A small wooden deck originally anchored the backyard, which has since been transformed into a larger social area. “We wanted something that was sunken into the earth that would feel like you’re enveloped by the surroundings,” Michael says. In order to achieve this, he installed a concrete retaining wall that's level with the soil above it, so foliage will gradually grow into the living space. This feature creates an almost ruin-like feeling and a direct connection to the surrounding landscaping.  Photo 7 of 8 in A Loving Renovation Updates a Rustic Family Home with Reclaimed Materials