Pool Season Has Arrived

pool,outdoor living

Ian Kitson Landscape Architects

What makes a great pool? Size? Shape? Amenities? Location? Landscape? Color? Each of us responds to different elements of a design and what I categorize as awesome may leave another cold. To some, a giant slide,  diving board, and a built in bar would make the pool of their dreams. To others, a swimming hole set in a natural landscape would fulfill their dream pool design. An infinity pool with an ocean view beyond is hard not to impress but one doesn’t need to be super wealthy to create a beautiful pool.

While a fabulous location will make any pool look better, a simple pool in an ordinary backyard can be made to look like a million bucks worthy of a place in a coffee table book on pools. The secret? Landscaping. Whether it includes specimen plants, impressive trees, colorful flowers, or a lush lawn of green grass, the landscape surrounding a pool is integral to creating an attractive design.

Pool season is, once again, upon us. Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and with it comes the opening of pools and thoughts of long, lazy days spent in the sun and water. Looking at pools and the creative designs that are featured in the pages of design magazines and on the boards of Pinterest, is one of my nothing-else-to-do pastimes. And so, in honor of the holiday, I am sharing a few of my favorites.

pool,outdoor living



pool,landscape,outdoor living

Ok, so I included my pool (above). My husband and I designed it nearly twenty years ago and it is still one of my favorites. When you are in the pool and look up at the gardens, it is peaceful and tranquil (and smells good, too!).

pool,outdoor licing


pool,outdoor living

hone edit

pool,outdoor living


pool,outdoor livingpool,outdoor living

                                                                                                                                                             Happy Memorial Day!

outdoorlicious,outdoor living blog,about outdoor living,dottie reynolds, casual living


Garden Stools

outdoor living,outdoor furniture,outdoor room,garden stool


Williams Sonoma

Used for centuries in China, the garden stool design began as a small outdoor seat used in courtyard gardens which were a central part of Chinese homes. The design may possibly date back to the Buddhist tradition of using a tree stump as seating in the garden.

Another possibility is that the garden stool descends from barrel shaped drums. The nail head pattern often seen as a design element in today’s garden stools may be a nod to the pattern of nails on the original drums.

Caribbean Living

Garden stools come in many shapes, . . . → Read More: Garden Stools

Indulge in Reading Outside

outdoor library,reading outside,outdoor living



I had a busy day lined up on Sunday. I knew that my list of tasks to complete around the house was going to keep my day full but my plan was to make time at the end of the day, in late afternoon before getting dinner ready, to grab my Nook and head out to my screened porch. The plan included settling into my comfy Lloyd Flanders lounge chair, putting my feet up, and reading the book that has been unfinished far too long.

By 7:00 pm, my scheduled tasks were complete but the part that . . . → Read More: Indulge in Reading Outside

Wicker Furniture: Man-Made or Natural?

outdooe furniture,outdoor living,outdoor wicker,man-made wicker,all-weather wicker

Pottery Barn

In the past, people used natural wicker outside but experts now tell us to use synthetic wicker outside and leave the natural wicker indoors. Why? What’s the difference between natural wicker and “all-weather” wicker?



American Country Home Store

Natural wicker is harvested from plant material. Most wicker that we are familiar with comes from a vine although other natural materials, such as willow, have been popular choices for weaving into furniture. Typically, materials that were once living organisms will not have the longevity outside that man-made materials have. These materials are more easily . . . → Read More: Wicker Furniture: Man-Made or Natural?

Yipes, Stripes

outdoor living, outdoor furniture,striped umbrella

Country Style/Alicia Taylor

Stripes are a timeless favorite in both fashion and home decorating. A stripe is easy to incorporate into nearly any décor style. With varying widths available, it is easy to move across the lines from traditional to contemporary: wide, bold stripes suggest a contemporary décor (or, at least a non-fussy style) while a narrower stripe often lends itself to a more transitional or traditional style.


Better Homes and Gardens

Color also has a lot to do with how a person perceives a stripe. Bright colors often suggest a more youthful and/or contemporary design . . . → Read More: Yipes, Stripes