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Extravagant extras for the backyard

By Barry Justus

Indoor pools allow the swimming season to extend well beyond the summer months.

What separates an average pool from a high-end installation is attention to detail, no matter how minor or extravagant. Perhaps one of these luxuries will be the perfect finishing touch for your dream retreat.

● Indoor pools can be designed so that the pool extends into the outdoors for year round and seasonal use.

● At the very highest end of the design spectrum are pools with movable floors, allowing the pool to be converted into usable floor space for entertaining. Movable floors are often installed in indoor pools to increase the functionality of the building space.

● While still rare, chill pools, often used in sports therapy, are starting to become more popular in high-end residential construction projects. These small, tiled, cool-water plunge pools are both invigorating and therapeutic.

● Fire and water are natural companions; as such, most landscape environments can benefit from the inclusion of automated fire features. From simple fire pits and fireplaces to custom flame bars, tiki torches and combination fire-and-water features, the nighttime impact of these features are amazing.

● Clear acrylic panels can be used in all kinds of applications—for example, to add windows in vanishing edges or as end walls for spas—to add a unique element to the space’s overall design.

● Stereo systems, TVs and underwater sound can be used to create a new dimension in backyard entertainment. Equipment specifically designed for outdoor use can be subjected to glare, sun, rain and even snow.

● Dramatic lighting effects can be used in a number of creative ways. For example, fibre-optic starlight can be used in both the pool floor and overhead roofs to simulate a sky full of stars.

● Surf riders and wave machines can turn your backyard into your own personal waterpark.

● Installing statues and other works of fine art throughout your space will extend the luxury beyond the pool into the rest of the backyard.

Barry Justus is the founder and president of Poolscape Inc. He designs and lectures internationally, is a member of the Society of Watershape Designers, and is a faculty instructor with Genesis. Justus can be reached via email at or by visiting .

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