From the coping around the edge to the finish at the bottom, there is a lot more than water required for a spectacular swimming pool. If you’re in need of aquatic inspiration, peek inside these fabulous local projects.

Ray Holt

Baker Pool Construction

• Framing the back of this kidney-shaped pool is a feature that combines form and function: a stone-veneered wall. “It’s acting as a retaining wall, but it gives a nice architectural element to the pool side,” says Holt.

• Near the pool is a freestanding valence. For those hoping to achieve a similar look, Holt recommends you keep flow of the space in mind. “Anytime we go into a project like this, we’re trying to balance the architecture of the home, the topography of the land and what the customer wants.”

• For those thinking about starting a project of this magnitude, Holt recommends starting early. “There’s the tendency when the weather gets warm for people to think about swimming pools, but a project like this takes a few months of planning,” Holt says. “The more custom you want to make it, the more you want to think through each of the materials.”

Jamie O’Brien

O’Brien Swimming Pool Service

• This project began with a keyhole-shaped pool featuring dated tile, says O’Brien. One of the added upgrades? Deck jets. “Not only do they cool the pool through aeration, but they’re a nice feature for relaxing, parties and entertainment,” O’Brien says. “It’s an easy and less expensive way to add something special to your pool.”

• At the other side of the pool is another decorative, yet practical, addition: three fountains. “St. Louis is known to have hot, long summers; and deck jets and fountains are a great way to help cool down your pool,” O’Brien says. “They work most efficiently at night when the air is cooler; it draws the cool air into the pool.”

John Jacobsen

Liquid Assets Pools

• As if the hot tub were overflowing, water cascades from the spa into the pool—but it’s all an illusion. A sheer descent waterfall exports cool water into the pool, explains Jacobsen, from the holding tank inside the hot tub’s retaining wall.

• “The homeowner’s chose a sand-colored bottom, and we don’t do a lot of those in St. Louis,” Jacobsen notes. “I think people see it when it’s dry, and they think it’s dirty or dingy . . . but the water color is extraordinary.”

• Flagstone and limestone can be seen around this backyard oasis. Jacobsen notes stone coping as an upscale upgrade for pools. “Stone takes it to the next level.”

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