Mike Nantz's design philosophy involves taking a holistic environmental approach. This stems from the Elite Concepts Inc. owner's background in studying architecture.
In application, "We want to try to incorporate all of the architecture, all of the surroundings and just bring it all into one space," said Nantz, who is also the dean of Culture at Watershape University.
"Whether it's landscape, whether it's architecture, or simply some type of architectural elements in terms of a piece of art, or maybe just a single tree that we're paying attention to, that there's an approach rather than, 'here's the pool' or 'here's the shape of the pool, pick one,'" he added.
How do others develop that skill? Through education, Nantz noted. That includes Watershape University classes that look at the history of water in architecture.
"We also have classes on architectural styles, materials, etc.," Nantz said, that look "historically of how water has been used in architecture and kind of key off of that."
In creating projects, Nantz said each one is different.
"There's never one particular thing that I go to," he said. It's dictated by that particular space. Everything that I do is custom. There's not an ABC pattern that we use on every project and we shoehorn it in there.
"It really is [that] the environment speaks to me and then kind of tells us what to do," he continued. "If there's a lot of lawn and a lot of turf and greenery, we might use that. If there are a lot of hardscapes, we may use that and soften them with some greenery."
Nantz also discussed trends and elabotated on his 33-year industry experience.