Pool Idea Book

by Lee Anne White

Swimming pools aren't what they used to be. No longer just rectangular blue holes surrounded by concrete aprons, today's pools come in myriad shapes, sizes and options. You can learn all about them in Taunton's Pool Idea Book

From in-ground and above ground pools, to spas and mini pools, from the best materials available today for patios and pool coverings, to new choices in screening and enclosing a pool, Taunton's Pool Idea Book is a visual feast of fresh, innovative ideas for designing the ultimate pool for any budget.

Taunton's Pool Idea Book showcases the latest innovations in pool and spa design, offers creative design ideas for decks, outbuildings, and landscaping, and addresses practical issues such as screening, security and storage. A highly visual book, it features approximately 350 color photographs, 20 illustrations and dozens of useful sidebars to help you design or choose the ultimate pool for any lifestyle or budget. Whether you own a pool or just dream of it, Taunton's Pool Idea Book will whet your appetite and give you all the ideas you could ask for.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction 

New Choices for Pools and Spas 
Architectural Pools
Naturalistic Pools
Lap Pools
Recreational Pools
Aboveground Pools
Spas 

In and around the Pool 

Inside the Pool
The Pool?s Edge
The Pool Deck

Landscaping Your Pool 
Positioning Your Pool
Show Your Style
Enclosing the Pool
Poolside Plantings
Lighting for Safety and Pleasure

Outdoor Rooms and Structures 
Gathering Spaces
Poolhouses
Equipment Rooms

Resources and Credits

INTRODUCTION

Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in America, but you don't necessarily have to be a swimmer to enjoy a pool. In fact, you can benefit from the cooling, relaxing effects of a pool in the landscape even if your favorite activity is sitting by the edge of the pool in a comfortable lounge chair. With the addition of a swimming pool, you can create an inviting oasis in your own backyard -- a place to escape not only the heat but also the stresses of everyday living.

Once just a rectangular hole in the ground surrounded by an apron of concrete, today's swimming pools come in myriad shapes and styles suited to backyards of just about any size. They can be as simple as a small, square wading pool or a long, rectangular lap pool, or as elaborate as a naturalistic pool with a cascading waterfall, sandy beach, and boulders. Innovative features such as vanishing edges, fountains, underwater benches, and fiber optic lighting have turned swimming pools into dramatic focal points in the landscape. Pool decks are as likely to be covered in stone, brick, or tile as in concrete - which, these days, can be stained, stamped, or textured to look like just about anything except concrete. Even spas, whether for physical therapy or simple relaxation, can be integrated into a pool, placed on a deck near the bedroom, or transformed into a dramatic water feature.

As the lines between indoor and outdoor living are blurred, swimming pools are quickly becoming the centerpieces for outdoor living. Patios, pavilions, and poolhouses make it a pleasure to gather around the pool with family and friends. Multipurpose grills and outdoor kitchen islands have brought alfresco dining to a new level of convenience. Stylish, durable, all-weather tables, chairs, and outdoor decor have changed the way we furnish our pool decks and patios. The availability of exterior fireplaces and landscape lighting have extended both the hours and seasons we can spend around the pool.

The recent advances in pool construction techniques mean that there is much more to swimming pool design than selecting an image from a catalog. In many cases, you'll want to hire an architect, landscape architect, or professional pool designer to assist with the process. However, with more than 300 photographs and drawings, we hope Taunton's Pool Idea Book will get you off to a great start by offering a visual feast of innovative ideas for designing the ultimate poolscape for any budget, space, or lifestyle.

This book will help you sort through the options for designing pools and spas - to make informed decisions that will increase the value of your pool and enhance any backyard setting. It will also help you evaluate and plan the surrounding structures, outdoor rooms, and landscape -- to build a safe haven for outdoor activities and to create unity between your pool and home. Most of all, we hope this book will inspire you to create an environment in which you, your family, and your friends will spend many long, enjoyable summers relaxing around the pool.