The popularity of outdoor living continues to expand, making it much more than moving indoor experiences outside. True outdoor rooms, especially those adjacent to amazing water features, are being designed to hold amenities and décor like never before.
“Pool houses become an extension of the home, offering an outdoor living space that should reflect the client’s style and their way of living and entertaining,” says Susan Alisberg, partner, Alisberg Parker Architects, Greenwich, Connecticut.
“Stylistically, it’s very common for our designs to complement the house,” adds partner Ed Parker. “However, it can be interesting to contrast a modern pool house with a traditional home for a more creative and bolder look.”
With design clients from New York to New England, Alisberg and Parker share their knowledge and expertise about pool house design from concept to coordination.
Casual Living: Is the design process different for pool houses than when doing a typical outdoor space?
Alisberg and Parker: Our approach to designing an outdoor space is similar to how we approach a house. This process always includes having a complete understanding of the site and its surroundings. We also have the client develop a wish list for everything, no matter how big or small, that they want included. The process ends up being very similar to the way we design other outdoor spaces, but requires more study and exploration than a simple seating area or trellis.
CL: How are furnishing selections different with pool house projects vs. open outdoor venues?
A & P: The furniture selections are similar—pieces that are
comfortable, durable and offer a laid-back appearance. We insist that we use durable outdoor fabrics and materials in both pool houses and open outdoor areas.
CL: How are your pool house designs incorporated with the adjacent spaces and architectural elements?
A & P: The relationship between our pool houses to the pool and its patio areas is vital. Providing a seamless connection between all of the outdoor spaces results in a great entertainment space. This connection can be enforced with folding glass wall systems, terracing of different areas, landscaping, or incorporating open air spaces in and around the pool house.
CL: What are the must-haves for a pool house?
A & P: Outdoor kitchens, outdoor showers, bathrooms and shaded seating areas are our biggest requests from clients. Most of our outdoor kitchens include just a grilling area with a refrigerator, but some clients’ wish lists includes sinks, freezers, ice makers, pizza ovens or other specialty cooking appliances. TVs are very popular, as are speaker systems that provide music to the whole outdoor area. Pool houses are meant to be an escape from the day to day, so the goal is having everything you need poolside, without having to run back into the house.
CL: What’s one of your favorite pool house projects?
A & P: We’re currently working on the design of a modern pool house that incorporates guest quarters, a gymnasium, golf simulator and great entertainment space. The building is turning out to be an incredible retreat for the whole family and their friends.