How Do You Make a Boring Patch of Grass a Fantastic Backyard?

One Weston family's solution: Install an outdoor granite kitchen with an fieldstone-clad fire pit, play area and swing set, and sports court.

Contractor: KVC Builders. Interior Designer: Reider + Co. Landscape Architect: Mather & Page Landscape Architects / Photo by Michael Partenio

The Problem

After living in their Weston home for several years, the homeowners decided to embark on a renovation, tailoring the interior to the needs of their large family—including four energetic kids and two dogs. But when it came to the backyard, they still needed a plan. “The yard wasn’t well utilized,” says designer Rachel Reider. “It was a series of disjointed spaces.”

The Solution

Once the design for the interior was set, Reider and her team collaborated with Mather & Page Landscape Architects on the yard. “It was important to develop [something] that was very specific for how the family wanted to use the area,” she says. That meant seamlessly integrating the indoors and out. A three-season porch located off the kitchen, for example, features a sliding glass wall that opens onto a new bluestone terrace. Since the homeowners often host guests, the team installed a fully equipped outdoor granite kitchen, along with a bar so people can hang out with whoever’s flipping burgers. A nearby seating area is anchored by a custom banquette and a glass table. Beyond the patio is the fun stuff: a fieldstone-clad fire pit, a play area and swing set, and a sports court. The one thing the various spaces have in common? A modern vibe similar to the home’s interior. “We activated the space with plantings and ambient light, so it really feels like an extension of the inside,” Reider says.