Sometimes, life is better by the pool, and this backyard paradise can prove it.
Story by Ann E. Butenas | Photos by Matt Kocourek
The owners of this stylish and sophisticated backyard gathering spot are excited to dive right into its first full season of use. Completed in late summer last year, this picturesque setting sets the standard for class and elegance while simultaneously welcoming fun and relaxation. When they purchased this residence nearly 12 years ago, the homeowners acquired the largest lot available knowing they would one day install a swimming pool on the grounds.
“I grew up with a pool,” noted homeowner Mia, originally from North Dakota. “Over the course of several years we completed many home improvements and planned for this addition. We actually built a basement under a new two-car garage which was pre-plumbed for the pool equipment.”
With young twins (a boy and a girl), however, incorporating a swimming pool into the backyard was something on which they wanted to wait until the kids got a bit older. Now that they are nine years old, this backyard setting promises to become a primary entertainment space and the family is eager to put it to full use this summer.
In a word, Mia, a professional Realtor, describes the pool and surrounding area as “awesome,” and she bears no shame reflex when it comes to admitting when it came time to sign the contract prior to installation, she just bit the bullet and then told her husband after the fact.
“In reality, we had discussed this for quite some time, but I knew the time was right and just decided to go for it,” she laughed. Fortunately, her husband was eventually fully on board and both are pleased with the end result.
“When we are out there, we can just relax and forget about other things for a while,” she smiled.
Complete with an outdoor kitchen, grill, Kamado smoker, sink and refrigerator, outdoor entertaining is a breeze. Throw in the stereo system and TV, and the family has all the makings of a perfect staycation.
Located on the 12th green of the Nicklaus Golf Club at Links at LionsGate, this garden spot offers the best of both worlds.
“We got the pool I had always wanted and my husband (Chad) got the backyard he desired,” Mia noted, referencing the eye-catching landscaping surrounding the area. “There is still enough yard for the kids to play in.”
Designed and installed by Banks Blue Valley Pool & Spa Designs, the pool and surrounding areas were truly a labor of love and strict attention to detail was given at every turn, ensuring that the homeowners’ lifestyle and tastes came together perfectly in terms of form and function.
“The homeowners asked for a classic, timeless design that married uniformity in texture and material selections, coupled with clean, straight lines,” said Hoyt Banks, Construction Manager. “This is a complete custom pool design.”
One of the enticing features of the pool is the sun deck, also known as a sun ledge, sun shelf or Baja shelf.
“With these shelves, we aim for 9” – 12” of water, a depth that allows for people to put high-end lounge chairs in while keeping their chest and head above the water level,” explained Banks.
Three fountain water falls strategically placed along one side of the pool each create a sheer plane of water, sticking to the uniform design. The fountains are also illuminated by LED lights which can project varying colors for a wonderful after-dark ambiance or a festive party atmosphere.
The capstones on the retaining walls which house the fountains are 12” wide by 18-24” long and are three inches in height. The wall is made of concrete that was faced with a full four-inch natural stone, referred to as Arkansas Moss rock or chopped field stone.
“The rock was initially irregular with respect to lines, so we sized and cut it uniformly to address the straight lines desired by the homeowner,” stated Banks. The flagstone perimeter of the pool provides a perfect complement to the field stone. The accompanying fire pit and outdoor kitchen, added after the pool was installed, are fashioned from the same stone as used around the pool. All of the vertical rock walls are comprised of the chopped field stone. Hardscape lighting showing the detail and shadows of the stone combined with uplighting on the magnolia trees creates a dramatic effect.
“I really love the organic feel of all the combined textures with man-made uniformity,” said Banks. “It gives the essence of a yin and yang feeling.”
As a salt water pool, many benefits can be derived, including clarity of water; a soft feeling to the touch; as well as less money spent on cleaning chemicals.
“Salt molecules are split via electrolysis to temporarily create chlorine,” explained Banks. “In short, less chlorine is needed.” The pool also relies on an energy-efficient heat pump. All pool functions, waterfalls, lighting and music are integrated into an app that can be controlled on their phones or ipad.
The motif of the surrounding landscaping, provided by Paradise Landscaping, gives the appearance of seamlessly tying into the presentation of the adjacent golf course, appealing to one’s senses that it is an actual extension of the course.
“We absolutely love our backyard,” smiled Mia.
Pool: Banks Blue Valley Pools | Landscaping: Paradise Landscaping | Sound/TV: J&J Technologies | Outdoor Furniture: Seasonal Concepts & Caluco | Outdoor Lighting Fixtures: Volt | Kitchen Appliances: Garco Grills and More