High-tech and environmentally friendly are the new rules for the patio and pool, as designers work to make backyard entertainment areas blend into natural surroundings.
JIM GRAELER, CHESTERFIELD VALLEY NURSERY
- Deck it out. There is a trend toward outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and kitchens with a stone surround, offering a place to sit, cook, eat and drink.
- Add atmospheric accents. Water features offer a soothing sound, pergolas create an element of shade and landscape lighting can light up trees and shine down on the grill.
- Go all-natural. We’re also seeing more building stone going to natural textures— such as limestone and bluestone—for a worn, weathered look.
MIKE BRUEGGERNJOHANN, CALIFORNIA CUSTOM DECKS
- Made in the shade. Attractive shade structures like pavilions, pergolas and gazebos are beautiful and functional.
- Camouflage it. Earth tones and dark colors continue to be popular for decks because they blend into the background.
- Shine on. Lighting is an important element in an outdoor space, adding both safety and elegance. Consider it jewelry for your deck, patio or pool area.
BILL SHEA, WESTPORT POOLS
- Get technical. Technology has advanced dramatically when it comes to controlling a pool’s heaters, filters and water features. You can even remotely turn on the heat for your pool or spa from a smartphone.
- Let there be light. LED is the new big thing for lighting, and can be used to bring different colors shining into the pool.
JOHN JACOBSEN, LIQUID ASSETS POOLS
- Make it eco-friendly. The biggest recent innovation is salt chlorination—rather than chlorine tablets—to eliminate the undesirable scent and dangers of bleach on hair, skin and swimwear. In addition, solar and geothermal heat are being used to heat pools.
- Feel the rush. Water features remain popular—from waterfalls to deck jets that shoot into the pool.