Home & Garden

Escape to beautiful barbecue island

A table with a built in firepit is a great item for evenings outdoors.
A table with a built in firepit is a great item for evenings outdoors.

A barbecue island used to be an afterthought – something tacked on after the hedges had grown in. That’s no longer the case, according to Jennifer Harris, who owns Paradise Outdoors with husband Randy.

“The outdoor kitchen is more of a staple. It’s become a fixture in the backyard, if there’s room for it,” she said.

Originally working with prefab islands, the company now custom builds 95 percent of them. On the simple end, this involves a grill and some counter space. On the more luxurious end, they can incorporate custom cabinetry, sinks, refrigerators, beer kegerators, pizza ovens, blender stations, stereo systems, and snazzy under-bar lighting.

“I always tell clients, the barbecue island usually isn't the expensive portion of the island, it's the components they choose to put into it that starts to ratchet up the price,” she noted.

Paradise Outdoors provides all components in a range of options. Barbecues, for instance, come in low, middle and high-end models. They offer gas, charcoal, and wood burning models, and have recently become the local distributor for The Big Green Egg, a ceramic cooker that can be used as a smoker, a grill, and an oven. Its design is derived from an ancient Japanese clay cooker called a kamado.

Each project the company takes on is scalable. Some clients bring them on to build their entire island from scratch, as well as a coordinating firepit or fireplace. If the homeowner has an existing barbecue that they like, Paradise Outdoors can built an island around it. And for the budget-conscious client, they can frame up the island and leave the finish work for a landscaper or handy homeowner.

To go with the theme of creating a backyard retreat, Paradise Outdoors carries two types of above-ground pools. There is the well-known Doughboy brand, and easy-up Splash Pools. Their easy-up pools are pricier than those you’d find at a chain store, but, according to Jennifer are sturdier and offer better filtration systems. Pools range in size from compact round ones 12 feet in diameter, to a 41-by-21 foot oval. They also offer 20-by-44 foot lap pools.

Paradise Outdoors also offers miscellaneous recreation items such as pool tables, game tables and fountains. Many are available via their website, http://www.paradiseoutdoors.com.

Although Jennifer believes the era of the “staycation” is waning, the trend of building a backyard retreat is here to stay. A custom island is a serious investment, but it can be a long-term one. “They’re portable,” she said. “If at any point you want to move, you can just disassemble it, and take it with you.”

Paradise Outdoors is located at 1142 – 13th Street in Paso Robles, 239-7899.