The Canvas: Gentle slopes, lush deciduous woods, canopy of evergreensThe Palette: Red brick and Cambridge paver stones, genuine moss rockThe Masterpiece: High-end body, blue-collar heart, verdant wooded oasis
The Canvas: Gentle slopes, lush deciduous woods, canopy of evergreensThe Palette: Red brick and Cambridge paver stones, genuine moss rockThe Masterpiece: High-end body, blue-collar heart, verdant wooded oasis

Pool builders know all about difficult clients — those imperious sorts who love to bark out orders. They often demand difficult and seemingly arbitrary design changes on the fly.

For Anthony Boglino, owner/president of Premiere Pool & Spa in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., such was not the case with this pool customer. “From our end, the project was fairly cut and dry,” Boglino says. “He knew exactly what he wanted.”

The hills behind the property were all natural woods, which prompted the client to choose a lagoon look for the pool. He wanted it to blend in naturally with the existing environment, so he selected a sophisticated, free-form design based on a showroom floor model at Premiere Pool & Spa.

The key to the installation’s success was the coordination between Boglino, his landscaping subcontractor and the homeowner. Before Boglino and his crew arrived, the homeowner had the sloping property excavated. Boglino’s crew just graded off the excess dirt and built natural-looking bluestone retaining walls.

The now-graduated slope provided Boglino with an opportunity to build a waterfall. He created it from real moss rock excavated from Pennsylvania and upstate New York. “[The customer] wanted to capitalize on the hill by having the waterfall spill down through the rocks,” he says. The waterfall is located adjacent to the spa. “The spa is made up of a collection of steel panels bolted together and then covered with the vinyl liner,” Boglino says.

Originally, the homeowner wanted the spa to be covered with natural rock, an extension of the neighboring waterfall. But he realized the design was too busy and inorganic, so he asked that it be ripped out and replaced with brick. The result: cleaner lines, and the bricks in the spa help offset those in the coping and deck perimeter.

The deck is comprised of Cambridge paver stones and 12-inch bull-nose brick coping. “We use a flat extrusion track to tuck in the liner and put the brick bull nose right over top of that,” Boglino explains. “It not only gives it that gunite look, but it makes it easier to replace the liner later on.”

The project cost, including landscaping and other expenditures, came to nearly $100,000. Boglino says it was the existing backyard environment that gave the project its aesthetic appeal. “You know, without that hill, it’s just not as nice a project,” he muses. “And you can’t just go out and buy yourself a hill.”