With shorter days, colder nights, and frost on the ground, it’s seems odd to think about a swimming pool as anything other than a large, attractive water feature at this point in time. Poolside soirees and lazy, sun-soaked afternoons seem a distant memory. However, designing the perfect luxury poolscape, lining up contractors, and the actual installation itself can all take months to complete. In order to have everything in place for that first warm day of spring, now is exactly the time to think about building or renovating a swimming pool. And, in order to create a poolscape in the lap of modern luxury, not only must you think about the water’s edge, but the surrounding environment as a whole.
“Modern pool designs incorporate a cohesive look that flows through the entire back yard, from the back door to the outdoor kitchen, garden retaining wall, outdoor fireplace, pool, and the surrounding patio,” says Ken O’Neill, Vice President of Belgard Hardscapes, leading manufacturer of premium patio and garden wall pavers. “Countless pool designers and contractors prefer our paver products for pool decking because of the versatility and ability to create an entire environment that all works together as one unified and gorgeous design.”
The options for creating a cohesive pool design scheme are endless. Gone are the days of the standard blue rectangle with a wrap-around concrete deck. “I grew up in the pool business, and concrete decking was always a necessary evil. But, the durability and look of pavers has revolutionized how we do business,” says Danton Townsend, designer with Leisure Pools in New Braunfells, Tex. “Almost 100% of our pools now use paver decking. Customers love the look, the warranty, and the maintenance free aspect.”
In addition, the versatility of Belgard Hardscapes enables multi-dimensional designs that are as unique as the individual owner. “Belgard’s products allow us to build a pool with a lot of different elevations with walls, steps, raised decks, and multi-level seating areas,” says Townsend.
The same products used to create the pool decking and coping can also be used in the surrounding poolscape design to create that cohesive look. “A multi-step water feature can be built right from the decking into the pool, a fire box can be added at the edge of the water feature, and the same products can be used to build a retaining or garden wall,” adds Curt Mansfield, hardscape designer with Stone Deck in Austin, Tex., who often works with Townsend on hardscape installations for his pool designs.
To continue the cohesive design to the rest of the outdoor living area, the same hardscape products used in the poolscape can also be used to build an outdoor kitchen, a custom fireplace, seat walls, patios, walkways, column wraps, and more. The end result is an elegant resort-like environment that is an extension of the homeowner’s personal sense of style, whether a classic tailored look or a backyard oasis.
“Many people today are trending towards a very natural look,” says Mansfield. “Belgard offers a number of products that look so natural, you get the look and feel of a lagoon that was chiseled out of European stone, but with the benefit of a manufactured product that has a lifetime warranty. Natural stones can get brittle or crack and just don’t hold up to a salt water system.”
Although creating a cohesive outdoor living environment and poolscape from scratch is a simpler process, there are also a number of techniques that can be used to keep a pool renovation or addition from looking like an afterthought to an existing design.
“Once the poolscape is designed, you can easily work the new hardscapes into the pre-existing living areas in the form of seat walls, planter boxes, trim, and various embellishments,” says O’Neill.
For inspiration on luxury poolscapes or for more information on Belgard Hardscapes, visit www.Belgard.biz
to view their design gallery or call 877-BELGARD (877-235-4273) to request a catalog or idea guide.