By Eric Herman
For as long as I can remember, I’ve fantasized about owning my own swimming pool.
I suppose such daydreams are the natural byproducts of spending much of my life in Southern California, a place where backyard pools and public plunges are as much a part of the landscape as the freeways and palm trees.
To own a pool, of course, you need a place to put one – and until recently, I never lived in a place that fit the bill.
That changed in June of this year, when my wife Teresa and I purchased our dream home. It’s an old Craftsman-style house, built in 1926, perched on a gently sloping quarter-acre lot in a peaceful neighborhood in Fullerton. Along with all the stresses, strains, excitement, long-term decisions and short-term poverty that goes along with buying a home, we’ve spent a good bit of time tossing around ideas about the various things we’d like to do with our property.
From the first day we set foot in our new home, in fact, we’ve been talking about the pool we hope will eventually play host to the sorts of fun and frolicsome behavior that so clearly defined so much of our childhoods. (Teresa and I grew up in the same area and swam in many of the same backyard pools.)
We’re so engaged in the process that we’ve already picked the spot in the yard and have already started discussing what we want it to look like. And we’ve indulged all this planning knowing that it may be a good two or three years or even ten years before we come anywhere close to breaking ground.
I know my job as editor of WaterShapes puts me in an unusual position when it comes to visualizing what might become of our backyard. Through all of the conjuring and dreaming, I’m definitely trying to apply the design principles we’ve covered in the pages of this magazine, trying things on for size.
Already, we see a whole slew of aesthetic issues that will need to be addressed – everything from the basic style of the vessel itself to the type of footpaths and plantings we’ll eventually select to go with it. Right now – and even though we know it’s likely our ideas and sense of what’s possible will change before we get that far – we’re leaning at this point toward a rectilinear pool that reflects the angular architecture of the home. We also know we’ll want a host of warm, rustic textures that will reflect the quiet surroundings.
As I say, I imagine we’ll change our minds a thousand times before we land on a workable plan. Even at this early stage of the process, however, I can already see what a wonderful and profound thing it will be to have a custom watershape of our very own.
Next to the house itself, the pool at “Casa de Herman” will likely be the biggest purchase we ever make. And as these warm summer months have rolled along, Teresa and I have both spent a lot of time imagining what it will be like — and wish that the pool was already there, waiting for us at the end of the day or, on a hot Saturday afternoon, welcoming us to cold ones in the cooler and warm edibles on the grill.
Sure, we know it’ll take a while for us to save up the shells and trinkets we’ll need to make the big purchase. But in our hearts, we’ve already signed on the dotted line.