Ask the ex­pert

In­door pools

Country Life Every Week - - Ask The Expert - John Evans In­te­rior Ar­chi­tec­ture & De­sign (www.johnevans­de­sign.com; 0121–233 9041)

What are the cur­rent trends?

We’re in­creas­ingly see­ing more in­ter­est in in­door pool rooms—un­less cli­mate change makes a big dif­fer­ence in this coun­try, it makes more sense to in­vest in some­thing that you can use year round. No project is the same as another, of course: some peo­ple’s plans are quite straight­for­ward and tra­di­tional in their de­sign, but those of some clients are more com­plex. Al­most all in­door pool rooms will in­clude an el­e­ment of other leisure fa­cil­i­ties be­sides swim­ming—a spa area or a gym are pretty stan­dard, but it can get more com­pli­cated.

What’s the most elab­o­rate de­sign?

We’re cur­rently go­ing through the plan­ning process for a very un­usual project that in­volves build­ing down two lev­els un­der a large con­ser­va­tory that is part of a listed house. As well as a bowl­ing al­ley, cin­ema room and games room, there will be a swim­ming lane that, sub­ject to per­mis­sion com­ing through, will con­nect with an in­door pool sit­u­ated in a sep­a­rate pool house.

What are the main chal­lenges?

Hu­mid­ity is a big fac­tor in in­door pool houses and it’s cru­cial to con­sider the fin­ishes of ev­ery­thing from the floor­ing to the join­ery and the fur­ni­ture to en­sure they’ll be able to with­stand vari­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture. A lot of in­te­rior de­sign­ers don’t like tak­ing on such projects be­cause of this, but we’ve been do­ing them for a long time and know which ma­te­ri­als will work in the en­vi­ron­ment.

Stone or wood?

We favour nat­u­ral stone both in­doors and out­doors, but our tip is to have it bush-ham­mered to give it a rough, non-slip fin­ish. It also cre­ates a seam­less ef­fect be­tween the pool room and the ter­race as it’s hardy enough to cope with the worst win­ter frosts. Ar­ti­sans of De­vizes (www.ar­ti­san­sofde­vizes.com) has a traver­tine and lime­stone we like.

Bar or kitchen?

Twenty years ago, it was stan­dard to have per­haps a sink and drinks fridge in a pool, but, to­day, we’re putting in a lot more fully equipped out­door kitchens with ex­tra el­e­ments, such as pizza ovens. When they first started ap­pear­ing, the choice in fin­ishes was rather lim­ited, but, these days, it’s pretty much end­less. The clas­sic com­bi­na­tion of teak against stain­less steel works well, but there’s also a fash­ion for cop­per or brass plat­ing.

Any fur­ni­ture tips?

I like Sum­mit’s (www.sum­mit­fur­ni­ture.com) teak loungers and have used them suc­cess­fully for a large out­door pool area, where they weath­ered beau­ti­fully into a sil­ver colour. B&B Italia (www.bebitalia.com) also makes a lovely range of out­door fur­ni­ture, which has a won­der­ful light­ness to it. For a more tra­di­tional look, I’m very taken with the qual­ity and style of Mckin­non and Har­ris (www.mck­in­non­har­ris.com).

Any other dec­o­ra­tive tips?

For out­door fab­rics, we use Peren­ni­als (www.peren­ni­als­fab­rics.com) and Sun­brella (www.sun­brella.com) and I’m re­ally taken by the range of in­door/out­door rugs from Dash & Al­bert (http://dash an­dal­bert.an­nieselke.com). We use many dif­fer­ent light­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers, but Hunza (www.hun­za­light­ing.com) is a re­ally good range that’s suit­able for both ex­te­rior use and damp, in­te­rior con­di­tions. Ara­bella Youens

Gines­tra ta­ble, £5,830, by B&B Italia (020–7591 8111; www.bebitalia.com)

De­signer John Evans sug­gests ways to cre­ate the per­fect in­door pool

Above: An in­door pool de­signed by John Evans. Right: Fur­ni­ture by Mckin­non & Har­ris (020–7349 9085, www. mck­in­non­har­ris.com)

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