Carex Design Group made a big splash in 2021, designing and/or building beautiful residential landscaping projects in Knoxville. The trend we saw in 2020 that had clients requesting entertainment and recreation in their outdoor spaces continued in 2021 with Carex Design Group designing and/or managing the construction for a record number of backyard pool projects. Here are some of our favorites …
Hot and Cold: Pool and Fire Features
A trend we loved in 2021 was designing pools with nearby fire features to provide a warm up after a cool, refreshing dip in the pool on chilly evenings.
For the above fire feature in this Carex Design Group Design built by Integrity Lawn & Landscape, our friends at Integrity opted to include a gas fire feature built into a boulder within the hardscaping. The flame is a perfect highlight to the pool area and can be seen from inside the house so the client can enjoy it from inside and out. Being a gas fixture, this fire feature requires little effort compared to a wood-burning fire feature, which makes it perfect for quick ambiance.
In contrast to the gas fire feature, this sunken wood-burning fire pit requires more interactivity. It’s a perfect choice for this client who wanted a space to entertain a crowd. We created this sunken area to provide a bit of intimacy for conversation and storytelling in this large, open outdoor space. Don’t let the sunken nature of this space fool you, though. We planned for plenty of room within the space to allow for party guests to stretch out and roast marshmallows.
During stressful times, another popular request has been built-in spas to promote relaxation in the pool area.
The above circular spa design features a gracious seating area around it to promote people gathering next to the spa and dangling their feet in. Although the spa itself isn’t recirculating water into the adjacent pool, we incorporated a separate recirculating water feature to create a waterfall effect with a delightful and relaxing sound. The upside of not using a recirculating spa is that the clients will save some money by being able to keep the spa hotter for less money.
Another popular choice is clients opting for a truly built-in spa that’s flush with the surface of the pool. That was a perfect choice for this project because the family wanted to be able to cover the spa and pool with one system that’s tucked into a space at the end of the pool and stretches over the surface when it’s closed. The thing I love most about this spa design is that we incorporated a tanning ledge within the water just adjacent to the spa so guests can choose to relax in the hot water of the spa or the cool water of the pool.
A Splash of Fun
While fire features and spas enhance the relaxation and ambiance of a pool area, at the heart of it, pools are made for fun. That’s proven true for us with the requests we’ve had for fun features such as pool slides (for the kids) and outdoor kitchens (for the adults).
One choice we have to make when we’re designing a project with a pool slide is whether it should be built-in or freestanding. For the project above (designed by Carex Design Group and built by Integrity Lawn & Landscape) the client wanted a grotto area in the pool so we incorporated the slide into the boulders that would create the grotto. It was a great choice for this family because they have many young grandchildren who will be able to enjoy the slide for years to come. In contrast, for the below project, we opted for a freestanding slide. The look of the overall project below was very sleek and didn’t call for natural stone work so a freestanding slide was the better option. Plus, the kids who were to use the below slide are a bit older so opting for the freestanding slide will enable the family to remove the feature after the kids outgrow that type of fun.
For the adults in the crowd, nothing says poolside fun like barbeque and cocktails. In the above, we designed and built an outdoor kitchen with all the bells and whistles. We added a grill, a griddle and two Big Green Eggs in addition to an ice maker and beverage fridge for easy access to all the fixings for a poolside drink.
Contact Us to Kick Off 2022
Whether you’re ready for a pool, an outdoor kitchen or other landscape design, contact us to plan for your 2022 residential landscaping project in Knoxville. You can fill out our online form or call me at 865-765-5550.