You can install a sleek, luxury pool that looks like the one you enjoyed during your last vacation—but if all you do is build a pool, you won’t get the same experience. A swimming pool is just one aspect of your outdoor living environment, and while it’s a focal point and must-have for many homeowners, it shouldn’t stand alone.
Consider this: You will spend more time looking at your pool than swimming in it.
The soothing sound and peaceful views of water are often more valuable than the recreational aspect of your pool. Of course, you wouldn’t install a pool if you didn’t plan on using it. But pools are about so much more than swimming—and the surrounding landscape, lighting, shade structures and dining space contribute to a luxury pool experience.
Here are five outdoor living features that add value to your pool and create a complete outdoor living environment.
Cabanas and Pool Houses
A pool house can provide storage space for pool accessories and serve as a changing area for family and friends. Some pool houses are equipped with a kitchen and living quarters so they can serve as a guest house. You don’t need a large pool house to check all of these boxes, and many find that this structure is the “new addition” to their home they use the most. A simple cabana or pool house allows you to truly live outdoors by your pool area.
Your pool space will be much more comfortable for your family and guests if you provide shaded spaces that offer a reprieve from the sun and create a cozy atmosphere for entertaining. Shade structures can range from awnings to popular shade sails, which easily can be retracted. Cantilever umbrellas are also convenient and can be placed in lounge areas. Pergolas turn a poolside patio into an outdoor room and can be designed as large-scale roof structures or entryways to a dining space.
Beyond the barbecue—that has been the theme of outdoor kitchens for a number of years, and the technology that we can bring to al fresco cooking continues to evolve. Basically, every convenience you have in your home’s kitchen can be included in your outdoor living room, including robust grills with ranges and warming ovens, fully plumbed sinks and bar equipment, refrigeration, pizza ovens and specialty grilling units like smokers.
Not to mention, the quality and variety of outdoor televisions and popularity of gas-powered fireplaces make way for a living room setup that turns your patio into a party zone or a place to simply relax.
Privacy plants like hedges, evergreen shrubs and ornamental grasses create a natural barrier that blends with the outdoors—so you get privacy plus beauty. When selecting plantings to surround a pool, a professional landscape designer will take into account foliage drop and the “mess factor” of different varieties. The last thing you want to do is install plantings that result in more pool cleaning.
Also, plantings should complement the style of your home and the aesthetic of your outdoor living environment, including the pool deck, hardscape and other features.
After the sun sets, landscape lighting and today’s dynamic LED pool lighting systems bring your outdoor living space to life. Landscape lighting improves safety by illuminating walkways and areas where a person would be likely to trip—and lighting adds ambiance. In fact, with today’s pool automation, you can cue up a light show with a simple app.
Plan for Pool Weather
If you already have a pool, enhance the space with other landscape and outdoor living features that will add value to your property. If you’re planning a pool project, think big picture before a professional breaks ground. A comprehensive pool and landscaping design allows you to take on the project in phases with an end result that will look and feel like a resort-at-home experience.
Tell us your ideas! We want to make your great outdoors a space where you’ll make memories for years to come. Contact us at 914-271-7996 in Westchester, 845-463-0592 in Hudson Valley and 203-212-4800 in Connecticut. Or, fill out this contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.