The Pool House – A Destination Experience Without Leaving Home
When imagining a traditional pool house, one might envision a practical little structure comprised of a small bathroom/changing room, pool equipment storage, and potentially a little covered seating area. Historically, the pool house’s main function has been very utilitarian, which could also make it very unexciting. However, the practical pool houses of yesterday have evolved into dreamy structures that now serve as the central hub of modern outdoor living, offering a truly full-service experience.
In addition to meeting functional requirements, today’s pool houses offer both indoor and outdoor lounge spaces with stone fireplaces, conditioned spaces with foldaway glass walls creating the ability for year-round use, full kitchen and dining spaces accommodating everything from lunch for the kids to full farm-to-table meals, built-in gourmet grilling centers with entertaining features such as pizza ovens and ceramic smokers, outdoor fire pit, and full scale bar spaces taking the form of anything from a rustic barn to a modern sports bar aesthetic. To create a truly experiential space for friends and family to gather, some pool houses are also designed to accommodate pool tables or ping pong tables, home gyms, and guest suites, and can also be supported by a bocce ball court, croquet court, pickle ball court, or playground space.
The beauty of today’s pool house is that it is also designed to withstand natural wear and tear – we incorporate durable stone and tile flooring, Sunbrella fabrics, and outdoor furniture designed to handle the elements. That said, the real power of a pool house is that it relocates the messier elements of fun activities away from the more delicate interiors of the main house, and in doing so, helps to protect the home and keep it clean. So, kids can spill away, the dogs can run about, and you don’t have to disinvite that one guest after another red wine incident.
Creating a destination experience on your own property through the development of a multi-functional pool house can transform how you entertain and even how you utilize and interact with your surrounding environment. A well-designed structure can create a delightful retreat from your main living spaces, offering its own unique views on the surrounding landscape, creating indoor/outdoor living opportunities in warm weather, and keeping cabin fever away in the colder months.
So, when dreaming about your future home or home projects, don’t overlook the potential of how a thoughtfully designed pool house can positively impact how you entertain and experience your property through all four seasons. And I should mention, you don’t even need the pool.
By: Brian Milbury, Associate
Brian has practiced custom residential architecture for nearly 30 years, designing distinctive homes in locations throughout the country. Prior to joining the firm, he owned a Chicago-based architecture practice for two decades, where he oversaw all aspects of fine home design and construction. Brian, who earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Miami, loves the creative challenges brought forth by residential architecture and believes good design comes from understanding scale, proportion, precedent, and most importantly, the client’s vision.