The deck is designed for all seasons. In the blazing summer sun, people can hang out under covered areas. In the winter and at night, a basalt-and-steel fire pit, powered by natural gas, keeps everyone warm. Burgum was conscious to go for an open flame rather than infrared heaters since it encourages people to gather around as a group for conversation. "When the sun goes down and the chill comes in, you can turn the fire on and it extends the evening," says Burgum. The privacy screen is lit with energy-efficient LED bulbs. Native plants and grasses soften the space and were selected for their hardiness and for being low-maintenance. The railing is ipe and the floor tile is natural basalt.

Photo by: David Bowman  Photo 20 of 20 in 20 Modern Homes From the Midwest from Green Planning in North Dakota