Pooling Around

Two Isle Pools — Each With Its Own Unique Style
Photo: David Croxford

Blue Lagoon
Featuring C & J Contracting

Bill and Mary Brennan sum up the look of their old pool in one word: boring. “It was a rectangular, vinyl pool,” says Bill. “It was pretty uninteresting. Surrounding the pool itself was just cement, that tended to be pretty slippery when wet.”

With a total landscape overhaul complete, the Brennans knew it was time for a new pool. “We wanted a design that was more free form and tropical to complement the landscaping,” Bill says. “We wanted a blue lagoon.”

The Brennans reached out to Clifton Crawford of C & J Contracting to replace the pool, add a spa and completely reinvent the existing space. “Clifton did a fantastic job, from beginning to end,” Bill says.

In the beginning, the biggest challenge came during the installation of the new pool as Crawford and his crew worked to replace the dated 14-foot by 28-foot pool. “We were using the existing hole but expanding and turning it,” Crawford says. “The ground in this area is basically sand, so we had a lot of caving in. We eventually got it figured out, though.”

The adjoining spa is fully automated and can be controlled from an iPhone app. The spa’s built-in waterfall, which spills into the pool, provides ambient sound during the day and is a good spot for jumping contests.

The pool was repositioned so that it could be more easily seen from each of the bedrooms in this two-story home tucked away in a quiet Kailua neighborhood. “We recently remodeled the home and extended the back lanai doors from 12 to 18 feet because we wanted to take full advantage of the view,” Bill says. “The pool is now the centerpiece of the view along with the landscaping.”

Today, the saltwater pool looks like it’s been there all along. “It fits perfectly within the available space, the existing landscaping and the architecture of the home itself,” Crawford says. “It doesn’t look like an addition.”

The pool tile is a 1-inch-by-1-inch custom ceramic tile – myriad blues designed for a three-dimensional look. “The tile took us awhile to figure out,” Crawford says. “The homeowner really wanted to create that blue lagoon look.”

Crawford says the Brennans’ input throughout was key. “A project of this magnitude really requires major involvement from the homeowners,” Crawford says. “It’s a true partnership when you build a pool like this.”

The bubbler fountain on the submerged Bali ledge is popular with both kids and adults alike. “We’re doing more and more of these,” says Crawford. “It’s a great place to play or sit and provides easy access to the pool.” The fountain has a LED light that changes colors for a dramatic light show at night.

Panoramic Pool
Featuring Debiasi Pacific

Pool designer and builder Steve DeBiasi estimates that he’s built nearly 500 pools in his career. This is his favorite one. “It’s the most beautiful pool perched in the most extraordinary setting,” says DeBiasi, owner of DeBiasi Pacific. “We wanted to create something that did justice to the home and the view, and I think we did that.”

The homeowners reached out to DeBiasi to reimagine the existing, kidney-shaped pool surrounded by a dated concrete deck with a deck-level spa. “It’s always a challenge to take an existing pool and re-create it,” says DeBiasi. “Still, this site had a lot going for it.”

And then some. Sitting high on a Kailua hillside, the site features sweeping views of the mountains, Kawainui Marsh and even a few glimpses of ocean. “We wanted to turn the pool into something more contemporary and add details that reflected the quality and style of the (recently remodeled) home,” DeBiasi says. “Plus, looking out at the mountains and water, it was natural to go with a theme of fire and water.”

DeBiasi Pacific removed the diving board, expanded the shallow end to make it more family friendly, installed a chaise lounge shelf and added an elevated spa. “Adding an infinity edge was a no brainer with this panoramic view,” DeBiasi says.

For the fire theme, DeBiasi added a hidden gas line along the infinity edge running the length of the pool. This dramatic feature creates a fire wall accented by water fountains shooting up from the ground below. “The transformation is pretty incredible. It’s a completely different feel,” he says.

For the pool tile itself, DeBiasi used standard finishes throughout. “We didn’t go crazy with overly expensive elements,” he says. “A lot of times, people want to use all the new, trendy materials, fancy glass tiles and such. But you can stick with standard pool tile, finishes and stones and take an existing pool and create something spectacular and still stay within a remodeling budget.”

Categories: Outdoor Living, Pools and Spas