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Here at Winterberry, one of the most common requests we get is for Outdoor Living Spaces. This can mean many things to different people, but in the end the Winterberry outdoor living comes down to one thing: transformation.  A well-designed outdoor living space transports you, just by stepping out the back door.  The parameters of this new place will be different for everyone.  Like any design field, Landscape Design draws heavily from your personal preferences  so we can reflect your lifestyle.  As I’m sure our readers have all noticed, this summer has been particularly warm.  So it seems fitting that the type of outdoor living area we’ll be focused on today is Poolscape Design.  Because if you’re looking to transport yourself somewhere in this heat, that place had better have a pool.

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The first thing to think about for your poolscape is what shape you would like for the pool.  The most frequent request we’re receiving right now is for natural looking pools.  This usually means a free-form, irregular style.  When designing a natural pool, one thing to keep in mind is the color of the water.  A great way to make your pool look more like a naturally-occurring pond is to make the water a darker color.  This is easily done by going with a darker colored concrete for the interior of the pool.  For a more contemporary style, don’t be afraid to go with a more rectangular pool.  By adding other elements such as a hot tub, beach entry, or sun shelf within the boundary of the pool, you can break up the angularity while still maintaining a clean line.  If your house is more on the contemporary side, this can be a great way to visually ground your home in your landscape.


The next most important aspect to Poolscape design is placement.  Do you want a flat patio or one with multiple levels?  Do you like to lounge in the sun or would you prefer more shelter? Do you want to have a constant flow from the inside of your house to the pool area, or do you prefer to keep it as an independent element?  Once you’ve answered these questions, be sure to also check with your local Building Department to check their codes for fencing, property easements, etc.  Once you narrow the pool down to a few potential areas, take some spray paint and draw out the pool you’re thinking of.  This way you can get a better visual of how you will use the pool, and what it will look like from the various viewing areas inside and outside the house.  Once the pool is placed, you can start building the rest of your poolscape around it.


Last, you’ll want to add the other elements that will really take you away.  Everyone knows that some patio is required to use a pool, but the way you design your patio will change how you use it.  Larger areas will control lounging and sitting areas, while skinnier areas will direct the flow of people where you want them to go.  Put careful thought into these flows, and think about how you want your space to be used.  Then bring on the really fun stuff.  There is no combination that is visually more transformational than bringing fire into a poolscape.  A fire pit, fire place, or fire trough that is visible from pool and patio is guaranteed to transport you away from your everyday life.  To really take it to the next level, add in an outdoor kitchen and pergola, and you’ll never want to leave the poolside.