Design Details: Pools

  • Appleton Living

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    Art Gray

    This masterful design successfully blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing the pool and patio to play center stage while working together with both public and private indoor areas thanks to direct access points from the kitchen and master bedroom. The home was named the 2012 Watermark Awards Project of the Year. Project: Appleton Living, Venice, Calif.; Builder: CORE Construction, Los Angeles; Architect: MINARC, Santa Monica, Calif.

  • Appleton Living

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    Art Gray

  • Appleton Living

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    2000

    Art Gray

  • Brookline Pool House

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    Marcus Gleysteen

    To make this New England home’s pool accessible all year long, architect Marcus Gleysteen outfitted it with an adaptable pool house that cleverly makes the most of every season thanks to folding glass walls and an operable glass roof. The pool itself is dressed up with glass mosaic tiles that form an abstract mural across the floor. Project: Brookline Pool House, Brookline, Mass.; Builder: Wellen Construction, Marlborough, Mass.; Architect: Marcus Gleysteen, Cambridge, Mass.

  • Brookline Pool House

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    Marcus Gleysteen

  • Brookline Pool House

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    Marcus Gleysteen

  • Brookline Pool House

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    Marcus Gleysteen

  • Carlton Shore

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    Chuck Heiney Photography

    This house, situated on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, has an indoor pool with a soaring, two-story vaulted ceiling and an outdoor pool that feels like a continuation of the lake. Project: Carlton Shores, Lakeside, Mich.; Builder: Mike Schaap Builders, Holland, Mich.; Architect: Visbeen Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich.

  • Carlton Shore

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    Chuck Heiney Photography

  • Carlton Shore

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    Chuck Heiney Photography

  • Carlton Shore

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    Chuck Heiney Photography

  • Chimney Corners

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    Paul Bardagjy

    This Austin ranch got a hip, mid-century makeover without adding any extra square footage to the plan, thanks in part to a new patio pool shaded by a generous overhang. Materials used inside the home extend into the outdoor space, helping to forge an interior/exterior connection. Project: Chimney Corners, Austin, Texas; Builder: Melde Specialty Construction, Horseshoe Bay, Texas; Architect: Webber + Studio, Austin

  • Chimney Corners

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    Paul Bardagjy

  • Chimney Corners

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    Paul Bardagjy

  • Chimney Corners

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    Paul Bardagjy

  • Chimney Corners

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    Paul Bardagjy

  • Copper Sky

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    Bill Timmerman

    At this mountainside home, a terraced pool looks out onto panoramic views of Phoenix. Project: Copper Sky, Phoenix; Builder: Linthicum Corp., Phoenix; Architect Swaback Partners, Scottsdale, Ariz.

  • Copper Sky

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    Bill Timmerman

  • Copper Sky

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    Bill Timmerman

  • Copper Sky

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    1400

    Bill Timmerman

  • Desert Mountain

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    2000

    Steve Thompson

    This home’s heavy timber design is balanced by the lightness of its glassy pool, which makes the most of the site’s extensive views. Project: Desert Mountain, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Builder: The Phil Nichols Co., Scottsdale; Architect: Urban Design Associates, Pittsburgh

  • Desert Mountain

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    Steve Thompson

  • Desert Mountain

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    Steve Thompson

  • Goodman House

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    2000

    Jim Bartsch

    On a 40-foot-by-135-foot infill lot in a dense neighborhood on the west side of Los Angeles, this home embraces the linear nature of its site. So does the pool—long and skinny, it’s perfect for doing laps. Project: Goodman House, Venice, Calif.; Builder: Oliver Construction Co., Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Architect: Abramson Teiger Architects, Culver City, Calif.; Landscape architect: Eva Sobesky, Venice

  • Goodman House

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    Jim Bartsch

  • Goodman House

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    2000

    Jim Bartsch

  • Hardy Porch

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    2000

    Kip Dawkins

    After an earlier iteration of this backyard’s design left its patio bare, the owners wanted an addition that would stay in step with the original home while making the space more functional. A pool was added to enliven the space in summer months, and an accompanying timber-frame porch addition offers refuge from both sun and the elements year round. Project: Hardy Porch/Pool Addition, Richmond, Va.; Builder: Tuckahoe Creek Construction, Manakin-Sabot, Va.; Architect: Cox & Associates, Richmond

  • Hardy Porch

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    Kip Dawkins

  • Hardy Porch

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    Kip Dawkins

  • Hardy Porch

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    Kip Dawkins

  • Lagoon Pond

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    Brian Vanden Brink

    This low-slung home in Martha’s Vineyard acts as a vantage point for viewing the lagoon on one side and the property’s pool on the other. A natural palette of New England fieldstone, Western red cedar, and bronze and mahogany windows keep the focus on the natural landscape. Project: Lagoon Pond, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Builder: Rosebeck Builders Corp., Edgartown, Mass.; Architect: Hutker Architects, Vineyard Haven, Mass.

  • Lagoon Pond

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    Brian Vanden Brink

  • Lagoon Pond

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    Brian Vanden Brink

  • Lagoon Pond

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    Brian Vanden Brink

  • Lagoon Pond

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    Brian Vanden Brink

  • Lagoon Pond

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    Brian Vanden Brink

     

  • O'Brien Pool Pavilion

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    Neil Landino

    Inspired by the pavilions of India, this partly covered pavilion allows light to filter through its open pergola beams and offers an elevated vantage point to view the accompanying pool. Project: O’Brien Pool Pavilion, Greenwich, Conn.; Builder: H&Y Construction, Brookfield, Conn.; Architect: Saniee Architects, Greenwich

  • O'Brien Pool Pavilion

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    Neil Landino

  • O'Brien Pool Pavilion

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    Neil Landino

  • Osprey

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    Greg Wilson

    Providing a warm winter retreat for a Midwestern family, this home boasts views of the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Intercoastal Waterway to the east. A pool leads up to the front elevation and sets the tone for the surrounding water views. Project: Private Residence, Osprey, Fla.; Builder: Michael K. Walker, Sarasota, Fla.; Architect: TOTeMS Architecture, Sarasota

  • Osprey

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    Greg Wilson

  • Osprey

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    1349

    Greg Wilson

  • Pool + House

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    Anice Hoachlander

    A dry-stacked stone wall draws a thin line between this pool and its accompanying house. The wall also houses the piping by which the pool is fed, and the sound of rushing water from a built-in fountain helps preserve privacy on this tight lot. Project: Pool + House, McLean, Va.; Builder: Gruver and Cooley, Leesburg, Va.; Architect: Randall Mars Architects, McLean; Landscape architect: Surrounds Landscape Architecture, Herndon, Va.

  • Pool + House

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    Anice Hoachlander

  • Pool + House

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    Anice Hoachlander

  • Pool + House

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    Anice Hoachlander

  • Pool + House

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    Anice Hoachlander

  • Pool + House

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    Anice Hoachlander

  • Rapahannock Bend

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    2000

    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    When a new pool house/guest residence was commissioned for this property, the existing pool and stone wall provided the design’s starting point. The wall now provides the dividing line between the structure’s open-air public spaces and its conditioned private areas. Project: Rappahannock Bend Summer House, King George, Va.; Builder: Bonitt Builders, Alexandria, Va.; Architect: McInturff Architects, Bethesda, Md.

  • Rapahannock Bend

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

  • Rapahannock Bend

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

  • Rapahannock Bend

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

  • Rapahannock Bend

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

  • Rapahannock Bend

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

  • Rapahannock Bend

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    2000

    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

Industry experts agree that a home with a thoughtfully designed outdoor space will appeal more to prospective buyers than one without. It’s easy to see why: A place to linger outdoors helps make each lovely day last as long as possible, increases a home’s livable square footage, and gives an impression of greater spaciousness. In many cases, a nicely finished outdoor space includes a pool, whether for swimming, soaking, or just staring into. Though opinions vary on exactly how much value a pool adds to a home—much depends on the geographic location—what’s clear is that in many parts of the country, houses with pools will indeed fetch higher prices than those without. What’s also clear is that sitting by sparkling water on a hot day is a great way to relax. So, whether you’re contemplating including a pool in a project and are in need of ideas, or maybe just need to look at some cool blue water, here’s a roundup of cool pools. It’s just in time for the dog days of August, so dive on in.

Senior editors Amy Albert and Claire Easley contributed to this article.