Illinois: Romantic Getaway
|Designers:||Signature Pools & Spas/County Wide Landscaping|
|Project Type:||Fiberglass Pool|
The client’s vacation home in Mexico provided inspiration for this resort-like escape in suburban Chicago. In its early stages, the space called for a small, simple fiberglass pool. But the homeowners eventually decided to replace the existing upper patio area with stone to match the new pool area. The design team then proposed a concept with a larger pool and raised fireplace section that came right up to the pool’s edge.
Todd Emmerson and Brian Larsen, owner of County Wide Landscaping in Elburn, Ill., also created an environment with gathering areas that could cater to the different ages of the clients’ four kids. “It became a backyard where dozens of children could have fun with the slide and waterfall,” says Emmerson, lead designer at Signature Pools & Spas in Chicago, “and also be a stunningly beautiful area for adults to relax and enjoy. And once again, company president Tom McNelis transformed my design and vision into a striking reality.”
No South-of-the-border getaway is complete without fire. So Larsen proposed mounting a pair of flame pots atop the pillars leading from the upper patio to the pool area. The concrete pots were filled with volcano rock and decorative glass on top.
An added touch is the pots’ brass key starts, which are hidden on the side of each pillar. “[Brian] had done those before, but this was our first experience with it,” Emmerson says. “So we were careful to make those stairs wide enough across — a little more than 10 feet — to where you can really get them going and it wouldn’t pose a danger to the kids.”
Material-wise, Emmerson and Larsen decided on a Yorkstone paver (Iron River color) for the decking, a grayish-shade bullnose coping around the pool (which closely matches the stone on the raised fireplace surface), and limestone tile around the pool wall.
A custom-made 18-by-20-foot raised pergola provides an ideal focal point for the backyard. It’s truly an indoor-outdoor theme: The natural stacked stone used on the columns, kitchen area and fireplace matches a stone wall inside the home, and the pergola’s beams also correspond with the woodwork and styling of the interior.
A dramatic rain curtain was actually plumbed into one of the pillars and then engineered into the top plank. “It wasn’t easy to take and stuff a 6-foot waterfall inside one of those beams,” Larsen says. “There was a lot of fabricating involved in that — cutting apart the resin and fiberglass and inserting it, then patching it all up. It was a nice challenge.”
- Designer: Todd Emerson, Signature Pools & Spas, Yorkville, Ill.
- Designer: Brian Larsen, County Wide Landscaping, Elburn, Ill.