"Play sets can echo a home's architectural features. In San Carlos, Calif., John and Megan Rodkin's backyard play set incorporates redwood slat fencing to match the existing fence surrounding the property. Local landscape designer Kristen Rudger added a gable on top of the playhouse as a visual tie with the Craftsman-style gable on the family residence. The entire play structure—including swings, rope ladder and playhouse—is set on a terrace one level up from a patio where the parents can relax while their three children, ages 5, 3 and 1, exhaust themselves. 'We expect six to eight years of use out of it,' says Ms. Rodkin, 36, a stay-at-home mom. When the kids eventually get older, she plans to take the equipment down and install a fire pit in its place."