The weather outside is beautiful, so naturally you want to spend as much time outdoors as possible - and that includes mealtime and even the time spent preparing your food. So, if your outdoor cooking station isn't quite master chef worthy, worry not. There are several easy, affordable projects to help you transform the area into the perfect cooking and entertaining space. Give these projects a try to create a one-of-a-kind destination for the season.
* Start with the grill. Your grill is the focal point of your cooking area and you'll need to determine whether gas, charcoal or propane is right for you. If expense is a concern, propane is a more cost-effective fuel than charcoal and it doesn't require running any lines to your grilling area, providing you with the same grilling space with fewer expenses.
* Build a barbecue cover. Give your kitchen a beautiful outdoor shelter by building a barbecue cover from Western Red Cedar. This natural wood is resistant to rot, decay and insects, and it will look great no matter what the weather brings. In addition, building the cover is easy - simply follow the nine-step process found at RealCedar.com.
* Find the perfect light. If nighttime is the right time for your group, then forget the deck light and opt for ambient lighting options instead. Track lighting can be strung across your space easily to make your outdoor kitchen a welcoming environment. If you want to be more unique, you can find simple instructions online for building wine bottle torches or Mason jar lamps.
* A place for guests to dine. Enjoy the food where it was made by building a dining table and chairs from Western Red Cedar. Building a table is easier than you think, and red cedar can be finished in a variety of ways because it is pitch and resin free. All of this allows you to create furniture perfect for a more traditional or modern kitchen.
* Provide a little shade. Make those summer afternoons more enjoyable and comfortable by providing some shade for your guests, along with the cook. Building a pergola creates a beautiful and functional addition to any seating area. Building plans exist to create a pergola of any height or length, allowing you to customize your project to your space. Once the project is completed, stain it or decorate it in a way that provides the shade you desire while supporting your overall outdoor design look.
Many people mistakenly believe that outdoor kitchens are luxury items for only the wealthy, but that is no longer true. Any of the easy projects listed above can help you reimagine your space into the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. To find more beautiful options for improving your outdoor space, visit