Crisp ArchitectsFarmhouse Pool, New York
Berkshire Pool House. Photographer: Rob Karosis
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For chillier evenings, a warm fire is a wonderful touch. An outdoor fireplace like this one creates ambience and gives guests a place to warm their fingers. If you don't have a built-in fireplace, portable fire pits are inexpensive and just as warm, and they come in plenty of color and style options to suit every taste. Plus, roasting marshmallows is a great way to end the night, especially when kids are involved.Browse photos of outdoor entertaining spacesMore:50 Great Designs for a Garden PartyDesign Your Perfect Outdoor Kitchen
Here's a classic image of a pool anchored at one end by a pool house. Pool houses can be simple sheds to hide the mechanicals or mini houses of their own with guest bedrooms and small kitchens and bathrooms. I've even seen one that had a family media room and bar. See more of this pool house
Farm-influenced pool house in the Berkshires: "This is a simple accessory building that is not overly complicated," Crisp says. The interior has a small kitchenette for fixing drinks, as well as a changing room and a full bathroom. Because the owner loves to entertain and because the main house is about 100 yards from the house, it's nice to have these conveniences poolside. Vernacular touches like the crossbuck detail on the right recall the farm buildings that have populated the area for many years (think of a hayloft door).