As traditional barbecue islands evolve into luxurious outdoor living spaces, different types of cabinets have evolved, with numerous door styles and a rich palette of colors to create the ultimate living environment.

The kitchen remains the focal point of casual entertaining, but today the kitchen has moved outdoors. The popularity of outdoor living and entertainment has homeowners focused on design, space and specialty cooking appliances rather than a traditional barbecue with a few chairs.

The various materials used in the construction of outdoor kitchens today include, but are not limited to marine plywood, PVC, and stainless steel boxes with doors made from wood, such as teak and cypress, resin formed to look like real wood, and stainless steel.

The appliances used today are typically wood- or gas-fired grills, outdoor refrigeration and icemakers, kegerators, warming drawers, VersaPower burners, pizza ovens, cocktail stations, and various other appliances as used in indoor kitchens.

Let’s talk first about construction. Marine grade plywood is the least expensive option. It can be painted and is typically used with woods of various styles.

Usually PVC boxes have PVC or resin doors. The beauty of resin is that the doors look just like wood in various colors.

The best doors are stainless steel with standard or powder-coated finishes in numerous colors, patterns and textures.

Stainless steel is the ultimate material for outdoor kitchens today, as it holds up well in harsh ocean and-or high salt environments. Note that stainless steel should be at least 304 stainless for sinks and appliances. Those with less nickel content are prone to corrosion.

All of these are available in various sizes, shapes and configurations.

Appliances are also available through numerous manufacturers, yet it is preferable to select one manufacturer that can produce all of the needed equipment in stainless steel. This choice allows all lighting, knobs and accessories to match.

We recommend stainless steel in the harsh ocean environment for longevity. Further, we recommend finding a company capable of designing, ordering and installing all of the above, as well as counter tops and plumbing, to eliminate mass confusion.

Always seek a showroom that has the various types of cabinetry and appliances on display so you can touch and feel the products.

Finally, the tops can be various items; however we recommend products that can withstand the harsh UV rays from the sun. These can be quartz products like Dekton, solid service products such as High Macs, or simply a granite or stone.

Richard Winslow is the owner of Winslow Design Studio on Hilton Head Island, serving the Lowcountry.