Bill Moore NJ Licensed NJ Landscape Architect
Bill Moore NJ Licensed NJ Landscape Architect
Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools & Landscaping.
Pool Design/Construction, Landscape Design/Construction, Masonry
Realtors always say that the three most important things to look for in a property are location, location and location. This old saying rang loud and clear for our clients when looking to remove their old, uninspired swimming pool and create something truly custom and unique. The Kinnelon NJ home is situated on ten secluded mountaintop acres with a captivating view of the valley and nearby city below. Our clients loved their home and the rest of their property but were left feeling disappointed with their old swimming pool and landscaping in the surrounding area. Being seasoned world travelers, the homeowners had strong opinions on the landscape design, layout, and materials. This turned out to be the best catalyst for bringing our swimming pool to a higher level of design and craftsmanship.
The goal of the swimming pool design was to create an negative edge swimming pool (AKA infinity or vanishing edge pool) that accentuated the views off-site. Setting the pool elevation and location on the property was scrutinized thoroughly. The shape was set to be a roman end pool with plenty of seating, a large spa and a sunshelf at the shallow end, allowing all users a chance for active and passive recreation. The patio layout again was designed to allow users to spread out and enjoy the vast views with our new pool in the foreground.
The Kinnelon house and surrounding landscape were on top of a mountain. Some of the landscape had rock shelf just a few feet down while other areas had up to a twenty-foot depth of unsuitable fill conditions. The swimming pool, cabana area and subsurface patio soil were excavated to suitable shelf and subgrade. This required 1000 tons of clean stone below the pool and another 400 tons of compactable fill surrounding. This provided the stable base for the swimming pool, patios, and landscaping.
The finishes on the swimming pool are what really took this pool from great to spectacular. For example, the waterline tile of the negative edge pool consisted of a two-color, hand-casted, half inch by half inch iridescent glass tile set in a Grecian key pattern. Pulling from that tile, one inch by one inch tiles were set at all the benches, steps, and shelves as well as the overflow to the infinity edge. This led us to the installation of a three-color iridescent glass Grecian key and border detail at the bottom of the swimming pool with a combined profile approximately thirty inches wide. The floor tile was an add-on and was very challenging to install due to the head locations of the in-floor pool cleaning system. In addition to the in- floor cleaning system, the tile and plaster installation crews had to tiptoe around 200 fiber optic star floor lights on the pool floor. The swimming pool plaster was selected to accentuate the tile, using a washed, exposed aggregate finish, which glistens in the summer sun.
The limestone coping was template cut on site, and we had the limestone detailed with a custom profile by our stone masons. The natural stone patio surrounding the negative edge pool was another material that was unique to this landscaping project. Countless samples and testing were reviewed to match a photo the homeowners had of a pool in France. A limestone quarried from mid-west North America was selected. The coping and borders were a white range limestone. The patio field was a grey range limestone. Both were flame-finished tops and all stone was set on 6” thick, engineered concrete slabs. Limestone accents were also featured on the outdoor chef’s kitchen, a limestone castle corner inlay decorated this full service NJ outdoor kitchen, which also featured a 54” grill, stainless sink, 2 refrigerators, a warming drawer and side burners.
Lastly, the fiber optic pool lighting was another layer of the swimming pool project, which was tough on installation but proved to be a breathtaking element in the end. There are two hundred star lights on the bottom of the swimming pool, three multi-color wall mounted lights in the spa and swimming pool, and four illuminated deck jets on the corners. The urns on the masonry piers at the far side of the swimming pool have landscape lighting as do the entry piers. The landscape lighting design just finishes off the surrounding features. It accents and adds a whole new dimension to the swimming pool and landscaping after sunset.
While the view from the house overlooking the valley was always breathtaking, we feel we have achieved a worthwhile foreground for that view. Our Kinnelon homeowners described the feeling of purchasing artwork when we discussed this project and said how, “Artwork is nice. You look at it, it makes you think, and then you walk away.” The swimming pool and surrounding landscape design is much like the artwork they described, but in this case, you look at the pool, it looks nice, it makes you think, and then you stay and enjoy the outdoor living space for many years to come.