The property owners were in the midst of erecting a three-story luxury home with a postcard view of downtown Charleston, S.C. A free-form fiberglass pool, they believed, would complete the picture.
But designer Juanita Miles-Felix presented an alternative: Use the home’s striking vertical lines in concert with the simple elegance of an old-fashioned, geometric pool.
“When I first mentioned a rectangular pool, they said they didn’t want it,” recalls the president of the building firm. “But it didn’t take too much convincing. Now they are very happy.”
Many of the home’s pronounced features weren’t yet built when pool construction began, so matching designs took some ingenuity.
Miles-Felix knew where the home’s support columns would go, which color of brick would be used, and that a covered porch would approach the water.
But most remaining elements, including the outdoor kitchen area and patio furnishings, were installed after the pool’s construction. Even the statue, which gives the pool a touch of classic elegance, was added later.
Perhaps the real challenge was creating a sense of openness, Miles-Felix says.
“The clients’ main request was all about space,” she notes. “It’s a very minimal space, and they wanted as much swimming area as possible, but also have room to entertain.”
And they wanted room to lounge in the sun where it shines the most. So Miles-Felix configured her design to maximize the deck space at the shallow end. It was a tight fit, but she made sure enough concrete was poured so one could walk comfortably behind folks sunning themselves on chairs.
In fact, that concrete was a key to the project’s success. The material was poured and stamped in a diagonal pattern to accentuate the vertical and horizontal sight lines of the pool and house.
The concrete was then stained — lighter on the main deck, darker on the coping and around the deck’s outer edge — to match the home’s brick facing.
“It just gives the whole project a better look,” Miles-Felix says.
Elsewhere, her crew installed fiberoptic lighting on the side walls of the shell that emit either a white light for nighttime swimming, or rotating colors to provide a backyard gathering with a dynamic reflecting pool. Blue tile along the waterline gives the vessel a rich color that matches a cloudless Southern sky and hides any hint of the rim of the fiberglass shell.
To preserve the serenity of the mainscape, all mechanical parts are concealed from view behind foliage along the side of the house.