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Two-level deck steps down from the house.

When the garden is well below the level of the house, outdoor entertaining can be awkward. The most common solution is a deck. But too frequently the only option seems to be a big deck off the house, with little connection to the garden below, or one at arden leve], reached by long stairs from the house. There is an appropriate compromise, however: connecting decks that step down from house to garden. The photographs on this page show a handsome and functional example. Built of cedar, this deck covers 900 square feet on two levels. The upper level provides dining and entertaining space just off the kitchen and family area. From here, it's a gentle descent to more entertaining space under a shady canopy of existing vine maples and alders around which the deck was built. (These trees, along with the sculpturat curves of the deck, help soften what could be harsh angles and big, empty-looking spaces.) Minimizing the interruption of sight lines from the deck to the garden, the open design of the deck railings helps pull the whole landscape together. A small sink and work counter on the top deck provide space for food preparation and reduce the number of trips indoors. Outdoor lighting plays a big part in the project. Oversize lights against the house illuminate the upper area handy for Scrabble sessions on summer evenings. On the lower deck, lights shine up and down through the trees for a soft, lacy effect. Design was by Seattle architect Jeff Soule for Anne and John Wallerich of Tacoma. El
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Date:Sep 1, 1990
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