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DIY Outdoor Kitchen – Before & After

Welcome to our DIY Outdoor Kitchen Tour – Before and After. It’s so exciting to be sharing our Outdoor Kitchen with you today. You will see how a dilapidated cabin was transformed into a fabulous alfresco entertaining area for friends and family.

Inside view of outdoor kitchen rustic entertaining area at the Ponds.

How To Make An Old Cabin Into An Outdoor Kitchen?

So, let’s get this tour started! In order for you to truly appreciate what this area was like before, some before photos would help.

This property, known as The Ponds, has a long history, and my husband and I have been working to restore it to its former glory for over 12 years. Therefore, the first DIY project transformed this dilapidated cabin into an entertaining outdoor area.

The cabin was very dilapidated, as you can see. The only salvageable item was the screen door.

Old cabin -  Cinder Box cabin with fallen roof.  in country setting

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

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

inside dining table with vintage cookstove and antique refrigerator.Vintage and thrift store finds.

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DIY Outdoor Kitchen – Before & After

Here is a photo of the DIY outdoor kitchen just after the original renovations were first completed.

Before - when renovations were first complete

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, we still entertained in this rustic setting.

Notice the screen door now hangs on the wall of the outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor Dining tables in front of building, decorated for summer entertaining.

Unfortunately, the pergola-style roof provided no shelter. So a metal roof was added to the 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 of sets of string lights were added to create subdued lighting for evening entertaining.

The Interior View – DIY Outdoor Kitchen

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; believe it or not, it still runs perfectly.

Inside is a reproduction sign and a vintage refrigerator.Thrift store vintage finds

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.

Vintage cast iron sink and grill

We added this DIY Vintage Inspired Sign, and I shared this full tutorial.

Inside the outdoor area  is a reproduction sign and vintage refrigerator.

The Patio Outdoor Entertaining Area

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.

Alfresco dining table with umbrella by fire pit and beside the pond.

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

Tablescape for alfresco dining.

Today’s theme is a refreshing summertime afternoon.

Watermelon served on terra cotta saucers with sparkling water served in fun Bee Glasses.

The Refreshment Bar – Before & After

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.

The posts were the base of the original pier and because they were perfectly preserved due to being under water, we added them to the front of the bar.

Outdoor bar by the pond.  DIY bar made with reclaimed wood and gather field rock

The vintage soda crate is filled with vintage bottles containing fresh cut flowers and it serves as the bar area’s table arrangement.

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

Can you locate the refreshment bar in the photo below?

As you can tell, this area was completely overgrown before the outdoor kitchen and entertainment area was completed.

Wooded area where outdoor kitchen is now.


The Tablescape

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 .

Watermelon served on clay saucers for a summertime outdoor party by the ponds at outdoor kitchen

We are serving watermelon with Sea Salt on Terra Cotta Saucers just for fun.

Watermelon served on clay saucers for a summertime outdoor party by the ponds

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

Dining Table inside the DIY outdoor kitchen with view of vintage cookstove and refrigerator.

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.

The DIY outdoor kitchen has a vintage wood cook stove and a vintage hot point refrigerator.

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.

Dining table for outdoor alfresco dining at outdoor kitchen and entertainment area.

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

Evening View

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

As you can imagine, the fire pit becomes a favorite spot once a fire is started and marshmallows and roasting sticks magically appear.

DIY Fire Pit located in front of the DIY Outdoor Kitchen and around the ponds.

Many fun gatherings have ended, sitting around the fire, eating sticky sweets and laughing with friends.

In conclusion, this is the perfect spot to end the day .

Sitting around the fire pit at dusk around the outdoor kitchen entertaining area.

You might also enjoy seeing the outdoor kitchen’s easy 4th of July table.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you 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 (now 14 years). It was fun to reminisce and see the old photo’s again. We are constantly in project mode and recently added a DIY she shed/ greenhouse.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions 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.

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Tuesday 16th of February 2021

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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