Lifetime of Memories

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From Baseball Teams to Family Dreams…

You can search far and wide for happiness; or, you can just step right into this backyard oasis and discover true bliss.

Project by Banks Blue Valley Pool and Spa    |    Story by Ann Butenas    |    Photos by Matt Kocourek

If paradise ever required an updated definition, this backyard dreamland could beautifully pen that description. When the homeowners’ four sons were growing up, this expansive backyard nestled among a two-acre lot was the perfect setting for all types of athletic and sporting endeavors. Baseball? Check. Soccer? Check. Backyard golf? Check. Just running around with your friends for hours upon hours until the sun went down and the fireflies highlighted the night sky? Check.

“My husband coached our sons’ various sports teams over the years, and we often had the kids over to our home to play in the backyard. It was nice for that season of our life,” reflected the homeowner.

But seasons change, and with new seasons come new inspirations. With their sons all grown and raising families of their own now in other cities across the country, the homeowners decided it was time to repurpose the tranquil setting into something that would hopefully call their kids – and now their grandkids – back to visit on occasion, to relax, unwind and just spend time with the family. Fortunately, the plan worked!

“All of the boys like to come home and visit now,” smiled the homeowner. “For us, this is the perfect spot to gather and have friends over.”

The recent coronavirus quarantine, which may have dampened the spirits of many, left this particular family relatively unscratched. It ended up being the ideal location to be sequestered for weeks on end.

“All of our kids came to spend time with us from other places, and it was the perfect place to be in lockdown together,” the homeowner noted.

Situated among this tranquil, oversized space in southern Johnson County are a myriad of options for fun and respite. The homeowners absolutely love their new pool and the accompanying outdoor spaces.

“It’s all very comfortable,” said the homeowner. “And we can make use of it most of the year, as we can sit by the fireplace in the covered area with a nice blanket in the colder months.”

Equally comfortable in the summer months, the pool offers a tanning/sitting ledge where one can just bask in the rays. When it comes time to cool down, the shade from the open pool house structure is the perfect retreat, as it enjoys just the right amount of breeze that partners with strategically-placed fans for improved circulation.

With a strong hint of rustic elements, the homeowners incorporated ample amounts of reclaimed barn wood throughout to invoke a Colorado-like ambiance.

“We love the look and feel of being among the mountains,” indicated the homeowner.

Operating from that Rocky Mountain-like vibe, Hoyt Banks, co-owner of Banks Blue Valley Pool and Spa, designed and installed a noteworthy presentation in terms of function and overall aesthetics to complement the way the homeowners desired to use the space. This backyard upgrade included a 30-foot by 30-foot covered structure; a shower; a U-shaped kitchen; and an in-ground pool and spa.

“The vaulted roof structure with the attached pergola has stone-wrapped columns,” noted Banks, referencing this strong nod to the essence of the Centennial State.  

All of the flat surfaces were completed with a flagstone blend, and all of the veneer stone is comprised of a patterned Colorado moss rock. Banks completely redid the former patio and created a larger patio to be used as a dining area, all of which was done in the flagstone blend. Copious accent lighting throughout the area and additional lighting under the flagstone cap add to the overall warmth of the space, creating a warm ambiance that seamlessly takes dusk into the night. The lighting also perfectly highlights and adds the right amount of drama to the landscape and related architectural features, offering comfortable and communal surroundings.

The nearby kitchen is the perfect place to prepare a relaxing meal and is complete with a utility sink, refrigerator, grill, ice maker and a Big Green Egg (a grill/smoker outdoor cooking device.)

An inviting fire pit area features curved geometrics with an accompanying 18-inch sitting bench top and an 18-inch backrest, made of all natural Colorado moss rock, that artfully mimics the shape of the fire pit.

The spa/hot tub is elevated 18 inches above the pool and has a spillway that flows into the salt water pool below. While definitely an eye-catching setting of stylish design, behind the scenes this pool has been systematically engineered with “Ferrari -like” systems.

“We installed high-end equipment in conjunction with a few other products to provide this pool with a full automation package,” indicated Banks. “This actually makes the water drinkable when it goes through the filter system and then processes back into the pool.”

Hoyt did caution that while no one really drinks the water – nor does he recommend it – technically when the water comes back to return, it is so clean it is drinkable. In other words, this is an extremely high-end system, but perhaps it’s best to just let the water do its job in terms of keeping the pool and spa filled!

The left side of the pool was designed with a wide staircase/sun ledge that provides primary access to the pool. That ledge is also the perfect place to introduce a little one to the water.

“Our 18-month-old granddaughter loves to play in the water on the swim shelf,” smiled the homeowner. “This whole backyard area is truly like being on a vacation.”

There is clearly something for everyone in this breath-taking escape from the every day.


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