A backyard sanctuary in the heart of the city is both a functional and aesthetic home run.
Designer Trevor Fulmer wanted three zones for the patio sanctuary: cooking, dining and relaxing. PHOTOGRAPHED BY SABRINA COLE QUINN
When Boston designer Trevor Fulmer (trevorfulmerdesign.com) and his husband, local attorney Jim Mattus, purchased a home in South Boston several years ago, one of the big selling points was its outdoor space. “We entertain and host a lot,” says Fulmer. “I also love to garden and prune plants. We grill out often. I’m a vegetarian [and] can make an epic veggie burger! We wanted a space to escape the city, even though we are in it. We also take our laptops outside and work, which was fantastic during COVID.”
The couple wanted the patio space, which is 15 feet wide and 39 feet long, to include three distinct zones (for cooking, dining and relaxing). They also wanted the area to include a fireplace for cool evenings and a water feature to muffle sounds of the city. Finally, Fulmer says the little luxe oasis needed to have a lush, green feel and a New England aesthetic with traditional materials like bluestone pavers and bricks.
Salluto porcelain mosaic tile from Ann Sacks PHOTOGRAPHED BY SABRINA COLE QUINN
“The layout was dependent on moving the footprint of the front fence—where the fireplace currently is—forward by 5 feet to be flush with the front of the house,” says Fulmer. “This was incredibly important, because it meant we would be able to get the fireplace and lounge seating area on the far side of the basement bulkhead. It all came down to city permitting. It took months and a lawyer, but we eventually got approval.”
"WE WANTED A SPACE TO ESCAPE THE CITY, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE IN IT.”–TREVOR FULMER, DESIGNER
Dining table and chairs from Varaschin. PHOTOGRAPHED BY SABRINA COLE QUINN
Despite a start-to-completion timeline of 18 months (“New England winters are never kind,” says Fulmer), the project came together beautifully with the help of BH Brown Landscape Design (bhbrowndesign.com). Standouts in the space include a dining table and chairs from Varaschin (varaschin.it), an umbrella from Tuuci (tuuci.com), a Moderne fountain from Campania International (campaniainternational.com), outdoor LED wall sconces by Jordi Vilardell purchased from Vibia (vibia.com), Salluto porcelain mosaic tile from Ann Sacks (annsacks.com) and a custom-built fireplace and kitchen.
Another decision involved a tree located outside the front fence. They kept this lovely piece of nature. “We were told by a neighbor that this tree was planted when the previous owner’s son was born,” says Fulmer. “Since we’re only custodians of this home, we thought it was important to save this memory.” And given the nature of the new outdoor sanctuary the couple created, more great memories are coming this summer and beyond.
Photography by: Courtesy of Sabrina Cole Quinn