When you add a swimming pool to your backyard, it becomes the focal point both in design and in function. The pool is such a big installation that all the other parts of your backyard are seen in relation to the pool. Why not use that inevitability to good effect? You can actually integrate your patio into the swimming pool by sinking it into the water.
The Sunken Patio
The sunken patio can actually function in one of two ways; it can be an extension of the pool into the yard, or it can extend into the pool itself. The point is that the patio an extension of the pool with the patio floor lower than the waterline.
For the former, the patio is usually off-center to the pool itself; the two share a wall. Said wall can be a hard end to the water, or designers can create a vanishing edge in the manner of an infinity pool. Naturally, that design will necessitate a catch pool between the vanishing wall and the patio floor. Another design option is a glass wall between the two.
For the patio that's in the pool itself, typically it's an extension of the decking. However, sometimes designers create a freestanding sunken patio with a pathway to the area. Both setups necessitate careful planning for water splashing, usually by way of coping between the two. However, the designers can also surround the patio floor with a catch pool if you want the water to spill over.
Adding a sunken patio as part of your swimming pool is a complex design project. That complexity is part of the reason they're relatively rare. But then, that rarity makes them unique and, therefore, a focal point of your pool area.
One of the design challenges comes in creating a sense of cohesion between the two areas. Designers typically create that cohesion by repeating materials. For example, if the patio extends into the water, they'll use the same coping material as for the rest of the pool. For a further sense of cohesion, they'll probably use similar materials for the patio as for the decking around the pool.
If the sunken patio extends out from the pool, designers might choose to repeat shapes. For instance, if you have a freeform pool, they may add a sunken patio by creating another loop as part of the overall freeform shape.
For sunken patios within the pool, the designers have to decide about a path to the area. They might create stepping stones or a straight walkway. They might also surround the patio with shallow water in the manner of a Baja shelf, which gives you the option of entering the patio from the pool directly.
Amenities for the Sunken Patio
Your sunken patio may simply consist of a flat area for seating. However, you have numerous other options. For example, some designers incorporate a fire pit even for patios that extend into the pool. You can also have built-in seating installed.
If your sunken patio extends out, you have even more design possibilities. The patio can serve as a dining area, or you can even incorporate some food preparation into the design. Consider widening the wall between the pool and the patio into a counter and adding seating in the water; that way, your sunken patio can double as a swim-up bar.
With either orientation of a sunken patio, include adequate lighting. At bare minimum, illuminate the entrance and perimeter of the patio, especially the waterside walls. However, you can also have the designers create accent lighting so your sunken patio is a focal point at night.
Consider a unique and luxurious addition to your swimming pool - the sunken patio. Consult with Sequoyah Pools for more design ideas.