pool house

Organizing Chaos
The backyard-design process, it's been said, is something like completing a jigsaw puzzle: You start with a framed space and assemble available pieces to fill in the picture. But there are two problems with this common analogy: First, the number of available pieces far exceeds the physical capacity of the frame and, second, there are no precut tabs or notches to guide placement of the selected pieces. So you'd be closer to the mark if you said that design is like the worst, most challenging jigsaw puzzle ever - and even then, the typical backyard-design task is much harder. Shining a light on this process is
Up from the Ruins
My recent article in WaterShapes left readers in some suspense. As reported last time (click here), we were most of the way through the design process and were actually getting ready to start important work on site when the homeowners sprung something new on us. They'd just returned from a trip to Europe, and they'd been so inspired by what they'd seen that they wondered if we could inject a sense of the "Old World" into the project. The goal had previously been about creating a naturalistic setting in which wilderness seemed intent on reclaiming the space. Their fresh desire was to make explicit the notion that a
Trash to Treasure
This is the story of the rebirth of a pool - and then some. It all started when I was contacted by a homeowner who was in what I'd call perfectly reasonable distress:  His swimming pool was a mess, he told me, surrounded by cracked decking, a crumbling slide structure and a deteriorating fireplace.  He'd already spent a bundle on piers and other fixes recommended by engineers, hoping to