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The Joys of a Poolside Retreat

May 1, 2012

The Joys of a Poolside RetreatAs a child, I longed for a pool in my very own backyard. Neighbor kids would boast about their easy swimming access and days filled with water fun.

To me, the ability of being able to swim as long as I wanted was a dream. Now, as an adult, I still want that backyard fun-filled pool, though maybe not for the same reasons. I understand and yearn for the unique design and entertaining opportunity that comes with such an elaborate and all-consuming backyard element.
If you are lucky enough to have a pool in your outdoor space, it is most likely a central focal point. The sheer size of pools demands consideration, therefore, you must create a space that is worthy of such attention.

The Joys of a Poolside Retreat

Choose a pool shape and materials that work well with the feel that you are trying to convey in your space. Furnish the space as you would your indoor rooms, with pieces, fabrics, textures and accessories that speak of the function of the area and a stylized aesthetic quality that is uniquely you. Pools are for fun, and not just for the kids. 

The Joys of a Poolside RetreatThe shape of your pool itself speaks volumes about your design style and the overall feel of your outdoor room. Streamlined shaped pools, rectangles, lap pools, and infinity pools are more optimum for modern and more formal spaces where clean lines are key. These shapes are better for utilizing the water for exercise purposes. For these more modern spaces, keep the pool materials simple and smooth. For a touch of spunk, try a circular pool that is a perfect circle. Pure geometric shapes make a unique and lasting impression. For a more organic feel that's perfect for recreation and casual leisure, kidney shapes, oval or amorphous would do the trick.

In order to get the most out of your poolside retreat, it is imperative that you provide the needed shelter from the sun for optimum comfort and relaxation for yourself and your guests. There are many options that succeed in providing shade. For those who have the space and the budget, a built in pavilion or covering is a perfect solution. These styles of shelter also supply a design outlet for your personal style and a way to incorporate more personal touches. For example, if your outdoor space is more organic and natural, raw wood beams and stonework are the perfect solutions. Trellises covered in vines are great for more of a garden feel. Outdoor shelters are an ideal foundation for hanging draperies made of outdoor fabrics to give that extra touch of personality and stylish sophistication.

The Joys of a Poolside RetreatIf the pool is close enough to the house, extended awnings work well and come in a variety of fabrics to appeal to your design style. The easiest and most common way to obtain shade is through a fabric umbrella. There are a number of sizes, shapes, and operating styles available for umbrellas. The main thing to remember with umbrellas is the function. The umbrella should be of outdoor fabrics that are UV protected for fade resistance, and water and mildew resistant.
Now here comes the fun part, the detailed touches that are unique to each and every home. Providing seating areas around the pool further establishes the use of the space for an outdoor retreat. These seating areas should cater to your style preference and how you are going to use the pool itself. If you are the type to sunbathe or layout, the classic chaise lounges are ideal. For those who simply want a place to be outside and relax, maybe read or look at magazines, a more comfortable seating option might work better. The Joys of a Poolside RetreatPerhaps an oversized chair or the beloved Adirondack? Love to entertain? Dining tables and smaller and more numerous chair groupings provide the perfect party space. It is necessary to pay attention to the surrounding landscape of the pool as well. An ornate and elaborate flower garden provides an alluring sight for sunbathers, while drawing the eye away from the water. Privacy and a sense of seclusion can be provided by decorative walls, green hedges or oversized plants. Such privacy options also can be utilized to hide unwanted sights. The key to poolside entertainment and leisure rings true for all outdoor rooms, if it's easy to access and utilize and makes you want to be in the space, you will use it frequently. Therefore, let's get out there right before summer hits and create a space that our kids will dream of having when they're adults. Our very own poolside retreat!