Posted on 30/11/2017

Making a splash

Making a splash

By Natalie Hordov. Originally published in Luxury Lifestyle magazine

Once upon a time, a pool was simply a place to beat the summer heat. Now they are showpieces and integral parts of outdoor zones.

Landscape designer Beverley Harrison said with the rising demand to make ordinary backyards extraordinary, pools had become more than just a place to cool down — they were a hub for entertaining, creating an appealing space to use throughout the year.

However, she said a pool was only as good as its surrounds.

“When incorporating a pool into the space available, many aspects need to be considered,” she said.

“Multiple zones can be created through intelligent landscaping, beautiful materials enhance the outdoor area and soft plantings contribute to the overall impact.”


While pools once fitted easily into a quarter-acre block, smaller block sizes and larger homes means pool and landscape design needs to be more creative.

Phase 3 Landscape Construction Pty Ltd director Matt Huxtable said inevitably, as plot sizes shrink, so did standard pool sizes.

“It is common that the pool is integrated with the building in new home construction or built right on the boundary to maximise space,” he said.


Quality Dolphin Pools director Shaun Conley said with block sizes becoming smaller, a lot of clients were looking at putting in pools that sit above the ground if they buy an existing property, or if they are building new, on the first storey of the home to maximise their outdoor entertainment space.

“Having the pool on different levels really does help take advantage of the spectacular views that these luxury homes do have,” he said.


Ms Harrison said people wishing to create a modern luxury outdoor space would most likely include a custom pool as the focal point of their private oasis.

“You can increase the luxury factor by adding an infinity edge, creating an attention-grabbing effect,” she said.

“We are seeing the inclusion of glass walls/panels in raised pools more frequently too; these offer a truly magical ambience with soft turquoise water being viewed from different angles.”

Mr Conley said he had seen a rise in the addition of glass windows in pools over the last few years.

“This may be a below-ground pool and the window is used as a feature in the house or an above-ground pool with the window used as an infinity edge,” he said.


Ideally pools are connected to a home’s outdoor living areas, creating one large, luxurious zone.

“This really brings the whole area together,” Mr Conley said.

“I find it becomes more of an extension of the usable living space of the property plus, as an added bonus, it really can be an added feature element in the overall house design that you want to enjoy all year round.”

Mr Huxtable said luxury outdoor zones often include covered alfresco spaces with kitchenettes and smaller elements, such as space for a hammock, outdoor shower or fire pit.


He said people considering a luxury pool and landscaping project should invest in a good designer before spending hundreds and thousands of dollars.

“I believe homeowners are placing a lot more value on well-conceived design that can balance the site condition, architecture of the home, functional requirements and aesthetic outcome,” he said.

“Material options and finishes come in and out of style as new products are introduced and older ones are rediscovered.

“However, as a designer, understanding and capitalising on the best potential of a space never changes and is the edge that results in a great project.”