Tag Archives: pool cabana

Pool Cabanas

Pool Cabanas

Beauty and Versatility

With August in full swing, many of us are enjoying our outdoor living spaces as much as possible. Last week, we discussed the ways in which a homeowner’s pool area serves as a focal point for outdoor living and entertaining. This week, we will focus on the pool’s essential companion – the wonderful and functional cabana.

Shingle-style pool cabana in Edgartown

Pool cabanas serve multiple roles within the outside living area. As a separate, nearby building, they offer convenient privacy and protection from the sun for swimmers (and loungers).

Additionally, they afford homeowners with easy, accessible storage and changing space for bathing suits and towels. This means fewer wet towels making their way into the house – and for people with young families, an end to wet kids running inside in search of dry towels.

We design our cabanas as small buildings that work in harmony with the main house and other outbuildings. Some are beautifully simple with limited adornment, while others are more detailed, mirroring specific architectural details of the main home.

The cabana’s interior layout and amenities are dictated by the individual needs of each homeowner. Some cabanas are designed with classic, cozy sitting areas and folding glass doors to create a seamless progression to the outdoors, while others include more elaborate amenities such as kitchenettes, fireplaces and half baths for convenient indoor-outdoor entertaining. No matter the layout, careful attention to details ensures that the cabana remains connected to the tone and history of the house, and effortlessly transitions to the outdoor living space.

While some New England cabanas are used strictly in the summer months, many homeowners take advantage of this inviting outdoor destination year-round. With a cozy fireplace and comfortable seating, where better to warm up after a winter hike?

Pool cabanas represent a wonderful marriage between beauty and versatility. Whether rustic or refined, the cabana is a relaxing poolside retreat offering protection from the sun and a harmonious connection between indoor and outdoor living.

The Cupola

The Cupola

A Study of Form and Function

Sometimes, a seemingly small architectural detail can supply that extra layer of balance and character to set a building apart. Cupolas are an excellent example of a special touch that effectively impacts a building’s aesthetic appeal. But what exactly is a cupola? Does it provide both form and function? The answer is yes.

Cupolas are small, dome-like structures that sit on a building’s roof ridge and help define the structure’s centerline. Typically, the base is square, hexagon or octagon and is designed with windows or louvers (vents) on the sides. By bringing natural light and air into the spaces below, the cupola serves both decorative and practical purposes. Historians believe cupolas date back to the 8th century and became prevalent throughout in New England in the 1800s. In rural areas, cupolas were a favorite ventilation technique for barns, allowing fresh air to circulate in and out through the rooftop while keeping the inside cool and dry. Some call them a “pre-air-conditioning” ventilation system.

Today, we add copulas to our residential architecture for rooftop interest and to introduce verticality to the building. It is a timeless way to add dimension and charm to our clients’ carriage houses, barns, guesthouses, and pool cabanas – while also providing ventilation, which is especially important in coastal regions.

We typically custom build our Cupolas with weather resistant Azek for the base, topped with copper or cedar shingles roofing material. (Alternately, Walpole Outdoors is a great resource.) The length of the building’s roofline dictates the size and scale of the cupola, so a cupola we design for a stately barn will be a different scale than one we design for a smaller pool house.

A standard rule of thumb is for every 25 feet of unbroken roofline there is 1 ¼” of cupola width.

Depending on the statement we wish to make, the cupola may be topped with a weathervane or lightning rod – or nothing at all. And, sometimes we will include a light in a windowed cupola, which, when lit at night, makes a beautiful evening impression.

Small but mighty, cupolas gracefully enhance a building’s exterior narrative by adding character and style. But they are not just a pretty face: by delivering natural light and ventilation, cupolas enhance a building’s interior space as well.