Splashy Backyard Remodel in North Oaks

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Photos by: Steve Kjelland

With a 1987 pool in need of updating, the homeowner had to decide: remove or renovate? A gaggle of grandchildren made the decision easy. “The owner was looking to change a nine-feet-deep pool into a kid-friendly sport pool and add an outdoor living area with a fireplace and kitchen,” says Pat Henry, owner of Prestige Pools in St. Paul, which had also installed the original pool.

For the new pool, a six-inch-deep platform for infants was added in the shallow end. A mid-depth area for standing and talking also was added, as well as a deep end, flanked by corner benches on each side. Rounded travertine lends a more natural look and feel to the pool’s edges, and a UV system sanitizes the pool water in place of chlorine, which can damage the travertine over time and has been linked to increased risk of cancer and asthma.

Approximately 2,500 square feet of pavers create a patio extending back to the house. Across from the pool, a fieldstone fireplace is the centerpiece of a 20-foot seating area, which leads to an outdoor kitchen featuring a dark granite counter, grill, and LED-illuminated pergola. Three copper fire bowls, on columns capped in limestone and faced in travertine stone, illuminate the backyard with open flame and send water cascading into the pool. A techie bonus: You can control them remotely from the garage or an iPhone.

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