Kitchen of the Issue: Cooking Up Memories
A Florida family knew one kitchen wasn’t enough, so they hired Carrot Top Designs to add on a fully-equipped outdoor version.
“He developed his love of cooking from his mom,” says Colleen Aki of her husband, Kevin. “I don’t think there is anything he couldn’t cook.” Inspired by Kevin’s love of making food and sharing it with others, the couple had an outdoor kitchen built onto their Santa Rosa Beach house in 2019. Sadly, Kevin passed away last year, so he didn’t get to enjoy the new space for all that long. But the memories of him manning the grill, whipping up his favorite Huli Huli Chicken recipe, and pouring beers from the built-in tap will never fade.
“What we both enjoyed most about our outdoor kitchen was the family and friends who would gather around to eat,” says Colleen. “It has a great flow, with every appliance we could ever use, beautiful all-weather cabinetry, easy cleanup, and, of course, cold beer.”
Designed, sourced, and built by Carrot Top Designs out of Miramar Beach, Florida, the outdoor kitchen includes a grill, griddle, wine storage, pot filler faucet, custom backsplash, tile floor, and appliances from Alfresco that are all designed specifically for outdoor culinary spaces. One of the coolest features is the accordion window, which makes passing food and drinks from the indoor kitchen to the outdoor one as easy as pie.
The addition of the outdoor kitchen was part of a whole-home renovation Carrot Top completed for the Akis over the course of a year. “I would love to buy another house that needs a remodel just to work with them again,” says Colleen. “Everyone from Carrot Top not only became friends but family.”
The resulting transformation, with all of its custom touches, is amazing, but the outdoor kitchen holds special memories. Says Colleen, “If Kevin was still here, he would no doubt say, ‘Who wants to come over for dinner?’”
Carrot Top Designs
Miramar Beach, FL