Playground For All Ages

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More than just a backyard oasis, this captivating design allows the family to spend more quality time together.

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Matt Kocourek

When you have an expansive backyard that is essentially a blank canvas, sometimes the creative juices begin to flow. Located in south Overland Park, this custom home was built in 2013, but the homeowners, John and Janet Robertson, did not dive into their backyard    pool project until recently. With young, active kids and a love of entertaining, the Robertson’s decided it was time to put a new spin on their personal outdoor venue.

“We have a large yard and it was mostly underutilized,” indicated John. “The kids would play outside occasionally, but as a family we were not in the backyard. Our vision was to create our own oasis. We studied the layout of our yard and researched pool designs.”

After determining which direction they wanted to go, John and Janet contacted the experts at Banks Pool & Spa Design, Co. and knew immediately they had made a wise choice. They spent appreciable time with owner Roger Banks articulating their vision, changing a few things around as needed to create exactly what they wanted. As the pool was constructed, they were able to add and adjust some things, even on a moment’s notice. It definitely was a team effort.

“Roger was able to help us draw up our vision and Hoyt Banks made it happen,” expressed John. “We enjoy entertaining, so the swim up bar combined with the outdoor kitchen was a must.”

The family also wanted a water feature and slide for the kids in addition to some “adult” areas that provide the perfect entertainment areas.

“The spa was perfectly placed to overlook the pool and entertainment area,” said John. “We felt that adding the outdoor fireplace and pergola created its own separate entertaining area and extends the usage into cooler weather months.”

By creating the perfect backyard, the Robertsons are now able to spend more quality time together with family and friends, and there is something for everyone to enjoy in this one-of-a-kind environment.

“John and Janet wanted a large pool with a lot of features,” noted Hoyt, whose team did not disappoint nor fail to deliver on that request. If anything, this backyard pool extravaganza is a highly interactive setting but still leans on a strong layer of tranquility and relaxation.

And the spa is definitely one of the scene stealers on this stage. When you sit in it, you are afforded a great view of what’s all around you, and the stunning mosaic tile offers some delightful eye candy.

“I used two different kinds of glass tile for a different look and to set the spa apart from the rest of the space, creating a double row of glass mosaic tile,” explained Hoyt, pointing to the glass perimeter tile along the water line and also to the glass tile in the bottom of the larger pool that makes a swimming/workout lane.

Regarding the two pools, Hoyt refers to one as the bar pool, which is about five feet deep and boasts a sunning ledge and swim up bar. The larger pool for the kids is highlighted with a small mountain and water slide set into the landscaping. With its greatest depth at 8 ½ feet, this also allowed for a jumping/diving rock. Additionally, there are three spillway water falls that flow from the bar pool to the lower pool. A flagstone bridge separates the two pool areas and allows a comfortable walkway above the pool areas. A 16’x16’ patio with attached pergola is home to a 48” wood burning fire place with a log lighting system. Two  stone columns and a wood storage area add to the enchanting design.

“We are extremely pleased with how well the space functions,” expressed John. “The outdoor kitchen has everything we need and is well-placed for functionality. The swim up bar adds to overall entertaining. The smaller ‘adult pool’ is positioned to enjoy sunbathing while overseeing kids in the main pool area. The fireplace is great for relaxing with a glass of wine and good conversation on a cool evening. Roger and Hoyt were able to make the pool exactly what we wanted. We wouldn’t change anything.”

As for their favorite aspects of the space, John loves the outdoor kitchen while Janet simply appreciates the overall enjoyment of what it has to offer and how they can utilize everything they incorporated into it. This pool and spa combination provides the perfect setting to spend time with the family or to invite guests over for some food, fellowship and fun.

For the Banks team, this project was truly a labor of love.

“I enjoyed putting a lot of my personal effort into this project, adding a bit of my own touch while giving the homeowners exactly what they wanted,” reflected Hoyt. ‘This was a very unique project, but it all turned out flawlessly.”

Flawless it is, as this project captured more than just the hearts of its owners; it won a United Aqua Group Award of Distinction in the Freeform 800 square foot+ category this past winter.


Pools/Spa/Outdoor Kitchen/Decking/Pergola: Banks Pools & Spa Design Co.

Landscaping/Landscape Lighting: New Leaf Landscape

Appliances: Doolittle Distributing

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