Get Ideas for Your Own Dream House From Two Very Different Poolside Retreats
While most of us can only dream of having a pool, much less a pool house, it sure is fun to fantasize about having one someday, isn't it? Pool houses and other secondary buildings are great places to play with regional design elements and use some of them in new ways. Today I'll be showing you two markedly different pool houses designed by New York architect James Crisp. Crisp's designs are very functional and thoughtfully relate to the main houses and local architecture. Let's see how he did it:
Two Pool Houses 1: Crisp Architects, original photo on Houzz
Farm-influenced pool house in the Berkshires: "This is a simple accessory building that is not overly complicated," Crisp says. The interior has a small kitchenette for fixing drinks, as well as a changing room and a full bathroom. Because the owner loves to entertain and because the main house is about 100 yards from the house, it's nice to have these conveniences poolside.
Vernacular touches like the crossbuck detail on the right recall the farm buildings that have populated the area for many years (think of a hayloft door).
The property includes formerly farmed fields, as well as beautiful woods. The main house has clapboard siding, so "using board and batten siding on the outbuildings when the house is clapboard determines a hierarchy," Crisp says. The surface surrounding the pool is Chinese granite, which is used throughout the entire property.
Two Pool Houses 2: Crisp Architects, original photo on Houzz
An covered outdoor gathering spot is a great place to lounge after a swim. The stone on the fireplace is local, and the simple columns have just the right touch of formality.
Two Pool Houses 3: Crisp Architects, original photo on Houzz
No bedroom or living room was needed in the pool house because there is a guest house/garage on the property. It has a similar style, also with board and batten siding and crossbucks on the garage doors. The roof is painted metal. The assemblage of vernacular details "are used to give it more of a flavor than copying a direct style," Crisp says.
Two Pool Houses 4: Crisp Architects, original photo on Houzz
Greek Revival pool house in Litchfield County, CT: This second pool house is a more formal accessory building, inspired by the Greek Revival home on the property. Proportions are key. "The columns were designed to feel strong but not overly large," Crisp says. The lines of the pergolas line up with the underside of the soffit. They add outdoor wings that do not overwhelm the scale of the building.
A triangular window is a common element in Greek Revival homes in the area, but it is usually smaller and in an attic area. "This was an opportunity to take an element from older homes in the area and use it in a unique way," Crisp says. "Here we were able to use it to take advantage of the natural light for the interior spaces."
"The owners have a large family that often gathers here, and they include all age groups," Crisp says. "This is the perfect guest house/pool house for them." The large living area has couches that fold out into beds. Crisp designed the built-ins to be flexible and accommodate changing storage needs, whether for linens, dishes, games, or other entertainment equipment.
Two Pool Houses 5: Crisp Architects, original photo on Houzz
The same bluestone you see on the family room floor continues outdoors to the patios. "We wanted to really make the connection between inside and outside," Crisp says.
Transoms over French doors allow even more extra light into the open space. Large hanging lanterns match the scale of the soaring ceiling and large exposed structural beams.
The pool house is very private, and once you get up there, you have everything you need.
The pool house is nestled into a hill that overlooks a large pond, and gardens with stone walls all around. In lieu of windows, French doors were used almost everywhere to take in as much of the spectacular views as possible.
Two Pool Houses 6: Crisp Architects, original photo on Houzz
In this image you can get a sense of the beautiful setting of the pool house and how it fits into the property.