Outdoor Florida Living Articles
By Barbara Marshall - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer - Saturday, May 23, 2009
Young and modern, Shawn and Sharon Tyler designed an outdoor kitchen as sleekly stylish as the rest of their Boca Raton courtyard home.
'Because you see the courtyard from almost every room, the outside kitchen needed to have a certain amount of elegance,' said Sharon, a teacher at Atlantic High School who created an abstract glass-tile mural on one wall of her alfresco kitchen.
Using honey-colored 'bamboo' granite and honed marble for floors and walls, Sharon and Shawn chose a grill, refrigerator, sink and $3,600 restaurant-style hibachi by Evo - a necessary extravagance for Sharon, who uses the flat surface for grilling her innovative take on Asian fusion cuisine.
Since the kitchen was finished last summer, it's been prime party headquarters for Sharon, Shawn and their friends.
Outdoor kitchens are no longer just for high-end homes, said their contractor, Kevin Keene of Outdoor Living Concepts in Wellington. Most of his clients are middle-class homeowners who can't trade up in a stalled real estate market. Instead, they're upgrading 'play' areas to make their homes feel larger.
'Outdoor living is a way of expanding your living space,' said Keene.
Shawn, a former rock-concert lighting designer who counts Santana, Gloria Estefan and Prince among previous clients, finished off the new kitchen and adjacent pool with a dazzling light system. The $20,000 worth of LED lighting he installed changes colors with the push of a remote control.
As the sun sets, he starts a program that sends jets of intense light arcing over the pool. But what looks like tiny tube lights are actually intensely colored streams of water over a rainbow-colored waterfall.
'I just love being able to do that,' Shawn said, as the water changes from violet to magenta.
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