• Credit: Lauren Klein

 

The estate-sized lot 20 miles north of Savannah, Ga., gave LaComa McMillan the opportunity to design a one-of-a-kind creation.

“The homeowners didn’t have much of a vision for the project,” McMillan says. “They had no idea what could be done.”

McMillan, a golf course contractor by trade who takes on a handful of custom fiberglass pool projects each year, turned to his Pool Studio design software and set about crafting an original work of art.

“The way I look at it, there’s nothing we won’t tackle—– just bring the idea to me and we’ll see if we can make it work,” he says. “I wanted to do something nobody in Savannah had done before.”

Today, the homeowners enjoy a multi-level aquascape with exquisite deck work, an integrated spillover spa, tanning ledge, and water that shoots, bubbles and flows in all directions. But McMillan had to tackle quite a few challenges to bring the unique project to fruition.

The partially wooded backyard featured some pretty significant elevation changes — up to 10 feet from end to end. McMillan’s crew graded the land, using excess soil for raised flowerbed mounds and artificial slopes.

Because the homeowners like to entertain, and wanted enough room for outdoor parties, McMillan created an upper deck area, and extended the decking several feet beyond the backside of the spa to allow for additional seating or gathering. The surface itself is a mixture of the sandstone-colored Stonelock from Artistic Pavers , and concrete pavers from Lowcountry Paver in Hardeeville, S.C.

“We etched the pavers,” he explains. “Then, to create a boundary, we cut the Artistic Pavers and laid the Lowcountry Paver as an outline. So you have a smooth line all the way around.”

All told, McMillan estimates he used some 3,000 square feet of decking. To lessen the effect of all that hardscape, he incorporated a handful of small inlets around the deck for planters and other landscaping. The homeowners opted for traditional Southern greenery, with azaleas and ligustrum dotting the terrain.

To create a feeling of movement, McMillian added 12 laminars, a pair of bubblers on the pool steps and four spillways off the tanning ledge and spa.

At night, the colored, dancing laminars give the space a magical feel. “We sunk them beneath the pavers to hide the large lids,” McMillan adds. “It makes the water look like it just appears out of the decking.”

Combined with Trilogy ’s 32-by-16-foot Gemini fiberglass shell and tanning ledge, and Neptune-model spa, the $120,000 project turned out to be a real Georgia peach.