Salt Lake City–based designers Jamie Bellessa and David Clyde have recently completed the interiors of a relaxed, yet stylish, pool house for a well-travelled Australian family living in Park City, Utah.
The owners wanted a pool house that would complement their casual, worry-free approach to life, and requested a low-maintenance, poolside retreat where they could spend quality time as a family, and with their friends. They wanted a space that was simple and functional, and that integrated seamlessly with its mountain landscape.
The 600-square-foot property is located at the base of a ski resort in Park City that sees extreme weather throughout the year, so it was designed to withstand the heavy snows of winter while taking advantage of the perfect mountain summers.
In winter, the simple, sloped roofline directs snow and ice away from the pool, while the large glass walls in front of the building allow for maximum sunlight penetration during cool mornings in the summer. A 15-inch, bi-fold glass wall on the northeast corner opens half of the house up to the outdoors.
Bellessa and Clyde designed the space to be as low-maintenance and adaptable as possible by choosing flexible, durable furniture pieces, such as a sectional that can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Says Bellessa, "Our challenge was to design a space flexible enough to house visiting guests for a few nights, and also host large pool parties. The space can be reconfigured to adapt to these two purposes within a matter of minutes."
The small, two-room floor plan includes a bathroom, and an open plan area that integrates a simple kitchen, a dining table for six, a hidden queen bed, and a large sectional and sitting area that comfortably seats up to eight people.
Working with a limited color palette, the designers employed visual and tactile textures to add interest to the space. "From the white-gloss, slab-front cabinets in the kitchen, to the tone-on-tone material selections in the bathroom, the aesthetics of the space are clean and modern," says Clyde. "By keeping the paint color simple, the wood tones in the chairs and sectional have a greater importance in the space, reinforcing the visual connection between the outside and inside environments."
The duo used simple fit-outs that would require little upkeep, such as honed concrete floors.
"The idea was to create a more refined extension of the concrete pool deck," says Bellessa. "The interior concrete allows wet feet to come in from outside without having to worry of slipping or making a mess of the floors."
Tongue-and-groove wood ceilings run front-to-back in the space, extending beyond the glass walls to the exterior soffit of the structure. Close to half of all the exterior walls are glass and metal. The uninterrupted lines of can lights extend from the outside to the inside, further strengthening the visual connection between interior and exterior.
Brass used for the cabinet hardware, two large hanging chandeliers at either end of the space, and metal picture frames imbue the interiors with a warm, cozy glow at night.
To meet their client’s need to host large groups within the limited floor space, the designers came up with the idea of a double island to provide additional seating, or areas for serving food.
On a regular day, the large waterfall quartz island serves as a kitchen table that accommodates up to eight people. A slightly smaller, white oak island nestles naturally underneath this quartz island, sitting on casters and fully independent of the quartz island. This white oak island doubles the surface area of useable tabletop to provide additional serving or seating space for up to eight more people. When needed, this wood island can be pulled out onto the pool deck to function as an outdoor serving or prep area for food and drinks as well.
Custom woodwork continues to the bathroom, where a teak shelf runs above the vanity, extending through the glass shower wall into the shower itself to serve as storage space for both wet and dry areas of the bathroom.
A skylight that extends from above the vanity through to the living area past an interior wall was incorporated into the bathroom to draw in more natural light.
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"In a high mountain environment, weather was our biggest challenge," says Clyde. "With a short building season, it was important to get key components built while the weather allowed for it. Despite some construction delays, we were able to get the project installed quickly once the building was turned over to us. Our clients trusted our design vision and were extremely easy to work, allowing the project to flow easily from initial concept to their first large pool party of the year."
Architecture: Republic of Rational Design
Builder: Eschen Felder Landscaping and Jerem
Landscape design: Eschen Felder Landscaping and Jeremy Pendelton
Interior, lighting and cabinetry design: Jamie Bellessa and David Clyde of Jamie Bellessa
Cabintery installation: Woodcraft Mill
Furniture: Millbrook Furniture
Kitchen counter: Bedrock Quartz
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