all-in-one deck for cooking, dining, and leisure activities outside
Photo: Ken Gutmaker
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The Multi-Tasker

Like the popular open-plan kitchen/family room inside the house, the deck has become an all-in-one area for cooking, dining, and leisure activities outside. Though lavishly large, this deck—which starts at ground level and extends out over a sloping backyard—shows how an alfresco layout can seamlessly combine an all-weather kitchen, cafe table and chairs, and built-in seating area. The design works by clearly defining the function of each of its sections. The semicircular banquette area is the stage for frequent parties—the open-air equivalent of the living room. The large built-in planter does double-duty as a coffee table with a wide rim on which guests can set down drinks. Opposite this entertainment and lounging zone is a fully stocked outdoor kitchen with grill, rust-resistant stainless countertop, overhead task lights, sink, refrigerator, and cabinets to stow pots, pans, plates, and cutlery.
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