It’s been a beautiful month here at AQUA. All month long we’ve shared stunning shots of projects from all over North America, each uniquely different than the last. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so too does our Awards of Excellence coverage.

Luckily, we’re closing out with another set of dazzling projects, with everything from meticulous tile and dramatic vistas to show-stopping spas. Take a look at the projects below, each of which comes with the inside scoop on project materials and tales from the construction site.

Did you miss the other AOE winners? Take a look here:
2016 AOE: Silver Winners
2016 AOE: Bronze Winners
2016 AOE: Gold Winners (Part I)


 

Ryan Hughes Design

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Decking/Coping: Harmony Stone
Lighting: Savi
Interior Finish: Pebble Tec
Sanitizer: Jandy
Cleaner: Jandy
Circulation: Jandy
Start-Up Chemicals: Kem Tec
Automation: Jandy

The tropics meets the water's edge as this outdoor refuge hosts multiple aquatic luxuries from the wading pool to the spa to the sun shelf with lounge recliners. Every spot in and out of the water is guaranteed to offer comfort along with an exquisite view, all under protective cover.

The challenge in this project was to put all these different elements within a screen enclosure — the home is located in a preserve area with a bad mosquito problem.

The cozy lounge area shown stands at one end of a geometric-shaped pool and includes an oversized, square fire pit area with bench seating. A wooden pergola supported by stone columns encloses a comfortable outdoor sectional with custom fabrics.

 


 

Platinum Pools

Wheeling, Ill.

Decking: Valders Wisconsin limestone
Decking/Coping: Valders
Tile: Classic Pool Tile
Lighitng: Pentair
Water Feature: Pentair
Fire Feature: Grand Effects
Sanitizer: Pentair
Cleaner: Zodiac
Circulation: Pentair
Start-Up Chemicals: Biolab
Automation: Pentair
Lazy River Pump: Current Systems

This aquatic playground in Bull Valley, Ill., features a zero-depth beach entry, a lazy river, a sunken island with fire feature, a slide with a rock grotto and cliff for diving. The CeramaQuartz finish infinity edge pool also has a diving board, and equipment for basketball and volleyball.

The sheer scale of the project required skill and design acumen, as well as proper hydraulic design to ensure a project of this size worked efficiently and properly.

 


 

Ryan Hughes Design

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Decking/Coping: Harmony Stone
Lighting: Savi
Interior Finish: Pebble Tec
Fire Feature: Grand Effects
Sanitizer: Jandy
Cleaner: Jandy
Circulation: Jandy
Start-Up Chemicals: Kem Tec
Automation: Jandy

Designer Ryan Hughes' job was to create a space that was cohesive with the natural lakefront setting, but with an elegant feel. In the foreground of this image, an in-pool sun shelf and a pair of lounges makes for a cool and refreshing opportunity for leisure and conversation. Creating interest as one enters the natural stone spa area across the pool is a large stepping stone walkway providing a close up view of the adjacent wall fountains, lanterns and a circular fire pit lounge under a wood and stone pergola.

A dining peninsula sits adjacent to the pool dressed in decorative tiles while the outdoor kitchen and bar area are classically designed as an inviting spot for guests to enjoy a meal or a poolside drink. A towering custom wood and tile ceiling crowns this elegant outdoor oasis.

 


 

Selective Designs

Peachtree City, Ga.

Decking: Travertine
Lighting: Jandy
Water Feature: Custom, with Jandy pumps
Interior Finish: Pebble Tec
Fire Feature: Custom
Sanitizer: Clearwater Tech
Cleaner: Polaris
Circulation: Jandy
Start-Up Chemicals: Aqua Pro
Automation: Jandy

This client lived many years in Montana and wanted the same feel at his new home in Georgia — a natural environment with rocks, bourbon and wine. Attention to detail and creative craftsmanship incorporating boulders and rocks, a small stream, wine barrels and many more elements achieved the effect.

A rolled-edge spa for comfort, the sound of running water, fire to set the mood, and appropriate lighting to enjoy the environment day and night complete this peach of a project.

 


 

Ryan Hughes Design

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Decking/Coping: Harmony Stone
Lighting: Savi
Water Feature: Grand Effects
Interior Finish: Pebble Tec
Fire Feature: Grand Effects
Sanitizer: Jandy
Cleaner: Jandy
Circulation: Jandy
Start-Up Chemicals: Kem Tec
Automation: Jandy

From an initial request for a seemingly floating circular fireside lounge, designer Ryan Hughes drafted a creatively complex, yet calmly cohesive outdoor design:

Well appointed but unconfined outdoor rooms surround a pool area with a circular fire patio that beckons guests from the moment they enter the home's front door. A dining area and bar with modern seating and a stainless outdoor kitchen is surrounded by textural elements and natural ipe hardwood.

The dramatic outdoor entertainment lounge was designed with custom sight and sound built within the wall covered with four 50 inch televisions. This audio-visual wall, cladded with White Quartz stone veneer and glass tile, flows into an adjacent hearth area. Additional lounging and deck areas, a spa and natural plantings create a complete outdoor story.

 


 

Tranquility Pools

Haskell, N.J.

Decking: Wood
Tile: National Pool Tile
Lighting: Jandy
Interior Finish: Plaster
Sanitizer: Pentair
Cleaner: Pentair
Circulation: Pentair
Start-Up Chemicals: Pentair
Automation: Pentair

This client wanted just about everything you can think of: a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and dining area, bar stools and lounging space. To make it work, Tranquility Pools had to carefully map out every detail and get creative. The design team created different levels of patio space, resulting in an upper space for cooking/dining, a mid-level seating area with a fire wall and a lower patio for poolside lounging. To create more intimacy, a large Tuuci umbrella was installed over the upper level patio, effectively creating a separate space within a space. The end result is a small space that looks much larger than it really is.

 


 

Red Rock Pools & Spas

Gilbert, Ariz.

Decking/Coping: Natural stone from I-10 Stone Source
Lighting: Pentair
Water Feature: Custom, by Red Rock Pools & Spas
Interior Finish: Pebble Tec
Fire Feature: Custom, by Red Rock Pools & Spas (Burners by Fire by Design)
Sanitizer: Pentair
Cleaner: Paramount
Circulation: Pentair/Paramount
Automation: Pentair
Slide: Natural Structures
Other: RiverFlow Systems

When describing this project, "massive" is an understatement. This residential, resort-style pool features a perfectly circular, recessed fire-pit on an island surrounded by a lazy river, rock waterfalls more than 10 feet high, a covered swim-up bar, an all-glass tile spa, boulders that weigh up to 30 tons each and more. With so many moving parts, this project stands out for both its complexity and size.

 


 

Splash Pools & Construction

Chino, Calif.

Decking/Tile: Arizona Tile
Lighting: Hayward
Interior Finish: Pebble Tec
Circulation: Hayward
Start-Up Chemicals: Black Magic

The homeowner here wanted a sleek, modern pool with the spa as the focal point — and Splash Pools and Construction delivered with show-stopping results. Designers Jeff Stephenson and Summers Murphy started out by designing an elegant raised pool with dark tiles, multiple vanishing edges and a rim flow acrylic spa emerging from the center.

The spa is a single piece of acrylic measuring 9 feet wide and 2 ½ inches thick, which had to be craned into the space. While it sits a foot above the pool's waterline, Stephenson and Murphy wanted to draw more attention to the spa by adding LED light strips around the edge that offer full color control.

 


 

Cox Pools

Panama City Beach, Fla.

Tile: Oceanside Muse wave blend, provided by Q Tile
Decking: Silver travertine, provided by Stone Mart
Lighting: Pentair
Water Feature: Custom Molded Products
Interior Finish: Wet Edge
Fire Feature: Grand Effects
Sanitizer: Paramount, Pentair
Cleaner: Paramount
Circulation: Pentair
Automation: Pentair
Surge Protector: Intermatic
Jet Blower: ASFI

A black plaster pool with deep blue tile and a silver travertine deck combine with the colors of the house and surrounding flora to turn this Florida pool project into something special. This pool started as a 20 by 40 free form renovation. The design group added a water shelf and a freestanding spa with a runnel return to complete the design — the end result was a total backyard transformation from the original pool.