California Dreaming

Coastal communities are known for their outdoor living. When our homeowner, Kelly C., who had grown up in Southern California purchased a modest property in Pennsylvania to be close to extended family, she knew that having an outdoor living space that recreated a California/Nantucket style was really critical to her. As she turned her attention to renovating the existing yard, she knew that she wanted a comprehensive design that made sense—where she could eat out and grill during the summer, and she wanted a pool. Being from California, she realized that she never had been without a pool and she missed it.

Unfortunately, she was in a similar situation that many homeowners find themselves in. Her property had a small allowable building envelope, limited impervious coverage (impervious refers to paved surfaces that do not let water pass through), and various other site restrictions such as existing utility lines and a large seepage pit that were making it a real challenge to design the new pool and pool house that she was hoping to build. Kelly and her husband, Jim, had spent almost a year working with builders and architects trying to figure out how to make it all fit to no avail. Jim started to feel that they should move to a bigger property. However, Kelly was adamant that she did not want to move. Luckily, one day when she was feeling particularly frustrated, Kelly received a Gasper catalog in the mail and decided to call us.

Details About the Project

Gasper Sales Designer Erik Freeman met with Kelly and Jim on site to discuss their vision for their property. Erik was up to the design challenge, but knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The steeply sloping backyard was going to require substantial retaining walls and careful attention to grading. In addition, the buildable space where the design elements could be placed was extremely tight. Working with landscape architect, Christina Reeves, Erik was able to present a concept drawing within a few weeks. In addition, a 3D model was created to help Kelly and Jim envision exactly what the backyard would look like. “I was blown away by Gasper’s presentation,” remembers Kelly and they decided to move forward with the project.

In the design, the large retaining walls were not a detriment; instead they became a major focal point of the pool. Three weirs fall from the walls directly into the pool. The pool house is the ultimate back yard retreat. There are areas for comfortable seating in front of the stone fireplace with space for a large screen TV above the mantle. The bar seating and kitchenette make entertaining simple and convenient. Air conditioning makes the pool house comfortable on the hottest of days and radiant flooring makes it cozy on chillier nights. Large glass, multi-slide doors allows the pool house to be completely open on the poolside. Now her daughter and husband negotiate over who gets to use the pool house. Since Jim does a lot of remote business in the evening, he often goes out to the pool house, fires up the fireplace, puts on the coffee maker and enjoys the peaceful space while working. Kelly’s daughter uses the poolhouse to chill after school.

During construction, Erik acted as the project manager and guided the project through the arduous permit process. He also coordinated with other design and construction professionals on site, such as the pool contractor and interior designer Liz Walton. “Erik was so professional and conscientious. He did a great job of managing our expectations as well as just getting everything done.” recalls Kelly. “I have worked with a lot of architects and designers, and I am very discerning. Gasper was very professional, they always followed through, and I am so happy with the end results. People can’t believe how much space is in the yard now,” she continued.

Have you been doing a little California dreaming lately? Contact us today to see how we can make your dream fit in your backyard.

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Whether you desire a simple planting design or a comprehensive outdoor living space, you’ll find our staff to be creative, knowledgeable and enthusiastic when bringing your outdoor vision to life.

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