o•a•sis /ō`āsis noun – 1. a pleasant or peaceful area in the midst of difficult, troubled, or hectic space. 2. A sanctuary.
Let’s talk about getting away from it all, about luxurious oases of tranquility where time seems to slow down and the nagging worries of the workaday world simply fall away. Close your eyes and imagine, for example, a pool—water being the element most frequently associated with an enhanced sense of serenity—carefully and creatively designed to refresh you, mind, body, and spirit.
Yes, a pool can be more—much more—than a place to cool off. The right combination of layout, landscaping, special features, and lighting can transform simple “swimming hole” into a sumptuous, soothing retreat. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination.
Clean yet luxuriant
Nothing says indulgence like a streamlined rectangular pool tiled in deep Mediterranean blue. An invisible edge all but vanishes the dividing line between land and water, as you step onto a shallow terrace studded with wooden gazebos curtained in filmy white and separated by massive stone planters sprouting tropical grasses. Stretch out on a redwood chaise under a matching market umbrella, or wade down the steps for a cool, refreshing swim.
Cozy and irregular
Seclusion and intimacy are the watchwords for a smaller, irregularly-shaped pool tucked behind an ivy-covered fence. Palm trees, elephant ears, and banana plants clustered around a deck of natural stone and growing from cutouts and planters incorporated into the pool itself lend an exotic touch of the tropics. Add the delicate music of flowing water as it streams from two outsized, tip-tilted, rust-colored urns, and you have the ultimate in relaxing getaways.
Stone on stone
Get away from the madding world behind a brick wall, as you slip into a round spa cupped in one corner of a kidney-shaped pool surfaced to turn the water a delicate sea-green. The spa spills into the pool, forming one of two water features evoking tropical waterfalls tumbling out from between large rocks scattered about and built into the pool’s edge. On a sandstone deck, a brick gazebo roofed in Spanish tile and complete with bar and grill offers all the comforts of home away from home.
Picture a pale blue pool sunk in natural stone and fed by a high, tiered waterfall at the far end. Mini-falls spill in on every side. The landscape dotted with fat, jumbled stones and carpeted in red lava rock is plush with palms of every type and size, thick stands of colorful tropical plants. A small island dense with greenery and lined with stones rises out of the water at one end of the pool, to complete this tropical paradise.
Fire and light
Nothing says oasis quite like a sinuously curved pool surrounded by a narrow deck in gray and white pavers. Border with lush greenery and colorful flowers, string fairy lights up the trunks of palm trees and along the skirt of a market umbrella, add a quartet of lighted jets at the far end of the pool to give your oasis the glow of firelight. Tuck a gazebo with fire pit into the corner greenery and a spa at the jet end of the pool, and you’ve created a virtual island paradise.