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This all-glass-tile project was about to start on the wrong foot, notes Jimmy Reed. But he became involved at a point when changing directions was still possible -- and the results are not only beautiful but gave his design-oriented clients just what they'd been after from the get-go.
This all-glass-tile project was about to start on the wrong foot, notes Jimmy Reed.  But he became involved at a point when changing directions was still possible -- and the results are not only beautiful but gave his design-oriented clients just what they'd been after from the get-go.
By Jimmy Reed

This was a project that might easily have run off the rails.

First, the glass tile selected by the interior designer wasn’t appropriate for pool applications. It might have been lovely as a backsplash in an interior kitchen or bathroom, but it came with no solid information about its source or pedigree that would have made it a wise choice for use in a critical outdoor application.

Second, the tile was rectangular and, at one-and-a-quarter by five inches, was too big for its intended use as an all-tile finish for a complex pool and spa – particularly given

Set atop a mountain on a beautiful bump in the Atlantic Ocean, this project jumped countless supply hurdles and survived two hurricanes while under construction -- thereby proving to Shane LeBlanc that anything is possible if you step back and learn to live with 'island time.'
Set atop a mountain on a beautiful bump in the Atlantic Ocean, this project jumped countless supply hurdles and survived two hurricanes while under construction -- thereby proving to Shane LeBlanc that anything is possible if you step back and learn to live with 'island time.'
By Shane LeBlanc

In recent years, I’ve become increasingly focused on landing projects on St. Thomas, St. John and a bunch of other paradisal surface eruptions off the east coast of North America: I like the people, enjoy the climate and truly love the laid-back island culture I find even among the high-end clients who call on me to design their poolscapes.

Quite often, the settings are the far side of spectacular, too, with views of multi-hued coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean stretching out for miles, often interrupted by

As soon as he arrived on site, Jason Brownlee knew the project would be all about the amazing views. But his clients had more on their minds, asking him focus just as much on entertainment and distinctive gathering spaces as on maximizing the home's obvious visual assets.
As soon as he arrived on site, Jason Brownlee knew the project would be all about the amazing views.  But his clients had more on their minds, asking him focus just as much on entertainment and distinctive gathering spaces as on maximizing the home's obvious visual assets.
By Jason Brownlee

From the start, this project was all about the view: The property sits above Lake Moumelle about 30 minutes outside Little Rock, Ark., in a small town called Roland. The lake serves as the primary reservoir for the state capital, so the waters are as serene and pristine as can be – no fishing, no boats, just thousands of acres of uninterrupted serenity.

We at J. Brownlee Design (Nashville, Tenn.) had been asked to design the exteriors for a new home that was then under construction on the site. The homeowners, a couple with two children, and wanted a space that would be

The yard was quite long and narrow, and so was the tightly confined access path. But Scott Cohen has enough experience in dealing with compact backyards that he's always ready, as he demonstrates here, to deliver a design that suits the space -- and his client's expectations.
The yard was quite long and narrow, and so was the tightly confined access path.  But Scott Cohen has enough experience in dealing with compact backyards that he's always ready, as he demonstrates here, to deliver a design that suits the space -- and his client's expectations.
By Scott Cohen

It’s a class of projects I’m coming across more and more often these days: Clients with homes in new developments want swimming pools and spas for their backyards, but the buildings are so big and consume so much of the available real estate that finding places to put worthy watershapes is a real challenge.

The difficulty, of course, is that these homeowners are just like the owners of larger properties in wanting more than just pools and spas these days: They’re thinking about generous seating and dining areas, outdoor

As a veteran watershape engineer, Dave Peterson has reviewed plans for countless vanishing-edge projects. Along the way, he's developed a preference for a specific approach to angling the top of the edge wall, offering guidance here that applies in nearly every case.
As a veteran watershape engineer, Dave Peterson has reviewed plans for countless vanishing-edge projects.  Along the way, he's developed a preference for a specific approach to angling the top of the edge wall, offering guidance here that applies in nearly every case.
By Dave Peterson

There are two common options when it’s time to design the wall for a vanishing-edge swimming pool: cut it in or cut it away.

With a cut-in approach, the top of the wall is cut down into the pool so that the water surface extends to the outside edge of the wall – effectively submerging it even when the water is not flowing over the edge. By contrast, a cut-away wall is one where the top of the wall angles down and away from the pool so that the water surface terminates at the inside edge of the wall. This results in the

When these clients originally made contact, they were after a renovation. But once Ryan Hughes saw the site and the plan and considered what the homeowners really wanted, he persuaded them to start from scratch and work with him in creating the bayfront poolscape of their dreams.
When these clients originally made contact, they were after a renovation.  But once Ryan Hughes saw the site and the plan and considered what the homeowners really wanted, he persuaded them to start from scratch and work with him in creating the bayfront poolscape of their dreams.
By Ryan Hughes

This project started with an unexpected phone call.

The clients, who live in Iowa much of the year but have a second home on the water’s edge in Tampa Bay, had spotted a Wall Street Journal article in which a photograph of a swimming pool with a “floating” fire pit had been included. They loved the look and figured they could use it to dress up the poolscape that had come with their Florida retreat – if only they could find a local company to do it!

Looking through the text, she spotted a reference to the fact that we at Ryan Hughes|Design|Build had designed and competed the project that

Presented with great views, willing clients and a nearly blank slate, Rick Chafey took full advantage of the opportunities the site offered while also providing the homeowners with one-of-a-kind details that captured the essence of their ambitions for a new hilltop home.
Presented with great views, willing clients and a nearly blank slate, Rick Chafey took full advantage of the opportunities the site offered while also providing the homeowners with one-of-a-kind details that captured the essence of their ambitions for a new hilltop home.
By Rick Chafey

There are three things I particularly like about this project: The first is that it was a referral through Skip Phillips, a co-founder of Genesis and one of my mentors as I’ve gained experience as a watershaper. He had worked on a project for the clients in Canada, and they asked if he knew of a good pool company in the Phoenix area. Backed up by our portfolio and reputation, Phillips’s recommendation made us the right choice.

The second is that the site had so

Called in to clean up a mess made by another pool contractor, Grant Smith found that the problems were worse than met the eye. But he still managed to save the day, pulling together a lovely pool, spa and deck that aligned closely with the client's original desires.
Called in to clean up a mess made by another pool contractor, Grant Smith found that the problems were worse than met the eye.  But he still managed to save the day, pulling together a lovely pool, spa and deck that aligned closely with the client's original desires.
By Grant Smith

In the course of my watershaping career, I’ve come to divide remodeling projects into two distinct categories.

The first is what I call cosmetic refurbishing. Here, all a homeowner usually wants is a superficial updating of a pool’s or spa’s appearance or performance through application of a new interior finish, some fresh waterline tile, maybe new coping and decking and, often, new equipment or perhaps a poolside waterfeature. I avoid these projects as energetically as possible because, typically, the challenges are thin and there’s little room for creativity.

The second category encompasses what I call

12 4 farley video artBy Mike Farley

I could easily have done a whole sequence in this video series about materials used to line the insides of pools, spas and other watershapes. From plaster and paint to pebbles and hydraulic terrazzo (and more), there are many paths my clients can take in deciding what to do with interior surfaces.

But really, there’s only one finish I want to discuss as these What Is It? videos hit

The interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton and Jimmy Reed that began in our last edition concludes here with their discussion of an amazing spa and the high-wire act they performed to complete it while finishing the renovation of what was once an oddly inadequate backyard.
The interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton and Jimmy Reed that began in our last edition concludes here with their discussion of an amazing spa and the high-wire act they performed to complete it while finishing the renovation of what was once an oddly inadequate backyard.
An Interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton & Jimmy Reed by Jim McCloskey

The first time I visited this backyard, the pool was complete and beautiful, but there was one discordant detail: Along the far end was a wooden fence that cut off the view. I was there with tile specialist Jimmy Reed, and this wasn’t a feature he mentioned. So, being both polite and sufficiently dazzled by the pool, I didn’t bring up the sore thumb.

The next time I saw the backyard, I immediately figured out that the fence had been a temporary detail: I was there with pool builder Dave Penton, who at the time was

Designing watershapes in locations where electricity and water are scarce and expensive has taught Shane LeBlanc the value, wherever he's working, of focusing on conservation. A case in point is this project -- one in which the client started out as an efficiency skeptic.
Designing watershapes in locations where electricity and water are scarce and expensive has taught Shane LeBlanc the value, wherever he's working, of focusing on conservation.  A case in point is this project -- one in which the client started out as an efficiency skeptic.
By Shane LeBlanc

In recent years, I’ve had the good fortune to tackle a number of watershaping projects in the islands off the coast of eastern North America. From the West Indies to the Caribbean, I’ve learned in pursuing these projects that fresh water and electricity can be amazingly expensive commodities.

These are, of course, settings in which numerous clients want to take advantage of water-on-water views. Trouble is, the vanishing edges that achieve these effects are questionable choices where the energy required to run them is costly; where winds and evaporation

Faced with a blank slate and a design-oriented, home-builder client, Juliet Wood listened closely and created just the sort of backyard fun zone the homeowner wanted for active children -- not to mention a place to entertain friends, work with clients and find herself some relaxation.
Faced with a blank slate and a design-oriented, home-builder client, Juliet Wood listened closely and created just the sort of backyard fun zone the homeowner wanted for active children -- not to mention a place to entertain friends, work with clients and find herself some relaxation.
By Juliet Wood

It may not happen as often as I’d like, but every once in a while a project comes along unexpectedly and turns out to be just fantastic.

In this case, I was referred by a pool builder I didn’t know to a home designer/builder I didn’t know, either. The pool builder had found me via the Internet after the designer/builder had let him know that she was interested in finding a talented pool designer who could help carry her residential projects to a new level.

He’d liked what he’d seen on my web

Brought in on what was originally a simple resurfacing job, Jimmy Reed, Alison Terry and Dave Penton ended up completely reworking this backyard. In Part 1, we look at what it took to convert a sad, old pool into a vibrant, highly textured work of art fully suited to a great setting.
Brought in on what was originally a simple resurfacing job, Jimmy Reed, Alison Terry and Dave Penton ended up completely reworking this backyard.  In Part 1, we look at what it took to convert a sad, old pool into a vibrant, highly textured work of art fully suited to a great setting.
An Interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton & Jimmy Reed by Jim McCloskey

The project under discussion here is one I’ve followed for several years. I first visited the site with Jimmy Reed, a tile-installation specialist based in Calabasas, Calif., as part of a day-long tour of some of his favorite completed projects as well as a few in progress. At that point, the work on this pool was complete, but nothing substantial had yet been done with the spa, which wasn’t even part of our conversation.

The second time I saw the backyard was several months later: I was on a similar ride-around with pool contractor

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