The Ultimate Guide to Designing Your Dream Pool
With the pool business booming, there’s no time like the present to start building your own little slice of backyard heaven. Here, three local homes show us how it’s done.
What do you do when you’re building your dream home? Make sure you’ve got a dazzling green space to match, of course. Such was the case for the residents of this new Concord house, set on a verdant meadow near the Concord River. “They wanted a landscape that fit into the agrarian feel of the site,” says managing director Greg Tuzzolo of Stimson, the landscape-architecture firm the owners hired. In this case, that meant enhancing the property’s natural beauty with a range of flowering trees and shrubs while also allocating space for a terrace and the home’s pièce de résistance: a new 2,400-square-foot swimming pool, built by Chelmsford-based Environmental Pools.
Dewing Schmid Kearns Architects + Planners
J.W. Adams Construction
All the accessories you’ll need for a little fun in the sun.
Unsun Cosmetics “Mineral Tinted” face sunscreen, $29, Follain.
“Midsummer Floral” melamine plate, $12, Greentail Table.
Weber “Genesis II S-335” stainless steel gas grill, $1,080, Poirier.
Aluminum sunshade, price upon request, Brown Jordan.
Ann Marie Vering “Pavona” lounge chair with cord-wrapped aluminum frame, starting at $1,265, and cushions, starting at $995, both RH.
“Zebra Palm” cotton beach towel, $85, Matouk.
Twenty-five years into helming his eponymous design firm, Dan Gordon is no stranger to large-scale renovation projects. So when a Wellesley couple who’d eyed his work during a local garden tour tasked him with overhauling every inch of their outdoor living space while also creating an area for swimming and lounging, the landscape architect didn’t hesitate. And the results, not the least of which is a sparkling in-ground pool, speak for themselves. “It’s a summer oasis,” Gordon says of the revamped yard, which also includes 40 new plant types. “Creating beautiful spaces for families to enjoy never gets old.”
Dan Gordon Landscape Architects
Michael S. Coffin
Custom Quality Pools
After settling into their new house in Connecticut, a couple with two young daughters shifted their focus to their largely bare backyard, envisioning a new, more inviting hangout space the whole family could enjoy. So they called Rich Rosano of RRBuilders, who had constructed their custom New Canaan home a few years earlier. Their requests? An in-ground pool and an adjacent spa, plus an outdoor kitchen and a dining area where they could entertain and serve up meals. Thankfully, the generous lot size meant that Rosano, who assmbled a team including local architecture firm Tramontano & Rowe, could help deliver all that and more. “It was really a blank slate,” he says.
Tramontano & Rowe
Tips and Tricks
Take the plunge and start planning your dream watering hole with pointers from RRBuilders’ Rich Rosano.
Before you bring in that backhoe, think about the size of your property and how close—or far—you’d like the pool to be from your humble abode. “When the pool is further away, that’s when people [may want to] invest in a pool house with a full bathroom and maybe a washer and a dryer to minimize [walking] to and from [your home],” Rosano says.
Let the Sun Shine In
Orienting the pool to maximize afternoon sunlight, while adhering to local building codes, is key. Rosano’s suggestion? “Bring your team together from the beginning so both the designer and builder can look at local zoning regulations that dictate where you put the pool,” he says.
When it comes to the pool deck or patio, choose materials that won’t feel too hot against bare feet. Granite, for instance, doesn’t heat up as much as bluestone, the RRBuilders’ pro explains.
Don’t Forget the Sparkle
Building the perfect pool entails so much more than just digging a hole in the ground. Dress up your new summer hideaway with underwater speakers, colored lighting, or special features such as a waterfall. Not only will the latter create a spectacular focal point, the movement of the water may also help drown out exterior noise—a must for pools set near busy roads.
Not ready to carve up your backyard for a pool or just don’t have the space for one? Try a buzzy inflatable number, like “Shapes” from West Coast–based Mylle, pictured above. Crafted from durable, non-toxic vinyl, this design-forward (and decidedly adult-friendly) model offers a chic antidote to hot summer days—without the cost of a renovation.