57 Photos from Desert Pools Collection

Desert Pools Collection

880 Louis Drive




Company Profile

Pool builders know that the best place for design insight is found all around the proposed venue: the home's architecture, the setting's cultural heritage, and especially the family's lifestyle. When the poolscape will be in a desert, however, the designer can't help but turn to the land's dynamic spirit for inspiration.

The desert is a study in contrasts. In the spring, dramatic pink, red, white, and yellow flowers practically blanket the land with vivid color, while during the heat of summer, the sky turns a vibrant blue that sparkles in the golden sunshine. Of course, it's the warmer colors, like tan, brown, and the faded red and orange of terra cotta, that give the desert its true personality. And don't forget the cactus: Its omnipresent charisma defines the landscape like no other feature.

What is a Desert Pool?

A desert pool is not a pool shape or special effect: It's a lifestyle. There's something mystical about the desert landscape, and bringing its elements into your backyard allows you to enjoy another time and place while still enjoying all of the modern amenities that define today's poolscapes. Of course, for this type of pool to really work, it needs to include many of the components that define the desert.

In the desert, it's all about the water. Its vitality and always-on-the-go charisma are necessary for life-and at a premium in a dry climate. By utilizing waterfalls, cascades, deck jets, and fountains, a skilled designer can produce a tranquil backyard hideaway that is different yet totally in sync with the desert that surrounds it.

The designer starts the process by choosing a color palette, and then selects the right materials to create a desired effect. For instance, gold, orange, red, or blue glass tile reflect the area's long history, while majestic rock creations incorporate the desert's natural textures into the design. Fabrics used to make furniture, pillows, and rugs are more vibrant and mirror the vivid blue of the sky and the bright yellow and orange of the sun. Greens and browns can also be brought into the mix via the landscaping or outdoor decor.

Style and finishing materials are the next consideration. Not limited in shape or size, many desert pools are made of concrete and finished in glass tile, plaster, or stone aggregate. Pools accented or completely finished in glass tile grab hold of the sunlight and disperse it over the water, which in turn, continues the mirroring effect. The result is an amazing bounce of color that shimmers and changes throughout the day.

When designers want to mimic the blue of the sky they'll often use a colored plaster to capture the vibrancy. This treatment is particularly effective with a vanishing-edge pool that seems to disappear into the horizon. A more organic look can be achieved by using a stone aggregate in conjunction with colored plaster to produce a poolscape that fits flawlessly into its environment.

Amenities can make or break a design, and in a desert poolscape, they cannot be ignored or downplayed. Firepits and fireplaces, cushions and chairs, even waterfalls and water features need to echo the venue's mood. A red brick fireplace would be out of place, but one made of adobe bricks would be perfect. Again, why would you plant petunias when the desert offers a number of beautiful choices, including oleander and bougainvillea. And a classically-crafted water fountain has no place in a desert poolscape, but grottos and rock waterfalls do.

With a few touches and additions and the right color schematic, a plain backyard can become the perfect oasis in the desert.

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