Pool and spa pros can probably relate a lot to the old Rodney Dangerfield comeback: "I don’t get no respect."
In movies and TV, they’re often seen as slackers, shysters and worse.
But we know otherwise. We know that pool and spa professionals help create something precious for their customers—something that’s become even more valuable post-pandemic: a backyard oasis where people can forget about their troubles for a while and bask in their outdoor getaways.
We also know that the best professionals don’t just create pools and spas, they create works of art. Somehow these craftspeople mold the seemingly unmalleable components of concrete, steel and tile and turn them into sweeping forms of beauty that seamlessly fit with their landscape and architecture.
These artisans use color, texture, light—the basic elements of all great creations—to soothe, excite and unite.
And there’s no better example of the wonders these pros create than the latest Masters of Design.
This year’s group includes nine different pools and spas, each more gorgeous than the next—and each engineering marvels in its own right.
Take the jaw-dropping infinity pool from Claffey Pools. Rather than do what was easy, the team considered the contemporary home and used engineering magic to create a simple, elegant design that fits both the landscape and hardscape.
"To maintain this visual incisiveness while inspiring awe, the team worked with Bobe Water & Fire to develop a system for cantilevering a fire bar over the vanishing edge. A porcelain tile made to look like marble veneers the raised vanishing-edge wall. A mix of 1-by-2-inch glass mosaic tile lines the spa interior. Floating step pads lead from the home, across the lawn and to the spa. The final result shows the potential impact of simplicity on a space. Which, again, isn’t necessarily easy."
The artistry isn’t just traditional gunite pools either. Waterworks Pools & Spas of Moncton, New Brunswick shows just how lovely vinyl liner pools can be with the right design, engineering and creativity.
"[The builder] took cues from the home interior, borrowing from its contemporary style and placing the major backyard elements so each room looked out onto something beautiful. To facilitate a sense of order, the pool’s right edge aligns with an edge of the home, while the pool’s left edge lines up with a retaining wall. In one corner of the backyard, a composite wood deck is suspended slightly aboveground to accommodate one of the drainage swales."
And River Pools of Central Virginia demonstrates the adaptability of fiberglass pools with a carefully crafted design that blends into the home and the landscaping.
"By shifting the pool to the right side of the property and positioning it perpendicular to the home, Hughes was able to convert what had been an unusable portion of the yard into a beautiful space and certain spots became more intimate. The designer also included a wall with sheet falls on one side of the pool to accounted for a grade change. On the opposite side, a 4-foot retaining wall includes a seat wall and recessed steps to a sunken patio space."
So if you’re feeling at all Dangerfielded, or just want some inspiration, check out the Masters of Design—and give yourself some RESPECT!