It started with vision. Then arrived fresh sight, seeing what was absent, seeing what was possible. Followed quickly by desire and creativity and know-how and communication and collaboration.
When the Ramsowers first called Exterior Worlds, all they had in mind was an outdoor fountain. About working with the Ramsowers, Jeff Halper, owner of Exterior Worlds says, “The Ramsowers had great vision. While they didn’t know exactly what they wanted, they did push us to create something special for them. I get inspired by my clients who are engaged and focused on design like they were. When you get that kind of inspiration and dialogue, you end up with a project like this one.”
For Exterior Worlds, our design process addressed two main features of the original space—the blank surface of the yard surrounded by looming architecture and plain fencing. With the yard, we dug out the center of it to create a one-foot drop in elevation in which to build a sunken pool. At one end, we installed a spa, lining it with a contrasting darker blue glass tile. Pedestals topped with urns anchor the pool and provide a place for spot color. Jets of water emerge from these pedestals. This moving water becomes a shield to block out urban noises and makes the scene lively. (And the children think it’s great fun to play in them.) On the side of the pool, another fountain, an illuminated basin built of limestone, brick and stainless steel, feeds the pool through three slots.
The pool is counterbalanced by a large plot of grass. What is inventive about this grassy area is its sub-structure. Before putting down the grass, we installed a French drain using grid pavers that pulls water away, an action that keeps the soil from compacting and the grass from suffocating. The entire sunken area is finished off with a border of ground cover that transitions the eye to the limestone walkway and the retaining wall, where we used the same reclaimed bricks found in architectural features of the house.
In the outer border along the fence line, we planted small trees that give the space scale and also hide some unsightly utility infrastructure. Boxwood and limestone gravel were embroidered into a parterre design to underscore the formal shape of the pool. Additionally, we planted a rose garden around the illuminated basin and a color garden for seasonal color at the far end of the yard across from the covered terrace.
To address the issue of the house’s prominence, we added a pergola to the main wing of the house. The pergola is made of solid aluminum, chosen for its durability, and painted black. The Ramsowers had used reclaimed ornamental iron around their front yard and so we replicated its pattern in the pergola’s design. “In making this design choice and also by using the reclaimed brick in the pool area, we wanted to honor the architecture of the house,” says Halper.
We continued the ornamental pattern by building an aluminum arbor and pool security fence along the covered terrace. The arbor’s supports gently curve out and away from the house. It, plus the pergola, extends the structural aspect of the house into the landscape. At the same time, it softens the hard edges of the house and unifies it with the yard. The softening effect is further enhanced by the wisteria vine that will eventually cover both the arbor and the pergola. From a practical standpoint, the pergola and arbor provide shade, especially when the vine becomes mature, a definite plus for the west-facing main house.
This newly-created space is an updated vision for a traditional garden that combines classic lines with the modern sensibility of innovative materials. The family is able to sit in the house or on the covered terrace and look out over the landscaping. To enjoy its pleasing form and practical function. To appreciate its cool, soothing palette, the blues of the water flowing into the greens of the garden with a judicious use of color. And accept its invitation to step out, step down, jump in, enjoy.
Contrast of the small tile and the pool interior color - lauraklimas
Pool with Pennsylvania bluestone coping and decks, copper scupper fountains surrounded by a lush landscape.
Photo By Sara Donaldson
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Shelf on two sides and size of pool - shaunakinsey
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lottery! like the doors with a view and the leveling wall across sloped sides, maybe add more doors in middle, but waaaay cool - sweetypup
A stunning pool and landscape design with a hint of Moroccan influence.
Example of a small trendy backyard rectangular pool design in Sydney
Privacy wall with planters on side of pool - webuser_635354282
Inspiration for a large timeless backyard rectangular lap pool remodel in Austin
I Don't like these raised pool sides. I prefer all surfaces be the same level if possible. - webuser_990552155
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Walker Zanger special order iridescent glass mosaic in Cobalt - walker_zanger
Design credit: Bill Bib
Photo credit: Melissa Preston
Large elegant backyard rectangular pool photo in Dallas
LOVE the coping I think it's polished cement???? - patticg
Photo by: Drew Sivgals
AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc.
Inspiration for a mediterranean backyard landscaping in Los Angeles.
I like the pool with the edge on one side - leon_waye
Photo by: Drew Sivgals
Example of a tuscan infinity pool design in Los Angeles
Around a tree? Is this a structurally safe option - heathermish
This beautiful year is in Newport Coast and has all the bels and whistles. This pool has stacked and ledgered stone, all granite BBQ and fire place. The pool is equipped with in floor deep heating and pebble tech finish. The pool is accented with 3 water pots with led lights. This is an entertainers delight.
I love the clear water making it look super deep - webuser_585508991
Harold Leidner Landscape Architects
Tuscan rectangular pool photo in Dallas
Mix of diamond brite Tahoe and onyx - dpetrecca
This is an example of a contemporary backyard stone landscaping in Los Angeles.
Divide two levels, planting beds, but with a ramp - whiteprius2013
Example of a large classic backyard round pool design in Houston
Crape myrtle trees have flowers in red, pink and white colors. They bloom throughout the summer after each rain shower. They are great for front curb appeal and backyard privacy. - webuser_502177757
Pool - tropical backyard custom-shaped pool idea in San Diego
Create doors to pool downstairs - webuser_172070022
As this property is situated on the side of a steep hill, the backyard has been tiered to maximise the amount of useable space. In order to integrate the bottom two tiers, the pool was built partially above ground, with a spillover wet-edge constructed along the front face.
Seat / shelf all the wAy around - whittneyprasek
Rolling Stone Landscapes
Example of a mid-sized trendy custom-shaped infinity pool design in Sydney
Travertine: Best for surrounding a pool - ran_neuman
A simple, yet striking fountain was created by building a mosaic wall with a single, large sheet-flow scupper. The simple design and clean lines of this slightly raised pool with limestone coping, sundeck and mosaic fountain and steps create a serene environment that is evocative of a high-end resort.
I like the steps stretching across the entire end of the pool in shallow end - webuser_490951893
Minimalist pool house photo in San Francisco with decking
pool, palm planters, casita behind - johnbowenkamp