Reflecting Pools as Liquid Assets
Mirroring the sky and the earth, reflecting pools and ponds heighten the sensory experience of nature in your landscape
Houzz Contributor. Debra Prinzing is a Seattle- and Los Angeles-based outdoor living expert who writes and lectures on gardens and home design. She has a background in textiles, journalism, landscape design and horticulture. A frequent speaker for botanical garden, horticultural society and flower show audiences, Debra is also a regular radio and television guest. Her five books include Garden Writers Association Gold Award-winning Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways (Clarkson-Potter/Random House, 2008) and The Abundant Garden (2005). She is now at work on her new book about seasonal, local and sustainably-grown cut flowers with photographer David Perry. You can read more about it at www.afreshbouquet.com. Debra is the new contributing garden editor for Better Homes & Gardens and her feature...
Houzz Contributor. Debra Prinzing is a Seattle- and Los Angeles-based outdoor... More »
The element of water will infuse any landscape with sparkle as the smooth, mirrorlike surface brings images of sky, clouds, overhead branches and even architecture to the ground plane. You don't need a lot of square footage to bring a reflecting pool into your outdoor space. In fact, a shallow saucer filled with water will reflect whatever's around it and conjure the same visual sensation of a large gazing pool. Here are some of my favorite reflecting pools and ponds, plus notes on why these designs are so successful.
The breathtaking scenery in the distance comes into sharp view thanks to the reflective qualities of this pool of blue water. Around its edge, a paved band of stone is wide enough to accommodate seating. Dreams are encouraged when you are seated here.
After dark, the glow from globes lining the sides and pedestal candles standing in shallow water make this an impactful, romantic, sensory destination.
See the rest of this home
Privacy, privacy, privacy. This is a joy-inducing interior space. It may be difficult for plants to grow due to the extended roofline or shade cast by the architectural walls. However, the at-grade pool of water brings nature — the sky, clouds, stone — into view in an arresting way.
Amazing use of a narrow space! This lap pool doubles as a water feature surrounded by Mediterranean perennials and native stone. A "floating" footbridge connects the entry walk to the rest of the landscape and creates a magical illusion for anyone crossing the water.
The journey to the garden beyond is all the more enjoyable because of a rhythmic stepping-stone path that traverses the low pool. Note the asymmetry, which creates a dynamic energy and keeps the design modern looking.
Water is well integrated in this entry garden. It serves as an important design element that connects the home's architecture with its landscape. Having the footings of the wood-wrapped posts installed in the shallow pool magnifies the illusion that the home is emerging from water.
This courtyard is quite beautiful, but it could look stark if furnished only by stone pavers and sleek cactus-filled containers. The rectangular bubbling pool acts like a liquid carpet, drawing the eye — and anyone arriving here — to the front doorway. Nearly all the senses are pleased in this scene.
Water energizes a slender, private courtyard. I love the design's invisible, seamless edge (no coping) so that the stone extends slightly over the water. The dimensions are perfectly aligned with the glass doors, strengthening the pool's relationship to the architecture. And the turquoise finish is just what this otherwise natural palette requires.
To infinity (almost) and beyond! What a great way to emphasize the endless view in the distance. This long, narrow raised pool exaggerates the stunning vistas. The edging is perfect for impromptu sitting, maybe for a moment of meditation or longer.
Who needs a pathway between two structures when a channel of water will do?
This lovely pool gains importance thanks to the dramatic scene at its far edge. A solid wall of hedging defines the perimeter and acts as a backdrop for the sculptural display of orbs and spheres. And everything in this setting doubles in importance when reflected in the surface of the pool.
This design shows how to create an interesting texture on the pool's floor with a layer of smooth pebbles or river rock. It darkens the volume of water to contrast with the home's white stucco exterior surface and concrete stepping stones.
Serene and sublime, this sleek, contemporary pool enlivens a minimalistic outdoor space. Because it is elevated, it becomes part pool, part sculpture. No splashing allowed.
An elevated "table" of water defines a large courtyard, adding energy with an upward burst of water down the center. More movement occurs as water spills over the edge of the pool into a receptacle below, where it is recirculated.
A small reflecting pool is tucked between the generous entry path and a planting bed just out of view. The source of water is a raised fountain that seems to spill and flow underneath the paved area.
A raised pool connects with the sky and forest at the edge of a cultivated garden.
Weathered Cor-Ten steel forms the outer edge of this elevated pool. Its strong horizontal lines and chocolate brown finish echo the home's dramatic roofline. And its cool surface reflects the desert landscape, creating a dazzling contrast.
While used as a conventional swimming pool, this rectangle of water doubles as an architectural echo of the home to its right. It's placed in a perfect spot to invite gazing or soaking, depending on your mood.
Two planted areas of the landscape are divided by a small, raised pool finished as an extension of the architecture. The sheet of water slides over the edge of the water feature into a recessed channel at its base, creating a small but important moment in this landscape.
16 Amazing Home Pools
35 Fabulous Fountains
Landscape Trends: Spout and Trough Fountains
Ideabook published on March 21, 2012.
"It's the Flickr of design idea sites"
"The online equivalent of clipping decor inspiration from magazines"
"A digital look book for interior-decorating ideas"
"So long scrapbooks and online bookmarks! ...it can be hard to stop. Consider yourself warned."
"One of the most comprehensive collections of home design images"
"One of Home and Living's favorite websites"
"Just click on the image you like and save it to your own Ideabook... It's quite an addictive site"
What are you working on?
News From Our Partners
People found the photos in this ideabook after searching for: