By Mike Farley
One of the important lessons I learned as a young watershaper is that I am not a surveyor.
Working on a pool design in the hills south of California’s Napa Valley many, many years ago, I found myself on a sloping lot, broke out my line level and figured I could, with some patience and care, map all of the relevant elevations and develop a suitable design based on my observations of the contours.
As it turned out, I was
By Jimmy Reed
If I’ve learned anything through the years, it’s that a successful, truly satisfying project generally requires a good client and, quite often, a great project team. What the good client was after in the project discussed here was pretty simple – that is, an oval-shaped pool to go along with a large, oval-shaped shade structure another contractor was to install alongside it.
Making a fine start, the client called in Skip Phillips of
By Mike Farley
Safety is never far from my mind as I design for my clients, but as important as it is, it’s seldom the only thing on my mind as a project comes together.
In fact, balancing the need for features we must include for safety’s sake with our everyday passion about never compromising on aesthetics is something I consider with every detail. Whether it’s the extent to which
By Scott Cummings
When we get involved in backyard projects, it’s rare these days that we don’t have a fairly high level of creative control: We’re the ones who figure out where to place the pool, what shape it should have, how it should be finished and what should surround it with respect to the hardscape and landscaping and even the furnishings.
That’s why it’s a bit funny that this is the second in a pair of projects we’ve recently published through WaterShapes in which many of the fundamental shots were called by others – in this case by a talented home-construction firm that brought us in after the footprint for the pool and spa had been
By Kurt Kraisinger
It’s strange how things can work out with a project.
In this instance, we were called in to design the outdoor environment to go with a couple’s weekend/vacation home on the water of Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma. It was a beautiful, inspiring setting, with the home situated at the end of a peninsula that reached out into the lake, and it quickly became a favorite gathering spot for a couple generations of a fun-loving family.
We developed the design based on a few parameters offered by the clients as well as the nature of the incredible site and the distinctive
By Shane LeBlanc
There are few things in the world of watershaping as dramatic or devastating as a popped pool. On their way up out of the ground, they’ll shatter decks and coping, break pipes and conduits and, often, leave cracked shells behind and generally make a terrible mess. They also lead to one big first question from the owner: “So can you make it go back down?”
I’m pleased to report that none of the pools I’ve built has ever risen above its assigned grade, but I live and work in the south, often in areas where
By William Drakeley
The masters of 20th-century residential architecture have a profound influence on design to this day. From Charles and Henry Greene through to Frank Lloyd Wright and on to John Lautner and many others, these giants of design continue to push modern interpreters on to new levels of excellence in concept, form and execution.
Among all of the spectacular houses these architects built, few speak to us with greater energy than Wright’s Fallingwater, a spectacular home he designed in 1935 in Mill Run, Pa. Cantilevered over a stream flowing to a dramatic waterfall, the project has inspired envy among generations of architects and homeowners who’d love to capture even a portion of its special magic in another setting.
This is a tale about one such attempt, a house built about 20 years ago with
For years, John Cohen has dedicated himself to meeting the needs of clients averse to using traditional sanitizers. As he reports in this compilation of three recent articles -- gathered together here for your forwarding convenience -- his quest is all about mirroring natural systems.
By Ben Lasseter
In most of our projects, we do the lion’s share of the work related to our clients’ backyards. We’ll design and build the pool and spa, set up the landscape and take care of all of the components of outdoor living from laying decks to installing outdoor kitchens.
We like having that level of control over exterior environments, and our clients seem to appreciate the single-source service we’re able to provide. Every once in a while, however, we’ll come across a project so outstanding that we’re perfectly happy to join a great team, interpret someone else’s plans and
By Jimmy Reed
Many of the projects we work on could best be classified as show-stoppers: big, elaborate installations with undulating surfaces, multiple planes intersecting at odd angles and elaborate mosaic patterns – interior finishes with a level of technical difficulty that makes lots of tile applicators head in the other direction at a rapid clip.
We at Rock Solid Tile (Calabasas, Calif.) enjoy just that sort of technical challenge. It’s why we invest so much time in training, take our work so seriously and keep expanding the range of what we can accomplish for our clients. But truth be told, we occasionally like tackling installations where
By Kurt Kraisinger
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of this project, that old truism was right on the mark.
From the start, what my clients seemed to want most was to look at every image I could muster and ask questions and make comments about each one. And it worked: Through their words and body language during these sessions, they offered me almost all of the information I had to have to deliver precisely what they wanted.
And that was great, because when I
By Mike Farley
For the past ten years or so, high-end designers and builders have focused extensively on hiding things that disrupt a viewer’s visual pleasure or violate the clean lines and sleek surfaces they’ve lavished on their watershapes.
This may be why you see so few diving boards and slides these days. It may also be a contributing factor in the speed