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Swimming Pool of the Week: An Empty Nesters’ Pool Patio Near Seattle


Swimming Pool of the Week: An Empty Nesters’ Pool Patio Near Seattle

February 2, 2018

Just outside Seattle, a family of five kids grew up with a backyard that had all the hallmarks of life in the suburbs, including a pool, play structure, lawn, and sports court. Meanwhile, their parents were dreaming of what the landscape might look like after the children had grown and gone.

When the homeowners hired Seattle design-build firm Collaborative Companies and landscape architect Emily Russell, they said they wanted an edible garden, a grownup space to host parties—and a grownup swimming pool for exercise. The results included a new pool and pool house, a vegetable garden planted in corrugated steel beds, and sliding and pivoting glass doors to connect the house and outbuildings to a meandering concrete patio dotted with freestanding planters.

The project turned out to be a success for the whole family. In the year after its completion, the homeowners hosted seven large parties, including five outdoor weddings for family and friends.

Photography by Tim Bies, courtesy of Collaborative Companies.

Above: Collaborative Companies replaced an aging pool with one that is more central to the property; it’s lap-length, for exercise, and bordered in dark blue mosaic tile.
Above: A media room is attached to the house but functions as an indoor-outdoor space during parties on the patio. Sliding glass doors open onto the pool deck, and a flat overhang creates shade for lounge chairs. The overhang and trim is painted in Iron Ore from Sherwin-Williams.
Above: An ipe wood structure next to the pool provides shade on hot summer days and keeps the pool utilities hidden. Behind it, the fence is painted in Urbane Bronze from Sherwin-Williams, to match the house.
Above: To the left of the media room is a detached pool house with a bathroom, storage space for pool equipment, an outdoor shower, and partially enclosed garden storage on the back side.
Above: Concrete planters designed and planted by Seattle’s Garden + Soul Therapy frame a sliding glass door on one side of the media room.
Above: The homeowners wanted a vegetable garden made of corrugated steel beds, so the design team framed them in ipe wood to match the media room and outbuildings.
Above: Pivot doors off the house encourage an indoor-outdoor flow.

N.B.: If you’re dreaming of designing your own swimming pool, get inspiration and tips from our design guide, Swimming Pools 101 and planting tips from Landscape Ideas: Garden Design for a Swimming Pool Area. See more of our favorite ideas for swimming pool design:

Finally, are you planning a Decks & Patios project? Learn everything you need to know on to get started with our Hardscaping 101: Decks & Patios 101 guide.

Get more ideas on how to integrate a swimming pool into your landscape or exterior home project with our Hardscaping 101: Swimming Pools guide.

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