Creating a Relaxing Retreat in Your Own Backyard

By Jane Claspy Nesmith

A private built-in pool can offer homeowners a beautiful place to exercise and relax. Add a stylish pool house, and a pool can be a great place to entertain, too—a private resort right next door.

One Cedar Rapids family has made this fantasy a reality by building a pool and pool house adjacent to their home. With the help of Project Manager Mark Russell and Design and Selections Coordinator Laurie Schubert of Jim Sattler Custom Homes, they created a vacation destination, just steps from their home.

The pool’s setting is very private; you can’t spot it from the street. The builder, architect, and Pool Tech staff worked to integrate it into the natural landscape. Because of the slope leading down to the pool, this was a challenge, but the outcome is stunning. Backed up by a handsome stone retaining wall along one side, the pool looks out over a wooded valley, part of the homeowners’ property.

Natural colors were used in the pool area so that it blends in with its surroundings: the stamped concrete area around the pool is a rich brown, and the interior of the pool is also dark. The interior finish of the pool was first used in Canada. It incorporates a quartz aggregate, creating a rich underwater look. The pool is also unusual in that it is trimmed with an iridescent glass tile which in the sunlight creates a sparkling effect against the water. Also incorporated into the pool is a custom water feature developed by the architect and Pool Tech. Situated about two feet above the pool, this water feature creates a waterfall/rain stream that kids and adults enjoy. A unique shelf at the opposite end of the pool provides an area where the water is just ankle-deep, perfect for wading or for sitting in a lounge chair on a sunny day.

In the summer, five potted Mediterranean and windmill palm trees grace the site; in the winter they are moved for wintering-over in a climate controlled space until late spring or early summer. Hardy dwarf fountain grasses and whispering dwarf pines stay year round, adding to the natural look of the area. At the back of the pool area is a full-sized, 60-foot bocce ball court, gas fire-pit, and an additional landscaped water feature. Those additional features make the pool area a great spot for entertaining even if it’s too cool to swim. All along the edge of the pool area is a custom iron fence.

Having a gorgeous pool like this means family will enjoy staying home and friends will love to visit. And the pool house on this property offers a luxurious and comfortable place to gather with friends and family, whatever the occasion. The exterior of the pool house was constructed to work in harmony with the existing home, both in color and stone. At one side of the pool house, there’s a built-in gas grill for outdoor cooking. All along the pool side of the pool house are La Cantina doors, glass doors that offer great views. On warm days, all the doors can be folded back, opening up the pool house and making barrier-free entertaining possible.

Homeowner and builder worked together to create an interior for the pool house that brings together contemporary elements with a relaxed beachy feel. Painted wood ceilings with beams run through the central entertaining area, surrounded by knotty cherry trim. The floor is tiled throughout in an oversized lineal tile that evokes the feeling of swirling tide pools. Sun streams in through many windows and warm days bring in breezes, too.

A spacious two-level bar features Silestone quartz and India Black Pearl granite tops. There’s room for seating all along the front and sides of the bar, and all those seats have a great view of the large-screen TV mounted on the wall. Pendant lights hang over the bar—they’re custom-made in Vermont of hand-forged wrought iron. A full refrigerator, icemaker, and two sinks make it easy to serve up snacks and drinks.

Next to the bar area, the great room offers a space to sit and chat—there’s a stacked stone gas fireplace plenty of seating space, and more windows letting in light and views from the wooded property. A cabana-style shower room, separate bath, lockers, and washer/dryer complete the space. It’s meant to be used year-round—the heating, central air, sound system, and lighting are all centrally controlled and programmable.

Whether it’s for entertaining or just a relaxing swim after work, a pool and pool house add a special touch to a home. For this family, the custom installation and design added entertainment value and luxury that are built to last.

Jim Sattler Custom Homes
3801 River Ridge Dr NE, Cedar Rapids

Building Team:

Iowa Stone Supply
1530 Stamy Rd, Hiawatha

A-Tech/Beam Team
Security, Home Theatre, Central Vacuum, Home Organization
5741 C Street SW Suite A
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Cedar Rapids 319.848.7171
Coralville 319.339.0004

Landscape by Design, Inc.
Creating unique landscapes that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Pool Tech Midwest
Nobody Does it Better than Pool Tech
Pools – Hot Tubs – Saunas – Spas – Water Care
3233 First Ave SE, Cedar Rapids

Glass Concepts
The Cutting Edge in Glass Interior Design
New Construction, Remodeling, Custom Shower
Enclosures & Shower Doors, Decorative Glass, Mirrors, Shelving
1860 McCloud Pl NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

K & K Ornamental
Specializing in Custom-Built Deck &
Stair Railings, Spiral & Conventional Staircases
Automated Custom-Built Gates
319.841.9009, 319.551.0043

Benchmark Construction Services
907 17th St NE, Cedar Rapids

Carpets Plus Colortile
America’s Floor Store
4112 Center Point Rd NE
Cedar Rapids

Home Furnishings & Interior Design
250 12th Ave. Ste. 100
Coralville, IA 52241

Kelly Concrete Co.
Quality Poured Foundations & Flatwork
Residential & Commercial
Free Estimates
4925 8th Ave, Marion

Gleason Electric
Free Estimates
Residential – Commercial – Industrial
New Construction – Remodel
Repair & Rewire

Fashion Par Kitchens
Custom Cabinetry & Design
New Construction & Remodels
309 7th Ave, Marion

Rick Clendenen
Remodeling – Custom Homes
Additions – Framing

Wilson’s Rubbish Hauling Inc
Locally Owned & Operated
Commercial – Industrial – Recycling
Construction – Apartments
6709 C St Rd SW, Cedar Rapids

Rathje Construction Co. 305 44th St

Gannon Roofing Supply
Service & Experience You Can Count On
4850 J St SW, Cedar Rapids

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