Making a Splash: Hot Pool Looks for 2013

The latest looks for luxury pools-as outdoor living space becomes ever more popular.

BY April 2, 2013

It used to be that kitchens and bathrooms where the maine drivers for home sales. But if you ask real estate pros these days, they’ll tell you a new player has emerged as a must-have, especially in the upscale market—outdoor living space.

And the main driver of that space is still the pool area. Those clear waters that draw us outside, especially as the mercury starts topping 90.

This stunning pool area, designed by Fort Myers-based Artesian Pool Construction’s owner Joe Polotto, brings in elements of modern pool design that have been popular in the Miami area for a few years but are just now making it to Southwest Florida.

“The builders of the model home wanted to keep the natural materials of marble, but move into a more modern  ook with clean lines, the European edges (where the water appears at deck level) and the fire wall,” he says.

These elements have been popular with commercial pools, especially in places like Las Vegas, but are just now making a splash in local homes.


It took a team to put together this stunning pool concept for a Naples Gulf-front home. Keith Whipple of Felt Tip Design came up with the concept of a higher pool sending water into a lower pool. But to make the whole thing work, with the casual sophistication the clients were looking for, he brought in Aquatic Consultants from Miami to help with the engineering.

The results are an infinity edge upper pool, where the water cascades over the side, collects and feeds into a trough that is cut out through the stairs leading into the lower pool. The finished product calls to mind Beverly Hills and Southwest Florida, thanks to the surrounding landscaping that offers a glimpse of the Gulf with some natural vegetation for privacy.


For the pool at his own home, Polotto knew he had to go big. After all, a luxury pool builder needs to have a certain level of product on display. And he wanted something for his kids to enjoy, like a waterslide. But instead of just putting in the slides you grew up with at the community pool, Polotto designed a custom piece to blend into the natural surrounds.

What at first appears to be a large, hollowed out old tree is the launching point for the 35-foot slide, which is hidden behind greenery.

“The house is out in the woods, so we wanted the design to blend into that,” Polotto says. “Working with the natural surroundings of the home is really our first step in any design. We want to see how it fits in with the landscape, know how the owner is going to use it and what features they are looking for before we do anything.

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