Exterior Worlds
Swimming Pools
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Pool and Patio

The relationship between the pool and patio begins with a relationship of duality that unfolds in multiple dimensions throughout the remainder of outdoor space. A key determinant in the effectiveness of pool and patio design is the complimentary function these two structures serve as compliments to home architecture. Respect to home architecture places both the size and shape of the pool in its proper perspective in proportion to the rest of the landscape, and it provides a focal point around which to construct any number of patio styles that extend architecture into green space, and that create function through the creation of form.

In addition to their proportional impact on the appearance of the home and surrounding landscape, pool and patio size are determined to a large extent by the lifestyle of the residents and the intended use of pool area proper. Some people prefer to have a custom swimming pool built that is strictly for family use. Other clients of ours use the pool and patio to host outdoor events and large gatherings. For these clients, we have to take the time to clearly understand their future intentions so we can construct a facility that will accommodate the number of people that would normally be attending the average event. Some of these patios can be massive in size—spanning a significant portion of the yard to accommodate swimming, seated, and standing guests. Many times as well, these patios will be constructed adjacent to other structures that are also used to host outdoor entertainment events. It is not uncommon to see an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, or an outdoor fireplace located at the end of a custom swimming pool.


Pool patios can be built from any number of materials that fit the lifestyle, surrounding elements, and intended use of the property. Ideally, the materials selected should to some degree support key architectural elements and an overall landscaping theme. For example, in the past few years, we have done a number of contemporary style landscaping projects in the Memorial Area. Concrete pool patios work very well in these environments because it supports a clean look with stark linear forms. In French and Mediterranean landscapes, we often build stone patios to allude to the rocky cliffs of the Riviera, Italian Coast, and Greek Islands. Sometimes we will use actual rocks to enhance the stone patios around natural swimming pools built to emulate woodland ponds or waterfalls. Still other occasions may call for a pool without only a coping that extends into a grassy area that functions like a patio.

As diverse as these many design styles can be, all pool patios share certain basic elements. Regardless of the materials used to construct them, they must be as flat as possible to comfortably and safely support foot traffic. After all, most people who swim go swimming barefoot, so the surface of any patio must be smooth and flat to avoid trips, injuries, or cuts to the feet. At the same time, patios must be built with some sort of drainage system that allows water to quickly run off before it forms a hazardous, slick surface. Exterior Worlds uses a number of unique drainage systems that can be either integrated or concealed within the patio design.

The nuances between the pool, the patio, and the surrounding property are details that most pool companies do not concern themselves with. Such details require an understanding of more than just how to build an attractive swimming pool and a patio that meets basic requirements. Truly integrating pool and patio into a landscaping master plan will require a comprehensive analysis of intended use, aesthetic proportion, grade of materials, and integration into surrounding outdoor design. Landscaping designers can better accomplish this by developing a landscaping plan first, then subcontracting the pool company and building a patio that unifies the work of the specialist with all surrounding elements at hand.

If you are interested in any high-quality landscape services, Exterior Worlds has been providing the residential and commercial landscape services discussed above for the Houston and the surrounding areas including memorial villages (Piney Point Village, Bunker Hill Village, Hunter Creek Village), Tanglewood, River Oaks, West University and the greater Houston (Hou), area since 1987.