Once the weather warms up, we love to be outside sipping iced tea on the back porch or enjoying the view from our front porch swing. However, when the weather suddenly starts feeling like Florida everglades, what could be better on a blistering summer day than the shimmering blue water of your backyard swimming pool? So inviting!
Our Love of Water
We Harts love the water, whether it’s swimming, fishing, tubing, or wakeboarding, so naturally, having a pool was at the top of our list. We’ve had pools at our other houses: above ground, in-ground concrete, and in-ground liner, so we are pretty familiar with the different types, with the exception of fiberglass. We knew we would have another in-ground concrete pool at HartLand. With the array of styles, features, and materials available, how does one decide? We didn’t go crazy with features and add-ons, but our pool is lovely nonetheless.
Inground Pool Inspiration
We took inspiration from our last in-ground concrete pool, which was a simple rectangle design with a raised back for privacy. We don’t need to worry about privacy here, so the raised back was unnecessary. We like the ease of concrete. While not as soft on your feet as a liner, it’s studier and doesn’t need replacing. A rectangular pool allows for maximum swimming space, so that was a no-brainer. We also wanted the clean simple lines to go with our farmhouse and the outdoor space.
How to Design a Pool
When designing a pool, you should consider the layout and size of your yard, the square footage you want, the features you want, who will use the pool, and the overall aesthetic of your home and yard. Many people are drawn to the kidney or free-form shape because it’s visually appealing. Be aware, though, that to compensate for lost swimming space, you may need to go larger than you had originally anticipated.
Common Pool Features Available
- Baja or tanning deck
- Swim-up bar
- Raised back
- Rock features
- Diving board
- Sliding board
If cost is not an issue, you can go wild with features, but most of us have to stick to a budget. Check carefully, do your homework, and make a “wants” and “needs” list to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
HartLand Pool Design
As mentioned, we knew we wanted a simple rectangular pool with room to swim laps. We also wanted a deep area with a diving board and a baja deck. The baja deck is a ledge at the shallow end that is large enough for three lounge chairs that can go right in the water. Those were our pool splurges. We chose simple white glass tiles around the waterline. We spent much more of our budget on the pool decking, furniture, and pool house, so everything ties into the main Four Gables house. We wrote a previous blog post about the pool house, so if you’re interested in those details, feel free to take a look.
Maryanne White, of The MWhite Design Group, our fabulous landscape and hardscape designer, laid everything out for us. I chose to use the same brick in the same herringbone pattern for our pool decking that matches our porches. To break up the expanse of brick and to keep it from overwhelming the area, we added bluestone edging and coping. We also have bluestone paver stepping stones throughout the garden area. Thoughtful details like placing the pool returns on the side closest to the house so they are out of view, cedar fencing, an arbor with climbing roses, and functional yet attractive pool furniture, add to the backyard beauty.
The pool itself was installed by George Neiderer Pools, located in Hanover, PA. The process was simple and smooth, and was completed without a hitch in approximately three weeks’ time.
How We Plan to Decorate Around the Pool
Our backyard is a work in progress, with the pool house still under construction. The pool house will tie in seamlessly with the main house since the materials are the same, and the design is complementary. We purchased a sturdy but attractive Polywood furniture set in white that includes lounge and adirondack chairs, side tables, and a wicker dining set for the small patio area outside the pool house. I am about to order several auto-tilt umbrellas from Ballard Designs (color tbd) to place around the lounge chairs and in the pool itself. We have two umbrella holes drilled right into the baja deck. So smart! Accessories will be simple fresh flowers in containers on each side table. Maybe next year I’ll add on, but for this year, that’s about it!
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What kind of pool do you have? How do you decorate and accessorize? We would love to hear from you and share ideas!
Until next time…