Poolside Manor

Yong Pak, Richard Anderson and Jennifer Healey create a splash with a breezy backyard retreat for a home not so far away from home.

While many people think of a pool house as an outdoor rec room where not-so-refined furniture and terry cloth towels go to retire, decorator Jennifer Healey of J. Healey Interiors upgraded this concept, designing a breezy and elegant poolside cottage that acts more like an extended arm of the home.

For their dream outdoor retreat, the homeowners envisioned a space that easily transitioned with their varying needs: hangout room for their three teenagers, entertaining space for poolside parties, and comfortable guesthouse for extended-stay guests. To achieve this, they enlisted architect Yong Pak of Pak Heydt & Associates to create a fluid layout that complements the main house and nestles naturally into their lush backyard design by Richard Anderson.

The family also sought a setup that was inviting year-round. Stained tongue-and-groove Douglas fir covers the walls and ceilings for a welcoming texture that feels authentic against the rock exterior. To create a more traditional look, the design team brought the horizontal layout of the planks into the kitchenette for a sleek, continuous room with a smooth façade that doesn’t skew too rough or rustic.

Pak’s streamlined design focused on raw elements like stone, wood, steel and glass, so Healey selected lighting that would enhance the natural beauty of the space without stealing the spotlight. “The way we approached lighting was the catalyst for much of the project,” Healey said. Instead of overly decorative pieces, she chose simple yet stunning fixtures that echo the space. Suzanne Kasler’s Morris lanterns are reminiscent of the porch design, with opaque glass that glows like Chinese lanterns at night. Two Christopher Spitzmiller lamps are visible from the exterior, intentionally integrating themselves into both the front porch vignette and the interior.

Custom concrete waterfall consoles by John Ziebarth of Turning Stone Design create sculpted symmetry in the spacious main room to balance the multifaceted space, which houses a pool table on one side and club chairs on the other. Additionally, these do double duty as serving tables when the homeowners entertain large groups of friends.

“We wanted the eye to take in general ideas like shapes and finish, versus pattern or fussy details,” says Healey, who selected furnishings intentionally sculptural in shape to mix with a contemporary color palette that pulls from the outdoors. “We didn’t want the interior to distract from the main view—the lovely pool,” she says.

INTERIOR DESIGN Jennifer Healey, J. Healey Interiors. (404) 862-1942; jhealeyinteriors.com. ARCHITECT Yong Pak, Pak Heydt & Associates. (404) 231-3195; pakheydt.com. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Richard Anderson, Richard Anderson Landscape Architect. (404) 892 1788; richardandersonla.com