Does the warming weather have you daydreaming about a backyard pool? Before you jump in and make your dream a reality, let us share some of the basics, both practical and aesthetic. To help you make some important decisions about the place where your family will cool off and entertain, we go through a straight forward process to extract the details we need from you in order to make that dream become reality.
The “S’s” that get us started:
Site: Things to consider include soil composition, water table, drainage, elevation changes and accessibility. We will ensure that your backyard is suitable for your future outdoor oasis.
Shape: Almost every pool conversation starts with shape. The decision doesn’t involve design, but rather rectangle vs organic. With rectangle, we’re usually headed toward a pool with an auto cover, while with organic, we have not limitations. Let us use our virtual reality software to help you imagine the perfect pool for your yard!
Style: Do you want your pool to be traditional, natural, sleek, or modern, or there could be another possibility? We help our clients with expert selection and placement of landscaping and hardscaping materials, not to mention the design of the pool itself from tropical lagoon to urban plunge pool.
The “L’s” that refine the process.
Lifestyle: Who’s going to use the space? Do you want the pool for exercise, leisure sports, kids, cooling off, entertaining, or ambiance? Your pool design should work hard to afford you the lifestyle you have worked hard to achieve as well as carrying you into the next phase as your lifestyle changes.
Location: We’ll take all elements into account including sun/shade, wind, natural debris (leaves/pollen/flower petals), privacy, and drainage. This will be done in conjunction with the county requirements concerning location such as proximity to septic features and property lines.
Lighting: Consider lighting both in and around the pool. For the pool itself, we exclusively use LED lights in small niches in the pool wall with or without color changing bulbs. Gone are the days of (1) giant light at the end of the pool; we design the pool lighting using multiple fixtures to enhance the features and provide a more custom appearance at night. Around the pool – for both aesthetic and safety – low-voltage lighting is used to provide a warm glow to the other outdoor elements we employ.
The “A’s provide us amenities we can use to enhance our pool environment.
Amenities: Amenities that are typical in our projects include spas, pavilions and pool houses, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and fire pits, cabanas, pergolas, outdoor showers, lounge pools, other sun and shade options, and more.
Access: Too often traffic patterns to and from the house, the driveway, the nearest bathroom, the shady spot, etc. are overlooked in pool design. We focus on the overall experience to maximize access to and from our pools so that the centerpiece isn’t just beautiful, but practical as well.
The “M’s” are Materials.
Pool Interior: The pool interior does a great deal more than just determine the color of the water. We use plasters on our gunite pools that range from solid colors to diverse pebble surfaces. A darker color will allow the sun to be more efficient in providing a natural heat source, deep blues can make the water features look more natural, pebble interiors provide interesting patterns and textures, and tile resembling stone can create a style in the pool more reflective of a residential environment vs a commercial pool.
Coping and Decking: By far the largest consideration we have in selecting the flat surfaces for areas around a pool is heat. Everyone loves flagstone/bluestone, but it’s way hot on bare feet!!! We tend to work mostly with travertines and light-colored pavers to avoid this. We continue to use thermal bluestone as our standard on coping due to its refined appearance, but overall, a lighter scheme is usually what we’ll recommend.
Keeping these key elements foremost in our mind, we will help you design a pool that will meet your needs and fulfill your dreams! If you are considering a new pool, landscape design, or fire feature for the upcoming hot summer, contact State of the Art Landscape to schedule an appointment.