Outdoor Living: Water Feature

Colorado is a wellspring for outdoor entertainment, and one Boulder-area backyard is no exception to that rule. A pristine pool, extra-deep spa and spacious outdoor living areas make a year-round mecca for keeping the kids busy and adults entertained.

When this family of four moved to Colorado from Texas, they spent six years longing for a pool after having that luxury at their former residence. “We always had a pool in Texas,” the homeowner says. “We really wanted a great pool area so the kids could have their friends over, but that would be a great place for adults, too.”

To build the kid- and adult-friendly outdoor entertainment area, the family turned to Joe Dempsey at Aquality Construction. “They learned right away that pools in Colorado are much different than pools in Texas,” Dempsey says. “We have to do a lot of work to ensure that these pools can withstand the Colorado winters.”

Because the family wanted a pool and spa they could enjoy all year, several measures were taken to ensure warmth and comfort.

“Right away we knew we wanted a rectangular pool because we wanted an automatic cover to help retain heat,” the homeowner says.

Automatic heat control and solar energy keep the water toasty even through the chilly Colorado winter. In addition to the automatic heat system, there is also automated chemical control, high-efficiency pumps and a management system so advanced, if it detects a leak, it will automatically call and send a text message to the homeowner. “This pool has all the bells and whistles you find in commercial pools,” Dempsey says.

Those bells and whistles also include features that are purely for fun and ambiance. Colored lights add sparkle and mood for night swimming, while the outdoor television is great for watching a game during an outdoor party. An integrated sound system, a fountain and all of the pool controls can be run from the homeowners’ iPad.

Despite the high-tech gadgets and ultra-efficiency of this pool and spa, the homeowners attest family fun is the best part about this open-air addition to their home. The couple’s two teenage children—and their friends—enjoy the curved slide. “I love that the kids like to use this space,” the homeowner says. “It’s so beautiful; it feels like a resort in my own back yard.”

Some of the spa-like atmosphere is derived from the homeowner’s choice of materials for the pool, spa and surrounding amenities. Glass tile in varying shades of cerulean blue trim the pool and line the spa. A deep blue—almost black—on the bottom of the pool helps retain heat while creating an ethereal quality.

Teamed up with Joanne Brutsch from Ashley Campbell Interior Design in Cherry Creek North, the homeowner chose outdoor furniture and accessories that lend to the resort atmosphere. Some existing furniture was supplemented with new and all of the cushions were covered in a sunny orange to create consistency throughout the various seating areas. Lounge chairs flank the pool, several clusters of chairs accommodate large crowds and bar-height stools wrap the curved bar in the outdoor kitchen.

With all of the opportunity for outdoor entertaining, privacy was a concern as much as aesthetic beauty. Boulder-based Long Landscape planted a patchwork of evergreens, perennials and ornamental grasses that create texture and privacy. “We wanted to be sure to break up the really large flagstone deck area,” the homeowner says. “The trees provide some camouflage for the neighbors, and all of the plantings make it pretty.”

Ultimately, the combination of greenery, natural stone and perfectly paired furniture blend seamlessly into a beautiful backdrop for family fun and entertainment—exactly what this family dreamed it would be.

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