Beyond the pool & spa: Your entire outdoor space

Posted by Blue Haven Pools on Apr 21, 2011 11:50:19 PM

PART 1 of 2:

Transforming your entire backyard

Along with adding beauty and enjoyment to your home, a new pool & spa can also serve as the cornerstone of an entire backyard transformation. Your dream of a private outdoor oasis can start with a pool, spa, and deck, and end with a full spectrum of amenities ranging from an outdoor kitchen, to a miniature putting green.

More than ever before, homeowners want a complete relaxation and entertainment space. What “complete” means, according to what we hear from Blue Haven designers around the country, is a head-to-toe makeover for the entire space. For starters, the pool itself comes with more bells & whistles. It usually includes a spa for warm, relaxing hydrotherapy. Spas are often built elevated, so that water from it spills over into the pool surface below.

Other options include water features such as rock waterfalls, laminar jets, cascades, and grottos. Pools may boast built-in seating and shallow ledges for lounge chairs and an umbrella as well. Dazzling LED lighting that changes colors in synchronized, “dancing” light shows is also a hot trend.

Then there is the pool deck. Popular materials include options such as flagstone, textured concrete, or decorative stamped pavers. Immediately adjacent to the pool and nearby, there can be landscaping, expanded deck areas and walkways, fire pits, fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, pergolas, pavilions, pool houses, and custom masonry structures such as planters and built-in seating.

Homeowners from California to New York are also asking for features such as sports courts, decorative fencing, ornamental fountains, small decorative bridges, and outdoor theatre systems.

In particular, desire has shot up for a backyard kitchen when a new pool goes in or gets remodeled. Forget memories of your father’s backyard grill. Even a modest outdoor kitchen today will include an attractive island barbecue with a tile or stone façade. More elaborate installations rival the kitchen indoors. They can include a covered area for shade, and offer features such as a sink, refrigerator, drink chiller, grill, rotisserie, and even a pizza oven.

Once the drinks and meal are ready, homeowners may serve it in a swim-up bar in the pool, a patio area with built in tables and seating, or under the shade of a foliage-covered trellis.

Next up: part 2 of 2 - The benefits of using a single contractor

Topics: Backyard Additions, outdoor kitchens, outdoor space, Design / Features