A pool is a surefire attraction for everyone come summer; a family-friendly feature that’s sure to create fond memories for years to come, can elevate alfresco entertaining and certainly increases a home’s resale value.
But what is a Melbournite to do when swimming is really only feasible for a few months of a chilly year?
And how do you “winterize” your expensive asset so it’s actually worth the upkeep in the winter months?
“A pool should never be just for swimming because the climatic conditions in Victoria often restrict swimming to just a few months in summer,” says Taras.
“Even with heated pools, the swimming season may extend into spring and autumn, but that’s still not always enough value. Swimming in winter is relatively uncommon but that does not necessarily mean that a swimming pool must remain covered up and functionless.”
Here are his top tips to ensure that your swimming pool adds to the ambience of your home every season of the year.
Perfect the placement. “The placement of the pool is vital as it needs to be visually close enough to be seen from inside the home. Most people want to pop out for a dip, maybe grab a sausage off the barbie, go to the loo and come back inside. It should not be like a trip to the beach where you have to carry everything back, but rather a small, seamless motion from one space to another,” says Wolf.
“A small pool within the main range of the living area is also important for supervision of children too.”
Consider the ambience. “The pool also needs to be a water feature that can add to the ambience of a home. Even when not in use, its visual connectivity to a home can bring a sense of calm and tranquillity.
With that in mind, the location of a swimming pool is important. It must be visibly connected, while still being practical from the perspective of access and maintenance.
Noisy and unsightly pool equipment must never distract whilst ensuring pool safety requirements are always properly met.”
Consider the aspect. “A pool should have good direct sunlight to minimise overgrowth. And one consideration that is often overlooked is that of prevailing winds which can make your pool experiences feel very uncomfortable, even on warm days,” says Taras.
“While it’s often tempting to fully expand and expose pools out into the open, some understanding of wind direction can assist in positioning the pool more optimally with well-designed windbreaks,” he says.
“The house itself in many instances can provide that sense of protection so the relationship between house and pool is again one of great importance.”
The pool location in this compact home we designed was located ideally for good sunlight, but also as a buffer (instead of garden) to the boundary. The house can open up completely with sliders to connect the indoors and outdoors as one large space. In the second photo, the wall acts as a wind buffer.
Consider the colour. Colour is another element that can add another dimension to how a pool will look and feel. While it may seem obvious to make it “blue”, the wrong shade could make it pop out like a foreign structure or even cheapen the look, says Taras.
“Water is not actually blue, and there are other colours that can often tie in better with contemporary homes for that calm and cooling effect.”
Below is a WOLF Architects designed pool that adds to the home’s interior, even when not in use.
These homeowners were seeking a visual delight for every dining experience, so a well-matched colour palette was an important part of the design consideration.
Consider the vibe. “In my mind, the ultimate swimming pool can form part of the entry experience and can offer both an indoor and outdoor experience,” says Taras.
“We designed this pool below so that the heated pool extends into the home’s inner garden courtyard which is well-sheltered from the elements. For an outdoor experience it extends outside as a lap pool.”