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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

11 6 farley video artBy Mike Farley

I’ve written on several occasions that I’m not a fan of setting my pools up for diving in general and particularly not of equipping them with diving boards: Those planks are difficult to fit into beauty-oriented designs, seem old fashioned and create all sorts of technical, safety-related issues in design and construction that I discuss in detail in the video linked below. To me, it’s more than enough to put diving boards in the doghouse.

But many people, including some of my

Wrapping up a four-part series with a look at a project he's been covering detail by detail, Kurt Kraisinger pulls it all together by unveiling the completed poolscape -- and offering some concluding observations on working with clients while keeping an eye on design integrity.
Wrapping up a four-part series with a look at a project he's been covering detail by detail, Kurt Kraisinger pulls it all together by unveiling the completed poolscape -- and offering some concluding observations on working with clients while keeping an eye on design integrity.
By Kurt Kraisinger

As a matter of habit and long practice, my design process for an outdoor environment begins the moment I arrive on site, starting with an assessment of the property’s physical qualities.

Indeed, before I let structures, features and visual details start dancing in my head, I focus on grading, drainage and basic spatial relationships. In my experience, this overview of the practicalities will help drive the design – and allow the aesthetic decisions to flow smoothly into view at the appropriate time.

In the case of the project that’s been under discussion through this string of four articles, for example, my early assessment of

If there's one thing he's learned in completing projects for clients who can afford whatever they want, it's that planning is the key. But before that, notes Ryan Hughes, he needs a design that makes sense, suits the site and gives him every opportunity to pursue both fun and beauty.
If there's one thing he's learned in completing projects for clients who can afford whatever they want, it's that planning is the key.  But before that, notes Ryan Hughes, he needs a design that makes sense, suits the site and gives him every opportunity to pursue both fun and beauty.
By Ryan Hughes

Some of our favorite projects have gotten us involved with an unusual class of clients.

These folks are affluent enough that they travel extensively and own multiple homes in spots around the world – places they’ll stay for stretches ranging from a couple weeks to several months each year. When it comes to developing or remodeling new acquisitions, they’ll set some basic ground rules and step back, leaving the specifics to a trusted firm or individual who assembles a hand-picked

0Poolside waterfeatures are awesome, says Bruce Riley, filling an area with sound and controlling key views into and out of the yard and around the water. Here's a look at ways to assess what clients need from these details -- and address a few issues they might not anticipate. 

 

 

 

When the opportunity to try something new came his way, Scott Cohen stepped up with an ingenious water-wall system that did more for his clients than he ever could have imagined.
When the opportunity to try something new came his way, Scott Cohen stepped up with an ingenious water-wall system that did more for his clients than he ever could have imagined.
By Scott Cohen

This project started in a most unusual way, with the client telling me how little he liked the property he and his wife owned and that a move was likely in the near future. But in the meantime, he said, she wanted a pool.

So there I was, sizing up a challenging site and wondering if

It was a fairly straightforward consultation that became much more fun, writes Paolo Benedetti, as he made a few corrections, offered a few suggestions and found a fellow traveler on the road to visual perfection.
It was a fairly straightforward consultation that became much more fun, writes Paolo Benedetti, as he made a few corrections, offered a few suggestions and found a fellow traveler on the road to visual perfection.
By Paolo Benedetti

When the call came, it was immediately apparent just how narrowly defined my efforts on the project would be.

The basic design for the pool and its spa was already complete, which made perfect sense given how completely they had been integrated into the home’s overall footprint. What the architect wanted, I learned, was an expert who could come in, evaluate the plans and basically keep him and his team out of trouble with respect to all of the details and practicalities related to

Asked to work on a spa after a general contractor had started its construction using an ill-advised approach, Grant Smith moved forward knowing there'd be conflicts on site -- but confident that the clients had his back as he worked to rescue a key feature of their remodeling project.
Asked to work on a spa after a general contractor had started its construction using an ill-advised approach, Grant Smith moved forward knowing there'd be conflicts on site -- but confident that the clients had his back as he worked to rescue a key feature of their remodeling project.
By Grant Smith

If I had my way, each of our watershaping projects would start with participation in the design-development phase, followed by a teamwork approach aimed at delivering a wonderful composition to deserving, contented clients. This, however, was not one of those smooth-sailing projects, not even close.

By the time I was contacted about this one, remodeling of the house had already been under way for three-plus years and seemed to be following a roundabout path toward completion at some elusive future date. I wasn’t surprised to learn that

 

It was a most unusual remodeling project, notes Carla Sovernigo. Partly it had to do with its scale and complexity, but mostly it was because it took three full years to finalize the design and then another whole year to align every last detail with the clients' highly refined ambitions.
It was a most unusual remodeling project, notes Carla Sovernigo.  Partly it had to do with its scale and complexity, but mostly it was because it took three full years to finalize the design and then another whole year to align every last detail with the clients' highly refined ambitions.
By Carla Sovernigo

Participating in a major project is sometimes like watching a child grow up through various developmental stages: Good things take time!

Our own involvement in one of these endurance tests started when we were called out to a 25-year-old home in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: It was being updated from a dreary, dated style to something modern and contemporary for clients who were all about luxury, five-star amenities and state-of-the-art detailing.

The architect and the home builder

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