No Worries
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
Getting Up to Speed
I promise not to be insufferably happy in too many more of these blogs, but I have to say that the trade show I just attended as a new member of the Watershape University team was an over-the-moon experience for me. It has been decades since I can recall being even slightly
Inquiring Minds
'Watershaping carries us onto the properties and into the private lives of our clients, and it does so to such a personal, even intimate level,' wrote Brian Van Bower to start his February 2010 Aqua Culture column, 'that I see the value and importance of getting to know them to the best of my ability.  Invariably, that means asking the right questions and knowing how to
2019/12.2, December 18 — Working the Views, Fountain Precision, Inventive Mythology and more
Designing a New Paradigm (Part 1)
In August 1999, more than 30 professionals gathered at a small college in Southeastern Ohio to talk about water and absorb the rudiments of a collective "Philosophy of Design."  Organized by The Whispering Crane Institute, the conference was as much about attitude as it was about the practicalities of designing with water. In attendance were Rick Anderson and Richard Dubé of the Whispering Crane Institute and the Genesis 3 team of Skip Phillips, Brian Van Bower and
Setting Egos Aside
'One of the themes I've covered repeatedly through the years,' wrote Brian Van Bower in opening his Aqua Culture column in September 2009, 'has had to do with the need for all of us to become effective team players. 'True, there have been times when egos have gotten in the way and I've found myself in fairly dysfunctional groups, but for all that, I have to say that collaboration very often
2019/9.1, September 4 — Modernist Detailing, True Rainfall, Revived Splendor and more
The Gradual Renovation
  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
The Client Experience
As I write this on May 10, we're two weeks into a major renovation of our home of 30 years. Various demolition, foundation, framing, flooring, cabinet and roofing contractors will be redoing the kitchen from top to bottom while adding about 65 square feet to its space by
Creative Spirits
This project came my way as a lot of them have through the years: A landscape contractor had been tasked with organizing things on a large estate property and called me in to work with the homeowners on the pond they wanted. During our first meeting on site, I took an immediate liking to the couple, and she in particular had bountiful ideas about what she wanted. As we walked the estate together that day, she pointed toward the boggy depression at the edge of the property where we'd be placing the pond - quite close to a community bridle path - and said she wanted