Steep terrain and a heavily wooded lot were no obstacles in creating this poolside oasis
After settling in to their Little Rock home, this fun-loving couple and their daughter dreamed of installing a pool. “We’ve always wanted a pool for entertaining and a place to hang out as a family,” the homeowner says. They knew a pool would not only give them the perfect warm-weather escape but would also enhance the home’s backyard. There was just one problem—the house was situated on a steep, heavily wooded lot.
To survey the landscape and engineer a suitable space, the couple called in the experts. The evolutionary process began with the homeowners discussing initial ideas for the space with designer Larry West, who worked with the family on the interior of their home. Next, they turned to Scott Girner of Elite Pools by Scott to work his magic on the showpiece of the area—the pool. “We really had an opportunity to turn a challenge into something very positive with this project,” Girner says of the home’s lot. Because the space had been previously unused, the possibilities were limitless. The homeowners wanted to be able to see the pool area from several vantage points in the house. To accommodate this request and the terrain, the transformation began with creating a structure that allowed the bottom of the pool to be above grade. Girner again turned the challenges of access and elevation into an attribute by creating a swim-up bar and separate elevated tanning ledge, which both add to the shapely design of the pool and its surround. “The homeowners were very hands-on throughout the process and really allowed the space to evolve naturally,” Girner says.
The pool itself is an equally remarkable structure that features state-of-the-art technology. Made from gunite (a mixture of cement, sand, and water), the salt-water swimming pool features Elite Pools’ proprietary Smart Pool™ system. This system makes maintenance a breeze by catching and removing debris before it sinks to the bottom—an especially important feature when trees surround your property. It also automates the chemical and cleaning processes. Finally, the technology allows the pool’s water features and spa to be controlled via remote, taking virtually all of the work out of owning a pool.
Following the lead of the pool and its natural, neutral-based stone surround, West added the finishing touches to the terrace. “Because the area is so woodsy, we wanted to create an outdoor space that fit with nature,” West says. Light tan cushions are mixed with warm-hued throw pillows on the outdoor furniture. “We knew the accessories were a great place to incorporate color, and the homeowner loves red and orange,” West says of the bright accents, which include vivid orange garden stools that double as cocktail tables for the chaise lounges. Additional color was brought in with fresh container plantings that mimic the home’s landscaping. “Placement is everything,” West says of the finished design. “We decided where we wanted to the see the color, and the balance is reflected in the end result.”
Consulting engineer Sam Miller, Scott Miller Consulting Engineer, North Little Rock, (501) 228-4718
Design Larry West, West Interiors, Little Rock, (501) 779-1540
Landscaping Danny Garrett, Southern Homescapes, Little Rock, (501) 626-3849
Pool design and installation Scott Girner, Elite Pools by Scott, Little Rock, (501) 448-2053, elitepoolsbyscott.com
Accessories and furniture Ken Rash’s of Arkansas, Little Rock, (501) 663-1818, kenrashsoutdoorfurniture.com; Marshall Clements, Little Rock, (501) 663-1828, West Little Rock, (501) 954-7900, marshallclements.com