Sunset Pools and Spas

It finally happened. The temperature in Chicago and the surrounding areas dropped to single digits this week.

Given the frigid air we experienced, I doubt you’re thinking about the next time you have to mow your lawn or trim the bushes in your yard. But it can’t hurt to close your eyes, think ahead and imagine a warmer, greener time of year—right?

Look no further for daydream inspiration than to one of our recent client projects, pictured here.


This backyard is more than just a beautiful picture that can temporarily make us forget the frosty temps; it also demonstrates how tiny hints of nature can enhance an entire poolscape.

Natural Rock

The natural bluestone squares surrounding this pool are a symmetrical and elegant addition to the yard. However, these steps have a practical use as well, as they are slip resistant. This type of enhancement is not only visually appealing, but it adds an extra element of safety around the outside of the pool where kids are prone to running and where it tends to get slick from splashing water.

Grass and Greenery

The neighborhood where this home rests is full of greenery. The grass surrounding the pool helps to bring out the other trees, bushes and grass in the area, and makes the entire picture look like one cohesive landscape.

Hints of Natural Water

And of course, we can’t forget about the pool. The inside of this particularly grand pool—which is 50 feet long and 20 feet wide—was designed with a black interior so the water would match the color of the housing development’s lake. This detail invites more of the natural beauty from the surrounding area into the backyard.

Overall, this poolscape is a beautiful reflection of the nature surrounding it, and hopefully provides some inspiration as we daydream about the warmer and greener months ahead.

Determining the shape and size of your pool is one of the first steps to building one. However, with all of the options and accessories that are available for a poolscape, finding the right inspiration may not always be easy.

If you’re in the beginning phases of dreaming up future plans for your yard and your pool, here is some inspiration from Sunset Pools and Spas that can hopefully get you started.

The poolscape featured here showcases a classic design that is built for entertaining. The pool itself is large enough to hold a decent number of swimmers, and the spacious entryway steps lined in tile offer a secondary purpose for those who prefer to lounge in the water rather than swim.

The owners of this pool have also factored in a variety of poolside seating—from lounge chairs to upright seating areas and a canopy daybed—to accommodate a whole slew of family members or other guests. Maximum seating options allow the host to include everyone in the outdoor action, especially if there are guests who don’t prefer to get in the pool (or even sit in the sun), but who still want to socialize outside.

The outdoor kitchen is another main attraction of this yard and boasts plenty of counter space for cooking and entertaining. Outdoor living areas, such as kitchens, are a great way to make your poolscape more than about the pool. They can provide the missing element to any pool party; guarantee to keep all the party food and related mess outside of your house; and also extend the life of your backyard when it’s too cold to swim, but still warm enough to enjoy a weekend barbeque.

Overall, this backyard is perfect for entertaining, as it offers options for those who prefer to swim, wade, sunbathe, cook, or just hang out.

What do you get when you combine Daylight Savings Time with temperatures above 40 degrees in Chicago?

Grilling weather!

That’s right folks. Although it might not be the perfect weather for playing outdoors, we have definitely been given an invitation to start taking advantage of the longer days and above-freezing temps. As the snow continues to melt, there is no better way to get a head start on summer than sparking up the grill and spending a little bit of time cooking outside over an open flame.

Grilling is a popular pastime in Chicago, but it’s also a popular tradition all across the globe. Just look at this 2013 article from Bon Appétit. The article shows us that while grilling traditions vary from culture to culture, the grill still plays an important role in not only how we share food, but how we connect with one another. For example, in the Middle East and Central Asia, the word “mangal” is both the name of a grill and the name of the social gathering where the meat is cooked.

If you love grilling just as much as I do (and many Chicagoans, as well), you may want to feast your eyes on the image below. This picture provides a snapshot of the ultimate outdoor grilling setup, stocked with a full kitchen and stainless steel appliances.

This image is another great example of how grilling can bring people together. The long kitchen island connected to the cooking area is a great way to merge food with friendship. The outdoor kitchen becomes not only a place for cooking, but for socializing and bonding, as well.

Although outdoor swimming season has not yet arrived, I encourage you to take advantage of the slightly warmer days that are finally here. Grab some grub, some friends, some charcoal or gas, and fire up the grill!