This Southport Pool House Design Works for Year-Round Use

This colorful pool house located in Southport, CT, was designed by Moss Design for a homeowner who wanted to be able to use the space year-round.

Inside there is a powder room, laundry room, living room, and a kitchen with a passthrough to the outdoor dining space — everything the homeowner or guests could need while enjoying a day by the pool. Outside there is an outdoor shower for guests to rinse off.

The exterior of the pool house directly reflects the style of the main house; however, the interior design is solely its own space.

The inspiration for the design was “transitional and tropical.” “It is much more modern and playful for a vacation-vibe escape,” says Meghan De Maria, founder and principal at Moss Design, which is also in Southport. “While we gave it a fun summer feel, we created more of a tropical vibe, which you’ll see throughout with various prints and textures.”

This included rope lighting, a seagrass mirror, rattan chairs and bar stools, ocean blues throughout, and palm-frond wallpaper.

“[My favorite element] is the lighting,” says De Maria. “[The fixtures] are exquisite. We fell in love with them as soon as we saw them. The designer creates these beautiful globes and pendants from organic rope and string. Each is hand-wrapped and add an island vibe and artisan feel. And when turned on, they emanate the light… giving off a warm and inviting glow to the space.”

fire place pool house

As for materials used, in any pool house or pool area, durable surfaces are a must. “You don’t want to stress out over any material breaking down before its prime when this is ideally meant to be a space to relax and enjoy your time,” says De Maria. “This space will take on a lot so you definitely should want good quality furniture and outdoor fabrics as well.”

The barstools are upholstered in terrycloth, “giving them a whimsical nod to the pool but they are then also very functional for wet bottoms,” she says. With an interior like this, guests may not want to take a splash in the pool after all.

powder bathroom

What you need to know before you build a pool house.

According to Architect Burr Salvatore, there are a variety of considerations when building a pool house on your property.

“Foremost, we need to ensure that the building complies with any municipal regulations — zoning or wetlands setbacks, flood regulations, etc.,” he says. “But sometimes those can be an asset. Siting a pool house with a wetland beyond can sometimes create a significant landscape opportunity.” Towns may also limit height, amenities, and size for a pool house.

Will the pool house serve as a guesthouse year-round, or is it a place to store beach towels…

From a design standpoint, the homeowner needs to decide whether the pool house is adjunct to the house or its own entity. “Do the clients want to walk out of the house with a pitcher and go immediately to the pool terrace, or is it a destination in the site?” says Salvatore. “And if it’s a destination in the site, then it probably needs to be equipped differently, as well.”

Will the pool house serve as a guesthouse year-round, or is it a place to store beach towels and provide a shaded area for the summer months?

This will help you to determine what amenities you need to include: Do you want a full kitchen or a kitchenette? Do you need a laundry room and full bathroom or just a changing area? Will there be a bedroom and a living space or just sitting area?

This will all determine how it is designed, the size, and how it is built.

No matter which version you choose, Salvatore says this is a great opportunity to be “different and less serious” than the main house. “It’s not so much the size, it’s the identity,” he says. “Who wants to go to the pool and feel like you’re arriving at the portico of a 25,000-sq-ft manse?”

Meghan De Maria
Founder and Principal Designer at Moss Design

Bob Chagnon
Owner of Bob Chagnon Residential Design LLC

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