A backyard where you can escape everyday stresses sounds like an ideal environment to many homeowners. The owner of this pool and spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., definitely wanted a tranquil space. "He wanted to be able to go into his backyard and have the whole environment remove him from everyday thinking," says Judd Smith, owner of Tahitian Pools in nearby Chandler. "He wanted to be able to get lost in thought in his backyard."

To create the desired ambience, the soothing sound of flowing water springs from numerous sources in this poolscape. The spillover spa, the vanishing edge, the deck jets around the smaller pool and the canal that flows to the main pool all add to the effect.

"We had to make sure the sound of the water was significant enough so we wouldn't lose it into the desert," says Smith.

In the evening, the fire details flanking the vanishing edge enhance the effect, as well. Smith says Tahitian includes fire elements in about 20 of the approximately 75 custom pools it builds a year, and safety is always a concern. "We try to put our fire features on the back wall of the pool, in non-traffic areas," says Smith.

The poolscape's fire and light prompted one neighbor to comment, "It looks like the Bellagio." Other neighbors have been impressed with the pool, as well. In fact, Smith says that after seeing this pool, two have hired him to do their pools, and one of those will be highlighted by a 360-degree vanishing edge.