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Pool Slides: What’s Possible, Who Can Build It and What It Will Cost

I was recently meeting with clients to discuss a rear yard landscape plan, and their 7-year-old son was sitting in. To keep him busy, they cued up Houzz on their iPad and let the boy’s imagination run wild through a photo search. What was he looking at? Pool slides, of course. The kid in me got my mind racing, too. Who doesn’t love a good water slide? But while a slide is every child’s fantasy, it’s the adults who will be the ones with a lot to consider before incorporating a slide into their pool project. Design: If all these […]

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When you live somewhere that people love to visit, and you like to entertain, what better solution than a pool house with an outdoor kitchen that doubles as the guest quarters? The team at Acorn Garden Houses designed, built and styled this Australian pool house so a social couple and their children could entertain their friends without infringing on the peace or privacy of anyone in the main house. Pool House at a Glance Who it belongs to: A couple and their 3 children (ages 13, 18 and 20) Location: Mount Martha, Mornington Peninsula, Australia Budget: $150,000 Size: Includes a […]

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Houston Symphony: Hocus Pocus Pops 2017 October 13, 2017 7:30 pm

OCTOBER 13, 2017 7:30 p.m. / Doors: 6 p.m. Lucus Waldin, conductor Tickets: $20 Orchestra/ FREE Mezzanine & Lawn seating Get ready for tricks, treats and lots of family friendly fun at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion’s Hocus Pocus Pops featuring the Houston Symphony Friday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for orchestra seating. Mezzanine and lawn seating are free. Tickets are not required for free seating. Lucus Waldin conducts the Houston Symphony in a mesmerizing performance of horrifying horns, bewitching bassoons and chilling cellos. Everyone is gravely encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costume for a […]

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19 Spectacular Pools Near and Far

A well-designed swimming pool is the liquid centerpiece of your home and can turn your backyard into a decadent escape. Whether you prefer to lounge poolside, dip your toes before diving in or cannonball your way to the center with panache, the images below are sure to have you dreaming of chlorinated, saltwater or natural water pools. Let’s suspend reality for a few minutes and imagine that we’re looking out into the gorgeous waters of the pools below. This pool is the azure jewel of a villa that overlooks neighboring islands in the Caribbean. Although the cabanas draped in yellow […]

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Ideas for Petite Pools

If you’re an avid swimmer, or your family loves hanging out by the pool, you’ve probably fantasized about someday having a pool to call your own. But when your backyard is on the small side, a swimming pool can seem like an impossible dream. Not so with these petite pools. Before planning any pool project, remember to get informed about swimming pool safety and check local codes for pool fencing and other requirements. But first check out these 10 fabulous small-scale pools. Courtyard pool. This 9- by 18-foot pool is nestled into an antique French limestone patio. Flowering bougainvillea arching […]

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Almost Invisible Outdoor Furniture Lets Views Star

Outdoor furniture is an integral part of a garden, providing a comfortable place for relaxing and communing with nature, enjoying the company of others or taking in the view. Beyond the practical, however, furniture can bring life and imagination to the landscape. A solitary bench under a great oak conjures up the vision of a boy retreating from the summer heat to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A circular configuration of chairs might evoke the warm feeling of an evening gathering with friends. The stately rocking chair sitting on the front porch has my grandfather smoking a cigar and […]

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Natural Swimming Pools: More Beauty, No Chemicals

Summer’s heat is not far behind the bursting of spring blooms and windy rains. This summer imagine yourself cooling off by floating in a backyard pool that feels immersed in nature. Natural swimming pools use plants or a combination of plants and sand filters to keep the water clean and clear without chemicals. They were developed in Austria and Germany in the 1980s and have since grown in popularity worldwide. They can be designed in a multitude of ways: Some look like natural ponds; others may be disguised as standard tiled pools. Whatever look you are trying to achieve, the […]

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Pools Overflow With Finish Options

Long gone are the days when plaster was the only pool finish you could get. While plaster has its benefits, new technology has given pool owners a wide variety of other choices. An abundant number of aggregate finishes and glass tiles gives homeowners more options with distinctive looks and an endless array of customizable features. Upfront, these new finishes may be more expensive than plaster, but their longevity and style can outweigh price concerns. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of each of these finishes, and discover which one is right for your pool. Pebble Tec is […]

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Pool-Friendly Patio Materials

Today’s advancements in pool patio materials have eliminated the plain concrete patios so many of us grew up with. Now, a pool patio can dramatically improve your home’s landscape design. The choices are endless, but I’ve covered some of my favorites here. Each has pros and cons, so talk with your contractor or pool designer beforehand so you know what works best for your backyard. Natural Stone While natural stone is a very luxurious choice for patios, you can cut costs by choosing stone from a local quarry. The native Oklahoma flagstone here was hand cut to match the travertine […]

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Find Your Perfect Pool Shape

Creating a balanced shape is the crucial first step in designing a pool that fits your home’s taste and enhances your backyard. Spacing elements, shape, scale and style are often used to complement what already exists in your landscape. If you want to know why finding the right shape for your pool is so important, ask yourself this question: “How often will I use my pool?” You may not know the answer at this moment, but most of my clients respond the same way after a season of pool ownership: almost every single day. Whether you simply glance at it […]

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