A pool house is the ultimate design playground. Part utilitarian building, part entertainment space, the design and functionality can be as basic as a small cabin with a shower and a changing area, or as elaborate as an entire home with a bar, lounge, or living room. a large room, etc.
“Having a pool house not only serves for changing clothes, accommodating overnight guests and keeping extra storage space, but it also dedicates space for entertaining and creating incredible outdoors-oriented experiences. Think poolside parties, alfresco dining and ping-pong tournaments, ”says Kelly Bartley, senior designer at short-term rental and hospitality company AvantStay. “Pool houses are a great opportunity to create a unique individual oasis.
By combining the fun party atmosphere of a poolside experience with the comforts of a relaxing lounge, the space can feel like a retreat away from home, says Anthony Laney, founder of Laney LA, a architecture and design firm in Los Angeles. “Without a pool house, leisure by the pool is often an all-or-nothing decision; you are either inside or outside. But with a pool house, the outdoor experience is extended, varied, and allows residents and guests to enjoy a vacation mood.
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Then there is the practical side that it serves, even just in terms of logistics. No one wants puddles on the floor of their main house or guests walking in and out in wet swimsuits. And, not to mention, it gives customers the privacy they need.
A pool house is also inherently versatile. “It’s the perfect connection between the interior and the exterior that can serve so many functions,” says Adam Meshberg, founder and CEO of Meshberg Group, a Brooklyn-based design firm. “It can be an entertainment area with a bar and kitchenette, a guest house, a living room away from the main house, a fitness room, a meditation area and much more.”
Decide on the style
Although a pool house is considered an extension of the main house, you can either continue the same vibe, so it feels seamless, or go for a completely different look and feel. If you opt for the path of cohesion, “it should have elements that marry the two spaces”, explains Diana Viera, managing partner of ITALKRAFT, a company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms, wardrobes and cupboards. tailored.
Sarah Stacey, of Sarah Stacey Interior Design, based in Austin, Texas, believes the styling should be in the same vein as the main house, but not exactly the same. “For example, if your home is modern, neutral, and minimalist, maybe you can inject some color into it. Or if you have a traditional style, consider adding some fun vintage pieces, ”she says.
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Mr. Meshberg suggests designing the pool house as a complementary structure to the main house, such as a colonial-style main house and a barn-shaped pool house.
“We believe the pool house performs best when the design is guided by the poolside experience,” Mr. Laney said. “If you copy the aesthetic of the main house, you risk suffering from a space that is too compartmentalized or unbalanced.
It is also a space where we can be more playful. “The pool house offers an opportunity to complement your style with something you can’t necessarily achieve in the main house,” says Eddie Maestri of Maestri Studio, a Dallas-based architecture and design firm. “I like to think of the house and yard as a well-tailored suit, and the pool house is the fun, stylish tie that brings it all together.”
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Include the essential
Flooring is the most important in a pool house, especially considering slippage and mildew. Ms. Viera suggests natural stone, which can be sealed with a matte finish. “That way, it’s not as slippery as polished stone, and it’s still easy to clean,” she says.
Mr. Laney prefers non-slip porcelain, which “offers safety, water resistance and a suitable aesthetic,” he says. Another option is hammered granite tile, with its textured surface. Just stay away from wood floors, which are more vulnerable to water and humid environments, says Meshberg.
For walls, moisture-resistant Placoplâtre is a safe bet, as pool houses tend to have windows and doors open for long periods of time, exposing the space to moisture. By adding a finish to the walls, they’re less likely to develop mold, says Meshberg.
Beyond the walls and floors, other essential design elements include a kitchen or wet bar, a full bathroom with access from the outside so that guests coming from the pool will not follow the water out. interior, and an HVAC system or ceiling fan, says Ms. Viera. And, of course, a main room for entertaining.
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Choose high-performance furniture
Meanwhile, furniture should be highly functional – withstand wet bathing suits and wet towels while still maintaining a sense of style. “Outdoor furniture is a great solution,” says Ms. Viera. “There are so many outdoor collections that are well designed.”
Look for mold-resistant fabrics for the upholstery, adds Ms. Stacey. A performance outdoor fabric from a company like Sunbrella would be ideal. “It’s meant for water and it cleans really well,” says Ms. Viera.
And be sure to create an interior-exterior transition with your furniture selection, says Meshberg. “Although they are not necessarily the same, they have to be similar in style in order for the design to move from the outdoor space to the indoor space. ”
Add decorative metal, ceramic and glass elements to complement the larger furniture. Outdoor rugs are another popular trend. They are getting more and more stylish and are very easy to clean, says Ms. Viera.
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Connect inside and out
While the pool house can complement the aesthetic of the main house, it’s the connection between indoor and outdoor space that has the most impact, says Laney. To maximize the experience, he recommends sliding, pocket, or folding glass doors. “The best systems minimize the transition of the floor from the inside to the outside,” he says.
Ms. Stacey suggests using an accordion door system like NanaWall. “That way you can just open the whole wall of doors and basically have indoor-outdoor space. People can hang out in the pool house as well as outside, which feels like a great entertainment space.
Consider floor-to-ceiling windows, patio doors, or even a fully retractable door, says Bartley. Just make sure privacy is a priority, because that’s where customers change. “Adding a dedicated area for changing, blinds or privacy screens are good options,” she says.
Incorporate indoor and outdoor seating areas. “I like that an outdoor area with a covered patio is the main entertainment space,” says Meshberg.
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Give it character
A pool house is a perfect canvas for showing creativity in terms of decoration. “Flea market finds or a surfboard on the wall will make the space fun and inviting,” Ms. Bartley said. “It’s also a great place to add cutting edge gaming tables like ping pong or shuffleboard.”
“Even adding a cool vintage chair here and there will infuse a lot of personality. Look at the Italians and the French who really did it back then, ”says Stacey.
Think about what you would want to experience on a poolside vacation or your favorite getaway, and take the opportunity to be bold, says Maestri. Add pops of color to the interior and include vibrant outdoor curtains and printed fabrics, he adds. “It should look like a destination retreat.”
This article first appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Mansion Global Experience Luxury.