“Take a look at Barbados through our eyes, or rather through our ‘d’.”
Landscape Architect, Andre Kelshall, is seated beside me in the conference area of the ultra-edgy design studio in Prior Park. He is playfully looking through the cutout letter-d design feature in his company brochure, and we are talking about everything— from resort trends to our favourite landscapes to the story behind his landscape design consultancy; he’s even reading from his napkin notes!
But today the outdoor guru is ultra-pumped about pools.
“I remember the ever so popular blue in colour bean-shaped pools of my childhood,” laughs Andre. “Pools should be reflective of the vision and the lifestyle of their owner and a natural extension of their environs. Pools today come in a variety of shapes, materials and colors and there are so many aesthetic and functional options.”
Three of Andre’s favourite trends in pool design for 2017:-
1. Pool colour
“Why would we create a sky-blue pool when the canvas is a beautiful garden setting?” laughs Andre.
Although blue and green are still common, pool owners and designers are experimenting with various colours and shades such as dark blue, slate green and even onyx black. Darker coloured pools provide a certain degree of elegance and colours like the slate green or onyx black are beautiful shades to complement a lush garden.
“One of my favorite projects was a Walkers, St. George house where we took the material of the pool deck straight into the pool,” Andre recalls, “stone when wet brings about an entirely different perspective of that same stone when dry, we just love trying something new to make each project stand on its own”
2. Water movement is key
“Water movement is an important consideration from a number of perspectives,” explains Andre. “Especially with regards to ambience; the relaxing sound of moving water can help to convert your outdoor space into a tropical oasis.”
In addition to providing serenity and adding that “wow” factor to your swimming pool, the movement is also critical to the health of the water in your pool, and prevents stains.
There a number of water features that can be used to achieve the desired effect. The following are a few ideas:
- Create a natural aesthetic and spa-like experience by incorporating natural stone into any water features. This is ideal for rustic pools;
- Water walls have become increasingly popular in 2017. These can range from the very simple or highly extravagant.
- Fountains are a popular option for families with children.
Deck jets or waterspouts, rain curtains and spillways can also provide a playful yet dramatic effect, all of which are greatly enhanced by the right lighting.
3. Oversized Wet Lounging Areas
“Lounge areas, both the wet version and the dry, gardens and pools should be seamlessly interconnected,” explains Andre.
A swimming pool lounge area is just as important as the pool itself. A shelved shallow area or ledge can provide a beautiful transition from the deck to the pool.
Lounging areas both in the pool and around the pool have expanded equally in size and popularity. Wet Ledges have become so popular that they now have their own set of options such as the addition of bubblers or vertical jets for movement to lounge chairs designed specifically for use in the water on the ledge.
“Open plan living has certainly made its way to pool design,” affirms Andre.
Trends are always changing, and they should not be the defining factor on how your pool is designed. The pool must be a natural extension of the total outdoor space, and environmental and aesthetic considerations will be unique to every setting. Budget, safety, lifestyle and taste are other factors that will affect design choice. Ultimately, the designer and the client should work together to consider all potential options.
“What is universal,” smiles Andre, “is that we approach each project, not outside of the box, but as if there was no box at all.” – Design Landscape Architects