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.
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 Summer Spot to Cool Off and Entertain
With New England’s recent heatwave, residential swimming pools have been a topical subject among our friends and clients. Not only do they offer convenient, inviting relief from the summer heat, they also provide homeowners with a focal point for outdoor living and entertaining.
There are myriad options for pool design, and we take our cues from several sources. Because the pool is an extension of the home, we first consider the building’s architectural character. We then look at the outdoor topography for any space restrictions, and whether the area lends itself to a certain shape or design. If we envision a more organic feel, the pool may take on a free-form shape to blend with the outdoor environment. Alternately, if the space calls for a more traditional or sleek look, we may recommend a rectangular design.
When appropriate, we may also include an infinity design where the water flows freely over the edges. These vanishing edges give the visual impression that the pool has no boundaries – or is magically connected to the nearby ocean.
If the homeowner has an extended family with children or grandparents, we often design the pool with a wide entry and gentle pitch for easy access.
For all designs, we recommend using gunite for its exceptional versatility. Gunite is a mixture of sand and cement shot through a hose and does not produce seams like traditional, poured concrete.
No matter the size or shape of the pool, it is important to create an inviting common gathering space to be enjoyed day or night. That means judicious consideration of hardscaping, lighting, and congregation areas. To merge the indoor and outdoor living space, we use bluestone edges or coping to blend in with the adjacent patio or terrace.
We also carefully select the pool’s lighting, which sets an important tone, particularly in the evening. Including fun and welcoming gathering spots – such as hot tubs and fire pits – helps transform the pool area into the optimal summer gathering space.
Water features are also meaningful elements – both aesthetically and from a functional standpoint. For example, within an urban setting or dense courtyard, the soothing sounds of waterfalls or jet sprays help create a sense of relaxation and privacy.
A well-designed pool area can transform any outdoor living space into a summer oasis. Whether lounging our entertaining, a pool and its surrounding outdoor space provide homeowners with a wonderful sensory experience – and a welcome relief from the summer heat.
Historically Motivated Architecture