Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Favorite Outdoor Project of 2011

Recently Donna of Funky Junk Interiors featured  favorite outdoor projects of 2011 for her Saturday Night Special theme. She challenged her readers to pick their favorite outdoor project they did last year to link up to the party. 

I paused when reading about the themed link and thought, you know, I never did reveal my updated/refurbished Outdoor Kitchen from last summer.  I intended to, but the photos were never right and I kept waiting to get better ones.

Well folks, the better pictures never got taken, but I still want to share this project as my favorite of 2011.


The actual kitchen build was my project during the Summer of 2010.  I built it with all curb shopped /salvaged materials with the exception of the framing lumber. If you’re interested you can read more about that by clicking on the Outdoor Kitchen Project label in my sidebar.

Here’re a couple pictures from my Outdoor Kitchen reveal post.

Despite my best intentions to preserve the top by covering it and taking off the wood bar top for the winter, I never did get around to it.  Winter came too soon last year and caught me by surprise.

By Spring my kitchen was a disaster!


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I decided at that point to start over on the countertop entirely, using a different approach.

This time I was going to use concrete so i wouldn’t have to worry about the elements. 

No tutorials here, I can address that in another post.  All I can say now is that it’s not as hard as you would think, but if I were to do it again I would rent a concrete mixer.  I mixed it up in a plastic tub and boy was that ever a workout!  The actual concrete part goes fast, it’s the building of the forms for each section that takes time. 

Anything you do wrong there will show in the finished concrete!


We added some window boxes behind the sink for an herb garden.  This worked well, as the sprayer from the sink faucet was right there to water it with too!


This is what concrete looks like before it’s sealed.


This is after sealing.  The sealer adds shine and repels water for easy cleanup.



I love the texture of the concrete!


We found that an E Z UP over the bar end of the kitchen was perfect for shade on sunny days and to hang lights from on evenings we entertained out there.


New metal bar stools from were a splurge but they really went well with the more industrial feel of the concrete. Besides, I was getting complaints about my ladder barstools being too wobbly. :(



We added some galvanized roofing panels in strategic places to tie it all in.  A stainless refrigerator was another splurge.

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These cafe lights from Pottery Barn called to me.  They just needed to be part of our Outdoor Kitchen!


The best part about this project is that my husband enjoys this area so much.  I love it when he just laughs out loud with delight when cooking dinner out there and watching a ball game or golf tournament on the TV. 

That reaction is better than I could ever have hoped for!

Next summer I plan to add a pergola structure over the top.


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Linking up to Saturday Night Special Favorite Outdoor project of 2011 theme party.

Also linking up to Gail”s Catch as Catch Can party, the one where anything goes! Love it!



  1. I love the concrete, industrial feel. And I'm sure that will stand up to the elements. Love the way it turned out. Too bad the ladder bar stools didn't work out. It was a great idea!


  2. Wow, your outdoor kitchen is great. You added some great outdoor living space to your home. Great post.

  3. My Husband would kill for a space like this. It's amazing. I remember last summer when you mentioned this and I was waiting for the post. Concrete counters interest me so I for one would love to see how you did it. Such a cool space! I want it!

  4. Rose I love the updated look. Concrete countertops are perfect and I love the industrial look! I would be a happy camper cooking out there also! Great job as always!! hugs, Linda

  5. What a wonderful place to spend time outside. I have been wanting to try concrete countertops for some time and I think you just gave me the nudge to go for it. Pefect job!

  6. Wow Rose! That turned out fantastic, I am sure your husband is so proud of the space too!

  7. If I had to vote on favorite outdoor projects...your outdoor bar and kitchen with TV would be on the TOP of my list. I'd vote you #1 ... I love how this project turned out.


  8. yay! happy to see you blog this!!!
    As I was reading I was thinking "she needs a pergola out there!" hahahah

    Everything looks fabulous. You are so daring, not afraid of anything! Love your (mike's) outdoor kitchen! woohooo! The concrete and stainless features really bring it all together!

  9. This is just the coolest! When's the next party!

  10. That is one of the all time coolest projects out there~indoors or out! I like the concrete counters, and even though I LOVED the ladder stools, I do like the metal ones, too.

  11. Rose, I can't believe you didn't show us these pics sooner. That looks absolutely amazing. It adds a certain amount of class to the whole area. Very nicely done my friend.

    Love the white accents around... it really freshened it up. And those stools are perfect.

    I second getting rid of the wonky ones... you really gave a new meaning to falling off your bar stool... hahaha.

    Fabulous job.

    Hugs, Deb

  12. I would just LOVE an outdoor kitchen. I suppose I have to get my INDOOR kitchen in order first :) I love the concrete with the metal stools!

  13. What a fun place to spend your evenings and weekends! Amazing space!!!

  14. Just found your blog while looking for a kitchen curtain tutorial! Love your outdoor kitchen!!! It's awesome!! So glad I found your blog!

  15. ROSE!!! I just yelled your name.

    ROSE!!! (and again I yelled)

    ROSE!!! If you ever walk outside and I'm lounging on your COOL stools and leaning on your TOTALLY COOL (i love concrete!!!) counter top and just ENJOYING your AWESOME outdoor kitchen...

    think nothing of it.

    ;-D robelyn

  16. Some things never change... I am still in love with your outdoor kitchen! I do hope you have some parties and take some more pictures of your parties in your outdoor kitchen because I could just look at the pictures of your outdoor kitchen forever!

  17. You are my hero!!! I want concrete counter tops in my kitchen and this was even more inspiration. You did a fantastic heart broke when I saw what happened during the winter, but you came back on top! Ha! Sorry...counter tops, on top...funny. Can't wait to see the pergola...have one and they are wonderful!!

  18. Rose, this is AMAZING! I felt so bad for you when I saw the pictures of what winter did to the original countertops. The concrete is SO COOL though, and certainly should last better! (we hope!)


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