THE ART OF THE POOL HOUSE:
An All Seasons Retreat at Home
When people think of a dream backyard oasis, a swimming pool often enters the equation. In the PNW, an outdoor pool can sometimes be considered a one season enjoyment. But for a busy family of four, an all seasons pool house was a must! Designing a sustainably minded pool house built for function with the aesthetic of an art filled tropical retreat is easy breezy!
When a tech savvy couple from Northern California found and purchased a rare and tranquil 5-acre property in Redmond, WA, they knew they wanted to take advantage of the peaceful setting and build their dream home and accompanying pool house. For them, this goal was broken into two phases, the design and construction of the main home first with the dream pool house second. For their two growing children, the pool house was the crown jewel of the project and could not happen soon enough!
With years of thought and planning going into their dream oasis, the family decided their future pool house needed to offer year around enjoyment and entertainment while also providing a calm, luxuriating space to unwind after work and school. The space needed to focus on sustainable design, bringing the light in, connecting to the outside while also integrating the architecture with the site. To accomplish their dreams, they partnered with Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture to create the architecture and DTF Design, Inc. to appoint the interiors. Hasenoerhl Construction was added to the team to accomplish the build out. Working together, each team collaborated with the couple and each other to deliver an integrated project, one phase at a time.
For the pool house, the couple requested the architect create a space that is open, expansive, light filled and sustainable. Together, the collective team decided to expose the truss system and make the structure part of the architectural beauty and further help create the expansive space the couple envisioned. The 18-foot folding doors enhance indoor/outdoor living and provide flexibility. The pool itself takes center stage and beckons guests to take a refreshing dip, a vigorous swim in the wave lap, or a nice float endlessly looking up towards the sky and stars through the 10 automated skylights. The kids enjoy playing hoops, engaging in water fights, and surfing in the wave lap!
For the interiors, Dana Foster, principal at Dana Foster Interiors, was tasked with balancing the family’s need for highly functional amenities with a calm, spa-like design aesthetic. No stranger to the PNW, Dana Foster tackled the desired wish list with a focus toward incorporating many PNW elements into the interiors, including natural materials, wood, steel, and glass. The desired atmosphere was described to Dana as being one that is “child-friendly, tranquil and spa-like, more traditional than contemporary, and provide the feeling of being on a tropical vacation”. To achieve this Dana Foster Interiors incorporated earth toned and durable materials such as stone masonry, porcelain tile, marine-grade finishes on the custom cabinetry and millwork, and tile baseboards.
The stone wainscot and columns add texture and warmth while the custom bronze sconces highlight the stone and create a warm inviting atmosphere. Well edited furnishings and solution dyed textiles make the space functional, beautiful, and well suited for the kids, family dog and of course the pool water. The addition of tropical plantings and curated works of art help create a stylish vacation-like retreat. The selection of fine artwork, provided by Winston Wachter Fine Art, emphasizes a water theme with a spotlight on contemporary artists such as Etsuko Ichikawa, Kim Keever and Tracy Rocca.
Sustainably minded solutions and highly functional amenities were added such as radiant heat floors, high efficiency geo-thermal heating and cooling, triple glazed window panes, skylights and fans, LED lighting throughout, ultra violet lights and ionizer to keep the pool water clean and a water fountain bubbler for the kids to reduce plastic bottle usage. The automated LED lighting control system for the structure and pool systems includes full automation of the ventilation and humidity controls as well. Complete home automation offers plenty of opportunity for this family to customize the functions, the environment and adjust their desired mood.
To help enhance the desired spa-like environment, the team added sound insulating architectural acoustic plaster to dampen the noise factors inherent in a pool house. They also incorporated quiet efficient pool systems and added grow lights and a drip system for the tropical plantings, all under automated control.
The pool house design includes a small but mighty kitchenette to meet the family’s needs, complete with two Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer drawers, a hidden pantry with access to the garage and an under-counter oven for heating up appetizers and keeping the kid’s pizza warm! A cozy dressing room fitted with individual custom lockers and built-in towel warmers provide the function the clients sought, while the decorative inset metal grills on the cabinetry, iron light fixtures and custom finishes provide the design aesthetic of a resort.
A spa-like bathroom with a blue and off-white color palette finish out the pool house with a nod to the ocean.
Whether the homeowners are basking in the quiet solitude, swimming laps, entertaining friends and family or hosting high school parties, the pool house offers retreat, respite, and entertainment for the whole family. This light-filled and sustainably responsible pool house presents more than a year around retreat. It offers this family the space to exercise, connect with loved ones, appreciate the peaceful surroundings, enjoy fine art, and live life to its fullest right in their own backyard!
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