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DIY Outdoor Kitchen – Before & After

Welcome to Summer Outdoor Spaces Blog Hop. It’s so exciting to be sharing our Outdoor Kitchen with you today. This was the first DIY project here at the ponds. The tour includes how a dilapidated cabin was transformed into a great alfresco entertaining area for friends and family.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen - Before & After.  See how we transformed a dilapidated cabin into a fun entertainment space, which includes an outdoor entertaining area perfect for alfresco dining.
Notice the screen door hanging on the wall!

Thank you for stopping by today’s tour of our DIY Outdoor Kitchen – Before & After which includes an outdoor entertaining area. I’m thrilled to be joining the Summer Outdoor Spaces Blog Hop hosted by AnnMarie & Anne from Simply2Moms! If you’re visiting from Wendy at The Curated Farmhouse or if you just happened to stop by, I’m so glad you’re here. Have you been on a Blog Hop before? It’s so easy and you will gain so much inspiration from so many different decor styles. Just stay to the end and you’ll see the links for all the other blogs. If you’re new to my blog, you’ll see that I love simple outdoor entertaining and you can learn more about my simple country life here.

Welcome to the Tour

So, let’s get this tour started! In order for you to truly appreciate what this area was like before, I felt some before photo’s would help. This property, known as The Ponds, has a long history and my husband and I have been working to restore it to it’s former glory for over 12 years. Therefore, the very first DIY project was transforming this dilapidated cabin into an outdoor entertaining area.

Before - The cabin before it was transformed into an outdoor kitchen
Before –
The cabin was very dilapidated as you can see. The only salvageable item was the screen door.

The cabin was originally a cinder block structure that my dad built in the mid 1950’s. You can easily see why it was thought to be beyond repair. You can see the condition of the cabin from 12 years ago, in the above photo. Just ignore that photographer in the mirror! LOL

Fortunately, the idea for an outdoor kitchen took form before the structure was torn down.

Outdoor Kitchen - Using Vintage Appliances and tables that can be rearranged for additional alfresco seating.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen – Before & After

Early view of the DIY outdoor kitchen when it was first finished.
Here is a photo of the DIY outdoor kitchen just after the renovations were first completed.

Demolishing the front of the building was the first order of business. Next, the treated 6×6 posts were added to support the pergola style roof. At this point, the Ponds property was just being used as a weekend getaway. However, that didn’t stop us from entertaining in this rustic setting.

Summer Vibes and entertaining ideas for an outside dining. The after view of the DIY Outdoor Kitchen and Outdoor Entertaining Area.
Today’s view

Unfortunately, the pergola style roof provided no shelter. So a metal roof was added to the existing rafters, a few years later. As a result, the DIY Outdoor Kitchen can now be used without worry of inclement weather. In addition, a couple sets of string lights were added to create subdued lighting for evening entertaining.

The interior view – DIY Outdoor Kitchen

Vintage Hot Point Refrigerator still operates great after 70 years.

As we continued to re-purposed the old cabin as an outdoor kitchen, a search began for a vintage refrigerator. As luck would have it, a 70 year old Hot Point Refrigerator was gifted to us and believe it or not, it still runs perfectly.

Vintage Cast Iron Sink in the Kitchen.  We have named the Kitchen - The Dirt Road Grill.
Stainless Steel Cabinets and a DIY concrete counter top create a perfect serving area when we entertain.

Also, in keeping with the vintage theme, a cast iron sink was rescued from a antique shops back yard and refurbished to add to the outdoor kitchen.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen tour includes both inside and outside views of the alfresco entertaining areas.
You can read about this DIY Vintage Inspired Sign here

The Patio Outdoor Entertaining Area

Pond View From the Patio entertaining Area located in front of the outside kitchen

Because we love to entertain, a concrete pad was added to expand the seating area and include a fire pit. Therefore, more tables and chairs were added which are all interchangeable. This allows the seating arrangement to be adjusted according to the number in attendance.

(Posts on The Ponds Farmhouse may contain affiliate links. You can see the full disclosure details here.)

Alfresco Dining with The Pond views.  Entertaining area located in front of the DIY Outdoor Kitchen.
A cantilever umbrella from Abba Patio adds much needed shade for mid day entertaining. You can receive a 10% discount on their umbrella’s by using this code – HAR10

Since the expansion, the casual entertaining area has been used to host an engagement party, a wedding, birthday celebrations, and much more.

Fresh Watermelon and Sparkling Water make for a refreshing afternoon by the ponds.  Enjoy the alfreso dining and entertaining area.

Today’s theme is a refreshing summer time afternoon. Watermelon served on terra cotta saucers with sparkling water served in fun Bee Glasses.

The Refreshment Bar – Before & After

Bar Area adjacent to the DIY outdoor kitchen
The vintage soda crate is filled with vintage bottles containing fresh cut flowers and it serves as the bar area’s table arrangement.

Also, adjacent to the patio area is a refreshment bar that was built using rock gathered from the property and cedar posts that were pulled from the pond. Because the posts were perfectly preserved, they were add to the front of the bar.

Beautiful water view from the outdoor bar area.  Old Boat Dock Transformed into fun bar.

The refreshment bar was originally a small boat dock that was no longer in use so therefore, stone was laid for a foundation. Next an awning and fun string lights were added to update the original structure cover. Also, the bar area allows for more seating when entertaining alfresco style.

Before - boat dock transformed into outdoor bar.
Here is the original boat dock.

Can you locate the refreshment bar in the above photo? As you can tell, this area was completely overgrown before the outdoor kitchen and entertainment area was completed.


The Tablescape
alfresco dining

Today’s tablescape is a fun mix and consists of a jute table runner, bamboo plates and terra cotta saucers and napkins and the sparkling water served from fun Bee Glasses .

Alfresco Outdoor Entertaining and Dining Area.
Watermelon with Sea Salt on Terra Cotta Saucers just for fun.
Outdoor Kitchen Tour - See before and after transformation

In addition, the interior tables and chairs are nestled together and styled with a macrama tablerunner and fresh herbs today.

Vintage appliances add interest to this outdoor kitchen and entertaining space.

My aunt’s original vintage Victor Junior Wood Cook Stove is a great serving area and is also great for storage. You may also notice the boiling pot, which gets a work out annually at our Low Country Boil Party! Check out this chippy addition to the outdoor kitchen from a recent thrifting trip.

Alfresco Dining - summer views of our outdoor entertaining area and bar.

My husband loves to cook for our guests. As a result, he has a multitude of cooking tools in the homemade outdoor kitchen, which include the boiling pot, a diy wood fired smoker (he built from an old grill), an electric smoker, a grill and a pizza oven.

We recently added string lights to this area and the tutorial can be found here.

Evening View
Evening Views of the outside the DIY Kitchen and outdoor entertaining area.

Once the sun starts to sink behind the mountain, the patio entertaining area becomes even more enjoyable!

Fire Pit adjacent to the outside entertaining area

As you can imagine, the fire pit becomes a favorite spot once a fire is started and marshmallows and roasting sticks magically appear. Many fun gatherings have ended, sitting around the fire, eating sticky sweets and laughing with friends.

Relaxing by the fire pit beside the diy outdoor kitchen.
In conclusion, this is the perfect spot to end the day .

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed the DIY Outdoor Kitchen Entertaining Area – Before & After, as much as I enjoyed putting it together. It is hard to believe how much has changed here at The Ponds over the past 12 years. It was fun to reminisce and see the old photo’s again. We are constantly in project mode and recently added a greenhouse you can see here.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

The Summer Outdoor Spaces Blog Hop continues with Lana from Lana Stenner. You can find links to all the inspiring outdoor spaces below!

DIY Outdoor Kitchen - Before & After - Entertaining Area.  Alfresco Dining with Pond Views.  How we transformed a dilapidated cabin into a fun entertaining space for family and friends.
Summer Outdoor Spaces Blog Hop including Before & After DIY Outdoor Kitchen and so many inspiring spaces.

Tamara Weitz

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Very interesting ideas you have shared with us. Very helpful and interesting to try this as well. Visit us at and check out different brands that you would love according to your preferences for outdoor appliances. Order now!

Friday 19th of February 2021



Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

What an amazing transformation! This space is so beautiful and perfect for entertaining! So glad to be hopping with you Rachel!

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Kristin, Thank you for your sweet comments and your support. Rachel


Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

Hi Rachel Wow is all I can say, the before and after is just amazing. You both did such an incredible job. Just showed my husband and he loves it also. I love all of your outdoor space though* its all fabulous

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Deezie, Thank you for these sweet compliments. I appreciate your support. Rachel


Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

You are so talented I enjoy you stories so much such an inspiration love you!

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

Allison, Wow this is such a great compliment. Thank you for stopping by. Rachel

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Monday 22nd of June 2020

I love how you made this spot come alive Rachel! I've always wanted an outdoor kitchen, and yours is the perfect inspiration. And your view is pretty spectacular! Love it all my friend!

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

Kim I appreciate you so much. You always lift me up. Rachel