Materials & Features for Balance & Harmony

Designing a swimming pool involves combining several features, but whatever the style, the pool design should seamlessly blend with the landscape and the architecture of the house, says Ar. Aparna Kaushik

The first requirement would be to identify the space and decide on the size. The layout and shape of the pool will depend on the size of the plot. Rectangular pools are the most common, while customised, organic contours are recommended when there is enough space to draw up a freehand shape.

Choose a style that complements the natural setting and the home/villa it is attached to. If it is a luxury contemporary home, then I would suggest a modern style with minimum bespoke elements and superior materials. In case of a classic structure or a vintage villa, a more decked up plan with eclectic elements would exude an old-world charm. The design elements should enhance the beauty of the surroundings to create a Zen-like ambience. Hence, a balanced and trained eye is essential to make sure that harmony is maintained in the way the materials, features and lights are combined.

Designed as part of sprawling contemporary farmhouses
Designed as part of sprawling contemporary farmhouses, these pools present a no-fuss, modern design, featuring minimal decor interventions. The designs rely on the beautiful facades of the structures, carefully planned lighting and a thoughtful selection of materials and finishes. The backdrop facades are designed with natural materials, textured paint in muted tones, Travertine stones and Kharad stones on the walls, High Pressure Laminates (HPL) in wood shades and on the undersides of the roof extensions. Labradorite dark stone around the pools and the wooden deck tiles create a peaceful, natural atmosphere while the sculptural potted plants and greenery add vibrancy to the surroundings.
Ar. Aparna Kaushik
Intelligent use of façade and ambient lights orchestrate an elegant play of light and shadows. Especially in the night, when the placid waters of the pools mirror the shower of lights on the facades, it’s a magical atmosphere

Ar. Aparna Kaushik

Materials & Features for Balance & Harmony
Backdrop: The façade of the pool house should reflect the chosen style, or vice versa. Painting the walls in a neutral shade, using stones and bricks for cladding, terracotta tiles for the roof, or covering the underside of roof extensions with wooden laminates or High-Pressure laminates that are weather-proof, lend a natural look to the structure. We have used Travertine stones and Kharad stones on the walls of some of our pool houses. Similarly, include rock formations, trees, green grass, foliage, pebbles, etc. to create a natural habitat. Adding potted plants in various sculptural shapes will bring vibrancy to the surroundings.

Deck tiles: The pool surrounds, called the deck or patio, determine most of the look you want to create. So, the deck materials and finishes should be chosen with care - not just to achieve the appeal you desire, but also keeping safety and comfort in mind. The materials selected should conform to the style you have in mind, but should also be non-slippery and practical to use. Popular materials include wood, stones, cement or paver tiles, concrete, ceramic tiles, composite or engineered wood. Wood offers a rich, warm look and can be laid out in various patterns to create interest. However, being a natural product, it is susceptible to effects of the weather and will need periodical refinishing. Stones, with their exotic colour shades and textures, diverse sizes and shapes, offer versatility in pool design and layout. Paver bricks too come in various geometric shapes and sizes that can be used in different patterns. Unglazed tiles have been a traditional choice. Or, one can opt for a combination of materials for a vibrant look.

Lighting: Lighting is an important aspect of pool design as it enhances the experience around the pool in the night. Apart from under-water lighting in different colours that makes night-time swimming fun, good outdoor lighting around the deck is necessary for safety, and also to emphasise the various design elements and the backdrop. Deck lights can be placed strategically to highlight sculptures, planters and foliage. Intelligent use of façade and ambient lights orchestrates magical scenarios in the night. Grazer lights and other soft diffused lights create a stunning play of brightness and shadows.

Materials & Features for Balance & Harmony

Deck furniture: Depending on the space available, one can add lounge chairs and sofas; a dining area or a gazebo; and a barbeque or a cooking area to the pool side.