Evanston, Illinois

A multi-level deck provides a gradual transition from new sliding glass doors off the family room to the yard below. It also provides a transition from a more private deck space – think breakfast for two – to a larger, intermediate space with a fire pit for family gatherings, and finally to a lower deck for grilling and dining. Perimeter benches do double duty as built-in seating and guard rails.

The terraces allow for small, manageable groupings of steps instead of one long flight, preserve the continuity of the yard rather than cutting it in two with a drastic level change, and save yard-dwellers the trauma of staring at the cavernous space underneath the deck.