Sean McAleer

New Jersey deck builder Sean McAleer mixed elements of nature together to bring this multilevel deck to life after dark. Key to the design is an Eldorado stone ( privacy wall on the lower patio level, along with a modified Colorfalls waterless pond system ( Integrated into the wall is an illuminated waterfall that first cascades from a 24-inch-wide scupper into a ceramic vessel with internal lighting, then overflows into a self-contained basin beneath, where the water is collected, filtered, and recirculated back to the scupper. At night, it appears that light is pouring down to fill the basin, while firelight and ambient light reflected by the overflowing water give movement to the basin’s glazed finish. And, of course, there’s the splashing sound of the waterfall, always a soothing element to add to any design.

— Andrew Wormer