The Wave Magazine - Hot Waters
Make a splash with these luxurious backyard pools.
By Irene Kew
When it comes to pools, the concrete kidney-shape flanked by uncomfortable plastic patio furniture no longer cuts it. Homeowners today are decking out their pools with sound-activated dancing lights, the illusion of endless water, custom tiles, and more importantly, architectural lines to match the house.
Paul Benedetti, principal of Morgan Hill-based Aquatic Technology, attributes the change to growing affluence and the post-9/11 “cocooning” phenomenon. “People want to stay closer to home, and bring their loved ones close to them. They’re starting to make their home a resort, the place where they relax as opposed to going away for a weekend,” says Benedetti. “People are creating their own Shangri La in the backyard.”
Today’s high-end pools can be fitted with all sorts of bells and whistles, such as integrated pool- and home-automation controls, water chemistry monitors, exotic landscaping, splashy waterfalls, even the same Vermont marble that lines Hearst Castle’s Neptune Pool. The only limits, it seems, are your imagination (and pocketbook).
A high-end pool can set you back by as much as $1 million, and Benedetti advises clients to be prepared to spend at least $80,000. Since a pool is a long-term investment, consider your lifestyle, functionality, aesthetics, the size of your backyard, and budget. And pick a good pool contractor. Benedetti likens hiring a high-end designer to walking into a Maybach dealership. “They lay out 30 kinds of wool carpets, silk, and woods that you can put in your car. [Whereas] you go to a Chevy dealer and they ask, ‘What colors do you want?’”
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