Taking the casual barbecue station to a level of culinary excellence, Danny Zhou designed his outdoor kitchen for comfort, beauty, and catering to a crowd.
Set back from the pool’s edge, the patio dining area seats 10 around a teak table paired with a bench and six chairs — all customized to complement the space. “The wood has been specially treated for the heat so it survives in the desert,” says Zhou, who owns the Dosooz furniture showroom in Palm Desert. “Along the back wall, we integrated Viking appliances made specifically for outdoor use, including a dishwasher, ice maker, and refrigerator.”
The Rancho Mirage home Zhou shares with his wife, Sherri, and their children is a frequent site of poolside entertaining for family and friends. The family’s Chinese New Year celebration each January or February welcomes up to 30 guests for an indoor-outdoor, day-to-night bash, complete with traditional dishes.
A stainless-steel pergola creates a sense of intimacy, dropped below the high ceilings, where fans circulate the air on warmer days. On cool evenings, an overhead heating system keeps everyone cozy. Zhou controls the ambiance with a mix of pendant and recessed lighting, and the option to light the in-ground linear firepit that warms the toes of anyone who has settled in for some post-meal lounging.
HJH Construction worked with Zhou to customize the home with essentials (a restroom adjacent to the space) and finer details, from raised planters and water features to a TV mounted behind one of the recycled glass panels that flank the dining area.
What al fresco event space would be legitimate without a built-in sound system? “The house and outdoor areas are wired with over 150 speakers,” Zhou says. “They’re everywhere, in every room. It’s definitely a party house.”