This pool was done for a $4 million spec house in Nashville," says Gary Nannini, owner of Pool Art by Gary Nannini in Brentwood, Tenn. "The builder had a landscaper draw up a generic pool, which I didn't think fit, so I showed the builder some photos of pools I've done and he had me make some changes."

Instead of installing just the straight brick retaining wall that had been in the earlier drawings, Nannini incorporated three falls by using a variety of rocks and boulders. "There's about 75 tons of natural rock in this project," says Nannini. "We needed to use a reach loader and a crane to place the stones."

The retaining wall and the exterior of the pool walls are also made of natural rocks. Nannini found all these stones at a rock yard in Crossville, Tenn. "I look for specific rocks for specific jobs," says Nannini. "So the rocks are all hand chosen."

Crafting the largest waterfall was a challenge. "Where the waterfalls are coming into the pool, those rocks are notched in," says Nannini. "When we shoot the pool and form it, we make big benches so that the rock is contained within the pool shell itself and it's sitting in the water and it makes it look, hopefully, like that was there already and we built the pool around it."

Other highlights of the project include a Badu jet so users can swim in the relatively small pool, Pennsylvania bluestone coping with a thermal finish, three lion-head fountains aged to look 50 years old and a Hydrazzo pool finish that's smooth as glass and reveals little flecks of stone, says Nannini.

This poolscape even helped sell the home. "The house sat for a while, and I think the builder's construction loan was coming up," says Nannini. "So he said, 'If you can run the waterfalls, I think I can sell the house.' We filled up the pool, turned on the falls, and he sold it in about three weeks."