Home & Design

The pergola offers shade beside a vanishing-edge pool overlooking the Severn River.

McHale Landscape Design created a pavilion made of cedar-timber beams and a cedar-shake roof. © John Spaulding

A fieldstone fireplace, grilling station and serving counter surround the dining table. © John Spaulding

Botanical Decorators designed a pergola featuring low-voltage lights to illuminate the seating area at night.

A fireplace made of Carderock stone reflects the main home's Craftsman architecture.

Fine Landscapes built a barn-style pavilion with a large fireplace and rustic Douglas fir beams.

Across the pool, a pergola shades a dining area while a spa below is flanked by custom cushions.

Kane Landscapes designed a poolside pergola that provides shade and anchors a stone fireplace and grilling station.

A fan, speakers and lights are integrated into the structure.

Walnut Hill Landscape Company built a pool house featuring a kitchen area, a flat-screen TV and a separate pergola.

Under Cover

From pergolas to pool houses, well-designed shelters protect against the elements in style

Under Cover To many, relaxing by the pool is almost as enjoyable as diving in on a summer day—particularly when screened from the sun’s hot rays. Increasingly, homeowners planning a pool project choose to incorporate a shelter into their overall plan. Options range from simple pergolas and pavilions to elaborate pool houses decked out with kitchens and bars, audio-video systems, baths and changing rooms.

Pros advise clients to consider everything from functionality and size to positioning and style when designing a poolside shelter. “More and more people are looking for shade as opposed to the full-on sun around swimming pools,” says Charles Owen of Fine Landscapes. He recommends sitting structures on the western side of the pool for maximum shade as the sun sets.

While pergolas with comfortable seating can serve as ideal social and dining areas for pools sited close to the house, says Mike Prokopchak of Walnut Hill Landscape Company, a pool house “provides amenities for a ‘destination’ pool located farther away.”

However, Owen cautions homeowners against trying to fit too many features into a pool structure. “Don’t bite off more than you need,” he advises. “Assess what the absolute need is beyond creating shelter from sun and rain. Having a little fridge is not a bad thing, but whether you need running water or a bathroom—those are secondary considerations.”


You may also like:

Balancing Act
McInturff Architects revives a Woodley Park colonial with a bold, modern addition
All in the Details
McHale creates a luxurious outdoor retreat for year-round enjoyment
A Romantic Retreat
A landscape plan by Scott Brinitzer reveals a series of picture-perfect outdoor rooms on the banks of the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal
HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

Stay Connected with HOME & DESIGN Newsletter

Copyright © 2021 Home & Design. All rights reserved. | Back to top