This summer’s backyard experience is going to be much different than last summer’s for Jill Dupré and her family. This graphic and interior designer wanted a better view from her kitchen window and wasn’t afraid to take some major steps to get there.
“We tore down an old dilapidated two-story apartment building that was our view from our kitchen,” she says. “It took up most of that space, so when we bought the house, we knew we wanted a pool there.”
The pool renovation was completed in August 2008. The rest of the landscaping and structural work came to a close in October. Inspired by the pool at the Hotel San Jose in Austin, Texas, as well as the strong architectural character of the existing residence, Dupré and MetroStudio’s Ken Gowland designed the space, which boasts a teak deck, an outdoor shower, island steps and a cabana.
“We have a beautiful view from our house that we are invited to enjoy just by looking out,” Dupré says. “I like the simple, modern feel of the structures, but they still echo the lines and feel of the old house.”
Dupré says she is most looking forward to sharing this space with friends and family during the coming warmer months. The deck offers plenty of room for games for her daughter, Mathilda, and son, Mose, plus entertaining for her and her husband, Josh Mayer, and their numerous friends.
“We haven’t gotten many friends into it yet,” Dupré says. “But we hope they like the simplicity and compactness of the spaces. We hope they will use it even when we aren’t here!” •
Although Leslie Fawer’s backyard didn’t sustain any damage during Hurricane Katrina, the event became the catalyst for its complete overhaul. There was a pool already in existence, but with the expertise of architect Lisa Pulitzer and a longtime collaboration with a local landscape designer, this yard-and-pool combo became an extension of the family’s home.
“I think I use it more than my actual living room,”
jokes Fawer. “The kids love it, and we have their friends over every weekend. It definitely brings our family
Pulitzer created the pool’s fountains and formal structures to be in line with Fawer’s aesthetic of clean, simple lines, and it works perfectly for both formal and casual entertaining. An outdoor fireplace ensures year-round company, while the elongated pool –– 9.5 feet deep at the farthest
end –– is great for both laps and cannonballs.
“It’s as much for the kids as it is for us adults,”
With the family’s busy schedule –– her husband works in commercial real estate, and they have two young sons, Seth and Tanner –– the yard and pool are the perfect place to kick back. “We use it as a living room, a dining room and really an everything room,” Fawer says. “We like having all of our sons’ friends over; on weekends everyone comes here. We’ve hosted three birthday parties in the last month.” •
A Fresh Start
Although Hurricane Katrina left the backyard of these Uptown homeowners fairly intact, they took the opportunity to hop on the renovation bandwagon and create the yard they had always wanted.
“There was a mammoth oak tree,” the lady of the house says of her previous backyard. “It had grown under the existing pool. During Katrina, the tree toppled, popping the pool out of the ground. It allowed us to start afresh.”
The couple replaced the huge fallen tree and pool with an equally expansive saltwater pool, roughly 20 feet by 30 feet, that also includes a spa. Alan and Marianne Mumford of Landscape Images Ltd. created the homeowners’ dream blue print, and Reed Richardson with Gulf South Pools Inc. executed the design, making it a reality for the family. Unique features include a slide for their children to enjoy, and the aforementioned luxurious spa with cascading waterfalls.
Lush landscaping surrounds the pool, which perfectly complements the pool’s unusual shape and creates a great area for entertaining. The couple says one of their favorite features is the pool’s dark bottom, which keeps the water warmer and adds the illusion of depth.
John the Pool Man LLC helps with the weekly maintenance of the pool, ensuring the space is always company- or family-ready.
“We live a very casual life,” says the lady of the house. “We love to cook dinner for friends and barbecue. It’s also great entertainment for the children. We use the spa and hot tub all year.” •