I’m so excited to finally be able to share these photos and the story of our new pool! I feel like I’ve been waiting such a long time to do so (although actually, it’s only been a few months, so not really…?!) Come, dive into the story with me (sorry. I promise that is the only pun of its ilk in this whole post. Don’t let it put you off).
What used to be a sloping, grassy, rather sad looking front yard is now a stunning pool area and we could not be happier. Here is a before pic below…
You can see it was good for a water fight but it wasn’t exactly our dream! We didn’t really know what to do with this space while we waited – it was always our intention to put a pool in here, but we thought that would be years away. With moving up here permanently, however, our priorities and timelines for a lot of things got juggled and suddenly it was a whole lot more important to us, and more possible as well. We decided to make it happen in winter, started conversations with the company that installed it in late winter, and by the end of October, a big hole had been dug in the front lawn and a pool dropped in!
And then…we waited. And waited…it was truly amazing how incredibly fast the pool installation was compared to the finishing and landscaping. They backfilled around the pool and the ground around it with scoria, built retaining walls on the north and east sides (that sloping lawn meant we had to do so!), built a matching, unnecessary retaining wall on the west side at our request (to keep the fence symmetrical – we didn’t want it to be lower on the west side than on the east), poured the concrete, installed the fence…I’m sure there was more, and I know it wasn’t in that order, but suffice it to say there was a lot to do.
The landscaping was finished just before Christmas – mostly. The final part of the fence, along the south side (where it meets the front deck of the house) is still to be completed, as we’re having a glass fence put in there. This will mean we have a direct, mostly uninterrupted view from the living room out the front of the house and over the pool.
We also decided to paint the retaining wall as it is made of pine, and pine doesn’t go with anything else we have around the house. Our decks, planter beds, and garden sleepers have all silvered off beautifully, and we were afraid the pine wouldn’t do that. I first suggested we paint the retaining walls white, then Hayden suggested whitewashing instead to avoid the risk of too much glare, and after some consultation with our very helpful salesman at a local hardware store (seriously, he’s helped us with so much over the last year!) we ended up buying a wood stain in blonde. It took so much longer than we thought it would (sensing a theme here?!) but after a couple of days hard work we were done and I’m so glad we did it. It has come out just beautifully!
We’ve completed the area for now by adding a couple of loungers, some outdoor beanbags, a storage box, and an umbrella. The umbrella is Shade 7 and it’s incredibly strong – important as this is a windy spot, being the top of a rather tall hill and all. That was another reason why we wanted the matching retaining wall on the west side, and it’s worked just as we hoped to help shelter the pool from the prevailing westerly winds. We’ve swum almost every single day since we got back from Hawke’s Bay – usually on weekends, we swim twice – and it’s been just amazing. I’m so glad we decided to do this now!
There is still more to do – the last part of the fence of course, and very excitingly, a whole lot of planting! We’ve been talking to a garden consultant about what we can do in this area to help shelter the area from any winds even more, and to get the classic-yet-modern New England vibe we love so much. We also want to block out the parking area from the house and pool area, because while we all love the Jeep, it isn’t what we want to see every time we look at our garden! We have some cool and very exciting ideas about what to plant, but we can’t do anything until at least mid-autumn – it’s just too hot until then for new planting. So until that time, we’ll just have to make the most of it by continuing to swim and enjoy the space as it is now (hardly a hardship!)