Date: July 2, 2019 | Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Rett Peek |
Water and fire features play off high-style architecture and pool design to create a world-class retreat in Fayetteville
Sculptural white loungers on the wide steps descending into the pool offer a spot to cool off in the water.
The backyard of this new construction home in Fayetteville is a fusion of opposites. For example, sleek, clean lines in the hardscaping meet curves in the arched roof line over the grand foyer. White brick, concrete, and pavers are warmed up by a mix of woods throughout the backyard. And while the escape is undeniably stylish and current, it’s a place that offers comfort and community for the family of six and their friends who spend time here after school and during the summer months.
Designer Casey Sarkin of Casey Sarkin Interior Design, who helped the owners of this house on both its exterior and interior, says it’s no coincidence people tend to gravitate to the back of the house. “The whole house was built around the pool area,” Casey says, noting that because of its ‘U’ shape, you can enter the outdoor area from all five bedrooms, a pool room, and the open-concept living and kitchen area.
For design inspiration, the homeowners shared with Casey pictures of places they’d seen and admired on their travels. “She knew she wanted fire, and we worked with Elite Pools of Little Rock on the pool and fire features,” Casey says. Fire plays a part in two areas of the layout: in bowls on pedestals near the deep end of the pool, and accenting one end of a reflecting pool seen through a window at the entrance of the house. “When you walk in the front door of the house and into the atrium, you see right through that window out into the pool,” Casey says. “We contemplated a spa there, and then a water garden, but decided to do this reflecting pool with bubblers and the fire. At night when you walk in and see it all lit up, it’s stunning.”
In designing this space, Casey and the homeowners were mindful of making it functional year- round, from cold winter nights to the hotter days of Arkansas summers. To this end, the fire feature serves a functional purpose—from its position next to the living area, it gives off enough heat to warm the space.
When guests come through the front door, they are greeted with the view of the reflecting pool and flames through large-scale windows, providing just the dramatic effect Casey envisioned for her clients. A channel of water connects the reflecting pool to the swimming pool so it can all operate on one system.
Casey kept the furnishings for this area clean and minimal with a palette of black, white, and wood tones. The curved backs of chairs from RH, Restoration Hardware play off abundant straight lines.
Casey and the team from Grassroots Landscaping collaborated for the surface and landscaping design. For the pool surround, they installed a smooth pumice-finish concrete with grass joints, which complements the home’s contemporary architecture and graphic elements. Arborvitae as well as planters filled with Japanese maples and seasonal plantings bring life to the hardscaping.
Sliding doors make the pool area accessible from all the bedrooms and provide a serene view of the outdoors. Boxed planters filled with horsetail bamboo will provide additional privacy for a nearby bathroom window as it continues to grow.
“The whole house was built around the pool area.” – Casey Sarkin, designer
Furnishings that coordinate with the outdoor dining set were selected for a living area near the house. Here, a combination of textures—fringed pillows paired with a smooth concrete coffee table, for example—further accentuates juxtapositions seen throughout the design.
CONTRACTOR Kevin Riggins, Riggins Construction DESIGN Casey Sarkin, Casey Sarkin Interior Design LANDSCAPE DESIGN Grassroots Landscaping ACCESSORIES, FURNITURE, AND TILE Casey Sarkin Interior Design CONCRETE Ozark Pattern Concrete POOL Elite Pools by Aloha