Creating a warm escape in the middle of a New England winter is right up Peter Lavenson’s alley. His expertise lies in marrying indoor and outdoor environments. So when a suburban Bostonian asked Lavenson to collaborate with an architect and a home builder to create a sunroom and spa overlooking the woodsy backyard pool, he was up to the challenge.
“The client wanted a room where he could get away from everything, smoke his cigars and look out at the lovely landscape,” says Lavenson, co-owner of New England Spas and Sunrooms in Natick, Mass.
One important challenge was creating easy access to the portable spa’s service well without disrupting the classic look of the stone and tile sunroom. Lavenson added trap doors in the floor near the spa, incorporating mahogany wood doors into the stonework.
The sunroom has 18-by-25-feet of wood-framed windows and an arched ceiling. The floor below the spa is tiled, and the spa steps paved with bluestone.
Though the architect and builder had never worked with a portable spa before, the collaboration among the three tradespeople went smoothly. “It was an extensive masonry project, and the owner was a discriminating, high-end client who wanted the best materials,” Lavenson says. “We just had to collaborate closely to make sure the spa was set in nicely and worked with all their masonry needs.”
In the end, the project became the year-round tranquil garden retreat the family wanted. The space has a simple yet elegant outdoor poolside feel, with views of fall foliage or snow-covered treetops, depending on the season.
Lavenson considers this one of his best projects. “We blended aesthetics with practicality in a fairly seamless way that made everybody happy,” he says.