For more than 30 years, the watershapes and grotto at Playboy Mansion West have generated a mystique uniquely their own. Designed by Suzanne and Ron Dirsmith and installed along with the rest of the home's interior and exterior environments, this amalgamation of stone, water and plants ushered in the era of naturalistic pools and has utterly fascinated generations of homeowners seeking their own slices of the good life.
This article, originally published in October 2005, has been digitized for all readers. Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail. [click here to continue]
A Pool Buyer's Guide, Part 2
In buying a pool, a homeowner needs to find ways to make valid comparisons and informed choices about the design as well as the contractor who will build it. Here, Paolo Benedetti offers a look inside this intricate process -- and some tips on making it go smoothly. [more]
WHAT IS IT?
#5: Flush Spa
For some time now, most pool/spa combinations have featured raised spillways that link them together. But that's not exclusively the case, notes Mike Farley -- which leads him to offer this brief video explanation of the advantages of achieving the 'flush spa' alternative. [more]
So far, says Jim McCloskey, building WaterShapes.com has mostly been a lot of hard, detailed work. But now it's starting to get fun, he observes, with a list of new features he describes here about to swing into place to make the site even easier to use and share. [more]
For years, California artist Rafe Affleck has combined rigid stainless steel with flowing water to create a substantial and distinctive body of work. His sculptures, in which liquid does more than merely accent metal, make bold statements that puzzle, delight, sooth and inspire. [more]
Now at WaterShapes.com . . .
Now it's simpler than ever to share articles you find on
WaterShapes.com with friends, colleagues and clients: All landing pages now include links to a huge selection of social networks, so you can move things along with a few quick keystrokes. Click here to see how easy it is!
He Spied with Mirrored Swim Goggles!
British Freestyle Record Setter Guilty of Pool Peeping Tomism
Any visit to Washington, D.C., should include at least a little sightseeing, notes Jim McCloskey. While you're out and about, he suggests stepping just beyond the Capitol Mall to take in the gardens of Bartholdi Park and bask in the glow of its wondrously evocative fountain. [more]
Devils in the Details
Ten years ago, Brian Van Bower wrote about the sorry state of the art with respect to pool plans. Things were definitely in a state of flux back then -- so where are we now? Click here to see -- and register your opinions.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Fully Clothed Billionaire Stands
In Pool During TV Commercial
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.
1. A new television commercial includes a fully clothed billionaire standing in a fully filled swimming pool as he speaks to his employees. Who is the billionaire?
a. Mark Cuban b. Sheldon Adelson c. Larry Ellison d. Mark Zuckerberg
2. When a New Jersey homeowner removed the cover from his inground pool, he was shocked to find a school of tiny fish, possibly minnows, living in the water. Despite the cover, the fish apparently made their way into the pool from floodwaters caused by a major hurricane last October. What was the name of the massive storm?
a. Selma b. Sandy c. Suzie d. Sophie
3. A homeowner in Austria was left with more than $75,000 in damages when his backyard pool caught on fire. Firefighters had to use special foam to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the pool cover and wooden beams in the structure. What caused the fire?
a. A meteorite that fell to earth b. Chlorine gas that exploded c. Pool lights that overheated d. A burning car that plunged into the water
WaterShapes World (blog)
A bout of warm weather led Jim McCloskey to think back on summers past and how he spent two of them as a child learning to swim at the local municipal pool. The lessons cost his parents almost nothing back then -- and left him with a life skill that seem