The owners of this home take their vacation every year in Baja, Mexico, and wanted to invoke the tropical resort feel they so enjoy south of the border. But with oak and maple trees rather than palms, and a linear, symmetrical home rather than an old-world abode, the designer had to bridge some thematic gaps.

To do this, he drew a pool/spa combination comprised only of soft curves, and chose earthy flagstone mined in the Southeast U.S. for the deck and stacked spa veneer. A tan pebble finish gives the shallow sun shelf a sandy look to bring back visions of the beach.

To fit with the existing home’s symmetry, Simmons gave the vanishing edge a sweeping, true radius and centered it on the structure. “[The radius] starts and stops equidistant from the wings of the house,” he says. “The spa is centered. So overall it does have some aspects of symmetry that relate to the house itself.” Other elements, such as the sun shelf and fire pit were set more askew so the overall landscape looked more relaxed and freeform.

The home is set on the 18th hole of a golf course. The back of the vanishing-edge wall provides eye candy for those strolling by on the course but maintains privacy for the homeowners.

While the sun shelf sits in the area with the longest and brightest sun exposure, the fire pit is placed in the spot most prone to shade. Not only are there more trees but, as the sun sets, it is blocked by the house from this area first. For the pool, pool builder Jim Brown chose color-changing LED lights for consistent illumination throughout.