Making a Splash!

Making a splash this summer!

Essential for escaping the summer heat, the best pools reflect their owners’ tastes while blending into their surroundings.

Good for a quick dip or a few laps, as a place to keep children entertained or a tranquil surface to float votive candles during a party, pools are a wonderful complement to summer. As a special element of the residence’s landscaping, they should be the focus of careful design.   

Some pools seem to defy gravity by straddling buildings or hanging cantilevered over cliffs, while others speak of their owners’ particular interests. Fish- and boat-shaped pools are not uncommon, and the one Frank Sinatra commissioned for his weekend getaway in Palm Springs was shaped like a grand piano. And if some owners place art around or inside their pools – in Marbella, Spain, Antonio Ruiz Soler had his friend Pablo Picasso paint, sign and date the bottom of his pool in 1961 – others turn to pool designers to create masterpieces that are at one with their surroundings and their tastes.  

“People are willing to invest in pools because they see the value in them,” says Greg Darvin, owner of Pristine Pools in East Hampton, New York. Noting that homeowners often like to model their pools after a favourite hotel pool in Miami, Bali or the South of France, Darvin says his job consists of scaling the design to the property, adapting it to the climate and finding what he calls the balance between aesthetics and functionality.  

On the Hawaiian island of Maui, Ron Silva of Island Sotheby’s International Realty says that most residences situate the pool within view of the ocean. One stunning example is a pool on a three-acre estate that draws inspiration from Maui itself. Lined with local lava rock, the infinity-edge pool starts as a wading pool on the mauka (or mountain) side and rings the home, emptying into a nine and a half foot-deep pool on the makai (or ocean) side. The effect? From a simple body of water, this pool turns into a theatrical stage.

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