Launch Slideshow

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The Canadian countryside may be the last place you’d imagine as a tropical getaway, but that’s exactly what Chase Mariano was asked to create.

Situated next to a golf course and tiered with 400 tons of armor rock, the sprawling eight-acre property is hardly similar to a Caribbean beach. Yet Mariano designed a space where the 20-by-40-foot lagoon-style pool feels right at home.

“They were going for an island look – not so much with the hardscaping – but all the [plantings] are tropical,” Mariano explains. “We always bring in mini palm trees and replace them every year because they die when it gets cold up here.”

Although much of the concrete deck paver is swirled finish of charcoal gray, the liner’s rich blue coloring helps reinforce the idea of a warmer locale, illuminated by three color-changing LED lights and an overhead glow from the cabana. Coupled with miniature potted palms, the homeowner’s vision for a tropical retreat really starts to take form.

The cabana, of course, is a major component of this island aesthetic. The structure is entirely custom-made with board and baton, a rough-milled pine material that provides a more rugged, natural appeal. Inside are a bathroom, a full kitchen and a sit-up bar made from a split tree trunk. Bamboo fans add even more tropical flavor.

The outside porch features a large overhang and dinner table for six. During summer, the cabana’s window frames can be removed to create a more open environment. 

The pool, meanwhile, was built with children in mind.

“[The homeowners] wanted a really big pool [so the kids] could do a lot of water sports in the shallow end alone,” Mariano says.

The vessel is anchored by a 3.5-ton diving rock, which required Mariano to reinforce the patio to support the extra weight. On the far side of the pool, a 10-foot deep end has its own entry.

The project was built to be energy efficient. The vessel has been fully insulated with a spray-foamed exterior, while the floor of the pool has an insulated foam wrapping. It’s also outfitted for solar heat.

When the weather turns cold, the homeowners can use a high-efficiency gas heater for a more comfortable swim. Additionally, the pool is equipped with a variable-speed pump for further energy savings.