 70 percent of those in an International Casual Furnishings Association poll say they enjoy spending time outdoors more than indoors. Interior designers lately have been upping the ante in outdoor spaces, and three design firms here show us how.




Danielle De Perro’s clients are snowbirds who wanted their home on the Intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale to be a haven where they could spend a lot of time outdoors – entertaining, swimming and relaxing.

“Outdoor living spaces have become super important,” she says. “People want the exterior to be comfortable. Now the fabrics are so nice they are used inside as well. They are soft and look like interior fabrics with properties that make them washable and durable.”

Architect Robert Tuthill designed the contemporary home with a large pool and spa and plenty of space for outdoor living.

A shallow-water sun shelf was the perfect setting to use two sculptural chaises from Ledge Lounger so adults can sunbathe while watching their children in the pool. An outdoor kitchen is 10 feet long – with grill and refrigerator. Adjacent is a dining table for eight. An area on the wood deck has the popular fire pit feature surrounded with four lounge chairs. Seating for eight with sofas and two pull chaises is right outside the living room. One of the most interesting features is a 10-foot-square area for lounging and sunning.

So where does all this furniture go during hurricane season? De Perro says their three-car garage has plenty of storage space.





Outdoor design has graduated from a good grill, small sink and refrigerator to elaborate designs inspired by high-end indoor kitchens, Andy Fischman says.

“Outdoor kitchens are getting more elaborate, including more appliances and more sophisticated design,” he says. “They are no longer just plain structures. They have decorative and stylish elements that add to the overall experience.”

His clients wanted him to design their waterfront Fort Lauderdale home to take advantage of Florida’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle. They love to cook and entertain and their new kitchen allows them to be part of the party while cooking.

Fischman created a 12-by-12 foot kitchen that has a full grill, side burners, refrigerator, full-sized sink, built-in trash bin, plenty of drawer storage, pizza oven, bar with seating and an island for prep and serving.

“They can cook a full range of everything from boiling water to grilling a steak,” he says.

Not only are the appliances special, so is the cabinetry. He used Brown Jordan’s cabinetry made of 3 1/6 grade stainless steel with special powder coating that has a higher grade of corrosion and stain resistance, a perfect match for homes on the water. (Allied Kitchen & Bath is the sole supplier in South Florida.) The glass mosaic backsplash uses the same colors as the inside design. Countertops are made from Dekton, an ultra-compact porcelain and glass material highly resistant to damage from ultra-violet light.




The view of the Intracoastal in Boca Raton was stunning and the wrap around balcony was as large as some houses.

The snowbird clients’ instructions were simple: Give us a relaxed atmosphere where we can enjoy cooking out and looking out on the water. Make it feel as if we are staying in a resort.

Lisa Nieves and Lanie Aronowitz divided the 1,200-square-foot exterior space of the condo into areas for dining, conversation and watching television.

The condo walls were “Boca Pink” and the condo’s sun shades were blue so the designers kept the flooring and furnishings neutral. In the conversation area, they selected two stationary chairs and two gliders on swivels in weather-resistant synthetic wicker with Sunbrella upholstery. Cement was used for the dining table top and a trio of movable tables in the conversation area.

“They love the fact that we added faux trees to block their neighbors and give them privacy,” Aronowitz says.



Andy Fischman: Allied Design Center, 3484 NE 12th Ave., Oakland Park, 954-556-3751,

Danielle De Perro: Danielle De Perro Designs, 965 W. Ninth St., Riviera Beach, 561- 841-0448, 

Lisa Nieves and Lanie Aronowitz: Clive Daniel, 1351 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton, 561-440-4663.



 What we’re taking poolside: More style, better fabrics and interesting accessories get their day in our sun.

By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub

Chic comfort

The Riverside Occasional Chair ($1,555) looks more like a sculpture than a chair. It’s made of “Soft Touch Plus,” a flexible and soft polyurethane core with a firmer polyurethane outer shell. The material is durable, fire resistant and non-toxic. No wonder the design won six prizes in 2016 and the coveted Red Dot award in 2017. Available in silver and blue at Sklar Furnishings, 6300 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 561-862-0800,

Lux lighting

Woven outdoor lamps from Klaussner’s Mesa Canyon Collection present a decorative twist on outdoor lighting. Perfect for nestling in a corner, they come in four sizes (from small to extra large) to mix and match ($219, $239, $299 and $599). Available at Wilde’s Patio Depot, 7600 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 561-995-8297.

Chef’s delight

If you have dreamed of making gourmet meals like paella and rack of lamb with mint chimichurri, the Alfresco Open-Air Culinary Systems could be the answer. The grill features 27,500 BTUs, infrared technology, halogen work lights, inset rotisserie burner and integrated wood smoker and herb infusion system. It is available in cart or built-in models in several sizes – 56 inch, 42 inch, 36 inch and 30 inch. Prices available on request, from Coral Springs Appliance Center, 3500 Coral Ridge Drive, Coral Springs, 954-752-3880,

Modern accents

Those who love to accessorize outside as well as inside may want to check out Zuo Modern’s colorful vases, tables and accessories. The Margarita table ($399), stone boxes ($82-$126) and Leafs candleholder ($32) should be used under a covered outdoor space but the vases ($32-$46) will be fine in the open. See


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