Our clients had three goals when they asked us to design and build this deck for them: Make it feel like an extension of the house, both for dining and relaxing; provide a little privacy from the nice but talkative 4-year-old next door; and finally, introduce a romantic element. This simple and cost-effective design satisfied all three goals.

We extended the deck’s corner and intermediate guard posts by about 4 1/2 feet, putting the top of the posts 88 inches above deck level. We drilled holes there to accommodate standard 1/2-inch-diameter Type L copper plumbing pipes, which function as curtain rods. The holes are drilled deep to allow the pipe to slide in and out easily for changing out the curtains seasonally. The clients chose lightly woven 86-inch panels that dry out quickly after a rain.

The lighting is provided by a single string of wet-location-approved patio lights that we bought at Costco for about $50. The 48-foot-long string has 24 sockets spaced 2 feet apart, which we fastened to the back of the unfinished cedar 1x8s that we ran between the tops of the guard posts. For now, the lights simply plug into an outdoor receptacle, which was already in place. But if there had been an electrician on site, a better arrangement would have been to install a dedicated switch with a timer. 

Roger Anderson lives in Silverdale, Wash. Design and photos by