7 Celebrity Pools From Architectural Digest That Have Us Craving Fun In The Sun (PHOTOS)
From Huffington Post
Americans love their celebrities. Shows like MTV Cribs, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, etc. fulfill the voyeristic tendencies of americans to take a peek into the amazing and sometimes ridiculous lives of celebrities. One area that these A-listers don't skimp on is their outdoor living spaces. This post from Huffingon Post shows just how luxurious the outdoor spaces of Frank Sinatra, Sylvester Stallone, and Cher actually are.
Click here for a look at celebrities' outdoor living spaces with swimming pools
HOW TO COOL OFF WITH OUTDOOR MISTING SYSTEMS
From Luxury Pools
Obviously, when you have a swimming pool, the best way to beat the summer heat is to take a cannonball-type plunge into the soothing waters of the pool. However, when there are areas of expansive decking, especially darker colored areas, the heat that is generated can not only make you and your guests uncomfortable, touching certain heated areas can literally cause injury. This phenomenon is not limited to pool areas, but any outdoor living space. The automatic misting system, which uses micro droplets of water to create a cooling phenomenon, is a great way to solve these issues. These systems can be used around Bluestone or heat absorbing decks, around pergolas, inside umbrellas or eaves, around fence lines, etc. to cool the inhabitants significantly. This article from Luxury Pools gives some great information about misting systems, their design, and the installation options.
Click here to learn about misting systems for outdoor living spaces
Outdoor Dining Rooms
8 ideas for creating the ultimate outdoor dining area
From Landscaping Network
Dining Al Fresco, under the stars, can be one of the great pleasures of the summer. Those with Outdoor Living spaces that have been properly designed and constructed can enjoy this unique experience even better. There are many ways to configure and outfit an outdoor dining room, and some special considerations that make this outdoor room different than others. In this posting from Landscaping Network, 8 beautifully designed outdoor dining rooms are presented and analyzed for your creative evaluation. Hopefully there will be some elements within these designs that will inspire your own designs.
Click here for outdoor dining design ideas
5 Things Every Pool Patio Needs
From Pool Pricer
With all the myriad design choices that come into play when designing an outdoor living space that includes a swimming pool, it is easy to understand how certain aspects of the swimming pool deck design could be overlooked. The most common mistake made by homeowers is that they greatly underestimate the amount of space that they actually need to accommodate their desired usage patterns. Things like the furniture layout, the shaded areas, traffic patterns, placement of grills and/or outdoor kitchens and the location of towel racks, toy storage, etc. can all affect the amount of square footage required for the total deck/patio design. This article from Pool Pricer gives you a great guide to visualizing the space, with some essential things that have to be considered when building every swimming pool deck or patio.
Click here to read about properly planning to design a swimming pool deck or patio
9 Deck Building Tips You Must Consider Before Getting Started
From Shadefx Canopies
Spending lazy summer days out on the deck or patio is one of life's great pleasures. Decks can provide a gathering place, or a jump off-point to the backyard oasis. Building a deck can be a daunting task, as there are many things that must be considered. Size of the deck, materials choices, access from the house and to the yard, safety, privacy, and coverage are just some of the issues that must be addressed to ensure the best possible experience. This article by Shade FX Canopies takes you through the design and construction process to ensure that this project is well-thought out, properly designed, and built to provide countless years of relaxing pleasure for your family.
Click here to read the deck building and design guidelines
Project: Swimming Pool, Spa, and Landscape in Hinsdale, IL
Designer: Jason Armour, Platinum Poolcare, Wheeling, IL
Materials: Eden outcropping retaining walls and waterfall
Cleveland Quarry's Buff stone with Rock Faced edging for the pool and spa coping
Prairie Buff stone pool deck
French Grey pool and spa interior
The design was influenced by the existing landscape; a cozy little woodland garden cut into a hill side that was their back yard. The homeowner understood that her yard was a very unique and beautiful space; consequently her main concern was that the addition of the pool would completely change the overall atmosphere of their backyard. The homeowner's wish list consisted of a natural looking free form pool, spa, waterfall and stone patio. Both husband and wife did not want the spa attached to the pool, and wanted the walls of the spa hidden to the extent possible, as they wanted to see water- not concrete. It was also very important to have the water fall visible from the kitchen.
Taking into consideration the homeowners wish list coupled with their decorating taste, our overall goal for the design was to create a natural looking oasis of sorts on the south half of the yard that that would seamlessly meld together with the existing woodland to the North.
We designed a pool with soft meandering curves, dug into the hillside with a series of tiered outcropping stone retaining walls that mimicked the lines of the pool below. This aesthetic left enough room between the walls to soften the area with plants. Three sheer descent water features were also built into the lower retaining walls at various levels to help visually break up the sight line.
The pool itself, at 30'0" long and varying between 8'6" and 16'0" wide, took on a shape influenced by an overall lack of space and need for flow. So into the smallish main entrance area of the pool which measures 11'0" wide, we designed a horseshoe-style bench flowing from the steps to instill a lagoon-type feel, further aided by the pool side walls. Past the lagoon, the main play area of the pool has a 5'0" deep end and Badu jet swim resistance system on the back wall. The swimming pool also has all the features of a modern, low-maintenance, energy-efficient vessel. In floor cleaning system, LED color-changing lights complete the aesthetic of the pool.
A natural stone patio was designed and constructed that encompasses the front half of the pool, stretching all the way across the lower yard along the house. The extension of the patio creates a dining and lounging area for guests, and an efficient use of the allotted space for seating and traffic.
The free form spa, 10'0" long and slightly more than 6'0" wide was placed across the stone patio, just outside of the kitchen bay window, and elevated approximately 2'0" up the hill. Two sets of stone steps built into the lower retaining wall allow for easy ingress and egress from the pool and patio to the spa. The lower retaining wall and mass of boxwood help to cradle and screen the spa inside the hill. Just behind the spa, the waterfall was integrated into the hill and visually ties into the middle tier of retaining walls.
The biggest challenges for design and constructions stemmed from the existing grade of the yard, tight axis, existing trees, and the old timber retaining walls. In the area we proposed the pool, the grade rose up 6'0" to 15'0" from the house. A 40'0" tall silver maple and 30'0" white pine sat at the top of the hill into which the excavation was to transpire. The trees therefore had to be removed, and few large arborvitaes, hemlocks, shrubs and a 10'0" Japanese maple all had to be relocated as a consequence .
Prepping the site was also difficult because the retaining walls could only be constructed after the excavation was complete and the pool shell installed. The swimming pool's proximity to the property line combined with the steep grades and "springtime in Chicago" (unseasonably wet and cold weather) exacerbated our challenge.
Once we were able to address these challenges by utilizing sound design, planning, and sequencing of construction, the project came together beautifully. The true test of any project is that is looks as though it had always been there; and this project certainly meets that test. We join the homeowner in their excitement, and we mutually take comfort in the fact that the project's timeless beauty will only improve with age.
Outdoor Gas Lamp
Light your outdoor spaces with dancing flames
From Landscaping Network
The look at feel of gas lighting harkens back to a bygone era. The warmth and dancing fire from these types of fuel lamps brings you back to a simpler time, and some might say a more relaxing time before automobiles, cellular phones, and computers. Traditional gas lamps ran with either oil or whale blubber, until the advent of electricity made them as scarce as the white whale. Luckily, this traditional feel is available for the landscape designer's or homeowners outdoor living space with a technoological upgrade. Running on either natural gas or propane and ignited electronically with the push of a button, the Tempest Torch's patented design introduces air into the flame in such a way as to make the flame mimic a tornado of fire inside the glass enclosure. This technological marvel with an homage to the traditional landscape element is a great addtion to any outdoor space.
Click here to read about the amazing Tempest Torch
DESIGN AND INSPIRATION
From Shade FX
There are many features that can accentuate one's outdoor living space. The goal is always what you want it to be: relaxation, entertainment, enjoyment... The 5 features in this article from Shade FX will certainly address what is missing from your particular outdoor living space, and will provide years of enjoyment for you and your family.
Click here to read about some essential outdoor living features
Modern Outdoor Dining Sets
From Stylish Eve
After a professional outdoor living design is complete, the cherry on the sundae is the furniture set. Designers and homeowners alike must consider not only the color, texture, and style of the furniture, but also the amount of people that will be using it and the durability. In this article from Stylish Eve, some great ideas for the modern taste are presented for the outdoor living enthusiast, in both rectilinear and radius styles.
Click here to see some great examples of modern outdoor dining sets
40 ideas for patios
Get pictures and ideas for every taste, style, and budget
Designing at outdoor living space is a challenge, even for the seasoned landscape architect. Melding the client's tastes with the proper layout, texture, color, and material choices can be a frustrating process for all involved. It always helps both parties for the client to have some ideas in mind to facilitate the design process. This post from Sunset gives a bunch of great patio and hardscape ideas for every taste, style and budget, and is a great place to start!
Click here for dozens of patio ideas