Nothing says “summer” quite like a day spent poolside. With the warm sun on your face, plenty of fresh air and frequent dips in the water, it’s hard to ask for anything more. But why let just one season have all the fun? Keep the feel-good vibes going with pool houses designed for year-round entertaining, relaxing, dining and more. By maximizing functionality and style, these design pros show how easy it is to make summertime a state of mind.
sam allen // SAM ALLEN INTERIORS
Photography: Stacy Bass; Portrait: Stacy Bass
The scene: The main house, located in beautiful Ridgefield, is a traditional Shingle-style home. The home is elevated, crisp, bright and family-friendly. The color scheme for the interiors is mostly inviting neutrals. I would describe the house as traditional with an appreciation for detail. This was achieved with an assortment of interesting textured fabrics and rugs and various paint finishes that give the rooms depth and character. My goal was to create a feeling of calm and of a constant vacation as soon as you walk into the house, and it has a luxurious aesthetic. The clients are an active, loving family of four, and the kids are teenagers.
The concept: The family was looking for a retreat and resort-like vibes for their pool house, but also a place for entertaining their large extended family and friends. The pool house features a custom stone pizza oven, outdoor bar and TV, custom stone wood-burning fireplace, outdoor wine refrigerator, beverage refrigerator and a kitchen in one of the wings. The covered outdoor dining area, with a large dining table that accommodates fourteen, is perfect for large groups. The pool house can be used in early spring and into late fall because of the outdoor fireplace, covered dining area and heated saltwater pool. The idea was to create a space that was a fluid extension of the luxurious feel in the main house. We wanted to create something that was usable and family-friendly and that could easily transition from hosting large parties or intimate gatherings to relaxing alone with the family. This space is capable of all of these things, which is what makes it special. It can be whatever you need it to be; it’s multifunctional.
The details: The color palette was crisp navy and whites, cool gray tones (to connect the color story to the main house) and pops of geranium red in the pillows. For wood finishes, we stuck with a classic weathered teak. We used the same paint color and finish and the same polished nickel hardware in the pool house kitchen as we did in the main house in order to seamlessly marry the two spaces.
The impact: The custom natural stone outdoor fireplace anchors the space. It’s centered between the two wings of the pool house, and it immediately draws the eye to the space’s symmetry. It serves as the focal point of the space, and it enhances the element of luxury that defines this pool area. The fireplace is perfect for roasting marshmallows in the summer and snuggling with hot cocoa in the fall.
Interior designer: Sam Allen Interiors, Westport; 203-984-5590; samalleninteriors.com
Architect: MacMillan Architects, Ridgefield; 203-431-3329
Builder: Anthony J. Cacciola, AJC Contracting; 203-241-7632; ajccon.com
Landscape designer: Craig Studer, Studer Design Associates, Ridgefield; 203-894-1428; studerdesignassociates.com
mark finlay+tina anastasia // MARK P. FINLAY ARCHITECTS & INTERIORS
Photography: Eric Piasecki; Portraits: Mark Finlay: Sissela Johansson; Tina Anastasia: Lorin Klaris
The scene: This is a Regency-style home on Long Island Sound. The exterior is white stucco with a slate roof. The restrained façade material accentuates the precision of the lines and the architectural details of the house. The clients are a couple with European heritage, and the Norwegian husband wanted a very minimal look while maintaining a level of elegance. The design of the house was primarily driven by this balance of aesthetics. The wife spent time living in California, so the rear of the home is lined in large-scale windows and many doorways for optimal indoor/outdoor living.
The concept: The couple have multiple properties and use this as a retreat. The house is geared heavily toward entertaining, with the first-floor layout mainly comprising three open spaces. The outdoor dining and seating areas extend directly off of these main indoor entertaining spaces for hosting parties and groups of friends. The idea behind the pool house was to create a space that could be used all year long and that would always feel engaged with the outdoors. During the summer, the doors open wide to create an airy space, and in colder months, the doors close, yet the volume of windows still makes it feel like you’re interacting with the outdoors.
The details: The color palette was selected to make the space as bright as possible. The client loved blues, and the hues played really well with the sweeping ocean views. The furnishings were selected to seat as many people as possible yet still allow room for games. The space needed to have the look and feel of an indoor room but function for outdoor use, so we used fade-, mildew- and stain-resistant fabrics. This means anyone can sit on the furniture with a wet bathing suit, yet it’s soft enough for the comfort of indoor furniture.
The impact: The type of doors was definitely vital in fostering that indoor/outdoor atmosphere. The scale and volume of windows were also key in giving the pool house that open-air feel while still offering the shelter of indoors.
Architect: Mark P. Finlay Architects, Southport; 203-254-2388; markfinlay.com
Interior designer: Mark P. Finlay Interiors, Southport; 203-254-2388; markfinlayinteriors.com
Builder: Hobbs, Inc., New Canaan; 203-966-0726; hobbsinc.com
Landscape designer: Doyle Herman Design Associates, Greenwich; 203-869-2900; dhda.com